Growing up in the Northeast corner of Oregon, riding horses and reading were Paty’s favorite pastimes. She spent hours roaming the Wallowa Mountains on her horse, Junebug, and making up stories in her head. Her school lunch hours were spent reading anything she could get her hands on, usually Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney. After reading LaVyrle Spencer’s,Hummingbird, she knew she had to write historical western romance.
Along with writing, she also teach writing workshops online, at writers meetings, and at writing conferences. She enjoys helping others learn the craft of writing. She especially enjoys going in the classrooms with other members of the local writing group to promote the 4th Grade Picture Book contest and help the children learn how to write and illustrate a good story. A good part of her summer is spent traveling around the state judging 4-H and open class county fair textile and foods exhibits. A perk from being a 4-H leader for over twenty years and a 4-H program assistant for nearly ten.
Q: Tell us about your new release.
A: Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star is the third book in the Isabella Mumphrey series. Isabella is a doctor of anthropology specializing in Native American Cultures. In the first book, Secrets of a Mayan Moon, she was lured to the Guatemalan Jungle with the chance to make a discovery that would help fund her department. But instead she found drug traffickers, artifact smugglers, and a sexy Venezuelan DEA agent. In the second book, Secrets of an Aztec Temple, Isabella travels to Mexico City and infiltrates the very drug lord her hot Venezuelan has sworn to avenge and becomes caught up in a struggle of power between cartels and DEA agents. In book three, Secrets of a Hopi Blue Star, Isabella is engaged to the sexy Venezuelan who is now a border patrol agent and they are living in Phoenix, Arizona. Her aunt, who is Hopi, asks Isabella to visit and explore a newly found cave with carvings. Her aunt has an ulterior motive; imparting information she has about a human trafficking ring. Isabella leaves the reservation believing she is about to find a kiva that has to do with the Hopi Fourth World exodus: Instead she finds a traitorous DEA agent from their Mexico mission is out to kill her and her lover, her family isn’t what she thought it was, and she stumbles upon a human trafficking operation.
Q: What led you to write this book?
A: The first book was dreamed up and written on a dare. I complained a book that was toted a female Indiana Jones had been misrepresented. A writer friend asked me how I would write one and Isabella Mumphrey was born. I’ve had a wonderful time stretching my intelligence to fit her genius status and make a fun action-packed read that is believable and entertaining. When I started the series, I had planned to send Isabella all over North, Central, and South America using her knowledge of Native American cultures as her means of traveling. I brought her to Arizona in this book to have her connect with her Hopi roots and to continue the progression of the drug trail into the U.S. and to show the connection of drugs and human trafficking. While I like to write fun entertaining stories, I also like to show justice happening even if it is only fictional.
Q: Have you had an interesting experience in the research of one of your books?
A: I could have had an interesting experience if my husband would have been on board with me traveling to Guatemala and Mexico City… L I wanted to travel to the two places to help enhance the flavor of the stories, but he felt it was too dangerous. Instead, I used google maps, YouTube, and meeting people who had been to the countries as my “eyes” in those countries to make the stories sound like I’d been there. For this book the interesting thing I ran across was an elite team of Native Americans who help patrol the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation looking for illegals and drug runners coming over the border from Mexico. They’re called Shadow Wolves had are part of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Department of Homeland Security. They’ve been used in the Middle East to track down militants and are used in Arizona to track the drug runners. I was fascinated and wish I could have learned even more but what I did learn I used and had my own elite team I named Shadow Eagles.
Q: Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
A: Lately I’ve been reading books by my author friends and most of them are established. I have such a limited amount of pleasure reading time that I tend to stick with the writers I know and love. Ninety percent of my reading is done for research for the book I’m writing or the next book.
Q: What do you hope readers take with them after reading your work?
A: I hope readers put my books down and feel they were on an entertaining journey that took them away from any troubles they were having and made them smile and possibly chuckle once in a while. And if they learned something that’s a plus. I try to put as much history in my historicals as I can for the time and place, and detail and information in my contemporaries to not only make the story believable, but also maybe also enlightened the reader just a bit.
Q: Which character would you like to be friends with in RL?
A: Which of my characters? I like all of my heroines. They each have a feistiness that makes them fun and unpredictable. Along with that is a caring, loyal side that would make them good friends. But if I had to choose just one…I think it would be Isabella. While she’s brainy, she’s also a bit naïve and trusting. Watching her use the items in the survival tin would be fun to see. Did I not mention that earlier? Isabella has an Altoids tin filled with survival items that she uses to get out of tight situations. It’s part of her character and who she is.
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