Interview with Patricia Hale

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve written since I was a kid. At ten years old, I used my mother’s Underwood typewriter and submitted a poem to the New Yorker Magazine. I received a very nice rejection letter. I continued to write throughout my teens though I never submitted anything else. In my twenties I set aside my paper and pen for diapers and dishes. It wasn’t until I hit forty, divorced and with the kids almost old enough to drive themselves around, I started thinking about what I might want to do. So, I started writing again, this time stories instead of poetry and I enrolled in an MFA program.

What genre do you write and why?

I write mystery/suspense. It’s always been the genre I’ve liked to read. I started with Harriet the Spy and moved on to Nancy Drew then Mary Higgins Clark and Jonathan Kellerman. Even with movies and television, I’m drawn to anything with a crime scene. Add a psychological twist and that’s even better. There’s nothing more enjoyable than the demise of a fragile psyche amidst the adrenalin rush of a well-paced thriller. Why do I write it? I guess for all the reasons I love to read it, it holds my interest, keeps my mind working overtime to plot the next twist, most of all, it’s fun. It’s great when you get that ah-ha moment and it all falls neatly into place, the crime, the killer, the weapon, the motive. It’s an accomplishment, a legal one.

Tell us about your latest book.

In the Shadow of Revenge is the story of three friends who witness a horrific event at nine years old. The experience binds them together, keeping their lives entwined and their roots deep in rural Maine. When the perpetrator shows up eighteen years later, the girls know its time for him to pay. And when the police won’t step in, the girls take matters into their own hands. The story weaves together themes of friendship, guilt, family and betrayal.

What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?

Because In the Shadow of Revenge is an ebook, I’m primarily using social media, including my website,, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Partners in Crime Tours. I’m also guest blogging and doing a number of interviews and giveaways. My publisher, Carina Press is also using their website, and links in social media. I am a member of Sisters in Crime, New Hampshire Writers Project and Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance all of whom are providing advertising in their catalogues and on their websites.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m employed full time at a holistic animal hospital, but when I’m not working or writing, I’m usually with my dogs. I’m a walker and a hiker and in the winter I snowshoe. In the woods with my dogs is my favorite place to be. But I also have a husband, three kids and three grandkids so solitude doesn’t always come easy.

Who are your favorite authors?

Stephen King is a big favorite, not because I read all his books though I’ve read quite a few, but because of the advice he gives in his book, On Writing. It sits on my desk beside my computer and when I’m discouraged or stuck it provides the boot in the butt I need, every time. He has a way of loosening me up and reminds me to have fun writing and to not take myself too seriously. As far as whose work I love, Tana French is at the top. Her most recent, Broken Harbor is close to perfect. My favorite character is John Irving’s, Owen Meany. No other character has made me laugh out loud or touched me as deeply. I’ve also just read A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick and will definitely read more from him.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Remember that first and foremost you write because it’s what you love to do not because you want to make money. Don’t get discouraged. One publisher’s trash is another publisher’s treasure, so keep writing and keep submitting. Don’t let rejections deter you. Pay attention to any critique, learn from it and keep moving forward. Conferences won’t make you a better writer, but they do provide motivation. The only way to get better is to write everyday.       

What is your favorite quote about writing?

I have two.

“Writing is a marathon, not a sprint.” (Unknown)

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” (Anton Chekhov)

What is the best thing about being a writer?

For me, the best thing is when I walk away from the computer after a number of hours and feel like I really accomplished something. Feeling a sense of pride and excitement about what you do (no matter what it is) is invaluable. Writing gives me purpose.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?

You can find In the Shadow of Revenge on Amazon and Carina Press. Read an excerpt on Goodreads or on my website

Thanks so much for the opportunity to talk with you and to spread the word about my new release, In the Shadow of Revenge.



  1. Wow - this could almost be the story of my life - Patricia shares so many of my own thoughts, preferences and favourite sources of inspiration. Except my children are still rather young. And I haven't signed up for an MFA. Look forward to reading her book!


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