August 24, 2011

Unread Interview - Patricia Lichen

Please welcome Patricia Lichen for this week's Unread Interview! Patriciais promoting her latest book, Kidnapping the Lorax!
Unread Interview is a series where I feature authors whose books I couldn't accept for review because of time or logistics issues.
From Amazon: East Coast politics meet West Coast idealism when three young environmentalists kidnap the U.S. Secretary of the Interior Lacy Thurman--code-named "The Lorax"--and take her to the Pacific Northwest woods. Their goal is to re-educate her through tasks designed to open her eyes to the wonders of the forest, so that upon her return to Washington, DC she will be an advocate for the land. But their well-laid plans don't anticipate Lacey's formidable will.
Also available at  Barnes & Noble/Nook or Smashwords

Tell us a bit about your book (s).
"Kidnapping the Lorax" is the story of three young environmentalists who kidnap Secretary of the Interior Lacey Thurman, and take her to the Pacific Northwest woods to reeducate her. They believe once she sees the forests as they do, she will start making the correct decisions for the land. But their well-laid plans don't anticipate Lacey's formidable will. 

Have you ever wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing "seriously"?
I came to writing relatively late, after I’d returned to college. I'd spent several years as an environmental activist in Greenpeace, and as a naturalist at the Mount Saint Helens volcano in the US. I see my writing as a way to extend my activist and naturalist roles.

Do you read much? What kind of books do you usually read?
Oh yes, I've always been a big reader--and I think any writer must be. I used to read more nonfiction, but more recently I love fiction that pulls me into a part of the world I've never actually been in.

What are your favorite or least favorite scenes to write?
Witty repartee is fun, when I can pull it off. But those little bits you need to tie scenes together--get a character from one place to another--can be difficult to pull off. They need to be quick-reading but complete.

Do you relate more to any of your characters? Why?
Given my past, I related more to the young environmentalists in "Kidnapping the Lorax" than to the Secretary of the Interior. I don't agree with their method though--kidnapping?  What were they thinking?!

Which genre do you feel it would be a challenge to write?
Horror. I know people love it, but I just don't get the attraction. There's enough real horror in this world without creating more.

What inspires you? And how's your writing environment - music, place, etc.?
A walk in the woods does wonders to inspire me. My computer is situated near the window, so I can look out from time to time and watch the birds at the feeder.  And I'm surprised how many ideas come to me while I'm in the shower.

What would you say about the book - your words, no blurbs! - to convince someone to read your book?
That although it is eco-fiction, it does not preach. It's the story and the characters that carry the novel, not an environmental message. And there's a thing or two in there that will make you think.

What are your plans for the future, writing-wise? New books, sequels, publishing deals, etc. 
I'm taking another look at the first novel I'd written (which has been patiently waiting on my computer) to see if it's worthy of publication, and have another in the wings that I'm working on. Two of my nonfiction "Uncommon Field Guides" are still available, and Puddletown Publishing will be re-releasing one that has gone out of print.

Thank you, Patricia, for your time and good luck with your book.