Growing up in the Northeast corner of Oregon, riding horses and reading were my favorite pastimes. Many hours were spent roaming the Wallowa Mountains on my horse, Junebug, and making up stories in my head. I read anything I could get my hands on from the school and local library. Many of my school lunch hours I could be found reading the thickest books I'd borrowed. Usually Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney.
My love of books and positive feedback from instructors gave me the incentive to try my hand at writing. I dabbled with children's books and was told I wrote too adult. I tried writing murder mysteries when a personal experience had me facing anger issues. I enjoy the red herrings involved in writing mysteries.
After reading LaVyrle Spencer's, Hummingbird, I knew I had to write historical western romance. I entered a love scene from my first manuscript in a RWA (Romance Writers of America) contest and was a finalist. The placing solidified my decision to write romance.
While honing my writing skills, my husband and I raised four children. We are now empty nesters and loving it! Instead of grumbling kids, we now cater to two dogs, two horses, a donkey, two bulls, and thirty mother cows. And grow alfalfa and grass hay on 350 acres. You can learn more about my ranching in the April/May edition of Farm and Ranch magazine in 2011. I kept a month-long diary for the magazine and my good friend photo/journalist Danita Cahill took the photographs.
Along with writing, I also teach writing workshops online, at writers meetings, and at writing conferences. I enjoy helping others learn the craft of writing. And especially enjoy going in the classrooms with other members of the local writing group to promote the 4th Grade Picture Book contest and help the children learn how to write and illustrate a good story. A good part of my summer is spent traveling around the state judging 4-H and open class county fair textile and foods exhibits. A perk from being a 4-H leader for over twenty years and a 4-H program assistant for nearly ten.
12 THINGS YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT PATY
- Twelve is my favorite number. It’s the day of the month I married my always entertaining husband.
- I drove in a powder-puff derby and had a great time smashing cars.
- At one time my parents called me Jill-of-all-trades because I’d had such a varied array of jobs: waitress, store clerk, doctor’s office receptionist, vacuum cleaner sales person, toy stocker, sandwich maker.
- I fell off a horse when I was thirteen and broke my collar bone, but didn’t know about the break until a doctor noticed the mended bones when I was having a physical to go to college.
- I have to have a cup of hot chocolate in the morning or my day doesn’t go well. ;)
- I’ve skinny dipped at night by the light of the moon.
- Don’t tell my husband, but I do like it when he buys hay equipment for my presents.
- We never made it to our honeymoon. The car broke down and hubby got a call for work so he went to work to pay for the car’s repairs.
- My favorite desert is cheesecake.
- The smell of a horse takes be back to summer days riding the mountain behind our house.
- I went barefoot all the time while growing up. I’d even walk in the snow to my grandmother’s house 50 feet from our house barefoot.
- I write about the West and Native Americans because I like to write about the strong, the brave, and the injustices.