Patrick Taylor’s characters, Fingal O’Reilly, M.D. and his young protege, Dr. Barry Laverty play word games over a pint. Trying to out do each other with trivia. And my readers all know, by now, how much I love words.
Over a couple of whiskeys, at the end of a long day, Barry toasts Dr. O’Reilly, “Slainte”.
O’Reilly responds, “Prost!” and then continues, “Did you know ‘prosit‘ is the third-person singular present active subjunctive of the Latin verb Prosum or the Maltese prosit, meaning ‘bravo'”
“I did not know that.” Barry replied. “How do you?” O’Reilly chuckled, “I learnt the Latin grammar in school, and a good thing too, because when I was a student at Trinity some lectures were delivered in Latin.”
My Interview with Patrick Taylor
Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?
A. You start with a blank screen. I have been writing a series for what seems like forever so I know my characters and the setting. Then I ask myself a question. What if characters A and B were faced with ??? and that is the beginning of the plot. Then I let the characters loose and see what happens and feed in supporting characters and sub plots as required for about ten chapters (20,000 word approx). Then my editor reviews, suggests (or tells me it’s not so good in which case my collection of waste paper increases.) Then it’s rewrite, resubmit, rewrite until we are both satisfied. If the first ten are OK then I’m usually creating the following chapters as she edits the older material. The process is repeated until there are somewhere between 100,000 and 140,000 words and the story has come to a satisfactory conclusion. A truly “finished” book is one on the book sellers’ shelves and the on publication royalty cheque is in my account.
Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters ?
A. Mostly in my head as amalgams of people I have met over the last fifty years or more. I certainly do not use real people as my central characters, but may need to introduce historical figures for accuracy.
Q. What inspired your story/stories ?
A. I like to write. Initially I was asked to write humour columns so acceded. Then a friend, Jack Whyte author of a best selling series, suggested I try my hand at fiction. I’m from the North of Ireland and so all my works are set there and initially I was determined not to use my medical background as a kind of performance enhancing aid but rather delve into the lives of ordinary people in the Ulster Troubles. The result was a collection of short stories. The next step was to try a novel; and again it was non medical. I then tried to get my editor to bind my collected medical humour columns. She said she would—if my name was Garrison Keillor, a polite way of saying, “Who’s ever heard of Pat Taylor?” but she liked the characters. Could I try a novel about them? I did and hit the jackpot when the book was acquired by a major US publisher.
A. The next in the Country Doctor series Fingal O’Reilly, Irish Doctor will be published in October 2013. The Wily O’Reilly my collected humour columns wil be released in February 2014, the sequel to Pray for Us Sinners my first thriller, Now And in the Hour of Our Death will reappear in June 2014 and I am waiting to get final approval from my editor for Fingal O’Reilly: in Peace and at War so I can deliver it to my publisher to be ready for next October. Only Wounded:Ulster Stories is slated for re-release in June 2015 and that’s as far ahead as I can see.
Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?
A. I have written both medical humour and techno thrillers. I still have to finish the Country Doctor saga with at least one more book for 2015 then I am intrigued by certain aspects of Irish history and the heroes who fought in the air in the Second World War. Time will tell.
A. Just that if they are readers of my books a million thanks. If they didn’t buy them there’d not be much point in my writing them would there?
Click here to read more (Part 1 of my Interview) Read my REVIEW of Patrick’s latest book
I highly recommend you read these Irish Country stories in order as there is a strong story thread. Here is the first in the series.
DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS featuring INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! “The Writer’s Corner”
I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview with one once a month . These authors have already responded and you can read their interviews by clicking on their name: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Karen Robards, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Tasha Alexander, Patrick Taylor, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Cathy Lamb, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Raymond Benson, Andrew Grant, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.
So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create! September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is October’s author and Patrick Taylor will join us in November. Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year. Raymond Benson is my January author.
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