The Blog Studio camera pans the audience as the band finishes playing. Slowly the curtain rises and Carol Ann walks onstage.
"Good morning! I'm so happy to be here today!"
"It's been a long time. A lot has been happening that has kept me away from the stage. I know, I know...some of you wish I'd stayed on it!"
"Sorry, that was a cheap joke. Seriously, I am happy to be back and I have a special guest that I know you are going to enjoy. I met Patti in ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and when her book released, I knew I had to have her in the studio. I had the pleasure of reading her book, which by the way, won a four star review in Romantic Times magazine October 2008 issue."
"Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome Patti Lacy!"
Patti walks onstage and takes a seat on the chair opposite Carol Ann.
PCAROL ANN: Patti, thank you so much for stopping by the studio this morning.
PATTI: It's my pleasure, Carol Ann. Thank you for inviting me.
CAROL ANN: This is Patti's book, An Irishwoman's Tale. Isn't the cover beautiful?
CAMERA PANS IN
CAROL ANN: I really enjoyed your book, Patti, but I'll let you tell the audience all about it.
PATTI: In 1995, “Mary,” a red-haired woman in a book discussion group I formed stayed late after one of the meetings. I thought she just wanted to help me clean up and pick through the juicy Hors D’oeuvres I’d spent hours making, but she had something else in mind. As I chatted about my kids, she paced in the family room, finally plopping into a rocker.
“What is your first memory?” Mary asked me.
“I don’t know. I’ve never had to think about it,” I answered.
Her eyes took on a glint of steel. “How pretty. Not to have to think of it.”
Hours later, I’d been gifted a tragic yet majestic story of God’s forgiveness and sovereignty over even the most dysfunctional situations.
Four years later, my family moved away from Mary’s town, yet by now, Mary and I’d become close friends, and stayed in touch. During quiet times, Mary’s story often slipped into my thoughts, and I’d shake my head. Someone sure should write that story, I’d tell myself. One January morning, God told me to do it. I opened a computer file, titled it An Irishwoman’s Tale, and the journey started and didn’t end until Mary and I went back to Ireland two years later, and I’d signed a book contract.
Here’s a summary of Mary’s story: Her entire life, Mary’s struggled to understand why, as a precocious five-year-old, she was torn from her beloved Ireland. She remembers…“An oaken table, moon-shaped faces guzzling tea. Cup after cup of the steaming stuff. Asking what’s to be done with the little eejit.” And a few other dark and nasty things.
No matter how hard she tries, the memory stains Mary’s relationship with everyone—including God. It takes the crisis of her daughter’s substance abuse and the urging of a new chatty new Southern friend to propel her back to the rugged cliffs of County Clare. There, in spite of the secrets she uncovers, Mary experiences God’s healing and glimpses His sovereign plan.
CAROL ANN: Your visit to Ireland had to help tremendously with your ability to paint a perfect picture of the areas involved. As an author, what is the hardest thing you find about being a writer?
PATTI: Fighting through the self-doubt and lonely times when not even your family likes your work. Committing to writing for that Audience of One. A poster listing God’s names hangs near my computer, reminding me who I need to listen to when the path gets rocky.
CAROL ANN: How did you realize the God was calling you to write?
PATTI: Just that still, small Voice telling me to write this story, then the next and the next.
CAROL ANN: What stumbling blocks have you encountered and how have you overcome them?
PATTI: When we take family vacations related to air travel, my husband reminds everyone to “hurry up and wait.” The snail’s pace of the publishing industry brings out my impatient side. It’s also been a challenge to balance writing with editing with marketing.
CAROL ANN: Do you collect anything?
PATTI: My first major in college was geology, and I graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Education, English and Earth Science teaching fields. We’ve carted unbelievably heavy boxes of rocks from our attic in Texas to our attic in Indiana to their present resting place in our cramped Illinois basement. Sometimes I dig through the dusty plastic specimen boxes and haul them around for elementary school show-and-tell time. Mainly they gobble up space. I’ve given quite a few away but hold onto the gross coprolites, the shapely fluorite, the sparkling pyrite, to remind me of God’s intricate designs in every aspect of creation.
CAROL ANN: Do you believe the pen is mightier than the sword? Why?
PATTI: Ephesians 6:17 says, “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” In eternity-speak, God-inspired words will win more victories than even the most sophisticated nuclear weapons.
CAROL ANN: Very well said! Patti, which inspires you more? A brisk walk in the autumn with the leaves changing color, or in the spring when the flowers and trees are budding? Why?
PATTI: Even though I live in the Midwest, I’m a Southern girl at heart. The winter winds chill my bones and the lack of sunlight darkens my spirit. Brisk walks with The Stooges, a riotous trio of exercise pals, keep me going during the snow and below-freezing temperatures, but by March, I’m ready to see green shoots and pastel flowers.
CAROL ANN: You are sitting in a restaurant with several friends when someone walks up to you and thrusts a microphone in your hand. You have one minute to tell the world something....what will it be?
PATTI: I would do my best to paraphrase Romans 13, the love chapter.
CAROL ANN: How do you balance your "real" life with your "writing" life?
PATTI: It’s not too hard to do that, living in Normal, Illinois. I’m just a normal mom, trying to run a household and do my job. When my son gets up for work around five a.m., I stumble to the kitchen and make his lunch. Dawn is a great time for prayer and praise! Around 6:30, I write down the day’s tasks in a cool leather journal, then start pecking at the keyboard until I complete my daily allotment of WIP pages. By noon, it’s time to exercise, be a friend, a mom, a wife, and that includes shopping, cooking, cleaning and the million other things we women do. Sometimes I squeeze in a few more writing responsibilities; sometimes not.
CAROL ANN: Where can readers learn more about you and your books? Website address, blog, email???
PATTI: Come on over to www.pattilacy.com! There’s contests (prize, $15 Barnes & Noble gift card), writing updates, book reviews, and more. At the current time, I don’t have a blog, but I update my website at least once a month. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAROL ANN: Patti, thank you again for coming by and thanks for the gift of An Irishwoman's Tale. I couldn't put it down! I got so caught up in Mary's story and her life that sometimes I went to bed sad, sometimes prayerful. Thanks for a wonderful read. I recommmend this book to anyone who loves a good story.