My Progress Report
I told you in January that I had made only one New Year's Resolution, which was to finish my first novel. Although, I've making progress, I'm still struggling to carve out the time required to get it done.
I get distracted by my blog and writing devotionals for a couple of places. Plus, the demand that a writer build a platform (an audience) keeps me conflicted. The truth is once you publish your book, you're only halfway there. You have to market it.
A Win-Win Proposition
That's why for the next few weeks, I've invited some of my writer friends to tell you about the books they've written. Hopefully, it will expand their audience and keep my blog active.
Meet Pat Laster
Today I want to introduce you to Pat Laster. Pat and I met at my first writers' retreat at the Hemingway Pfeiffer Educational Center in Piggott several years ago.
Afterwards, Pat invited me to her critique group, Central Arkansas Writers, where I met three more dedicated writers. Not only did these women give me the courage to write my novel, but they also taught me a great deal about the process. Although I don't meet with them anymore, I am grateful to each one and for the friendships that developed.
Music and Language
Pat is a multi-talented lady. A music major, she taught music in the public school and served as a church musician. After she shifted from teaching music to the talented and gifted program, Pat became interested in writing.
She says it took her from 1998 until 2010 to complete her first novel, A Journey of Choice. Shortly thereafter, she began the sequel, Her Face in the Glass, which she published last year.
In addition to her novels, Pat writes a weekly column for The Amity Arkansas Standard. She's also a frequent contributor to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette guest editorial column and serves as the poetry editor for Calliope; A Writer’s Workshop by Mail. In addition, Pat has written 120 book reviews on Amazon.
I asked Pat to share some details about the development of her novels, A Journey of Choice and Her Face in the Glass.
How would you describe your novels?
reader outcry of “More! More!” I felt like I could continue Liddy Underhill Coursey’s
story, which after a tumultuous decade (moving as a young woman to a
larger town), finally seemed to come together for her. Set in the Missouri
Ozark Highlands during WW2, it continues the chronicle of folks in the small
town of St. Luke as the area begins to grow.
Did something in particular spur the idea for your book?
For the original novel, the photo of a wooden chair exactly like the
one an aunt gave me when she downsized, led me to wonder why they had no
children of their own. Of course, very soon, the story broke away from that
question and developed chapter by chapter. In the sequel, I had to be sure that
what happened in Her Face … had some
connection to events in A Journey…
Are your characters based on people you've known? What drew you to them? Do you have a favorite?
I answered the first question earlier. No, except for the aunt and uncle, who soon exited the scene, the only other character loosely based on anyone was Frona Lee. Of course, Liddy is my favorite. There were a few autobiographical bits included in her dialogue. I said in Journey’s… dedication that if you thought you saw yourself, it was your problem––I didn’t put anyone there.
Is it set in current time or did you choose another period? If so, why?
Since Journey… started in the 1930s, Her Face … had to follow, so it was during WW2. It was the period of my childhood, though the only war experience in my family was that my father helped build Fort Leonard Wood. Three missing fingers kept him from the regular service.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know about your book?
I used a “middleman” who formatted it for CreateSpace. That meant no
hardback, only softback and Kindle. It's less expensive ($12, sb, and $5.99
Kindle). I commissioned a local artist friend to design the cover, which has
garnered many kudos.
Where can we buy your books?
I have copies,
and Amazon carries it. On Facebook, I’m Pat Couch Laster. Send me an order. My
postage is less than Amazon’s. If you want both books, I’ll sell the set (A Journey… is hardback, but I’ll
discount the price) to $25 for the two, plus, $5 postage (still better than Amazon’s).
Learn More About Pat
Visit Pat's website.
To read some of Pat's prose jump over to her blog, Pittypatter-Pittypatter at
I hope you'll get better acquainted with my talented friend.
You can read some of her verse at Pittypatter
A friend loveth at all times,
and a brother is born for adversity.
Copyright ©Reflections from Dorothy's Ridge 2016. All rights reserved
Labels: Author Interviews, Books, Pat Laster