Talking With Mirella Patzer
Mirella PatzerThe Person:
1. What three words do you think describe you as a human being?
Kind. I find it hard to be unkind to anyone. I care about people, especially those close to me. My personal motto is Do No Harm.
Intense. I will work diligently on something until I master it, almost to the point of obsession. Only then will I move on to something new. It's been the secret of my success because I tend to throw my passion and energy into a particular task or project or hobby until I've successfully completed it.
Simplicity. The most important things are my close friends and family. I don't need fancy clothes or many outings to make me happy. I love being home with my family.
2. How do you think others would describe you?
They would describe me as caring and fair. Throughout my life, those are always what people have said about me. They are wonderful attributes to be labelled with..
3. Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.
Outside of writing, I love to read and cook and bake. I also love to visit Heritage Park - it is a huge western town in Calgary with authentic historical homes and businesses. I can easily spend an entire day there. This year, we'll be buying seasons ticket.
4. Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.
My first and only pet was a horse named Precious Mahogany. My husband bought her for me about 20 years ago. She was also used to teach children how to ride. She's now retired and lives with a friend of ours in a spectacular pasture between Cochrane and the Rocky Mountains. I learned how to ride on Precious who is a pure blood American Saddlebred horse.
5. What is your most precious memory?
It is witnessing the birth of my little grandson. It is the only birth I've ever witnessed. Yes, I have two daughters, but being in labour is vastly different than witnessing an actual birth. The birth process is truly one of life's most beautiful miracles.
6. What is your most embarrassing memory?
I was on a bus once and I got up because my stop was approaching. As I was waiting at the back door for the bus to stop, the driver suddenly had to swerve and slam on the brakes because a litte dog ran into the middle of the road. The sudden movement caused me to fall head first into a man's lap. Let me just say, it was a bulls eye. Passengers couldn't stop laughing. I was mortified. My eyes watered from the impact. I never even looked to see how the guy fared.
7. If you weren't a writer, what would you be doing with your life?
After a 28 year career as a civilian manager with a local police service, I have just retired and am pursuing writing. But if I could chose another career, it would be to be a flight attendant for an international carrier and I'd want the European routes. It is the job I wanted to do when I was a young woman, but fate always intervened and I was never able to pursue it.
8. In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.
With trumpets blaring, Mirella Patzer was called to heaven on _______.
Mirella was the first born child of Italian immigrants. She spent the first 3 years of her life in Edmonton Alberta and then moved to Calgary Alberta where she was raised. Her parents struggled to grasp a new culture and language and began to depend on Mirella the moment she learned to read and write. At the age of 7 she was completing supervisory reports for her father and helping her mother with the banking.
After graduating high school, Mirella began work at the Calgary Police Service where she did her best to distinguish herself in a meaningful way. She educated herself while she worked. During her climb she married a "lie guy" (polygraph examiner) and had two beautiful daughters who both decided to surpass their mother's aspirations and go to college. She climbed the career ladder until she banged her head hard against the glass ceiling. In July 2008, she was able to retire and follow her dream of writing.
There will be no wake or any mumbo-jumbo. Memorial gifts will not be accepted and cards are a waste of money.
May God be with you, Mirella Patzer!
Mirella Patzer The Writer:
9. Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a "real" writer?
One of the hardest things for me was to begin calling myself an author or a writer. Those words just wouldn't come, no matter how hard I tried to say them. Then, my short story, Down Three Steps, was accepted for a Canadian anthology entitled Mamma Mia: Good Italian Girls Talk Back and I became one of 18 Canadian Italian women who contributed to the book. The book was a Canadian bestseller. It was then I began to think of myself as an author.
10. What is going on with your writing these days?
In typical Mirella fashion, I'm writing two books at once - Orphan of the Olive Tree and A Crimson Mantle. Both are medieval family sagas.
11. What are your future goals for your writing?
My goal is to complete a 3 or 4 book series of the Ottonian Empire which begins with A Crimson Mantle and spans 100 years. Although it is a family saga, it is about the strong women who wielded their power and love during the 10th century.
12. Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
There is no typical writing day for me. I care for my 2 year old grandson while my daughter is in law school so his powerful little presence often prevents me from my work. But during nap times and bed times I manage to squeeze in a little writing time. I also set aside the entire weekend to write - and this means no email and no blogging, etc. Only writing. Summer is also coming and with that, my grandson will be out in the backyard with my husband. So I'm hoping to squeeze in a little more writing time.
13. Why do you write?
I write for my love of history and Italy. I want my readers to learn about some of the famous, strong women leaders of long ago who helped shape the world. I also write to entertain. To know that I can entertain my readers and provide them a little reprieve from the stressors of daily life gives me great pleasure.
14. What writer most inspires you? Why?
I love Charles Dickens because he is a true master of detail and creating memorable characters. His stories and characters have endured for decades and appeal to generations of readers.
15, How do you define your writing?
I like my stories to resemble a roller coaster ride - a little "rough and tumble" with a sprinkling of violence, the odd and unsual, and passion and emotion.
16. In one sentence, what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?
I would love it if people simply said my work was "fun". Pure unadulterated enjoyment. That would make me very happy.
Mirella Patzer The Details:
17. Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?
I have several sites.
My blog is at http://mirellapatzer.blogspot.com. I like to post about anything that strikes my fancy. This blog is usually a mish-mash of topics. If you want too get to know me a little more, than this is where to go. Bloodstone Castle has its own blog at: http://bloodstonecastle.blogspot.com. The posts on this blog relates to Italy, or the characters, food, etc. and from the Ligurian coast which is the setting of my novel. Author cookies is a blog where I feature other authors and their favourite cookie recipes at: http://authorcookies.blogspot.com. Best of Italy is a blog that indulges my passion for Italy and all things Italian. It has lots of traffic so have a peak - http://bestofitaly.blogspot.com. And last but not least, to keep track of all the books I read and review, I own http://historicalnovelreview.blogspot.com
18. Is there a place where readers can reach you?
Readers can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
19. Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
All three of my books can be purchased from Amazon.
Heinrich the Fowler: Father of the Ottonian Empire
Mamma Mia: Good Italian Girls Talk Back
20. For new readers, what can they expect when they read your book(s)?
When you read one of my books, expect to be surprised and shocked. My characters can be unpredictable and some of the circumstances they find themselves in can be very unusual.
21. Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers--what would you like them to know about you and your writing?
I love writing stories from the early middle ages. Bloodstone Castle is a complete work of fiction. It is meant to entertain, to give the reader a fun tromp through the middle ages. It is a passionate romantic suspense. So if you like reading as an escape, then this is the book for you. My novels depict my love for history and for Italy. It is my way of sharing a heritage I am proud of. If you read it and enjoy it, then I will have achieved my goal. Thank you very much for your kind interest and precious time in learning more about me. I love to hear from my readers, so please email me.
Posted by joyceanthony
at 4:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 8 June 2008 4:12 AM EDT