Today my guest is Pat Esden, author of the upcoming (next week!) novel A Hold on Me, which I was lucky enough to pre-read last November.
She never wanted to return.
He wants nothing more than for her to leave.
But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them.
Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It’s a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue—until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine—and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie’s mother died in a suspicious accident.
Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he’s a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support—Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can’t even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie’s own longings—and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she’ll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…
Like the rest of us, Pat can’t get through writing a single chapter without the assistance of her beasts! Here’s what she tells me about her household menagerie:
1) Let’s start with the obvious: Tell us about your pets.
I have a twenty-three year old rescue Quaker parrot named Conrad. A pet hoarder who knew I liked birds, phoned me to say she’d been given one. I knew she had about a zillion cats and dogs, so I rushed over to see what was going on. Her house smelled so horrible, I almost gagged. Actually, I did gag. Conrad wasn’t even a year old at that point and sat in a cage on the floor surrounded by furry beasts. I was so glad that I could give her a new home. And, yes, Conrad eventually laid eggs, so he was a she.
Our newest family member is Haley. She’s a fourteen-week-old (at the time Pat sent this) Golden Retriever. We lost our last Golden a little over a year ago and are so thrilled to have a new puppy. The house feels alive again.
(This second photo is more recent)
2) How do they help/hinder your writing?
Conrad’s cage is right next to my downstairs desk. She is noisy, but I’ve gotten used to her screams. Mostly, she makes me smile and tells me when there are birds outside at the feeder, or squirrels.
Haley has disturbed my writing schedule a little, since she needs to go out quite often. But I’ve missed having someone to keep me company in my main upstairs office. It’s hard to stay frustrated about writing issues, when there are big brown eyes looking at you.
3) Do they appear in any of your works?
All my earlier novels had dogs in them. The Dark Heart series has cats—tons of cats and, in later books, one specific cat. I have to laugh a little; the only cats in my life have been the feral ones that hunt birds my garage.
4) How does being a pet owner affect your writing (philosophically?)
This is one reason I wanted to get a puppy. Pets help me get out of my own head and, as illogical as that sounds, that allows me see my stories clearer. I tend to go outside more, take more walks, play more, and that allows my subconscious time to work and gets my creativity going. They give me joy and force me to have fun.
PAT ESDEN is an antique-dealing florist by trade. She’s also a member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the League of Vermont Writers. Her short stories have appeared in a number of publications, including Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, the Mythopoeic Society’s Mythic Circle literary magazine, and George H. Scither’s anthology Cat Tales.
Her new adult paranormal novel, A HOLD ON ME (book #1 in the Dark Heart series) is coming February 23 from Kensington Books and BEYOND YOUR TOUCH (book #2 Dark Heart series) will be released August 30th.
You can find Pat at: