Monday, May 17, 2010

Interview: Patricia Sargeant

It is with great pleasure that I welcome author, and fellow Crime Sistah, Patricia Sargeant to my blog today! Plus, anyone who comments is eligible to win a copy of Patricia's novel, Sweet Deception!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Angela, thank you so much for inviting me to your blog. I appreciate this opportunity.

OK, a bit about myself. I write romantic suspense and contemporary romance. I'm from Brooklyn, New York, but my husband and I now live in Ohio. My hobbies include reading - fiction and nonfiction - jogging, hiking, movies and pastries. Not baking them; eating them.

Describe Steve Crennell and Valerie Parker, the hero and heroine of Heated Rivalry, and how you came to create them.

Ah, neat question. Steven is a former NBA star and future Hall of Famer. He's the junior partner of the heroine's father's advertising firm. On the outside, he's confident. On the inside, he's a people pleasure because he wants people to like him.

Valerie is an award-winning art director with her father's advertising firm. In her mind, a promotion to account executive would prove her emotionally distant father loves her. On the inside - and on the outside - she has low self-esteem.

I gave Steven and Valerie characteristics to support Heated Rivalry's theme, which is self-worth. The story's question is do you determine your value or do you allow others to measure your worth? Valerie's character journey leads her to realize her own worth and to stop her futile campaign for her father's approval. Steven's character journey leads him to realize he has to do what he believes is right and not act just to please others.

What appeals to you about writing romance?

The character motivation. Characters are the story. To keep readers in your story, they have to connect with your character's motivation. I don't believe there is any greater motivation than love - familial love, romantic love, patriotic love. When your character is willing to risk everything for love, your readers will root for your characters and will stay in your story to the end. And, with romances, the endings are always happy ones.

How much research is involved in your writing?

I do as much research as I need to feel comfortable writing my story. Even though we write fiction, our stories must be grounded in fact to keep readers in our story. My first drafts usually have holes that need to be filled and/or corrected before I submit my manuscript to my editor.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I'm most definitely a plotter. I need a plan. I admire people who say, "I need to discover the story with my characters." I get nervous if I don't have some idea of where I'm going. Granted, there have been many, many occasions in which my characters took a sharp turn in an unexpected direction, but I can work with that. I can't work with a completely blank canvas.

What is your writing schedule like?

Oh, tragedy! My writing schedule starts out very disciplined. Three pages a day Monday through Friday fits in comfortably with my day job. Five pages a day each Saturday and Sunday. Somewhere along the way, my schedule always get derailed and I end up in Panic Mode, writing and revising every spare minute until my deadline. Sleep is pretty much suspended until I turn in my manuscript. Oh, I should add "sleeping" to my list of hobbies. I love to sleep.

Can you tell us what you're working on now?

I would love to. Thank you for asking. I'm working on the first book of a contemporary romance trilogy featuring an NBA team based in Brooklyn, New York. I'm very exicted about this project. I'm taking on a pseudonym for my contemporaries, Regina Hart.

In the meantime, I'm working on a romantic suspense proposal that I hope will put Patricia Sargeant back on the shelf.

Do you have a website or blog?

I don't maintain a regular blog any longer. Sadly, I don't have the time management skills. My Web site is

What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend?

I don't usually read fiction while I'm on deadline. Before I started writing my current work in progress, I read Beverly Jenkins's Captured. It's an African American historical romance that takes place during the American Revolution. It was fantastic! Right now I'm reading Who Wrote the Bible? It's nonfiction, of course. Very interesting. However, I can only read a few pages at a time. The deadline is creeping up on me. I don't write that fast and the revisions are murderous. LOL!

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

May I provide more than one?

Go for it!

First, never stop studying the craft of writing. Never become "confident" in your abilities. If you give in to that confidence, you'll become stale.

Second, learn the business. Learn about contracts, distribution rights, the imprints and lines within publishing companies. Learn about promotion and what booksellers need and need to know to help market your books. Sadly, writing a really good book isn't enough anymore. You need to know the industry and understand the business of writing to make your career last.

Third - and final point - love what you write. If you try to write to market trends just to try to "sell," you'll do yourself more harm than good if you don't enjoy what you write.

Thank you for stopping by, Patricia!

Angela, thank you again for inviting me over. I've enjoyed chatting with you. I look forward to chatting with your friends, too, and sending a commenter a copy of Sweet Deception.

Click here for more info on Patricia's books. And don't forget to comment for your chance to win Sweet Deception!


  1. Hi, everyone!

    I'm so sorry to be checking in so late. Traffic was crazy on the drive home from the day job. Then I had to stop by the grocery store. Always an adventure. I managed to avoid the pastery department, though. It was a close thing.

    Angela, I really appreciate your inviting me over to visit.

    All the best!


  2. It was great having you visit, Patricia! Thanks for letting me interview you and congrats on your new book!

    Angela ; )

  3. Great interview! And I very much enjoyed HEATED RIVALRY! I highly recommend it -- and all of Patricia's books -- for those who love emotionally satisfying contemporary romances.
    -- Marcia James ;-)

  4. Angela, thanks for your cheers on my new release. I appreciate them.

    Marcia, hi!!! Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words about my books. I'm going to return the compliment. I've loved all your releases, too.