Monday, March 23, 2009

Spotlight shines on Patti Lacy

Let me introduce today's spotlighted author Patti Lacy.
She is a very interesting lady and has already proven herself to be a great writer. Her first novel An Irish Woman's Tale is one that stayed with me well after I had finished the book.

Patti, tell us a little about yourself.

In 1955, I was born in the back seat of a Buick parked in the middle of a street in Waco, Texas, and have somehow ended up in Normal, Illinois! After college and marriage, I followed a family passion to call “the little red schoolhouse” my office. Then things got crazy when I put away my roll book, picked up a court reporter’s steno machine, and juggled a new job with motherhood. After my babies flew from the nest, The Spirit urged me to write a story I heard in 1995, when our family moved to Indiana. Since 2005, I’ve been writing novels about the secrets women keep and why they keep them

I have been to Waco, Texas but not to Normal, Illinois. What a crazy adventure!

Please tell us a little about Bayou Saw.
Sally Stevens, the chatty Southerner who unearths Mary’s past in An Irishwoman’s Tale, has her own burial ground for secrets: the slimy mud of a Louisiana bayou. When memories of segregation, a blood oath, and a chain link fence bubble to the surface, Sally must face the truth—or risk destroying her family and herself. Kregel Publications will release What the Bayou Saw on April 30, 2009.

Where can readers find you on the Web?

What is the craziest thing you have ever done?

That’s the beautiful thing about living under the Spirit’s power! Every day becomes a patchwork quilt of adventures! Last summer, me and Sue, a good friend, darted across the street and zigzagged through spray spurting from golf course sprinklers just to enjoy the gift of water. Last week a woman who sat near me and a friend at a local coffeehouse overheard our God Talk and started asking questions. Today that virtual stranger and I are having coffee at 9:00. I call that God Crazy and think Him for it constantly.

What is your favorite children’s book?
That’s like asking Imelda Marcos to choose her favorite pair of shoes! I’ll say Beautiful Joe since I used this heartrending story narrated by a dog in my latest work in progress. I also devoured The Illustrated Children’s Bible, Nancy Drew mysteries, Pippi Longstocking, Black Beauty…Stop, Patti. Stop!!!

What book are you reading now? What books are found lying around your home?
Ooh, dear Donna, you’re talking to a girl who grew up with books in the bathroom cabinets instead of toilet paper and towels. Books constantly attempt to seize every room of our Normal home. They creep onto tables, under beds, into closets. I’ve even found one or two in my bathroom!

I’m itching to read The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner, The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, and The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra Dean. Oh, those crisp new pages are calling, but first I must finish a poignant manuscript by my friend Melanie Dobson that I can hardly put down to do my own work. Look for it soon in stores everywhere, including WalMart!

It sounds like you have been peeking in my bathroom cabinets. My wonderful husband just gave up a wall in the garage to build me book shelves to store all that have outgrown the other shelves.

What are you working on next?
The ink is still damp on My Name is Sheba, my latest work in progress. Whoopee! It feels so good to write that last word, doesn’t it?

Since last summer, when Xiu Wang became a soul sister and I roomed with Millie Samuelson at ACFW in Minnesota, my mind has been held captive by riveting tales of China. Here’s my current hook: Xiu Lu, a Harvard-educated physician, seeks U.S. citizenship not for the usual reasons of freedom and opportunity, but to reconnect with the daughter she threw to the river gods from the banks of the Yangtze.

Yes, my passport is updated! China, here I come!

Let’s pretend money is not a factor, if you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Um, China! The travel bug has bitten as has the bookworm (do worms bite?!) If God allows, my husband and I would like to sail the Greek islands and the canals of Venice, hike the Canadian Rockies, and revisit some unforgettable places like the Washington State Islands, Vancouver, and Switzerland, home of my brother Bucky.

I think I need to write a book with a setting in some wonderful place so I can travel too.

What do you find most challenging about writing?
The money side of the business. Just give me a room of my own, a library card, a hooked-up computer and a nearby coffee shop, the whisperings of the Spirit, and I can soar on wings like eagles. (Okay, the coffee shop is probably not a must.) Sigh…those things cost $$. Back to the problem…

I can see that as a real issue but are you sure the coffee shop isn't a must?

What is your favorite verse from the Bible? Why?
Romans 8:28: And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.

Oh, dear sisters, I struggled so with the concept of God allowing bad things to happen. When I saw God using negative circumstances in my life and in the lives of my friends, the hierarchy of God’s sovereignty clicked into place in my muddled brain. As I write my stories, this verse resonates with the troubled characters who must turn “all things” to God. Including that lying habit. Including that rape. Including that abandonment.

This is a wonderful verse. At times it is hard to accept that all things work for the good.

I always am trying to learn new ways to be organized in the office, what is your favorite organizational tool?
Ooh, sounds like I have a new scatterbrained friend! Every New Year’s I buy a leather-bound Day Planner and carry it everywhere, along with my tattered Bible (okay, sometimes I use a sleek portable version.) Then I keep my schedule posted on my website and do my best to update. Otherwise my office is a whirlwind of CDs, letters, names and story snippets scribbled on unused deposit slips, business cards, half-empty cups of coffee, piles of books, candles…If I could get my camera to work, I’d attach a visual.

Oh, I can be your new scatterbrained friend! I carry the Day Planner too but I must confess it doesn't help if you misplace it. I do think you have been peeking and rummaging through my house. You just described my office perfectly.

What would you like readers to say about your writing?
That crazy woman sure can tell a story about broken women who God puts back together.

I loved your first novel and look forward to reading this one as soon as I get my hands on it.

Donna, you are a lovely hostess! Thanks for this wonderful opportunity!
Blessings to all,

If you would like to win a copy of this novel be sure to leave a comment with a way to contact you and answer the Daily Question. Without that...well... you are out of the drawing and that would simply be sad. Deadline to enter is April 13th.

DAILY QUESTION: Since Patti's novel is about secrets and family I thought I would challenge us a bit. If you had a secret that could harm a family member but would help a friend what would you do? I will chime in later with my answer.

Don't forget you can earn extra entries by:

  • Following me on twitter (writebyfaith) and tweeting about this contest (1 extra)

  • Blog about this post (2 extra entries)

  • Send out emails to your friends about this contest and send me a cc to at runninmama at sbcglobal dot net (2 extra entries)


Marie Burton said...
I followed you
and I twittered it.

As far as the question goes: I would have to judge how bad this secret is.. & how strong my relationships are with the effected people.
There are certain extended family members that deserve what they get, to put it bluntly. So it depends on the circumstances and I would pray on it and ask for guidance.

marieburton2004 at yahoo
The Burton Review

MJ said...

Gut first. But I'd pray and try to weigh the greater good.
Great interview.I definitely will check out Beautiful Joe.
mj.coward {at}

Carole said...

Boy, you ask tough questions, Donna! LOL

That's one I don't think I could answer unless I knew the secret and the family & friend involved - and I probably still couldn't make the right decision. But the great thing is that I could turn the whole situation over to God and rely on His guidance.

I enjoy Patti's writing and would love to win a copy of her new book. Thank you for a great interview.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Sherrie Ashcraft said...

Great interview, Donna. I really enjoyed getting to know Patti.

As to your question, I would probably protect my family, but only if the secret wasn't something illegal. It would depend on the circumstances.

Katie said...

it would depend on the circumstance. But I would always try to put family first. They are nearer and dearer to you then anyone!



Pamela J said...

I am already signed up for a preorder of Patti's novel so don't enter me in the drawing. I CAN HARDLY WAIT!
But I would still like to answer your question. When I am counciling someone, they expect advice to be given to them. Sometimes I use my family secret and the lessons without sharing who I learned them through. Most of the time even if the lesson came through a friend instead of family I still don't share who it was about.
Usually I make a practice of just sharing my own lessons but ONLY if they are desperately important. Even then I leave out details that aren't definitely important to the point I am making. Too many times people take my mistakes and hold them against me instead of learning from them for themselves.
Lessons can also be shared without tellig it was a family member, just say you know someone who went through something similar without mentioning the family member's name.
Pam Williams
cepjwms at wb4me dot com

Marie Burton said...

add 2 more entries for marie because I blogged about it
on The Burton Review
Marie Burton

Debs Desk said...

I am afraid I would side with my family and not tell the secret. Your friend might not always be your friend but your mom will always be your mom. Please include me in your giveaway.

mindy said...

family comes first to me so my answer would be no thanks for the giveaway minsthins(at)optonline(dot)net

Betty King said...

Thats an easy one to answer for me. First I would hit my knees in Prayer and then I would wait quietly until that person was ready to talk. But no matter what Prayer would come first and would continue.
bettyk_50 at

Anonymous said...

It would depend on the family member. I don't like most of them so if it involved them, I'd tell my friend.

Martha A. said...

My first thought is that I would have to protect my family, but it would really depend on what type of harm it could bring to my family and what type of harm to my friend if I did not keep it. I would have to pray really hard and it would be a decision to make lightly!

I really enjoyed Patti's last book and look forward to reading Sally's story and would love to win it!


robynl said...

I believe I'd stick with family; I feel a need to protect them. Hopefully they will be there for me when needed also.

tatertot374 said...

Thank you for a great giveaway. I would love to win. For the question I guess it all really depends on the secret. I would first pray about it and talk it over with my husband and try to do the right thing.
Thank you

Deborah said...

For me, it would depend on if the help is more vital than the hurt...but generally, my loyalty would be to my family, so barring extraordinary circumstances, I'd keep the secret. asthenight at gmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Great interview, Donna and Patti! Why does it not surprise me that I can see Patti running through golf-course sprinklers???

I had the privilege of reading What the Bayou Saw, and it is nothing short of a masterpiece in women's fiction, even more haunting, if possible, than Patti's first novel, An Irishwoman's Tale. I read it months ago, but the characters STILL live in my mind -- that's how good Patti Lacy is!


Sandee61 said...

I loved the interview, and also enjoyed your first novel immensely!
Please enter me in your giveaway, I'd love, love, love to read this new one. Thank you!

As for the question...I love my dear friends, but family would come first. I'd have to pray alot though and let God and my faith turn me in the right direction. I enjoyed your music too!



ladystorm said...

Sounds like a great book.

Question: I would have to go with family first, but then it really does depend on the secret and would have to be prayed about first to really know which way I might go. Tough questions.


liane66 said...

It would depend on the situation, but probbaly go with my family memeber.
Thanks for the giveaway!

windycindy said...

Hello! It would depend how the type of hurt it would mean for my family member versus how much it would help my friend. I would have to weight the pros and cons, then decide. Many thanks for a wonderful book giveaway drawing. Cindi

windycindy said...

I follow you on Twitter and tweeted your giveaway!
Again, many thanks, Cindi

ladystorm said...

Sounds like a great book, please enter me in the contest.



Anonymous said...

I suppose it would depend on the circumstances, but I would say I would be loyal to family.

jwx4 said...

It would depend on what type of secret and how beneficial it would be.

Anonymous said...

First to Patty....The Madonnas of Leningrad by Debra this sooner than later....I read it a few years ago and it still haunts me....such delicious writing and a harrowing story that leaves one feeling so uplifted. I have read the other two you have mentioned and highly recommend them as well.

Secondly, I couldn't hurt my family....I would always keep their trust.

And now, I would be soooooo thrilled to read this book as I read "The Irishwoman's Tale" and loved it...finding about about Sally would be so cool.

Blessings to all;
Gayla Collins

Julieanne said...

It would take a lot of prayer and soul-searching to figure out whether I should tell the secret or not. It would all depend on what the secret was, who it would harm (my parents vs. a cousin I don't know very well), who the friend was, etc. I would hope that since I love my family members deeply, that I would do everything I could to not hurt them.


Anita Yancey said...

I'm not exactly sure what I would do. But I would probably tell the secret, and then feel bad about it. I've just never been able to keep a secret for very long.


Cheryl said...

I think I would have to say Family first. I would love to win this book. I have read the Irishwoman's tale and loved it. Please enter me in the drawing. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Donna said...

Okay, I'll chime in since the contest is almost over. It really would depend on the secret and who would be most hurt by exposing it. Not to mention if there was a crime invovled. This really was a tough question.

Patti Lacy said...

Thanks, all of y'all!
Donna, you were a hostess with the mostest! Remember THAT 60s saying?
Lots more in What the Bayou Saw...

Blessings to all!