"I treat writing like a job...I've learned that if you want something badly enough, you'll make time to do it."
Author Learning Center: First off, congratulations again on publishing Molly's Cabin! You also published a very different kind of book a few years ago called Beyond the Bully, which is essentially a training manual for professionals. Tell me about the similarities and differences in your writing approach for each of these.
Dreama: Actually, the novels flowed more naturally to me. The training manual morphed from notes I drafted for a course that I teach. It's basically used during my workshops as a resource. The novels deal with things we face in my home state of West Virginia, especially the issue of the escalating opioid crisis. The series isn't necessarily "feel good," but through the characters, I offer readers ways to seek help and to learn new coping mechanisms.
ALC: Do you have a set routine when you're writing?
Dreama: I treat writing like a job. I get up, shower, and then sit down with my laptop. I keep a notebook with me at all times so that I can write when an idea pops into my mind. Sometimes it's just a word or a phrase that I know I'll later want to incorporate into my manuscript; other times it's more lengthy. I've learned that if you want something badly enough, you'll make time to do it.
ALC: What inspired you to begin writing? Tell me about your journey from having an idea to deciding to write and publish your book.
Dreama: I had a conversation a couple years ago with my sister about a single wool mitten that belonged to my grandfather. Several years before our mother's death, I found the mitten in her cedar chest and added it on our Christmas mantel. As soon as my mother saw it, she became extremely upset and made me put it back. She never elaborated and to be honest, I forgot about it. Decades later, with both my parents and grandparents deceased, the single mitten that caused my mother so much anxiety remains a mystery.
To further thicken the plot, none of my seven siblings recalled the story or really ever remembered seeing the mitten, so I jokingly said, "Well, I'm gonna figure it out!" So I started writing down the possible scenarios, embellishing here and there. This mitten took on a life of its own, and the book's title was Daddy's Mitten. Somehow, Daddy's Mitten morphed into my forthcoming novel, After Storms. Readers will see it show up there.
"I'm a very 'behind the scenes' kind of person and need help selling myself and my books. That's why I joined the ALC, really. The webinars, resources, and circle of aspiring authors to draw upon has been a great help."
ALC: Did you have a target audience in mind when you began writing the book?
Dreama: Definitely. The audience for my Life on the Allegheny Front series are individuals who live in the Appalachian area; people who appreciate and understand the unique dialect, the wives' tales, etc. Ultimately though, like any other author, I'd love to see "Jordan J. Patterson, New York Times bestselling author" on my book covers, but if that doesn't happen, I'll be okay. I've enjoyed the journey more than I would have imagined! (But PLEASE...buy and review my novels!)
ALC: How have you marketed your book thus far and what are your next steps?
Dreama: I'm a very "behind the scenes" kind of person and need help with selling myself and my books. That's why I joined the ALC, really. The webinars, resources, and circle of aspiring authors to draw upon has been a great help. Beyond that, I do utilize social media and I have a blog.
ALC: What words of encouragement do you have for aspiring authors?
Dreama: Just get your ideas out on paper. Don't stop writing. And remember that not every book is going to be for everybody, so don't allow naysayers to discourage you!