Hot Dog, I Won the Lottery! An Interview with Author Patricia Wood

Did I promise you interviews? I believe I did. And let it be said that I delivered said interview.

A little background, if you will. I was a devoted Snarkling of the dearly departed Miss Snark blog for writers and writer-wanna-bes. That blog received scads of comments, some snarky, some quite civil. One of the most civil and helpful of all the commenters was a writer named Patricia Wood. Lo and behold, she reported to us all that she’d gotten the most wonderful agent who’d gotten her the most wonderful deal for her novel called LOTTERY. And because angels clearly adore this woman, the book was released this past August (Putnam Adult) to glowing reviews and great buzz.Lottery

Guess what? The hooplah is well deserved. LOTTERY follows the adventures of Perry L. Crandall, resident of Everett, WA, after he wins twelve million dollars in the Washington State Lottery. He may only have an IQ of 76, but he’s no dummy. Seeing who his true friends really are and watching Perry as he grows more comfortable in this new skin of his provide some real joys during the reading of this book. And I won’t give away the ending, but let me just say, it’s one of the very best conclusions of a book that I’ve read in recent memory.

So because she is a very nice lady, and because I told her I would say nice things about her (and perhaps because she lives in Hawaii on a boat, thus having been utterly brainwashed that she is in a permanent happy place), Pat has graciously consented to an interview on this very blog. Yes, readers, you are here at the first celebrity interview of WordHappy. Bask in the rush of warm fuzzy pride for a moment, and then, settle down.

Since this is a blog that celebrates all kinds of great writing, let’s begin there. Whose writing (books, songs, tv, movies, you name it) gives you goose pimples and makes your toes curl up, it’s that good?

I am a huge John Irving fan. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY, was one of those books that I wished I could start all over again and read it over and over. Another of my favorites is THE RAZOR’S EDGE by Somerset Maugham. I am both an eclectic reader and music lover. I have varied tastes and depending on my mood can curl up my toes over anything from Harry Potter to Camus!

When you’re writing, do you find yourself influenced by or gain inspiration from different writers? Do you find yourself reading more or less when you’re in the midst of writing a novel?

I’m rarely influenced but there are times that I say,”Gee I wish I’d written that.” I read less while I’m writing my first draft because I don’t like the distraction. I like to immerse myself in my story. After that I speed read. A book has to be really compelling to hold me.

Do you feel like the reader response to LOTTERY has been what you hoped for? In other words, in readers’ responses to you about the book, do you feel like they’ve gotten the message of what you wanted to write?

I am overwhelmed by the reader response. It was unexpected to me to have the kind of passionate outpouring of positive energy. When I talk to book clubs it is obvious to me that readers “got” the whole book. They have even discovered things that I subconsciously intended. I am also amazed at how many men have emailed me saying they were profoundly moved.

LOTTERY is your debut novel. What’s been the funniest/weirdest thing that’s happened to you since the novel came out?

Besides people bringing their manuscripts to me at my book signings? Probably people that haven’t read it and who don’t really know any thing about me, seeing the title- joking- saying, “Oh gee did some one you know win the lottery? Ha Ha!” And I say “Yeah, my dad,” and they stop laughing.

If you could be a character in any book, who would you be and why?

I’ll cop out on that one. I am very happy being who I am and doing what I’m doing. I like to watch characters in books – not be them. [WordHappy aside: So much for my Barbara Walters’ moment. . . ]

Can I have a ride on your boat?

Only if you promise not to get sea sick!

So there you have it. Pat, thank you soooo much for being my guinea pig, as it were, and allowing yourself to by my first interview. And everyone else, go read LOTTERY!

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8 Responses to “Hot Dog, I Won the Lottery! An Interview with Author Patricia Wood”

  1. Michelle O'Neil Says:

    Great interview! Loved Lottery.

    P.S. I’m a big fan of anyone named Toddie.

  2. toddiedowns Says:

    Thanks, Michelle! You’re preaching to the choir here about LOTTERY. Hopefully we’ll drive lots of others to read it. And I’ll take fans however I can get them — although I love my name too.

  3. Anne Says:

    I LOVE to hear what good authors like to read…it’s such a nice way to remind ourselves that we writers are all working within a long-standing and honorable tradition. As soon as she mentioned Irving AND Maugham — an intriguing combination for an imaginary dinner party, no? — I resolved to rush out and buy her book.

  4. toddiedowns Says:

    Me too, Anne. It’s one more way I can identify with writers whose work I love and respect. A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY is one of my very favorite books, so when I hear Pat say she loves the book, I get one of those feelings that we could probably spend an entire evening talking about it. Not in a BFF, crazy stalker kind of way; more of a bibliophile, shared interest kind of way.

  5. Cindy Says:

    Well, Toddie, you have helped out a fellow writer because this is the first I’ve heard of this book, and it has piqued my interest enough to want to run out and buy a copy. I also enjoy hearing what an author reads. It is very telling.

  6. toddiedowns Says:

    Glad to be of service, Cindy!

  7. Jill Says:

    Nicely done, Toddie! We bloggers who follow old media/new media stuff love it when we see primary source posts. Thank you for taking the time – and to Patricia Wood too. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

  8. toddiedowns Says:

    Thanks, Jill! I hope this is the first of many interviews to come!

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