Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Interview with Patsy Collins

Hi all! For something a bit different, I'm holding an interview with Patsy Collins as part of her up-coming book release. My questions are in bold.

Hi Patsy. Welcome to The 5 Year Project! For those who haven't met you yet, why don't you tell us a bit about yourself?

Hi Misha,

Thanks for inviting me onto your blog. I think you’ve already sussed I’m a writer. My other interests are gardening and travelling in our camper van. It might seem that those activities would take me away from the writing, but I take the laptop away in the van, using it as a mobile writing retreat and often get inspiration from the places we visit. The garden and allotment provide ideas too. Often as I’m digging or weeding the answer to a plot problem will come to me. 

Oh and when I’m not doing all that stuff, I sometimes manage to fit in a bit of work as a photographic assistant.

Sounds like you live an interesting life. I know your new anthology centers around garden-related themes. Tell us a bit about the stories inside? 

The stories do all have some kind of garden or plant connection, but are otherwise quite varied. There are several romances, a few slightly spooky ones, a historical one and another set in the future. Photography, food and travel are important elements in many of the stories as I naturally write about things which interest me. All my writing is about people - people are interesting, aren’t they?

Yes they are. What inspires you?

I rarely know what sparked off a particular story, I just realise I have an idea which might work. Once I start writing, the characters begin to introduce themselves and I’m away. Occasionally a story is inspired by a real event, or even a real person but I usually have to change quite a bit to make a convincing story of it. Fiction needs to make sense in a way that reality doesn’t.

When someone tells me they enjoyed one of my stories, that it made them smile, distracted them from their difficulties or made them think I’m inspired to write more and repeat that experience. Or maybe that comes under motivation?

I agree with you. Sometimes reality really is difficult to believe when fiction usually isn't. What do you enjoy most about writing?

I like that we can put things right. In reality working hard, doing the right thing, being kind etc doesn’t always bring rewards and mean behaviour isn’t always punished, but we can make that happen in our stories if we wish. Also in life if we start off a project badly we have to live with our mistakes. In fiction we can just go back and change anything we like - start off at a different time, in a different place and with different people. We’re mostly in control.

That is awesome. Where can people find your book?

My latest short story collection Over the Garden Fence is available here.

Official launch day is April 3rd, but you can order it now.

Where can people find you? 

In the garden, but unless you want to get roped into helping with the weeding online is probably easier. My main blog is here - amongst other things I post lots of links to free to enter writing competitions. Anyone interested in writing fiction for women’s magazines might also like to take a look here.

Thanks again for visiting! It was great to have you over here.

And you, ladies and gents? What's your favorite part about writing? Do you also think Patsy's cover is adorable? 


  1. Thanks so much for inviting me in for a chat, Misha.

    Yes, I think the cover is lovely but it's just possible that I'm biased.

  2. And she likes to prance through that garden - we've seen the video!

  3. Love the idea of writing from a camping trailer. How wonderful!

  4. @ Rachel - it is! ;-)

    @ Mac - Hi.

    @ Alex - I do!

    @ Elizabeth - I'm lucky to be able to do that.

  5. I really like the idea of a mobile writing retreat.
    Congratulations Patsy!

  6. Incorporating your varied interests in the stories can add variety while the reader might even learn a bit along with being entrained.

  7. I do wish I was a better gardener, but it's funny how ideas come at the times when we are busy doing other things.

  8. Congrats Patsey... your collection of stories sound great.

  9. @ Michelle - it's a brilliant idea if you can arrange it. A day bus pass might be a good temporary alternative.

    @Terry - at least we know the subject is of interest to someone!

    @Lynda - I'm lucky in that I grew up surrounded by gardener's so couldn't help picking up some tips.

    @ TF - thank you!


Thanks for commenting! I love to read what you think.

Feel free to ignore the check-box saying "Prove you're not a robot." My word verification is off, but I moderate comments to posts older than two weeks.