Friday, February 3, 2012

CHRW Meet The Member:

Paisley Kirkpatrick

How long have you been a member of Celtic Hearts?
I joined Celtic Hearts 2/1/09

Share 7 fun facts about you that most people don’t know.
#1  I have had up to 41 foreign penpals since 1989. I joined an organization where I could make contract with English speaking people who wanted to correspond. It opened a very wide window to the world for me and I made a lot of dear friends. I still correspond with sixteen of them. Cristache from Romania and Erich with his wife Dagmar from Germany have been here to visit with us. While we visited in Scotland we visited with penpal Sue and her husband for three days.

#2  For thirteen years I was president of country singing artist Kevin Sharp's fan club. I put together fifty newsletters (one every three months), we ran meet and greets when Kevin and his band were in our area, ran a booth at Fan Fair in Nashville for five years, and one of the most wonderful experiences was standing on the stage of the Grand Old Opry (next to the orange barn) to watch Kevin entertain the audience with three songs. The next day we had so many people come by our booth and tell us he was the best. He was!

#3  I was a Camp Fire Girls leader for thirteen years. All the little girls in my group remembered I promised to make their wedding cake when they got married. It seems very few of them forgot my promise. I made many wedding cakes and gave them as gifts, including the one for my younger daughter. I have many of the cake pans of Disney characters that delighted lots of children. I was a stay-at-home mom when my kids were little so this is how I added to our income and satisfied my creative genes.

#4  My great-great grandmother Mary Kirk is supposedly the first woman to have had stories published in a magazine. Original copies are kept in the archives of the Sacramento State Library. In my third story I had a scene very similar to one of hers and two sentences that were worded almost word for word to hers. It makes me wonder if we can inherit our ancestors' dreams.

#5  When our older daughter was a junior in high school we had an exchange student from Sweden live with us for ten months. Magdalena is still a daughter in our hearts. We were lucky enough to spend two weeks with her in her parents' home in Malmo, Sweden, and were treated to a guided tour through her beautiful country.

#6  We also have our Dutch kids - we met Bert on a camping trip 30 years ago and he and his family are considered our children as well. We were in his wedding in a castle that had two moats and owned by the Fairchild family. It was quite an interesting day, especially when I embarrassed myself during the ceremony sliding across the hardwood floor in my new leather-soled shoes.

#7  I make quilts and give them away in honor of my daughter. Some are colorful flannel crib size quilts, book cover quilts, family photo quilts, and, of course, one Gerard Butler quilt for my daughter-of-my-heart who introduced me to the gorgeous Scot.

Have you ever been to Ireland, Scotland, Wales etc? Tell us about this trip and what you came away with afterwards.
Four years ago my husband and I spent 23 days driving in Scotland. It was magical and something I plan on doing again. Ken was worried at first about driving on the left and sitting on the right side of the car, but he only almost killed us once. I am sure the truck driver recovered after a few shots of whisky after he got home. I have never been to a more beautiful area before. When we were on a boat entering Loch Ness, I cried. I felt like I'd come home. My mother was almost a full Scot so I have plenty of genes who were happy to be there. The people were wonderful, the drivers were patient, and the people we met in the B&Bs were great hosts. In one sentence how would I describe our trip: We were so close to heaven we could almost hear the flutter of angel wings.

Do you belong to any other RWA chapters or writing groups?
My land chapter is Sacramento Valley Rose. My online chapters and groups are From the Heart, Hearts Through History, Writers Playground, Music City, Scandalous Victorians and Sweethearts of the West.

You’ve recently signed with a publisher. Tell us about your writing journey before and after this point in your life, and the details about your upcoming releases.
My writing journey started twenty-two years ago and finally on Christmas Eve reached its destination. I know, I've been accused of being stubborn but I would rather call it being persistent. I lived in a mountain community and it took me a half hour to drive to the property management office where I worked. Every day on the commute I ran my first ideas of a story though my mind, and then one weekend sat at my computer and typed for ten hours and had the skeleton of the entire story written. What did I know about writing a story -- absolutely nothing. I just knew I needed to write.

In November, 1999, I joined RWA and Sacramento Valley Rose and that is actually where my writing career started. I handed my manuscript to a friend with high hopes that it was so good...well, you know the scenario. She read a couple of pages and handed it back. "Don't you know what POV is?" Actually, I'd never heard of POV. From that point on I listened to writers, attended every workshop I could, started attending RWA National, taking online classes, etc. Fortunately for me, Carla Capshaw entered my life and with the patience of a saint and the skill of a great writer (she won two GH awards) I started to become a writer. I would suppose you can say that I am a writer because of the friends I have met in RWA. They never gave up on me. I listened and took constructive criticism well. I wanted to learn to write a good story. Low contest scores discouraged me, but I never gave up. Rejection was a big part of my years, but I finally started taking what I could learn and forgot the rest.

I had heard Desert Breeze Publishing was accepting submissions. Like with the others, I sent my best story to them without thinking anything would come of it. So, on Christmas Eve when I received an email at 10:30 pm with an offer for my series of five stories, I couldn't breathe. I sucked all the air out of the room saying, "WOW" for a long time. It was too late to wake the sleeping bear upstairs, way too late to call my critique partners in Florida and Texas. I had to crawl into bed without telling a soul - and, considering how much I like to talk, you can imagine how difficult that was for me.

I have five stories centered around or on the way to my imaginary town of Paradise Pines in the Sierra Mountains of California. The first three are centered around the Benjamin sisters and the other two are the MacGregor brothers during the gold rush era. Four of my stories are finished and I've started on the fifth. Night Angel will be epublished August 21st and the rest, Marriage Bargain, Forever After, Broken Promise and One-eyed Charly are to be released at six month intervals after the first.


Renee Vincent said...

I think that is so amazing that you had an exchange student. I remember from my high school years a friend of mine had one from France. It was such an amazing experience!

It was great to get to know you better, Paisley!!!

And congrats on your new contract!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

A lovely interview, Paisley. So nice to learn more about you and to put a face to your name. Thanks for sharing!

Victoria Roberts said...

Wow, Paisley. You certainly have many roots all over. Congratulations on your literary success.

Lizzie Walker said...

Mama P, as usual, you always touch my heart and bring tears to my eyes. Though I know about all the lovely things you do, it's so heartwarming to read them again and wonderful for others to see all the lovely things you do.

I can't wait until your books come out. I know I have said it a million times but the little teaser you gave me awhile back left me wanting more.

I know you are going to be very successful, mama. I feel it deep in my bones.

Love, one of your many children of the heart.

Vonda Sinclair said...

What a wonderful and touching interview, Paisley! You are one of the most generous, loving and giving people I know. I feel fortunate to call you a friend. Hugs!

Pat McDermott said...

Wonderful interview, Paisley. I'm intrigued by your idea that we might inherit our ancestors' dreams. I've wondered about that for a long time. Part of the gene package, maybe? I loved reading about your many activities and travel adventures. Congrats on your writing contracts!

derekd said...

Great interview, Paisley. We had an exchange student a few years back from Japan. We keep in touch with her a couple of times per year.

I am so happy about your book contract. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading the first chapters, and look forward to the rest.

Cynthia Owens said...

Lovely interview, Paisley. I remember wanting to be an exchange student when I was in high school, but the only "exchange" my school offered was to an English-speaking province within Canada. :)

I completely get where you're coming from when you talked about Scotland. I felt exactly that way when I visited Ireland a few summers ago. The feeling of "coming home" was overwhelming. Now I can't wait to go back!

Congrats on your series, and best of luck with all the installments!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks for having me here today, Renee. I love being part of this great Clan.

I remember my husband's comment when we suggested it would be nice to have an exchange student. He said, "What difference would one more kid in the house make?" He found out in a hurry as our Maggie was one terrific 'kid' and he is the one who missed her the most when we had to send her home.

Thanks for the support on my new writing contract. It's already keeping me busy, but I'm loving it.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Dawn Marie. Thanks for your support and coming to visit with me today.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Victoria. I have enjoyed all of my contacts around the world over the years. It's fun hearing first hand how people in different countries think about our lifestyles and how their opinions are often different from what we hear in the news.

Thanks for your support.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Lizzie, you bring tears to my eyes. You are so good to me, but don't stop, I love it. :)

Thanks for being a part of my life and all the encouragement you give me. Love you back.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Waving to one of my favorite teachers, Nicole. Thanks for all the good advice you've given me and the patience. When do we get another class?

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Pat, I am convinced we must be connected somehow with our ancestors. Maybe it's a Celtic thing. I am grateful for all the help I can get, no matter how it arrives. ;)

Thank you for supporting me.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Derek, Thank you for your support with my writing and tolerance with GB. We are lucky to have you in our Clan.

I loved my penpal from Japan. His letters were always so interesting. He shared a lot of photos with us over the years and I felt like losing a good friend when he passed away.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Cynthia, It is amazing how we've been drawn back to the land of our roots. I've never felt anything like 'belonging' before like I did in Scotland. I've been to Denmark several times and not had the same feeling of belonging as in the Highlands.

Thank you for your support.

Maeve said...

What an awesome interview. Boy! I wish you lived closer. My oldest daughter is getting married in September and I'm in dire need of a wedding cake extraordinaire. I'm looking forward to reading your books. Best of luck to you, my friend!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I wish I lived closer to you, too, Maeve. We'd probably have too much fun together, though. Thanks for the support.

Marilyn ~ wiggiemd said...

Very awesome interview, Paisley. I really enjoyed learning more about you. It's always nice to put a face to your name. Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful interview, Paisley! You certainly have a full and interesting life. Thanks for sharing with us.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks for stopping by, Marilyn. I agree. It is fun to see what we all look like, but it means we can't hide anymore. ;)

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thank you, Cathy. Yes, we always seem to be involved in something and have been blessed with so many good friends in our adventures. Appreciate your support.

Angela Johnson said...

What a lovely interview, Paisley. I loved getting to know more about you. I'm amazed at all of your creative accomplishments – writing, quilting, cake-making. I'm so happy your stubbornness… uhrrm persistence paid off. LOL. I feel like were kindred spirits in that we both have the stubbornness gene. Or perhaps that's just a writer thing. Wish you much luck with your new contract.

Tosha Sumner said...

It was great to meet you Paisley. (By the way - love your name!!) Congrats on your contract. How cool that you make wedding cakes and I loved the description of your trip to Scotland. You summed it up so nicely. I can't wait to go!!

Sarah Hoss said...

Paisley! I loved your photo. It is nice to see a face with the name.

I loved your interview. My family has hosted many exchange students. Last Year we had Josephine from Gernamny and this year we have Luis from Spain and Lucas from Brazil. It is a wonderful experience.

Good luck to you in your future Paisley!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Angela, Yes, I have learned that I am stubborn when it comes to certain things - but perseverance seems a much better word. :) I guess after all those years of telling my children to never give up on your dreams that I couldn't give up on mine. I appreciate your support.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Hi Tosha, Oh, I do hope you do get to explore Scotland. It is so beautiful and the people so nice. I'd go back in a heartbeat.

Thanks for coming by and supporting me.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thank you Sarah. I hope your little boy is feeling better today. How nice for you to host exchange students. We consider having our Maggie as one of the best decisions we ever made.

Thanks always for your support. :)

Chicks of Characterization said...

It was so NICE to get to KNOW you Paisley!!! What a lovely interview! Thanks so much for sharing!


Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks Chicks. I appreciate your support. :)

Beth Trissel said...

Paisley, this is one of the most wonderful and touching author interviews I've ever read. I loved it, and getting to know you better. you are a dear lady. ((Hugs))

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

WOW thank you, Beth. I am very touched at your kind words. I appreciate your support. :)