MEET THE AUTHOR: PAT AMSDEN


I’m happy today to introduce you to a fellow member of my local chapter of RWA, Pat Amsden.

patauthorphoto

Pat was kind enough to sit down and answer some questions I grilled asked her for the blog.

What do you write?

I write cozy mysteries. My latest release, A Ghostly Affair, is the third in my Death By Chocolate Series. They’re based around a chocolatier and caterer, Maxine Peters and set in Victoria, BC. I’m having great fun writing my alter ego, Maxine. I like cozy mysteries because they keep you wondering who did it without the excessive violence and gore found in some thrillers.

When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I can remember writing stories in grade school. They were mysteries with clues such as big feet and fantasy. The Hobbit inspired me to write my own adventure. Thankfully it’s forever lost.

Are you published?

Yes.  My son published a romance, Better Than Chocolate, on Amazon for me at the very beginning of ebooks. I had no idea on how to market and it disappeared into oblivion. Last year I took the plunge again. I published one romantic suspense, Lost In Vegas, which I love and it did make the Amazon top ten a couple of times. Then I started the Death By Chocolate Series. A Ghostly Affair has just been released and I’m putting the first book, Chocolate Worth Dying For on for free this Friday and Saturday.

Where can you be found on social media?

I’m all over it although I don’t have much time.  You do get to know people around the world which is the good thing. You can find me on my blog, FB, Twitter, Pinterest and Linked In.

Website or blog: Blog.

http://www.patamsden.com

Facebook:

I’ve just started a FB author page. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pat-Amsden/625861690758718?ref=hl

Twitter:

@PatAmsden

Pinterest:

@pjamsden

Linkedin:

Pat Amsden, Writer

What do you think is the best way to publish these days?

Indie publishing has worked for me but I don’t rule out working with traditional publishers. There’s good and bad with both. I love the idea of a traditional publisher that takes care of everything but the writing. I’m not sure they exist anymore, though. Every writer I know has a platform and is busily marketing themselves. And I’m leery of giving creative control to a publisher for ten cents on the dollar, which most authors end up spending in marketing anyway.

I think authors have to be very careful not to give up too much starting up. That doesn’t mean a publisher shouldn’t expect your best work or to make a profit on it. But if by chance I create an iconic character that resonates with readers I’d like some control over what happens with my work and where the money goes.
What are your favorite genres to read? Why?

I read everything. I love mysteries, romances, thrillers and literary works. I also read small local papers, gossip magazines, and papers such as The Huffington Post and the Times Colonist. Then there’s Buzz Feed and cat memes.

Just recently I started a new series by Bev Pettersen. It’s set in the world of race horses. My dad used to be a show jumper and worked on the track for a few years. Then my parents bought a ranch. We always had horses growing up. I helped break one when I was nine and spent endless hours brushing horses as well as cleaning tack and riding. Now I talk to people who have horses and they talk of snoods and horse physiotherapists. I’m sure a racing horse having difficulty today also has a therapist to help get him back in form as well. It’s a different world, but when I read her books they resonate with me. Plus they’re filled with mystery and romance. What could be better?

Do your characters talk to you?

Talk, scream and yell sometimes. Mainly they tell me to stop going one way and go another way. Not him! She’s not that innocent…

How do you approach starting a new book?

Somehow everything I do and read, swirls together giving me ideas. Really, who doesn’t love chocolate? And when I was younger I worked in professional kitchens and as a waitress. Now I love watching Food Network shows.
The latest in my chocolate series has Maxine helping a friend who’s starting a dating service. She wants her friend to succeed but has worries about the matchmaking service as does Detective Patrick Shannon.

When someone dies at a matchmaking affair she’s catering Maxine is right in there trying to solve it. In doing so it becomes a question of what is a person willing to do for love?  How far do you trust and how do you overcome your fears if you’ve been betrayed once? Twice?

Maybe just as important, how can someone betray the trust of another, what makes a con man tick and why do women believe they can change a bad boy?

What is your writing process?

I like to have an idea of the characters and what makes them tick along with an outline of the plot a theme. Usually I try to write between 500 – 1000 words a night and after a book is finished I’ll take some time off before diving into another.

What are the best writing books or blogs you’ve ever read?

Word painting with Rebecca McClanahan which was used as the basis of a course I took in writing. I don’t know if you can still get it through Writer’s Digest books but if you can, buy it. I also like Emotion Thesaurus, for when I’m furiously writing a scene and I’m stuck.

For a blog I’ll give a shout out to Jo-Ann Carson’s Loving Danger and the Unexpected. She gave me my first guest post on her blog and has done so for all my books except the last one. She writes thoughtful blogs on writing filled with wit and insight as well as being a good friend and fellow RWA member.

What are your non-writing hobbies, or what do you do to relax?

Spending time with family. Walking, yoga, shopping. Really I’m a pretty boring person.

What was your best date ever?

A bottle of wine and pizza. Then we spent half the night talking.

Navy SEAL or cowboy? 

Cowboy.  There’s something about a man who’s as comfortable on a horse as he is at the dinner table and cares about animals.

Chocolate or chips?

Chocolate.

If you could have a superpower what would it be? Why?

To instantly heal everyone. We take our health for granted unless we don’t have it. But, really, without health we can’t enjoy all the people and things in our life we care about.

Fancy restaurant or picnic?

Fancy restaurant. I want to be spoiled a bit.

Beer or wine?

Depends on where and when.

Favorite author?

I don’t really have a favorite author. I have two favorite books; Michael Ondatjes Anil’s Ghost and Billie Letts, Where The Heart Is

Smooth or hairy?

Smooth.

A Ghostly Affair- cover

A Ghostly Affair by Pat Amsden:

Maxine is catering a Halloween party in historic Craigdarroch Castle But when a ghost scares a guest to death Maxine doesn’t know what to think. Is it one of the Dunsmuirs, haunting the castle, or perhaps something more sinister?

Add in a dognapping and maybe more, self-defense lessons that are heating thing up between Maxine and Detective Patrick Shannon, a friend left grief stricken by the death of her boyfriend and Maxine’s got her hands full.

But the boyfriend may have been involved in bribing local officials for approvals to go ahead with his development. Does a First Nations Indian intent on protecting his people’s heritage have something to do with his death? And how do a ghost drone and local teenager fit in?

By the time Maxine’s got it figured out she won’t be the only one wondering just how far is too far when it comes to fighting for what you believe in.

A Christmas Wedding To Die For - Copy

A Christmas Wedding to Die For by Pat Amsden:

Maxine is making the wedding cake for the Christmas Wedding of the season. And it’s to be held in one of her favorite places, Butchart Gardens. But before the day is over the bride lies at death’s door and it’s up to Maxine to find out just who wanted Julianna dead.

Could it be something to do with the rivalry between their parent’s two gaming companies? The two founders started off together, fresh out of university. At some point they’d started fighting with Julianna’s dad, Zeke branching off with a new game.

A game, Amoury, Rohan’s dad, had always claimed was stolen from Zone 2 Gaming. The two had gone on to become wildly successful in their own right, while remaining fiercely competitive.

And then, Rohan, for whatever reason, had quit university part way through to take an entry level job at AC Gamers, instead of finishing university and going into Zone 2 Gaming. Maybe Julianna had been the draw from the beginning.

Maybe once Rohan started working there, they became closer working on projects together, where Julianna’s love of social translated into marketing success, while Rohan’s gaming skills resulted in a brand new game and huge success in the online gaming world.

And then they decided they were in love and wanted to get married. Tension didn’t begin to cover the situation. But was it enough to cause someone to try offing the bride?

Will Maxine be able to stop a killer from striking again so Rohan and Julianna can have their own Happily Ever After?

New Chocolate Worth Dying For Cover

Chocolate Worth Dying For by Pat Amsden:

Chocolate Worth Dying For—Maxine is the brand new owner of a chocolate shop and catering business ‘Au Chocolate’.

She figures with a lot of hard work and a little luck she’ll be able to make her dream a reality. But for crying out loud, people aren’t supposed to die holding one of her chocolates in their hands.

It’s up to her to find out what happened and make sure justice is done. Before people decide even chocolate isn’t worth dying for.
To do that she’ll have to dig into the lives of some of Victoria’s richest, most powerful people.

And in the process a killer may decide the only way to stop Maxine is to kill her. There are a lot of suspects to choose from since the victim died at one of the premier social events of the season.

Hopefully Maxine will be able to find the killer before she becomes the next victim!

These all sound wonderful, Pat. Thank you for sharing your writing process with us today. I enjoyed getting to know you a little better. 🙂

Pat loves talking to her fans. What do you think of her scrumptious covers? Do you like cozy mysteries, or something more heart pounding?

27 Comments

  1. Hi Pat,
    I love the description of the horses. We had a neighbour when I was a child who loaned us his horses, a pair of work horses to haul logs and pull a plow. One was blind, but the other led the way for both of them. They were wonderful strong and patient beasts.

    Love your excerpts, hope sales soar,
    Sylvia

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Sylvia,
      Thanks for stopping by. I’m envious of you guys. Always have loved horses, but developed hay fever, so I have to stay away 😦

      Like

  2. Great interview, Pat. Discovered things about you I didn’t know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Anna, me too. I especially liked her super-power answer, 🙂

      Like

  3. Pat Amsden says:

    Hi all

    Horses are amazing animals.

    I feel bad for you Jacquie. My mom had hayfever and allergies to horses but she just ignored them as much as possible. Mind you she was allergic to dust and was unable to do housework because of it.She was much better about following doctors orders on that one 🙂

    Anna, I’m glad to know you learned something new about me. Although it seems only right to retain a bit of the ‘woman of mystery’ feel. Who knows what I’ll reveal next?

    Jacquie, thanks so much for having me. I’ve enjoyed answering your questions and look forward to hearing from your readers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading the interview and, since I write in the realm of the Paranormal, I loved the cover on “A Ghostly Affair.” I always appreciate it when someone says something (anything) on a blog I am on so I try to do the same when I see one. P.S. Death by Chocolate would be my preferred way to go! (-;

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Vampwriterblog,
      Glad you enjoyed the interview. You’re right, sometimes it’s really hard to find commenters on blogs, maybe because there are so many? I appreciate you showing your support here. I’ll be checking yours out in return, 🙂

      Like

      1. Pat Amsden says:

        Really death by chocolate does seem a good way to die! I’m glad you like the cover and hope you get a chance to read the book. I did mention Chocolate Worth Dying For is FREE Friday and Saturday, didn’t I? There’s no ghost but lots of chocolate and you’ll get to know a lot of the characters in A Ghostly Affair. I’ll be checking out your blog.

        Thanks for stopping by.

        Pat

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes! You did say it was FREE on Friday and Saturday, my only problem is that cover (I know I’ll gain five pounds each time I look at it…fortunately the E-book cover will only show up twice, once when I “buy” the book on Amazon-Kindle and once when I open it to begin reading. I read a LOT of books and always leave a good review (or don’t leave one at all). Like my dear departed mother said, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” (at age 71 I have found it to be pretty sound advice). I’d love for you to take a look at one (or all three) books in my “Immortal Relations” series: http://amzn.com/B006ZCBT6G 2nd book:: http://amzn.com/B00A4IEHL6 and 3rd book in the series: http://amzn.com/B00G5BQS18 (-;

          Like

      2. Thanks so much Jacquie! Perhaps you’ll take a look at my “Immortal Relations” series and if you like what you see, let me be on your blog someday. The books are http://amzn.com/B006ZCBT6G (There is some heavy intimacy but it can be toned down for a blog) http://amzn.com/B00A4IEHL6 (Intimacy was toned down in this one – you may laugh at how I did it) and http://amzn.com/B00G5BQS18 (third in the series). All deal with good vampires who do their best to safeguard humans from bloodthirsty vamps, human criminals and evil politicians. (-;

        Liked by 1 person

        1. jbiggar2013 says:

          I’ll add you to my TBR pile, ty. You’re welcome to a spot on my blog. I do guest spots on Fridays and am booking for the new year now. Just let me know if you’re interested. 🙂 Only request is a clean excerpt as this is an open to public blog, thanks.

          Like

          1. I’d love a chance to be on your blog and can very easily leave out intimacy, especially in books two and three (since there is so little in them). I don’t have anything scheduled after the first of the year on a Friday so pick a date that will be best for you. I can either answer specific questions if you send them or provide some I’ve answered before elsewhere. I have, what I believe to be, an interesting snippet from my Vlad Dracula (in my books he is “reformed” and in the snippet there is a discussion of how he “earned” the bloodthirsty label so many books and movies have tagged him with. But it also tells of what brought him to his current state of redemption – the love of a good woman of course)! (-;

            Liked by 1 person

          2. jbiggar2013 says:

            Sounds good 🙂 Just e-mail me with your address and we’ll put something together.
            jbiggar@telusplanet.net

            Like

  5. Jo-Ann Carson says:

    Hi Ladies
    Great interview. The book sounds awesome Pat and I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the shout out. You are not only a great writer, you are a great friend.
    Best Wishes to both of you
    Jo-Ann

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Jo-Ann, thanks for the shares 🙂 I love the covers on Pat’s books, makes me want to dive right in. She’s right, your blog is inspiring. Take care, Jacquie

      Like

    2. Pat Amsden says:

      Hi Jo-Ann

      I’m glad you liked it and appreciate you sharing. I hope you have a chance to read the book and enjoy it.

      The shout-out is well deserved and while I’m glad you’re taking the time you need for your health I always enjoy your blogs. And I can’t wait to read Sophie’s adventures.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. mimibarbMimi says:

    A lovely post, Pat. It’s nice to learn more about you. I bet this coming season is one of your favorites – I see chocolates everywhere now…. even bought a few myself LOL xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Mimi,
      This is the hard season for me too, 🙂 Usually I don’t eat much chocolate but now the Lindor and Ferraro call my name, lol

      Like

    2. Pat Amsden says:

      Hi Mimi

      I do love Christmas and who can resist chocolates? Not me. I like to think all the running around we do around Christmas makes up for it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jodie Esch says:

    So interesting to find out ‘backstory’ of a writing colleague. My sister was very busy with horses when we were growing up. Me? Not so much. But I watched a lot of horse shows and certainly admired the expertise of the riders.

    All the best with your writing! I know how busy you are, so it’s so excellent you are able to create new manuscripts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Jodie,
      Thanks for stopping by today. I learn something new every time I do an interview, such fun 🙂

      Like

    2. Pat Amsden says:

      Hi Jodie

      It’s amazing how that happens. You definitely found enough to keep yourself busy and if we all like the same thing the world would be a pretty boring place.

      Like

  8. So happy that Jacquie grilled/asked 🙂 you these questions, Pat. I loved hearing the answers. Looking forward to talking about horses when I next see you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi Jacqui, that’s one of the best things about these interviews, all the great new resources we find 🙂

      Like

  9. Pat Amsden says:

    Hi Jacqui

    I’m so glad you stopped by and we’ll talk horses and heroes the next time I see you – sounds like fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JoAnne Myers says:

    Hello Pat, a very nice interview. We know so much more about you. All the best with your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. jbiggar2013 says:

      Hi JoAnne, Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed learning more about her also. 🙂

      Like

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