I’d like to welcome Patsy Collins to my website and I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Patsy is one of the writers in the book, By my Side. Her story in the book is titled: “Ad Lib”
- Could you tell us a little about the story?
It’s nice being in the same anthology, or magazine issue, alongside people I know virtually. Somehow it makes me feel a little as though we’re neighbours in the physical world too despite, as in our case, living in different countries.
My story is about actors ad libbing their lines. I’ve never acted, but with my terrible memory and strong tendency to make stuff up, I’m sure I’d be an ad libber if I ever trod the boards.
- What was the inspiration for the story?
Ummm. Did I mention that I have a terrible memory? (To be fair to myself, I did write it over a decade ago.)
700 Accepted Stories
You are a prolific writer. I read that you’ve had over 700 stories accepted for publication. That is impressive. Congratulations!
Thank you! I still remember my excitement over my first sale – there are some things even I can’t forget. These days I don’t bounce about the house quite so energetically, nor for so long, but I’m no less pleased to receive acceptances.
- What advice would you give to writers that are trying to increase their acceptances?
Write a lot, and target it well. However brilliant the story, if it’s twice the length the publisher wants, or the wrong genre, or sent too late, then it can’t be used. For magazines and e-zines, read current issues of the publication, and any guidelines, carefully. For competitions read previous winning entries and be sure to follow the rules.
For women’s magazines guidelines and lots of links to free entry writing competitions, take a look at this blog.
- How many books have you written so far?
Five novels, 1 1/2* writing books and 21 themed short story collections have been published so far, plus my work has appeared in quite a few anthologies.
- Out of those books, do you have a favorite?
That’s like asking me which is my favourite child. (Forgive the u, I’m English!) I’m proud of all my books. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t have released them.
- Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?
Mavis Forthright is the character who has had the biggest impact on my writing life. Without her I’d never have become a novelist. When I started writing about Mavis, I thought I was creating a short story. Around 80,000 words in I still had no idea how the thing would end. At 130,000 words I realised I needed to learn about novel writing – which I did and then rewrote the entire thing (more than once!).
Along the way I had to undertake interesting research, and learned about far more than structuring a book. Mavis’s story is now my 100, 000 word novel Paint Me A Picture.
- How can readers learn more about you and your books?
Talking of free stories, you may like to download this mini collection.
- Do you have a photo of you or your books you’d like to share?
I’ve attached a picture of me hard at work in my mobile writing retreat, and some book covers.
- Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
On 21st October I release a new collection of 24 stories which would make the perfect hallowe’en read. It’s called Slightly Spooky Stories IV and the e-version can be ordered now. A paperback will follow shortly. As you may have guessed there are three other collections of not too terrifying ghost stories, but they’re all individuals so there’s no need to read in any particular order.
There may be other things I should have mentioned, but have forgotten all about…
Patsy, thank you for sharing your personal writing story with me and my website followers.
Thanks so much for asking me, Theresa.