Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange
About the Author:
Fascinated by broken-hearted couples and atypical families, Patricia weaves engaging tales of men and women who create cohesive families where love reigns supreme. She sprinkles her books with intriguing characters who struggle to find balance in life after tragedy. Whether an unwed teenager, desperate widow, abandoned father, or a couple who stray from their marital vows, her characters form relationships impacted by their desire to create a family.
Aside from writing, her favorite things to do include riding her Friesian horse, Maximus, dot-to-dot for adults, and watching Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington movies. She spends a majority of her days writing while her two very large Chocolate Labs lounge on the couch cuddled next to her and her MacBook.
She writes a blog every Wednesday, so if you're interested, sign up to be on the mailing list and she'll notify you after she posts her blog on this website. Or just drop by Wednesday mornings and leave a comment.
About the Novel:
Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty. But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return.
Moon Over Alcatraz can be purchased at the following links:
Musa link: http://www.musapublishing.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=150
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Moon-Over-Alcatraz-ebook/dp/B006UJEE3E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327940072&sr=1-1
Barnes & Noble link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/moon-over-alcatraz-patricia-yager-delagrange/1108112331?ean=2940032996682&itm=1&usri=moon+over+alcatraz
Twitter: - https://twitter.com/#!/PattiYager
Facebook: - https://www.facebook.com/patricia.delagrange
Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees. Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to the tiny casket.
Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box. I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on the wood. Weston joined me and placed a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.
He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly. I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.
Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw. She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave. It pecked around, chirping a little song, then flew off - as if saying goodbye. My heart squeezed inside my chest.
I picked up a small handful of soft dirt. “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.
Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side. Why her? Why my baby? Was this supposed to make sense? And, if so, to whom?
We drove home in silence. No words existed to express my grief.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Patricia Heaton, the mother in The Middle, the television sitcom about a married couple and their three kids. Every time I see her, I see myself. She’s got a sense of humor, likes to talk, loves her kids, but their family life is manic. Sometimes that’s how I feel.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
I think with anything in life, you have to have balance. Writing isn’t the only thing I do. I love to ride my Friesian horse at least twice a week -- one in a lesson and one on the trail. I also have two teenage kids -- one boy who is 18 and a girl who’s 13. If you’ve ever seen the movie The Bridges of Madison County, Meryl Streep explains why she cannot leave her family for Robert. That’s how I feel about my family, i.e. I try to stay stable and not move so that my kids can feel comfortable leaving when they’re ready to fly away. They know I’m here for them and always have been. I grew up in such an atmosphere and when I left for college I had my family’s support and love.
What do you find to be the biggest challenge when writing?
The biggest challenge for me is discovering the idea for the book in the first place. My first three books came easily for me but the fourth one -- I hit a wall. I had to talk to my personal editor so she could throw out ideas and get my engine running, so to speak. And it was the first time I wrote out a synopsis and chapter outlines beforehand. I’m a pantser but I found that the synopsis and chapter outlines really helped me start and end the novel. I’ll be doing it that way for my future books. It gave me a path to follow and yet I didn’t have to stick to it 100%. I veered off the track and added things, but kept to the main spots in the story.
Do you enjoy giving interviews?
I love doing interviews because they force me to really think about why I write. I never thought about any of the questions I was asked before doing this blog tour. Now I feel completely comfortable answering questions about my writing. Initially I didn’t know what I would say but after the first few interviews, I’m enjoying them. The other day I had a live interview with a journalist for my city’s newspaper and I was not at all intimidated because there wasn’t a question she asked that I hadn’t already been asked during my blog tour.
How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?
I integrate my life experiences in all my books. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and each of my books takes place somewhere in California which is my home state. Also, I started reading books when I was very young and my mother bought me a subscription to a book-of-the-month club. That alone impacted me greatly. I loved and still love reading books and am never NOT reading a book. And I write what I love to read.
What was the greatest thing you learned in school?
I went to Catholic grammar and high schools and the greatest thing I learned is that all people are equal. That has impacted my entire life.
Do you admire your own work?
I write women’s fiction. My main female characters are all strong women who have to jump through some heavy hurdles to get what they want in life. In that sense, I admire what I write. My main characters aren’t weak women who need to have a man in their lives in order to live. They all have love in their lives but they also all have a personal life with struggles that only they can overcome on their own.
Who else’s work do you admire?
I love Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove series, anything by Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans and Jodi Picoult. When I read their books I always feel connected to the characters and don’t want to put the books down.
What do you think is the sole purpose of books?
Books take us out of our everyday world into another, to a place where anything is possible and in transporting us away from our lives, we get the opportunity to experience the lives of others.
How would you convince a young person to pursue writing?
I would take a child at a very young age and have them write stories - any stories about any subject - and never stop. My daughter has been writing stories for years in school and she’s only thirteen. And some of her stories are really quite good. It’s like anyone’s writing, I believe, i.e. the more you write, the better you write. At least that’s what I’ve discovered is true for many writers.
Posted by Lindsay at 1:00 AM