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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Janis Susan May Patterson

author Janis Patterson and an image of her book The Hollow House

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is communication. Without communication the human race is doomed. And it’s important to me because it’s the only decent way I can make a living in my pajamas.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I refuse to admit writer’s block exists – for longer than an afternoon. I treat those times with a cup of coffee or a soak in the hot tub or a walk around the block, and that does it. To keep from getting stale I never have fewer than four projects going. When one dries up or gets sticky, I just switch to another. Not all on the same day, of course. Sometimes I work on one from start to finish, but it’s like insurance to have choices.

What is your favorite time to write? Whenever I can, depending on what is going on with my family. I usually write and work on writing business 8-10 hours a day. Right now I wish I had more time for pure writing. After a lazy time during the Covid crazies I finally got around to looking at all the book rights that had been reverted to me. There were 26 of the little beasties, so I’m about halfway through a republishing blitz – one book re-released every other Wednesday from mid-January through October, every title freshly edited, freshly formatted and most with a new cover. Just to keep busy, I’m also working to get most of my books out in audio. And writing.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Read. Write. Repeat as needed, which is going to be the rest of your writing life. Also, to new/aspirant writers, I would add what Nora Roberts said – “Write the book, even if it’s garbage. You can fix garbage. You can’t fix a blank page.”

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Frankly, not much. Our society is so degraded it’s hard to write any fiction that doesn’t sound the evening news. After many years of being in the unholy circus of traditional publishing I do appreciate the freedom and control of self-publishing. Now if I could just find a good and affordable (that’s important) publicist I would be much more excited.

Janis Patterson’s The Hollow House is out now with Sefkhat-Awbi Books.