I’d like to welcome Patty Schramm and her latest book, Sara’s Choice, to Women and Words! Flashpoint Publications is willing to score a FREE ebook copy of Sara’s Choice to one lucky reader. Drop a comment in the comments section below, and you’ll automatically be entered in the drawing. I’ll pull the winner out of my virtual top hat in about seven days. Or eight. Or six. You just never know with me, so get your comments in!
Hello Patty! Your new book, Sara’s Choice, is the second book in your new series called Romance in the Yukon. Bring us up to date on the first book, Finding Gracie’s Glory!
Book 1 was about Grace Kato, who was nearly beaten to death by her wife. She goes to the Yukon Territory in Canada where her grandfather owns a small gold mine. The idea is that she can remove herself from her former life in Seattle, WA and get herself back together. While she’s doing that, she meets Liv Templeton, a friend of her grandfather and romance ensues. But it’s not easy, because when is life ever easy?
True. Life is certainly a rollercoaster. So, why did you decide to drag your characters around some more and create a book 2, which I assume will lead to a book 3 and maybe more?
I absolutely love Liv and Gracie and I think they have a lot more story to tell. In choosing to continue their story I also felt that there were a couple of other characters in Whitehorse that had stories to tell. So in Book 2, I take on Sara’s story. There will be two more in the series…For the Love of Charley and Stefi’s Smile. I expect them to come out in 2020 and 2021. I found, as I was writing this, that doing a series is a lot of fun. I might have to try it again.
I could’ve told you that, silly. I def think you should try it again! Back to the grill now. Are you feeling the heat yet? The main characters in Finding Gracie’s Glory and Sara’s Choice are different. How did you link the stories via the characters?
I was writing Finding Gracie’s Glory I found that I really liked the character of Sara, who is Liv’s best friend and former lover. She interested me from the start and I felt she needed her own story. Since she’s close to my first characters, it was easy to shoot off another book with Sara as the center of everything. She’s dynamic and fun and very easy for me to write about.
I love it when a plan comes together! Tell us a little about Sara’s Choice.
At the end of Finding Gracie’s Glory, Sara was dating a woman named Terry. I wanted to write a different kind of romance from what I’d previously done, so I chose to break them up and try to get Sara and Terry back together again. Add in that Terry has a daughter with Down Syndrome and things get complicated very fast. It’s clear right away that Terry and Sara still love each other, but Sara is also clear that Terry wants nothing to do with her so she starts dating. Enter young and vibrant Bren, who tries very hard to steal Sara’s heart, while Sara tries to decide just who her heart belongs to.
Ouch! That’s quite a ride right there. Forgiveness is a theme in this tale. Can you dish a titch on that without compromising the story?
I can give you a little…just a little. Sara never stops loving Terry, but Terry literally dumps her while they are walking down the street. She turns, tells her, “we’re through,” and walks away. She has her reasons and those get revealed, but regardless of the reason, how do you come back from that? This is Sara’s choice. She can stay with her new girlfriend, whom she adores and enjoys, or she can learn to forgive Terry and return to the woman she loves.
I have to ask…Canada’s Yukon Territory? What attracted you to that region?
Oh, that’s a weird answer. Here goes. So there’s this show called Gold Rush on the History Channel. I started watching it years ago. They followed several miners, from one tiny mine that barely pays for itself to a million dollar operation. What intrigued me, aside from the modern day gold mining, was that I saw a woman operating this gigantic piece of equipment. The thing is a monster of a bulldozer and she was, well, quite butch. My heart fluttered a little and I got an idea to write about a woman working a gold mine. Finding Gracie’s Glory went through a lot of transition before it became the book it is today. But it all started with this woman on a D9 bulldozer.
That’s certainly a little weird and very intriguing. Speaking of different regions, you like to get around! You’re an American expat living in Holland writing about Canada. Gotta love that!
What can I say? I’m well rounded, literally! And how cool is it that I get to live where history happened and write about remote places I’ll never see, but with the power of Google I can visit and do what I want with it. And let me just say that there is a European story sitting in my brain just dying to get out. It hurts when stories do that. I’ll have to get around to letting it see the sun.
Tick tock, sister! Google is amazing and somewhat terrifying. I use it all the time, too. So how did you come up with the storylines in both Gracie’s Glory and Sara’s Choice?
I saw something about domestic violence on a TV show and thought back to my time as a 9-1-1 dispatcher. I think people just don’t recognize that domestic violence happens in LGBT+ community and felt it needed to be written about. I’d also been considering a story that had a central character with PTSD and it all sort of came together in Finding Gracie’s Glory. Sara’s Choice was a lot different in that I wanted to write about Sara, but had no clue what to do. I was reading a book by a favorite author of mine and BAM! I got the idea to break them up and make them start all over again…adding in Liv and Grace with their own issues to conquer…a couple of more characters to introduce and voila. Another book.
What do you think is special about your stories? What makes them stand out?
I like to write about characters that do not have perfect lives. I want them to not just be people, but people that are either broken or apart from what we consider the norm. Gracie has PTSD from being beaten nearly to death by her wife. Terry, in Sara’s Choice has a daughter with Down Syndrome. In my WIP, For the Love of Charley, Charley is faced with losing her career–a career she hides in to avoid dealing with a life-changing event. And, Charley is First Nation (that is the Canadian version of Native American) and her prospective girlfriend, Jada, is black. In Stefi’s Smile, Stefi is a little person–standing about three feet tall. I also wrote a book called Because of Katie, where my main character, Katie, is a double leg amputee. I want to write diverse characters that make people think and give them understanding about someone they may never meet, but if they do, maybe they’ll think twice about what they say or how they react. I know I’m appropriating other people’s history, but I’m doing it with as much respect as possible. I feel like LesFic needs a major jolt of diversity so it’s my plan to add as much as I possibly can.
I can’t agree more on diversity. You’re taking the lead and really hitting it out of the park. I love it! When can readers get their grubby mitts on Sara’s Choice?
Sara’s Choice will be out December 1st, 2019 and available in all ebook formats and in print.
Thanks for coming to Women and Words for a virtual visit, Patty!
Patty Schramm is the Goldie Award-winning co-editor of Blue Collar Lesbian Erotica with Verda Foster. She and Verda also coedited Women in Uniform: Medics and Soldiers and Cops, Oh My! and Women In Sports. Her first novel, Souls’ Rescue was a finalist for the Ann Bannon Popular Choice Award. Patty is a retired paramedic and currently resides in The Netherlands with her wife, Sandra, and their kitties.