Meet author Patti Stockdale
Patti Stockdale loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs. She’s back in her home state of Iowa where she writes books, educational assessments, and magazine articles. Nothing makes her happier than spending time with her family.
Tell us about your newest book: Three Little Things is a historical romance about one forbidden love, two broken hearts, and three little things Arno and Hattie share as they exchange letters during WWI.
What inspired you to write Three Little Things? I returned to college as an adult and needed a project for a creative writing class. At the same time, my mom and her sisters found letters their parents exchanged during the war. I knew my grandpa, but we never talked about his war days. My grandma died two months before my birth, but I met her through her letters. What a blessing.
Why do you write? I write because God stirred a passion in my heart. In a high school English class, the assignment was to write a short story. I forced myself to stop at about the 30-page mark. Everybody else turned in five or six pages. I’m driven to learn something new every day and to polish my skills.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name? My main characters are Hattie Waltz and Arno Kreger. Their first names belonged to my maternal grandparents. It’s my way of honoring them for inspiring my story.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book? The first book took forever to write, so I tried something new with my second one. I wrote an outline and a synopsis before writing the first draft in 15-minute sprints. When I finished, I thought it probably stunk. However, it was only semi-stinky. Editing is my favorite part of the process, so I was able to salvage and tweak what I’d written. Since I wrote the book so quickly, I’ll probably follow the same path for book number three.
What is the hardest part of being an author? Why? The hardest part is to stick with it and not give up after rejections. Persistence and sharpening my writing were key in finding a home for Three Little Things. Marketing and social media challenge me too. I’m tech-deficient.
What is the best part of your author’s life? The best part is doing something I love. From researching to editing, I learn something new each step of the way. I’ve always been curious and up for a challenge.
How have you changed or grown as a writer? I’ve learned to worry less that I’m not good enough. God deems me worthy, and that’s enough.
Do you have other books? When I lived in Pennsylvania, I belonged to a writers’ group, and we published an anthology called Voices of the Peace Tree. I also wrote a middle school novel about a farm girl, but it’s not published.
What are you working on now? My second historical fiction, Because It’s True, is with beta readers. I wanted to write about a scavenger hunt, but the first one recorded was in the late 1920s, and my goal was to stick with the WW I era. Instead, I wrote a book about a woman who learns she’s adopted and has two siblings. A war hero, longing for a fresh start in a new town, sets out to help her find her sisters, but he complicates everything.
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