Patricia PacJac Carroll possesses an eclectic mix of traits, quite fitting of a writer. First there are the one-word descriptions. Christian. Optimist. Accountant. She’s also a self-described ‘lover of freedom’ and a fan of the Old West, westerns, and historical fiction. At one time, she was a pet store owner.
The mother of one son, Patricia lives in Texas with her husband, her 90-year-old father-in-law, and her dog, Jacs.
What sparked your writing journey? How long have you been writing?
In high school, one of our assignments was to look at a picture and make a story. I loved it, but I never pursued writing. This was back in the day when all the books we read in school were by authors long dead. So it was never a real career choice.
Much later, I read a column in the paper that angered me so I wrote a letter to the editor and they published it. And the writing bug bit me for good.
How does your faith play into your work?
Writing is faith. Every time I sit down to that blank page, I have to have faith that I am a writer. The magic of creativity will happen. I love the process. The creative spark dances just enough out of reach that I have to push for it, have faith it will happen, and be determined to go after it to the end of the story.
Let’s talk about Liberty Belle (PacJac Publishing, May 2012). Please tell us about it.
Liberty Belle is about a young woman who faces a life controlled by her mother and decides she wants to leave her mediocre life for one of adventure.
Set in 1859 Denver, Liberty Belle is a story of finding freedom and forgiveness. A jilted bride, a wayward sheriff, a small boy, outlaws, and a gallows provide plenty of action, romance, and hope.
Liberty Longstreet was left at the altar, but that wasn’t the worst of her day. She awakens to the fact that she needs to declare independence from her controlling mother. Wanting her freedom and to find a man of her choosing, Libby leaves home for faraway Denver. She just doesn’t count on being robbed, falling for a wayward sheriff, or being accused of murder.
Sheriff Wade Calder throws down his badge in a quest for revenge. Instead, he takes responsibility for his enemy’s young son. Wanting only to be free, Wade runs into Libby, and she wins what is left of his heart. Unfortunately, he has nothing to offer her until he picks up his badge. His honor is restored, but it may cost Libby her life. Together they learn the cost of freedom and the wealth of forgiveness.
Besides entertainment, what do you hope readers will take away from it?
I hope the readers come away with a sense of adventure. I like to say this is a coming-alive story. We’ve all had those moments where we look around and wonder how we settled for the rut we find ourselves in.
Liberty is a story of one woman who decided to do something about it. Although she was impulsive, she didn’t settle for what appeared safe.
Detours in life can be frustrating—kind of like plot twists in the stories we write—but the outcome is often more intriguing than our original plan. Can you tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?
I write and live by the seat of my pants, so change is exciting to me. In Liberty Belle, the character of Liberty’s aunt is Flora. A spinster. Originally she was to be an older, overweight character only in the first or second chapter, BUT she had other ideas.
Flora threw me the line, While most of my life no one notices me, I notice everything.
After that line I remember sitting back and staring at the computer and saying, “Flora.”
She wrote herself into the story. And looking back, I don’t think the story would have worked without her. That is one thing I love about writing, the unknown detours that pop up and in many cases make the story better.
By the way, Flora has been bothering me about her own story. She might just get. : )
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
It really depends. Lately it’s been Cheetos and peanut M&Ms.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
No, sorry to say.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I would be a cheerful country western tune about Jesus.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
I would be the strong, female lead.
You once owned a pet store. That sounds like fun! Please tell us about your personal pet or pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Our dog we have now, Papillon Jacs. He’s the world’s most spoiled dog. And so smart that he has taught me there is so much more to animals than we imagined.
To say the least, he has my family wrapped around his paws.
Thanks, Patricia! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
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For more information about Patricia, visit her website at http://www.patriciapacjaccarroll.com/.
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