Joe: Tell us a bit (or a lot) more about your childhood. Primary school, high school, etc. How do you think your experiences benefited or influenced your career?
PR: I grew up in New England, so the cold is a part of who I am. I’ve always been an introvert, so I was huge into entertainment media growing up. Books, comics, and movies (old and new—don’t discount the black and white stuff, folks) all had years to stew together and influence my idea of what a story should be. I was also a pretty dedicated people watcher, so that didn’t hurt my ability to write characters, either.
Joe: Can you recall a moment where you
had to choose between being an author/artist and another career? A decisive
moment where you decided to go all out?
PR: Definitely. I was working a dead-end job at a grocery store that only got worse the longer I was there. When I was nearing 30, I realised spending any more of life there could only be a waste. I put in my two weeks and never looked back.
Joe: How did you respond to your very first success as an author? Was it just rewarding, or did it motivate you even more? Or, did it perhaps feel underwhelmed, which motivated you to even greater heights?
PR: Well, I think everyone is thrilled to see his or her name in print for the first time. It’s a hell of a high, and it certainly encouraged me to write more.
Joe: How has your career as an author affected relationships with friends and family?
PR: It can make things a bit stressful, really. Writing is not a career to pursue if your chief goal in life is making money. My family does get it and is generally very supportive, though.
Joe: Which author most influenced your early career? And who still does?
PR: Definitely H.P. Lovecraft when I was starting out. While he still does, I would add Clive Barker, Joe Hill, and Ray Bradbury to that list.
Joe: Instead of just focusing on your most successful work, which story are you the proudest of, a story that managed to capture a piece of who you are?
PR: Probably my first novel, Surviving the Crash, which came out a few years ago. The publisher folded after only a year of it being out, but there’s a lot of the me I was then in that book. It’s almost like a time capsule.
Joe: How do you feel when you don’t make your target words for the day?
PR: It stabs at my brain like an ice pick. I know I can make it up by doing more the next day, but I really don’t like to.
Joe: What’s the most difficult topic for you to write?
PR: Not so much a topic, but killing a character I’m genuinely fond of is always rather wrenching.
What do you do to distract you enough to actually relax a bit? Or do you always
think about writing?
PR: I have a very serious Type A personality, so I have a difficult time relaxing at all. There are Let’s Players on YouTube I’ve been watching for years, though. They’re always good for a quick laugh.
Joe: Tell us a bit about the people you met while researching a book. Are you still friends with some of them?
PR: Honestly, I can’t think of one person I met while doing research for a book. None of my work thus far has required anything I couldn’t get from reading.
Joe: Outside of the actual craft, what is the most useful skill you learnt from being an author?
PR: The value of butt-in-chair time. The only way to do something difficult is to lower your head and ram your way through the wall in front of you.
Joe: How did being an author change you as a person?
PR: It definitely opened my eyes to a lot of things regarding business. Most writers just starting out don’t pay much mind to things like marketing or gauging the lifespan of a publisher. I feel like I’m much more analytical now. Probably cynical, too.
Joe: Which response/comment from a reader has touched you the most throughout your career?
PR: Actually from an editor. He compared something I wrote to Arthur Machen’s work. I was more than a bit flattered.
Joe: What is your life-long goal as an author?
PR: To earn the respect of the professional community and get enough fans to make a decent living.
Joe: What legacy do you want to leave behind?
PR: Well, everyone would like to be known as the best at what they do. I don’t have near enough of a swelled head to think I’ll manage that, but a reputation as a good writer who always went for the original idea over being derivative would be nice.
*Be sure to pick up Patrick’s Wind Chill novella on Kindle or paperback. We even have a free short story on Kindle or ePub for you to sample.