Monday, February 15, 2016

Interview with Mystery Author Patricia Gligor

      My guest this week is mystery author Patricia Gligor. I have read four of her books in her Malone mystery series and am looking forward to the next installment. Welcome, Patricia, and tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Patricia Gligor (rhymes with “tiger”) and I live in Cincinnati, Ohio. I grew up in a big, old house with lots of nooks and crannies and a woods behind it as far as the eye could see, a fertile ground for a young girl’s imagination. My favorite books as a child were Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew mysteries and I started “making up” mysteries to entertain my friends at a very young age. So, I guess it was only natural that I would grow up to be a mystery writer. I love a mystery! 

1) What kinds of books do you like to read and is there one special book that is your favorite overall?

I read (and write) mystery/suspense novels. If I had to pick my favorite book, which is also the book that influenced me the most as a writer, it would be “Where are the children?” by Mary Higgins Clark. 

2) Who are your favorite authors, past and present?

My favorite author is Mary Higgins Clark. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person at a book signing in 2002. Not only is she a great writer but she’s also a wonderful, kind person who took the time to encourage me to “write that novel.” There are lots of other authors whose books I enjoy reading but the list is too long to mention here.

3) Are there any authors who have inspired you to write and, if so, who are they?

See questions 1 & 2.

4) How do you choose your characters’ names?

I have a “Name your baby” book and I frequently use that to come up with a name whose definition fits the character I’m writing about. For example, my main character’s sister loves the ocean. I named her Marnie, which means “of the sea.” And, although I’m not really “into” astrology, I do give my characters birthdays based on their astrological signs. My main character, Ann, is a Capricorn (a mountain goat,) and she is loyal and persistent, qualities that define her and are crucial to the story.

5) Are you a plotter or a “pantster”?
A plotter BIG TIME. Before I begin to write, I create a chapter-by-chapter outline, listing what absolutely has to happen in each chapter. The outline is subject to change, of course, but I need to have a guideline. I think of it as a road map when I’m taking a trip. As I drive, I may revise my itinerary a bit (take a few detours) but I want to end up at my designated destination.               
6) What kind of writing schedule do you have?

When I’m in the midst of writing a book, I write every morning for three to four hours. But it doesn’t end there. Throughout the day (and sometimes, the night), an idea will come to me and I have to jot it down. That’s why I keep a pad of paper and pen in every room, in my purse and in my car.
7) How do you choose your titles? Do you have a title in mind before you start writing or does something occur after you have begun to write or after you have finished?
When I first come up with the idea for a book, I seldom know what the title will be. As the story develops, the title usually suggests itself. For example, in Mixed Messages, my first Malone mystery, Ann is receiving mixed messages from several sources. I like to use titles that have double meanings whenever possible. Unfinished Business, the second book in my series, is a perfect example of that.
 8) Do you base your characters on real people or are they completely from your imagination?

Most of my characters have some personality and/or physical traits in common with a real life person but they are each their own “person.” Some are composites of several real people but they’re ultimately figments of my imagination.

9) Have you used real life experiences in your fiction or is everything from your imagination?

I draw upon anything and everything when I write. Experiences I’ve had, stories other people have told me. Somehow, it all comes together at just the right time. The whole process constantly fascinates me.

10) When did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

When I was ten years old, I saw my “byline” on a poem I’d written for my Sunday school magazine and I knew instantly that I wanted (needed) to be a writer.
11) What books have you published and where can readers find them?
I’ve written four books in my Malone Mystery series and I’m working on the fifth. My books can be found online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble and they can be ordered from your local book store. Here’s the amazon link:

Questions for fun:

12) What is your favorite color?
I love all shades of turquoise, from aqua to teal.
13) Favorite flavor of ice cream?
Milk Chocolate yogurt ice cream
14) Favorite cookie and/or candy bar?
 Chocolate chip cookies and Hershey dark chocolate candy bars
15) Favorite movie?
 Double Jeopardy starring Tommy Lee Jones and Ashley Judd

16) Favorite TV show?
17)  Favorite place to write:

At home in my office in total quiet and solitude.

Patricia with her favorite author Mary Higgins Clark:

Thank you, Patricia for a most enjoyable interview.