Linda’s Book Obsession Interviews Patrice Wilton and Traci Hall, Authors of “Mrs. Morris and the Ghost”
What was your motivation in becoming an author and writer? What did you do before you were a writer?
Patrice – I was a flight attendant for 17 years, a Rodeo Queen, yes it’s true! and a mother and housewife who played tennis and golf on the side.
Traci—I’ve always written and wanted to be an author—my mom saved one of my first stories on lined paper, complete with illustrations. Tracie and her pet ant named Blip. Blip resembled a baked potato, but hey, the story had a beginning, middle, and an end J I also raised a family. I’ve been a florist, a childcare provider, a school aide, and a barista.
What motivated or inspired you to write?
Patrice – I was inspired by my love for reading. From the time I was 12 I knew that if I had one gift it would be to write stories and give back the joy of reading that I had discovered.
Traci—my mom was a big reader, and going to the library was a fun outing. When I went through my stack of books, I’d start in on hers. Being able to provide that entertainment for others now is a dream come true.
How did you go about researching for your book?
Patrice – Traci Hall and I went to Salem and did several of the tours and got a good feel for the place and the people.
Traci—we really wanted to provide the essence of Salem to our readers, so we forced ourselves to eat at amazing restaurants, and see incredible historical sites. We stayed at the beautiful Hawthorne hotel—but didn’t see a single ghost. We looked.
Did you base any of your characters on people that you know?
Patrice – We liked one of our tour guides very much and used her (Kass) as one of main characters in book number two, Mrs. Morris and the Witch.
Traci—she was so charismatic! We had to bring her into the story. Charlene’s mother has a few traits of my grandmother—not that we are telling her that, lol.
What is a typical day of your life?
Patrice – for me it is having coffee at my computer first thing. Going through emails, tweeting, etc, and 3 days a week I play tennis – still competitively, even at my age. Then I work on writing, promoting, and keeping up with my email for nearly 8 hours a day. It’s hard work being a writer!
Traci—up at eight, grab coffee and tea, scan emails for any fires to put out and then write or edit. I try to walk 3 miles four days a week. I try to be done with the computer by seven that night, but it all depends on if I’ve made my word count or page edits for the day. I agree with Patrice—it’s a lot of hard work! I wouldn’t want to do anything else.
What are your hobbies or things you do in your downtime?
Patrice – see above. I also love to travel but now my husband is no longer able. I have a daughter and 4 grand-daughters that I love to visit.
Traci—I love the beach, and to travel. We try to take Sundays off and walk away from the computer to unplug!
What can you tell us of any new writing projects that you might have?
Patrice – I am doing another Christmas story, romance, based in a fictional town called Heaven. I have a very successful series that I’ve written and I love it so much–but now my grand-kids are getting older so I don’t want to write love scenes any longer. My new books will be clean –Hallmarkish!
Traci—I am writing a Scottish Shire cozy mystery series for Kensington, as well as a clean contemporary romance series for Entangled, and more indie contemporary romances in my By the Sea series.
What are your favorite genres of books that you like to read?
Patrice – I love suspense! Like Sandra Brown, and Linda Howard.
Traci—historical fiction is my favorite to unwind with
What advice can you give to someone that wants to be a writer?
Patrice – Don’t do it!! No seriously, it’s extremely hard work, poor pay, with no guarantees. But if it’s your life’s dream, then go for it. What do you have to lose? I did, and I’m so grateful that people are reading and enjoying my books.
Traci—LOL—Patrice, lol. It isn’t glamorous, that’s for sure—but I can’t imagine not sharing stories. I feel incredibly blessed that folks want to read them!
If your book were adapted to the screen, what actors, actresses could you envision for the main characters?
How would you like the readers to connect with you?
Patrice – personally, I like email. email@example.com
Traci-email works for me too! firstname.lastname@example.org