Live from the Road takes the reader on an often humorous, yet harrowing, journey as Meg Newton and Sally Sutton seek a change in the mundane routine of their lives. “Is this all there is?” Sally asks Meg after visiting a dying friend in the hospital. That’s when Meg suggests they take a journey to discover the answer. Joined by their daughters, they set off on a journey of salvation enhanced by the glories of the Mother Road. Along the way, they are joined by a Chicago bluesman, a Pakistani liquor storeowner from Illinois, a Marine from Missouri, a gun-toting momma from Oklahoma, and a motel clerk from New Mexico. Meg, mourning for her dead son, learns to share her pain with her daughter CC. When Sally’s husband of almost thirty years leaves a voice mail telling her he’s leaving, both Sally and her daughter Ramona discover some truths about love and independence.
Death, divorce and deception help to reveal the inner journey taking place under the blazing desert sun as a Route 66 motel owner reads the Bhagavad-Gita and an eagle provides the sign they’ve all been seeking. Enlightenment comes tiptoeing in at dawn in a Tucumcari laundromat, while singing karaoke at a bar in Gallup, New Mexico, and during dinner at the Roadkill Café in Seligman, Arizona. The four women’s lives will never be the same after the road leads them to their hearts – the true destination for these road warriors.
Welcome Patricia! It' s great to have you visit today. Thanks for dropping in. How did you start your writing career?
I think I’ve always known I was a writer deep down, but I didn’t admit it until I decided to leave my career as a high school English teacher. I was badly burned out on teaching teenagers how to write. One day I asked myself, “What else can I do?” Writing was the only answer that came to me. Almost immediately, opportunities starting opening up in local publications, and within two years, I left teaching for a job as a journalist. That was twelve years ago.
Does travel play a role in the writing of your books?
Certainly travel is a part of my most recent novel Live from the Road because it’s the story of four women traveling on Route 66 one summer. The idea of the novel came from a journey down the
Mother Road with my best friend. Travel always inspires me as a writer, and often I come up with a myriad of ideas while on the road. Not all of those ideas make their way to print.
Tell us about Live from the Road your current release.
I finished writing the book in 2008, and it sat in a drawer because my life exploded soon after. I met my husband, which involved a move from
Florida to . All the while, I was working as a public relations director for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. I continued in that job even after I moved to Pennsylvania Pittsburgh and spent a good share of 2010 and 2011 “on the road” between Tallahassee and . Once things settled down, my husband and I decided I should pursue writing fiction full time. One of the first things I did was pull Live out from the drawer. I reread it (it had been previously edited) and did my own editing. Then I hired a second editor. Three months later, I published it on Kindle. I like the story because it explores relationships and communication between mothers and daughters, best friends, lovers, and strangers. And I very much enjoyed creating the characters encountered on Route 66 and putting a little bit of the mystical and magical nature of the open road into the mix. Pittsburgh
Tell us about your next release.
Currently, I’m working on the second draft of Trails in the Sand, a story about redemption and recovery of both love in broken families and in the environment after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The main character is a writer pursuing a story about the relocation of sea turtle nests as the oil threatens the
coast. The family’s troubled past going back several generations begins to unravel and explode just as the oil rig is gushing forth its oil. Florida
What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My husband is very proud of me. He’s an engineer so the literary world is unfamiliar to him, but he loves what I do, and he supports my quest to see what I can do as an author of fiction despite my lack of income at this point. My daughter Anna is an artist – she paints – and she was my earliest cheerleader for leaving teaching and pursuing what I love. She’s one of my trusted beta readers because she’s honest and interested in seeing that I put out my very best work. The rest of my family pretty much ignores it.
Does your husband read your stuff?
He does, and I’m flattered because he’s not a reader of fiction. We took a vacation in March, and I wanted to go out and do something, but he was reading my second novel A Lethal Legacy for the first time. At first, I was annoyed and then I realized what a wonderful thing. He’s engrossed in reading a story I wrote! I sat back down in amazement and left him alone.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
A little bit of me is probably in every one of my major characters, even the males. Any writer that tells you differently probably isn’t being quite honest. How can we not put ourselves in our characters? It’s what we know. As far as strictly modeling, I think I write the protagonists as the way I’d like to be in a perfect world.
Is there a piece of advice that you have received that has really stuck with you? If so, what was it?
Writers write. It’s as simple – and as complicated – as that.
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