August 5, 2013

interview with the author of 'is this all there is?'

Blogger's Note: Today, I'm pleased to welcome Patricia Mann, one of my virtual writing friends and a gutsy author I admire to the blog, today, for an interview. Not only am I pleased to introduce you to her, but I'm honored to be kicking off her Chick Lit Plus blog tour for her novel Is This All There Is?. Without further adieu, here's Patricia.

Change the Word: If you had to describe this book in 15 seconds or less, what would you say?

Patricia Mann: Beth Thomas has it all - a reliable husband, two adorable young kids, and a part time teaching gig at a university. So it should be no problem for her to resist the advances of a hot former student who showers her with attention, right? Torn between loyalty to one man and lust for another, Beth must come to terms with her past and choose her future.

CTW: Your novel involves a woman, Beth Thomas, who is at a crossroads and has to make some pretty big and serious decisions about what path she has to take next. What's one of the biggest decisions you've had to make in your life?
PM: I got married at 24 years old. I’d have to say that’s the biggest decision I’ve made. I thought I knew it all and was ready to plan out the rest of my life. Many years later, I’m far more humble about how much I still have to learn. Thankfully, my husband and I hung on for the crazy ride of growing up together and will be celebrating our twentieth anniversary the very same week of this post.

CTW: A lot of Beth's soul searching begins when she goes dancing at a night club with a friend. What is your dance style like?
What are a few of the songs that would be on your dance mix?
PM: What a great question! I don’t know if I have a dance style, but I can say I love pretty much every type of dancing and music. I’ll get up and move to anything from hip-hop to pop to country. My dance mix would be endless, and it would probably include "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas, "I’m Bringing Sexy Back" by Justin Timberlake, and "Here for the Party" by Gretchen Wilson.

(CTW: I love a good dance party -- whether it's in a club or sitting at my desk. Naturally I had to share the videos for these tunes so you can join me in Change the Word's inaugural interview dance break.)

(CTW: I've had many a solid dance party thanks to this tune.)

(CTW: I have tickets to see JT in February!!!)

CTW: There's a little student-teacher dynamic going on in this story. Did you ever have a crush on any of your teachers?

PM: Yes! I had it bad for my honors world literature teacher in my senior year of high school. He was brilliant, articulate, and gorgeous. With his dark hair, sparkling blue eyes, and Irish brogue, he drove the girls wild. Looking back, I realize he must have only been in his twenties, but he seemed so mature and worldly to us.

CTW: What was the biggest obstacle you faced while writing this story? How did you overcome it?
PM: The biggest obstacle was writing from a place of truth about relationships that are built on a foundation of lust and obsession rather than true intimacy and connection. I reached back to a dark time in my life long ago to remember how that feels.

CTW: What has the reaction been like so far for your book? Any surprises?
PM: Because of the nature of the story, I braced myself for harsh judgment - of Beth and of me. Surprisingly, it never came. I’m astonished by the degree of empathy most readers have expressed for my flawed protagonist. I’m even more blown away by the number of women who’ve shared that they’ve been in similar circumstances. I wanted to tell a tale about a good woman who makes a mistake that changes everything. The idea was to show the complexity of how these things happen without making anyone the villain. I’m so grateful that readers seem to understand that and the praise I’ve received for the book means the world to me.

CTW: Do you have any advice for fellow writers out there?
PM: Stick to it. Keep writing, whether it’s a journal, a blog, a short story, or a 700-page novel. Ask for feedback, but take any input with a grain of salt and trust your gut. What one reader doesn’t particularly like another will love, so tell your story your way. But always make sure to proofread carefully. J

CTW: What's up next for you and your writing career?
PM: I’m so excited about the book I’m working on now. My mother and I are writing it together. She’s getting ready to retire from over thirty years of work as a nurse, mostly in critical care. So our novel is set in a hospital with medical drama from the heartbreaking to the miraculous, all based on true stories. Our main character, a nurse, has a steamy secret relationship with a sexy ER doctor, but she wants something more. My motto for this book as I write: never a dull moment – fast paced & intense!

CTW: Is there anything else you would like to add?
PM: Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog, Laura! It was great fun to answer your questions!

**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Is This All There Is? before  August 26 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**

About the Author
Patricia Mann is a university professor. She lives in California with her husband, their two kids, and a sweet, silly old dog.

Connect with Patricia
Website/Blog (New posts every Thursday):
Book trailer video:
Facebook Friend Page:
Facebook Fan Page:

Buy the Book - on 99 cents while on tour!
Barnes & Noble:

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  1. Great interview, Patricia! And the literature teacher sounds GOIGEOUS! Looking forward to following the rest of your tour. :)

  2. Thanks for kicking off the tour!

  3. Thanks so much for kicking off the tour with this great interview, Laura! Discovering that you included the videos for my dance mix picks was such a treat!!! Can I come with you to see JT? ;-)

    1. Absolutely! It's in Omaha in February -- his final show of the tour!

  4. Thank you, Shelly! Yes, he was something. Ahhh, the memories! Samantha, I can't thank you enough for organizing this awesome tour! I was so excited to wake up this morning! :-)

  5. Love it, Patricia! Love your taste in music, too, and... yes ... I can see what they're all seeing in that literature teacher. :) xx

  6. Fantastic interview... almost makes me want to buy the book again, although I already have a copy and have read it twice! LOL! Such a pleasure to read about your insights, Patricia!

  7. Thanks, Sheryl, yes he was dreamy. ;-) Lori, you are so good for my ego! You know I feel the exact same way about your books!