I met Patti Callahan Henry last year over margaritas and queso dip (which is truly the only civilized way for any author to meet another.) We’ve circled each other for years, having many friends in common, but had never met face-to-face. I couldn’t wait to meet her, though, and I wasn’t disappointed. She’s a lovely, intelligent and fun woman. And when I heard her speak at Parnassus later that evening, I knew she was the whole package as an author, too. Smart and sassy, but poignant at the same time, Patti wraps her readers, and audiences, in a warm embrace of words. I am so thrilled to have her join us today. Welcome, Patti!
Set your music to shuffle and hit play. What’s the first song that comes up?
"Every Little Thing" by Eric Clapton and "Brave" by Sara Barielles
Now that we’ve set the mood, what are you working on today?
My speech for book tour!
What’s your latest book about?
It’s about a failing screenwriter out to steal a love story when he finally meets his match—a woman who is giving him the perfect love story. Or is it?
Where do you write, and what tools do you use?
I mostly write in my attic longhand at first and then on the computer.
What was your favorite book as a child?
CHARLOTTE’S WEB or Narnia, depending on what childhood age you catch me.
What’s your secret talent?
Poker (well, it’s not really a talent, but I love playing when someone will let me. I usually lose, so not sure it’s a talent). The other secret talent—sleeping in on Saturday. I am almost a professional.
What book are you reading now?
AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was too young to even know what “being a writer” meant. But it wasn’t until I was 35 years old that I admitted it to myself and set out to find out how to do such a thing.
Who is your writing idol?
Anne Rivers Siddons
Have you met him/her?
If so, did you completely nerd out or keep your cool?
I absolutely did not keep my cool. It was before I even started my first novel. I waited in an hour-long line,and then babbled until her husband asked me to move on.
What’s your favorite bit of writing advice?
Aim for the heart.
What do you do if the words aren’t flowing?
Walk. Walk outside in nature and try to let go of my expectations and just “be.” Which sounds easy but isn’t!
Are you creatively satisfied?
Sometimes. In the best times.
What would you like to be remembered for?
Touching a reader’s heart.
Alright, now for the really important questions:
- Beach or mountains? Both
- Coffee or tea? Coffee
- Skydive or bungee jump? Neither. Ever.
- Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate
- Winter or summer? Summer
- Cake or pie? Pie
- Cats or dogs? Dog
- Pens or pencils? Pens
- Truth or dare? Dare
- Print or ebook? Print
New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry has published ten novels, including her latest, THE IDEA OF LOVE, which will be released by St. Martin’s Press in June 2015. Hailed as a fresh new voice in Southern fiction, Henry has been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and nominated four different times for the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Novel of the Year. Her work is published in five languages and in audiobook by Brilliance Audio.