About the author: Kathleen Irene Paterka is an Amazon Bestselling Author of smart women’s fiction. Her newest novel, The Other Wife, was published in February to critical acclaim. Kathleen’s popular James Bay series, set in Northern Michigan, includes: Fatty Patty, Home Fires, Lotto Lucy, and For I Have Sinned. Love weddings? Pick up a copy of her novel Royal Secrets for a fascinating glimpse into the world of royalty, romance and brides. Kathleen is the resident staff writer for a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book For the Love of a Castle. Kathleen and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, where she is busy working on her next James Bay novel.
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Describe your writing style in five words: Smart, emotional, witty, intense, and personal.
Which do you prefer, hard/paperbacks or eBooks? Both! I’m a big fan of our town’s public library, which has plenty of hard cover books to enjoy, but eBooks are great too. I especially love using my Kindle when I’m reading in bed. The backlit screen, plus one flick of a finger, and I’m on the next page. But hard/paperback or eBook, the most important factor will always be a great story that keeps my interest.
Tell us about your writing/editing/publishing process: Though ideas and conversations constantly bounce through my brain, I’m very linear when it comes to writing. I start with Chapter One and write my way to The End. I’m slow and methodical when it comes to writing; I count it a good day if I manage to produce 500-750 words. By the time I’m finished, my rough draft usually only requires one or two edits. I then turn it over to a few trusted beta readers for their input. An indie author, I signed with Booktrope Publishing in February. I’m excited about the opportunity to promote my works to an expanded audience.
In what location do you think you write better, (ex: office, kitchen, etc.)? I’m a very structured writer, and tend to work best in my home office. Unlike other authors who can write anywhere (J.K. Rowling wrote reams of Harry Potter materials while riding on the train and sitting in coffee shops), I need the peace and quiet that surrounds me when I’m at my computer.
While working on a WIP, do you have any rituals? I write every day. I’m up early, at 5 am. Normally, by 6:30 am, I’m at my computer. I have a little timer which I set for two hours. Then I open up my WIP, and I’m quickly lost in a beautiful daydream that unfolds before me on the computer screen. Thank God for that little timer. If I didn’t have it, I’d probably be late for work every day, and have been fired from my day job long ago.
If you had to meet any author who would it be? Stephen King. I am a huge fan of his work (11/22/63 and The Shining are classics). His book On Writing is the one craft book about writing that I keep close at hand.
You mention that your husband was an inspiration for this story. What were your emotions when you were writing “The Other Wife”? Grief is not an easy issue to tackle, and The Other Wife proved the most difficult story I’ve written to date. First, I was dealing with two separate characters: Eleanor and Claire—two wives, each with their own perspective and storyline. Eleanor (wife #1) and Richard (her husband of 38+ years) were already living semi-separate lives when he died on page 1. Eleanor’s method of coping with Richard’s death also proved semi-detached; her scenes were easy to write. Claire (wife #2), however, was a different story. She and Richard had been married only a few years, and she was left feeling betrayed and bewildered at the situation in which she suddenly found herself. With two young children to raise, Claire’s grief threatened to overwhelm her… and me, as the author. Eventually, about ½ way through the book, I switched from writing in 1st person to 3rd in order to distance myself from Claire’s emotions. Her grief was so intense, I found myself not wanting to write. If I hadn’t switched POV, I doubt the book would have been finished.
What is your favorite word? Perseverance.
What is the best advice you’ve been given? A dear friend of mine (who is a NYT bestselling author) gave me the following advice years ago: “Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give up. Work hard, work smart, work tirelessly. Be tough, be brave, and be persistent. All clichés, yes. But when they apply to you and how much you want to realize your dream, they are very apt.” Her words came to me in an email, which I have framed and hanging right above my computer. I’ve often looked at it throughout the years, and her words have served me well.
Where do you see your writing career in five years? I would like to have written and published another three novels. I’m an idealist at heart, but I’m also realistic. I’m a slow writer, and that’s okay. It’s part of my process. Normally it takes a good 12-15 months for me to complete a work to my satisfaction… and that’s before my editor sees it. I am not going to kill myself trying to impose strict deadlines upon myself that will only stress me out. My latest work, The Other Wife, took 18 months to write. While I was in the editing process, my 92 yr. old mother was diagnosed with cancer. I slowed down and allowed myself time to focus on her. Thank God I did. The book was published on Feb. 18th (my mother’s birthday), and she passed away on March 13th. I’m slowly beginning to pick up the pieces and begin the process of writing again.
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“The Other Wife” by Kathleen Irene Paterka
Till death do us part…
Eleanor Anderson has a beautiful home, a loving husband, a tranquil life. After thirty-eight years of marriage and her children now grown, she finally has time for herself. She’s not expecting any surprises; certainly not to wake up one morning and find her husband dead in bed beside her from a massive heart attack. It’s a devastating discovery… but not as much as the shock awaiting Eleanor when she learns the truth about her husband’s secret life. And then there’s the damaging document he signed before his death, which threatens to destroy her life.
Claire Anderson isn’t your average thirtysomething. A professor of psychology at a prestigious university, Claire has a successful career, a handsome husband, and two young children at home. But nothing in her background, including her academic accomplishments, prepares Claire for the horrendous reality of discovering that the life she’d led was all a lie… fostered by a husband who’d promised to love and cherish her forever.
Two women from two generations, bound together by denial, anger, and grief. How far will their misery and fear push them? Does compassion rule the day, or will a husband’s betrayal lead to a woman’s revenge?
What happens when each of these women comes face-to-face with the other wife?
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**Click HERE to enter to win an eBook of “Lotto Lucy” by Kathleen!
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**Click HERE to see other stops on Kathleen’s Chick Lit Plus Blog tour!