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Interview with Patti Lacy

Many would consider Patti Lacy a new writer, having only been writing since 2005. However, over the past six years Patti has made more than a ripple in the publishing world, her fourth novel due to release in October 2011. She is a wife, a mother of one son, and an avid reader who takes nagging ideas and transforms them into compelling stories.

Patti, your website says you write “Contemporary Women’s Fiction Inspired by Romans 8:28.” The verse reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Tell us how these words came to be the foundation of the stories you write.

My best friend, a brave Irishwoman, had been abandoned by her mother on the rugged cliffs of County Clare, then flown to America wearing her first dress and new shoes. When she was coaxed from the plane she thought was a “big bird,” strangers claimed her as their child. An Irishwoman’s Tale examines why God allows such things to happen and how a Christian can “recover” from such incidents. The Spirit whispered Romans 8:28 into my ear and it’s been a mantra for What the Bayou Saw and The Rhythm of Secrets as well as that first Irish baby.

Tell us a little about Reclaiming Lily. Where did you get the idea for this book, and what do you love most about it?
Perhaps because both of my brothers are adopted, I’ve always been fascinated with the questions that swirl around that process. Where’s that other family? Why did they place one of God’s greatest gifts into the arms of other folks? As the daughter of missionary/teachers to China, I was drawn into the “Lost Girls of China” phenomena. Then my mother’s doctor shared her heartrending story and planted enough seeds for Reclaiming Lily to sprout!

How do your personal passion and experience spur you to write?
Snippets of my life fill EVERY book! Here’s an example:

On the morning of July 8, 2007, I opened the Chicago Tribune. Coffee (yeah, I’m an addict) sloshed onto the table…and I didn’t care. Gail Rosenblum’s article about a mother giving up…and then reclaiming…a child caught my heart and wouldn’t let go. The idea for my third story, The Rhythm of Secrets, rustled right there in the newspaper pages, begging to be SET FREE!

Unlike many of my colleagues, who have a thousand “novel” ideas on Word files, mine seem to take eons to coalesce and find their way to paper!!!

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?
Determining, as Bob Seeger sings so aptly, “what to leave in and what to leave out.” If it weren’t for the Spirit’s whisperings, I would NEVER get it right!

Where do you story ideas and characters come from?
Real-life, hurting women. That person I might meet for coffee…tomorrow!

And how do your faith and spiritual life play into your storytelling?
All of my characters seek to unravel the mess they’ve made of their lives, and it ain’t gonna happen until they give it over to God and let Him work for good. With my fabulous agent Natasha’s help, I lay a foundation on a spiritual truth and see if the story line works. If not, we dig it up and begin again! I’m excited to be attending Stan Williams’ Moral Premise early bird session at ACFW so I can learn more about how to fortify my premise.

What do you consider the greatest moment of your writing/publishing career?
When, with the help of two wonderful critique partners, I met a tough deadline on Reclaiming Lily and made that book the best it could be for our Lord.

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?
A splash of literary elements, a dash of multiculturalism, and a slathering of the setting, which becomes a character in my book. Think the mystical cliffs of County Clare, the murky bayous of Louisiana, the historical monuments and parks of Boston!

Finish this statement. When I’m not writing, I’m either …
… cooking or dreaming or praying or running or volunteering or drinking coffee or spending time with friends or reading.

What one piece of advice would you offer a new, yet-to-be-published author?
Write for the Audience of One! He is ALWAYS satisfied with your best (Colossians 3:23).

Thanks for sharing with us, Patti!

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