I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.
This week’s guest: Patricia Kiyono
1. Are there any traditional Thanksgiving dishes that you can easily resist or dishes you refuse to even sample during your family’s holiday meal?
No. I love to eat EVERYTHING!
2. As a reader, name a few of your favorite books of all time. How have these books influenced your writing?
Rebecca Winters’ romances first got me hooked on romance. She takes characters embroiled in impossible emotional conflict and somehow manages to take them to a happily-ever-after! I guess this is why I start writing my books by deciding on the central conflict, rather than the characters. My favorite Rebecca Winters books are BRIDE OF MY HEART (and the others in the Nevada Bachelor series), and THE NUTCRACKER PRINCE.
3. Which Scooby Do character are you most like? Bonus: How are you at solving mysteries?
Velma Dinkley. I wear glasses, and I’m prone to losing them (along with lots of other things). I read a lot about obscure topics and am a fount of useless information. But unlike Velma, I’m not that good at solving mysteries.
4. In which genres and sub-genres are you published, and which was the hardest and easiest to write?
I write sweet historical romance and sweet contemporary romance. I don’t think either one is easier to write. There’s a lot of research involved with either one. But with historical, I don’t have to worry so much about sounding dated. My daughter proofs almost everything I write, and one of her consistent criticisms of my contemporaries is that all the characters, regardless of age and social station, sounds like a 60-something educated woman.
5. If you could serve as a roadie for any band, past or present, for which group would be you be schlepping speakers and testing audio equipment?
6. If someone has never read one of your books, which title would you recommend she read first?
I guess it depends on whether they prefer contemporary or historical, long or short! For contemporary romance fans I guess it would be my most recent one, THE ROAD TO ESCAPE. For historical fans, my Partridge series are short holiday novellas set in Europe, and THE SAMURAI’S GARDEN is a longer novel set in Japan.
7. As a shoe shopper, are you all about the shoe warehouse where more is better, a discriminating shopper of only designer brands or a devotee of comfort with little concern for fashion?
It’s comfort all the way. I haven’t worn heels since the day I got married.
Morgan Freeman. Love his voice, and he has a regal presence no matter what role he plays.
9. Which one of your own fictional heroes would you have taken home if you could?
Tom Cooper from THE ROAD TO ESCAPE is (in some ways) based on my own husband. He’s closer to my own age, so he has some of the same life experiences as me. But unlike my husband, Tom can’t cook!
10. What would you choose as your super power, and what would you do with it?
I would love to be able to organize my stuff. Papers, craft supplies, books, musical instruments and all sorts of other things are strewn about my house, and I often have to spend extra time looking for things I know I have. If I were a better organizer I’d have more time to write and indulge in my hobbies.
11. In 10 words or less, give your best advice to aspiring writers.
Join a group, learn from others, and write.
I never “got” Seinfeld. He was way too whiny, and his friends were strange. I guess I’d choose Friends because I found it was less annoying.
13. What would you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a writer? What have you done to become a better storyteller?
I guess one of my strengths is the mechanics – spelling, grammar, and punctuation. I’ve learned a lot about making the words into a story from online classes and the speakers at my writing groups.
14. Preferred activity in the fall: outside at the apple orchard or a leaf tour while inside a warm car?
I like to be outside, but I have to remind myself to go outside. I’m not sure I’d enjoy a leaf tour. At least at the orchard I’d gather fruit to eat!
15. Name your favorite compliment you ever received from a read or reviewer.
I’ve received a few reviews that complimented my historical accuracy. That makes me glad I did my research!
Four Calling Bards
Nine Ladies Dancing
By Patricia Kiyono
“Across the nation, women are ending, or at least decreasing rapidly, their use of the sweetener. We’ve already started to see a decline in the number of ships engaging in the trade. But there’s more that you can do. Sharpen your quills and write. Petition the government to stop dallying and end the practice of slavery. England has always prided herself for being civilized. What we are doing to our fellow human beings is anything but civil!”
Slight applause followed her pronouncement. One woman stood.
“This is a very noble cause, Mrs. Opie. I’m willing to cut back on my household’s use of sugar, but my husband will not stand for me writing letters to demand anything of Parliament.”
Other women nodded in agreement.
“I understand,” the woman replied. “Anything you can do to further the cause will be appreciated.”
“I can write letters,” someone said.
The room grew silent. Amanda watched the ladies turn to stare and, with growing horror, realized she’d been the one who’d spoken.
During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level.
She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her children and grandchildren. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspire her to create stories about different cultures.