Author Interview - Patricia Harman
Author I draw inspiration from: I take inspiration from books like Living on the Earth by Alicia Bay Laurel. It is a simple book with drawings and poetry about living sustainably.
Favorite place to read a book: I love to read lying in bed…day or night…it is so cozy.
Book character I’d like to be stuck in an elevator with: James Herriot the veterinarian author of his series, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Creatures Great and Small, his memoirs about being a vet in the 1930s. He’s smart and funny and would tell me lots of stories about his work.
The moment I knew I wanted to become an author: I have always been a story teller. As a midwife I use stories to cautious my patients, to inspire them, to teach. I also have a very active imagination. I can hear one or two lines of a conversation in a bus and instantly weave the beginning of a novel. There never was a point in my life, where I aspired to be an author, but after I wrote my first book, a memoir about my life and my patients, called The Blue Cotton Gown, and it got such great reviews, I thought…OK…maybe I’ll write some more books!
Hardback, paperback, ebook or audiobook: I read mostly soft cover books. I have never really gotten into e-books, though I know they are cheaper, more accessible, more portable and better for the trees, I just like the coziness of a paperback novel.
The last book I read: Iron Lake, one of the Cork O’Conner mysteries by Willian Kent Krueger about an ex-cop in theNorth woods of Minnesota. There is mystery, nature writing and human/social conflict that is very real.
Pen & paper or computer: I always write on my laptop.
Book character I think I’d be best friends with: Laura Ingalls in the Little House in the Prairie books. She a little bit naughty…wants to be good like her sister Mary, but can’t help herself.
If I wasn’t an author, I’d be a: My first profession was as a nurse midwife, a job that I loved, I got to deliver about 1000 babies over 30 years, take care of women’s health care needs and give about 20 hugs a day. I only retired because writing and promoting my books was taking so much time and then one year my first novel, The Midwife of Hope River, was translated into nine languages and I realized I could afford to quit my day job. Actually, I needed to quit…I was burning the candle at both ends and not taking care of myself.
Favorite decade in fashion history: 1970s, long skirts, peasant blouses, fringed leather vest, beads and bell bottoms.
Place I’d most like to travel: I want to go to Alaska and the NW Territory of Canada in the Rockies. I want to see Northern lights.
My signature drink: Rum Toddy. I only get it around Christmas, so it’s not really a signature drink, just delicious.
Favorite artist: Klee His art is whimsical, colorful and fun.
Number one on my bucket list: To learn to live in peace and be grateful for what I have.
Anything else you’d like to add: Someone once asked me if it was hard to go from being a Memorist to being a Novelist. To be honest I had never heard the word Memorist…and I thought “No…Why would it be hard?” Then I realized that all my books, including the historical novels, my contemporary novel and my kid’s chapter books are written as if they are the protagonist’s journal, so they are fictional memoirs. What ties the books together is the theme of hope.
For more from Patricia Harman, visit: