Linda’s Book Obsession Interview with Patricia V. Davis
Thank you so much Patricia for taking the time to answer some questions in regard to your second book in The Secret Spice Cafe series, “SPELLS & OREGANO”. I read “Spells & Oregano twice, and was magically captivated by everything. I loved it!! My heartfelt thanks for your generosity in this giveaway!!
Linda: How did your interest in magic motivate you to write about it?
Experiences with sibling rivalry, observing the dark and light sides of people I love, loneliness, isolation, the feeling of being separated from the rest of humankind, of being told that the things about me that set me apart from my group, be it the culture I was born into, or even my way of running my life ─ were things I should hide ─ these were experiences I’ve had that prompted the characters. As for writing a story about a magician coming on board my favorite ship ─ that’s simple. I got to describe two worlds that fascinate me, and hope I do my job and get my readers intrigued by those worlds as well.
Linda: Why did you choose the time period of ten years later for the timeline in Book II?
Sarita was never meant to be such a big character. She was supposed to be a vehicle for the other four main characters in Book I. But she took on a power of her own, and at the end of Book I, her story arc is the only one that was left hanging. I wanted her to have a happy ending, but not before she came to terms with certain things about herself. It seemed a natural transition for her to be grown, and running the restaurant aboard a ship that she adored.
Linda: How were you able to do the research for this book?
Apart from reading on my own, I got tons of help from experts. As for the magic show, and what it is to run a magic show, my publicist was able to get in touch with David Copperfield, who graciously agreed to help me. He’s not only an extraordinary magician, he’s an extraordinary human being. As I mention in the Author’s Note in Book II, all of what you read about the business and art of illusion is based on what he told me and what I researched about him. For the rest of it–the Queen Mary’s history, if you take a look at the Acknowledgements pages, you’ll see how many consultants I had. I consulted ship historians, law enforcement, chefs, food critics, restaurant owners, Art Deco aficionados, and more. Many of my characters are named after people who helped. Additionally, I got to speak to a war bride who traveled on the ship after WWII, a former crew member, people who work aboard the ship. They all had information that I was able to utilize. I’ve always loved talking to people and hearing about their lives. This gave me such a wonderful opportunity to do so, and I learned so much from them all.
Linda: What would you like readers to come away with after reading your books?
Well, first of all, I hope they go visit the Queen Mary. It’s amazing. I didn’t exaggerate her beauty or mystery one iota. It’s so worth seeing her in person, walking her decks, taking the tours onboard, because the day will eventually come when, like it or not, she fades into history. Secondly, consider that people are not what we appear on the surface, and that our experiences, traumas, disappointments, talents, all shape us. The world is unfair, sometimes even cruel, and we might consider that sometimes good people do bad things. Doesn’t mean that we accept it, or even forgive it, just that we understand it. It helps to understand it. And I think, finally, I so want women to form true friendships. Not ‘Mean Girl’ relationships, but true, deep friendships based on helping each other excel. Having experienced how powerful women can become by helping other women, by allowing other women to help then, I see what a force for positive change we can be. I want all women to know that, and be that.
Linda: What’s the significance of spices in your books?
I just love the smells and colors, the textures of spices. I love their origins and history, how different ones are associated with different cuisines. They just look so pretty and taste so good. And they’re very healthy.
Linda: What are your favorite hobbies or things you like to do in your ‘down’ time?
Heh. I had lots of hobbies before I signed on to write a trilogy. It’s very time-consuming writing one book while trying to promote another. But if I have time, I love doing faux finishes on walls, or restoring old furniture. I love nature walks. And of course I love to read. Just reading your recommendations has given me a whole new stack of TBR books!
Linda: Can you give us some hints for the third book?
Sure. Readers liked Emilio, the boy who was in love with Sarita in Book I, so much so, that I had to bring him back. Also if you saw my video interview I talked about the images of water, fire and wind. We had water in Book I, fire in book II, and in book III, there will be a storm. A very big, scary, significant one.