I’ve interviewed Alaskan authors on my blog in the past, but I’m going to take some time today to introduce a new author I recently met in California.
My husband and I dropped by Temecula, California, a city that plays up its cowboy past. During a costumed reenactment of a very loud gunfight, I noticed a lovely young woman sitting at a table on the sidewalk, advertising a book, with a sign that said “Talk to the author.” Well, who can resist talking to an author?
The author was Kimberley Patterson, whose first novel RED ROCK is a young adult western--not a genre you encounter every day. Meet her here:
Kimberly, it was a pleasure to meet you in Temecula. First, tell us about yourself. How did your background lead you to become a writer?
I have always enjoyed writing since I was a small child. Initially, I wrote short stories, poems and plays before venturing into fiction. I still have one of the first stories I wrote about a bear who lost his homework when I was 8 years old. I would like to think I have improved a great deal since then.
Tell us about RED ROCK. What’s the story about? Where did the story idea come from?
RED ROCK is a Young Adult western that focuses on Rachel Hunter, a high spirited teen, is struggling to take care of her ill mother. Her mother’s illness soon forces the family to sell everything, and move to a new town seeking a cure they can't afford. Along the way, they stumble onto a fortune and, in financial desperation, decide to keep it. Upon arrival in Red Rock, she quickly settles in to their new life, with Rachel's mother receiving the care she needs from the town doctor. Rachel even finds herself with two suitors, one that she is very likely falling in love with -- and one who annoys and irritates her at every turn. Though there is some guilt associated with the secret of their fortune, she is content -- until one night someone throws a rock through the Hunter family's window, threatening to take back what is theirs. Lies, deceit, and betrayal plague Rachel and her entire family as they struggle to keep their secret, and find out who is behind the devious plan. With every secret comes consequences, and Rachel will soon find out that not everything or everyone is what they seem to be.
The story itself I started at age 17, and finished only three chapters until my computer crashed. I had printed out the story and given it to my grandmother but she had lost them. I basically gave up on the story. Over ten years later, after my grandma had passed away, my mom and I were feeling sentimental and started going through boxes that were at my grandmothers house. To our surprise, in the bottom of one of the boxes - there were the chapters. My mom encouraged me to finally finish it, and I did.
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
The main thing I would like readers to take away from the book is that no matter what struggles come your way, you have the inner strength to overcome them. The main character, Rachel, learns this about herself as she is transformed from a bratty, immature child to a strong, capable young woman. I strongly believe that the struggles we are faced with in life shape us into who we are
Are any of the characters in RED ROCK based on you or people you know in real life?
Initially, Rachel may have been loosely based on me as a teenager, mainly with some of the physical attributes and personality traits and some of my own personal experiences weaved into the story line. I was heavily involved in rodeo and horses as a teenager so a lot of that was based on my life. The other characters weren't really based on anyone in particular, but some of their actions or sayings did come from personal situations.
I understand that RED ROCK is a Young Adult Western. That sounds like a very unique genre. Why did you decide to write in this genre?
I initially wanted RED ROCK to just be a western, but because my main lead was only 17 a group of other authors I was working with suggested young adult. Some of the scenes in the book had to be cut to fit into this category, but because there weren't a lot of young adult westerns (if any) I felt that it would make the book unique. The book has a great message behind it, and you don't have to be a "western" fan to really enjoy the book. I have hope that the western genre can be reintroduced to the younger generation.
Do you have other books in the works?
My second book, THE THREE MONTH PLAN, which is a YA Romance was released in 2013. This one is a light, fun read with another positive message. I am working on my third book, titles BURNED which is a paranormal thriller, and it will hopefully be released the end of this year.
How can readers find out more about you and your book?
Readers can visit my webpage www.kimberleypatterson.com, www.redrockbook.com, or www.thethreemonthplan.com, follow me on twitter @redrockbook, or on facebook at www.facebook.com/redrockauthor. My books can also be found on Amazon and Smashwords, in addition to Barnes and Noble.