Thursday, December 3, 2015

Interview with Patricia Yager Delagrange, author of 'Moon Over Alcatraz'

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

Her latest book is the romantic women’s fiction, Moon Over Alcatraz.

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About the Book:

Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston
has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect.

But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence.

Everything is once again going according to plan—until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal. Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?

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Can you tell us more about what your book is about? 

Moon Over Alcatraz is about Brandy and Weston and their life after their baby dies during childbirth. It’s an uplifting novel about how love and loss are intertwined in any relationship and has a lovely Happily Ever After.

Why did you write your book?

I wrote Moon Over Alcatraz because interpersonal relationships make up the backbone of everyone’s life. I wanted to tell a story from the point of view of a woman who loses her child and how that affects her marriage.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Before I write a novel I have a sketchy idea of what I want to write about and who the main characters are. Then I start writing and the story takes off in its own direction. I do not feel comfortable with strict chapter outlines and bullet points for everything that happens in my books. The characters’ feelings and emotions guide me to where the story goes.

Your book is set in Alameda, California.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

I chose this city because it’s where I grew up and where I currently live. I love writing about places I know well. I believe it lends a credibility to my books. Also, there are many people who either live in the San Francisco Bay Area or have visited here, and I think they’d enjoy reading a book set in a place they’re familiar with.

Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

Brandy is pregnant and she and Weston are at home watching a movie when an old high school friend calls Brandy on the phone, and she’s not happy about it.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

Yes, in fact I just broke through a long spate of time - about a year - in which I didn’t write a book. I was in the middle of editing several books and then promoting a book that came out in June of 2015, plus Moon Over Alcatraz is coming out November 15, 2015, and I told myself I didn’t have time to write. Than two weeks ago I got sick with the flu and had to sit on the couch for about ten days. So I decided to begin my sixth novel. Now it’s half complete.

What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

Any extra time I have, I read a book. My favorite authors are Barbara Freethy, Nicholas Sparks, Debbie Macomber, Richard Paul Evans, and Joy Fielding.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to ride my big black Friesian horse, Maximus. I got him when he was four years old in 2004 and we’ve reached a point together where we take long trail rides alone - something I dreamed of for years. To be alone in the wilderness with my horse with no one along is a dream come true. Such peace and tranquility! And he loves when I don’t stop talking to him.

Can you tell us about your family?

My husband and I just celebrated our 24th anniversary. I have two children: my baby girl just turned 17 and my first-born son is 21. We also have two chocolate labs, Annabella the mom and her son Jack. Oh, and a rescue terrier mix and a guinea pig.

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