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Monday, September 1, 2014

Interview with author Rebecca Patrick-Howard

What keeps you going as a writer?
Well, it’s not the fame and fortune! Seriously, though, I keep writing because I get a story in my head and it just gnaws at me until I have to write it down. Sometimes it’s a long one, sometimes a short one, but I always feel better once it’s on paper. When I was a kid and didn’t really know how to “write” I’d tell my friends the story I had in my mind. Unfortunately, sometimes I’d forget to tell them I made it up. That was a problem for awhile. Finally, a teacher helped me try to rein that imagination in and put it to better use!
How often do you write?
I write every day. Aside from writing for the fun of it, for myself, I’m also a professional ghostwriter so I write for my clients every day. When it comes to working on my own projects, I usually engage in marathon writing sessions. It took me 5 years to write WINDWOOD FARM, but the majority of the book was finally finished in about 2 weeks.
Tell us about your next project?
I have two projects coming out this fall. Well, 3 really. The first one is the sequel to my paranormal mystery book, WINDWOOD FARM. It’s called GRIFFTH TAVERN. It follows my protagonist, Taryn, and her awesome camera that sees the past. This time, she’s working at an old stagecoach inn and, of course, it’s haunted. The haunting is a little different in this book, though, and hits closer to home. I’m also releasing an as yet untitled true haunting account about my time in a farm house in New Hampshire. I only lived there for about 6 weeks but it was one heck of a stay. The last project is one I’m working on with my son. He’s 7 and we’re putting together a photography book with pictures from our county. He goes with me on my urban exploring and ghost hunting adventures and takes his own pictures. He’s actually pretty good!
What do you like best about your main character?
I love her job. I’d like to have it myself, except for the fact that I can’t paint. Traveling around to old houses, working with historical societies, taking lots of pictures of abandoned places-that sounds awesome. I also like the fact that she gets scared but that doesn’t stop her. She keeps pushing forward.
What made you start writing?
 I know a lot of people say they’ve written for as long as they can remember, but that’s true for me. I got my first writing job when I was 8. I wrote articles for our local paper. I did that for several years. Later I became a travel writer and spent the majority of my time traveling around Eastern Europe, doing hotel and restaurant reviews. I wrote a lot of fiction as a teen and into my early 20s, but was just too embarrassed to show anyone. It felt personal. 

Rebecca Patrick-Howard is a native of Wolfe County, Kentucky. She grew up on the campus of Hazel Green Academy and later attended Belmont University in Nashville and Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. She holds undergraduate degrees in Anthropology and Appalachian Studies.

For several years, Rebecca worked as a travel writer; backpacking around Europe (mostly) with a couple of bags, guide books, and maps. During those years, she explored Bosnia, Croatia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Austria, and Italy (amongst other places). She once took a train to Lichtenstein and paid to get a stamp on her passport just to say she’d been there.

Her love of the paranormal began as a child when she would listen to her grandmother tell her terrifying tales of witches, ghosts, and goblins before bedtime and during thunderstorms. After living in a few questionable houses, she began writing her own ghost stories at the age of 10 (they’re really bad, by the way).

While studying for her MA in Religious Experience (some of her friends thought she was going to become an exorcist and were sorely disappointed in the truth) in Wales, she met her future husband, Peter. She considers him her finest, and most expensive, souvenir. The two of them live in eastern Kentucky high on a windy ridge with their two living children. (A third passed away from SIDS in 2010.) 

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