Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Getting to know Author Patti J Smith

THIS IS PART 4 OF MY INTERVIEWS WITH MY FELLOW HELPING HANDS PRESS WRITERS. Patti and I, along with the others I’ve been featuring this month, have been participants in several short-story compilations with HHP sincejuat before Christmas 2013.

Now, let’s get on with this interview.

As a writing reader, do you find it difficult to read for pure enjoyment without a critical eye?

No, not at all. In fact, it provides me with a mental vacation, especially when I’m suffering from writer’s block!

Ah, yes . . . the great escape. I have to agree with you, on that one. Smile

Next: When reading, what are some of the things that bug you? Pet peeves, etc. What are some of your hot buttons?

Nothing frustrates me more than having to flip back to prior chapters to figure out how one character is connected to another. Another hot button is when the story constantly jumps from one point of view to another without a smooth transition.

I am insatiably curious about my fellow authors’ writing habits and quirks. For example, I almost always have some music playing while I write. Instrumentals, though, no vocals. And I’m a snacker. So, how about you? Do share.

I am a nocturnal-recliner writer … settling in to my recliner around 11:00 p.m. and ending around 3:00 a.m. Being a coffeeholic, there’s always a cup at the ready as well as a cookie (or two or three!).

What was/is the problem with writing that was/is your greatest roadblock and how did/do you overcome it?

The biggest roadblock is getting started. It’s sometimes difficult to set aside thoughts and concerns of the day and focus on the work-in-progress. I find if I start out in “editor” mode I’m able to gradually shift from wife, caregiver, etc., to writer.

If you could lay out the perfect day for writing, just the way you’d love it to be, describe it for us.

I would be in a cabin (all alone), my recliner facing a large picture window overlooking a lake -- a light, but steady rain coming down and a fire crackling in the fireplace. Ahhhh……

What are you working on right now?

I have three projects in the works. Series II of my Grave Obsessions (Suspense/Thriller) Series, Solace in Scripture (a devotional on grief using personalized scripture) and a collaborative effort with my publisher: Welcome to Shadeport (a humor-filled, cozy mystery series).

What can we look forward to from you in the future?

To be honest, I have no idea at this point. I have been on a sabbatical of sorts due to my father’s illness and recent passing, so finishing up my works in progress are a priority.

I can appreciate that, Patti.

Now, what about the book we’re featuring here?


  • Title: Grave Obsessions – Series I
  • Publisher: Helping Hands Press
  • Release Date: 3/25/15
  • Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Back cover blurb: Grave Obsessions reads like an episode of a television crime drama with its swift action and unexpected plot twists. Be it an elusive psychopath or child abductor, Detective Dallas Keegan pursues each with dogged determination and gut instinct while struggling with her faith and ghosts from the past.

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1935522_1949288118629622_4630133862991984587_nAuthor of devotionals, light romance and suspense. I was born to a military family in Wimpole Park, England and traveled extensively during my childhood. I worked for the federal government as an auditor for the Department of Labor and Veteran's Administration Offices of Inspector General, as an Elementary School Office Manager for the San Jacinto Unified School District, served ten years in the U.S. Army Reserves and recently retired as a background investigator. I am a member of the Association of Christian Therapists, Associate of the Order of St. Luke the Physician, serve as Regional Coordinator for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign and lead Rachel's Hope After-Abortion Healing Retreats and a follow-up retreat, "The Healing Continues."  I publicly share my story of redemption in a variety of venues, have been a guest on Immaculate Heart and Blogtalk Radio, Radio Maria and Cradle My Heart.  I also appear in the newly-released documentary, “The Sidewalk Chronicles”.
I live in Vista, CA with my husband, am a caregiver for my uncle and have four beautiful granddaughters - and one on the way.  I'm a prolific blogger and reader, and proudly admit to being a diehard Seattle Seahawks fan and Fantasy Football fanatic. My travel adventures include Spain, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Fiji, South Korea and almost all states - including Hawaii and Alaska.

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Thank you so much for taking part in my interviews with our fellow HHP authors. It’s been a pleasure getting to know more about you. I hope you’ve enjoyes your visit here, too



  1. Thanks for having me Peggy and for your patience and understanding ... God Bless!!!!

  2. Patti I enjoyed your interview. I'm with you. Getting started can be hard. Happy writing.

  3. My pleasure, Patti. It's always fun getting to know my fellow authors.

  4. Thanks for dropping in, June, and leaving a comment. The major purpose of this blog is to spotlight and support other writers.