Writer’s Desk: Jessica R. Patch
Jessica R. Patch is a Publishers Weekly bestselling author known for her dry wit, signature twists, and complex characters. She loves reading true crime books, discussing cold cases over chips and salsa with her girlfriends, and hunting down serial killers in her romantic suspense novels and psychological thrillers.
Jessica loves to encourage and inspire people to forward living through her Patch of Hope devotions in her monthly email newsletter and in her Forward Friday devotional blogs. You can join the Patched In community at her website: www.jessicarpatch.com.
She resides in the Memphis area with her husband, two young adult children, and her spoiled tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.
More about A Cry in the Dark
Deep in the Kentucky hills, three women have been found brutalized and murdered.
But the folks in Night Holler have their own ways and their own laws.
And they’re not talking…
Led to an isolated Appalachian Mountain town by a trail of disturbing murders, FBI special agent Violet Rainwater’s determined to catch a serial killer with a twisted agenda. With locals refusing to reveal their secrets, Violet’s only ally is Detective John Orlando. But even John has an ulterior motive—he’s convinced this case is connected to his wife’s murder.
As they dig deeper, Violet uncovers a link to her own unresolved past. For years she’s worked the cold case of her mother’s abduction, which had led to her birth. The need to look into the eyes of the sinful man who fathered her consumes Violet. Until she can, she’ll never have peace. Because she’s terrified she might be exactly like him.
In this chilling novel, when the present collides with Violet’s mysterious past and John’s tragic loss, they must unravel the warped, sinuous connections before the killer strikes again. But solving the case might not be nearly as terrifying as the possibility that Violet’s finally found her roots…
Q&A with Jessica R. Patch
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
JRP: I am a homebody. I’d rather putter around my house than go out. I think my readers believe I’m off stalking people and interviewing serial killers (I have done one of those things). Nah, I’m home in yoga pants, with unwashed hair, and watching Parks and Recreation for the 9 billionth time.
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for A Cry in the Dark?
JRP: I wanted to explore providence and connect Violet’s past with one of her present cases. I read a passage in my daily Bible reading about the blind groping in darkness and a killer clicked as well as the spiritual theme of the story, then I watched a video about a holler and I knew it needed set in the Kentucky hills.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
JRP: Not really, but I do need my office cleaned and clutter-free to write well. I write 5-6 days a week. I would count that as a habit.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
JRP: Find the time of day that you’re most creative and fresh, then guard that time. It’s your job. Treat it as such. Schedule your errands and fun stuff around your prime work time. There are always exceptions, of course.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
JRP: I don’t. If I’m eating or drinking I can’t write!
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
JRP: I don’t really get what I’d call writer’s block. But sometimes I write a scene into a corner and I’m unsure of how to get unstuck. Normally, I vox (walkie-talkie app) another author friend or two and talk it through. Usually, that works! Or I take a long hot shower because many good ideas hit in the shower.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
JRP: I wait until the very end.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
JRP: Honestly, I think new writers get all up in their heads with craft rules. I’m all for reading craft books and getting better, but you can read too many at one time and then your story suffers because you’re so worried about breaking rules or not following them. By all means, read craft books! But allow yourself to imagine and dream and write what you want to write and how you want to write it. Then revise and send it to trusted beta readers, crit partners, or your agent. I only read craft books between my writing the first draft and before I edit. It sparks ideas and doesn’t suck away my own personal voice, style, and imagination.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
JRP: Write what you want to read.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
JRP: The third and last story in the Strange Crimes South Division is plotted and ready to write. That will be Tiberius Granger’s story. And I have a book coming out with characters from Her Darkest Secret as the heroine and hero! It releases this summer in a collection, but I’m not sure which volume I’m in yet so… TBD.
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