My guest author for April 2022 published her first book in 2016 and has since gone on to release a memoir, two novels, and a book of poetry. Patricia’s work has been recognised with several awards and it is a true pleasure to feature her and her books in this month’s newsletter.
Where do you live and what a typical day might look like for you?
I live in Tyler, Texas (USA), located in the Piney Woods of East Texas. I enjoy getting up early to write, followed by walking my dog, Kaspar. I am a member of the East Texas Writers Guild and volunteer as a docent and editor for Historic Tyler, which promotes the preservation of historic structures in the community. I also participate in activities that support Camp Tyler, the country’s oldest outdoor education school, and the CTMF Hospital Foundation. On occasion, I speak at literary clubs and book events.
What kind of writing do you do and what led you to that?
In elementary school, I dabbled a bit in poetry and continued to do so until my mid-twenties. Afterward, I mainly wrote for organizations and causes that were important to me. It wasn’t until 2016 that I considered myself an author, following my first published book, “Camp Tyler, A First of its Kind,” which was written to benefit the outdoor school.
I write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, and short stories. I can’t even imagine sticking to one genre, so I let the subject guide me in the right direction. To make marketing less complicated, I rotate ads that focus on one genre at a time.
Is there a specific time period you like to write about and what drew you to that?
The 1960s through the 1980s is my preferred period, primarily because I spent my childhood and early adulthood during these years. I rely on my personal experience and memories, research online, and read books about this era’s people, events, and lifestyles. I try to stay true to historical records to avoid having readers doubt my credibility. I learned that written history could be easily manipulated due to bias, incorrect or missing documents, and other issues, so sometimes you have to check multiple sources to determine factual information.
How does writing begin for you?
Most of my writing stems from personal experience. However, when writing fiction, the story is more about what could have happened than what did. I’m usually inspired by anything I see or feel while looking out my window when it comes to poetry.
Tell us about your most recent work and what inspired this story?
My most recent book is “The Sand Rose.” My experience as a young, single American woman living and working in Saudi Arabia inspired me to write this story.
Writers draw constantly on their imaginations. How do you keep your well of creativity full?
I believe the most creative part of writing begins with editing and rewriting. Before that, all you have is a foundation. Just like an artist, we paint over the things that don’t please us and add what is missing from the whole. Keeping our creativity alive is a matter of being observant. In everything and everyone, there is a story waiting to be told.
Are you close to other writers and how does that help you?
I think it’s crucial to have writer friends. The best way to do this is to join a writers group and attend events that allow you to network with other authors. Social Media is also an excellent way to find people who share your interest in writing. You can learn a lot from those who are more experienced and, likewise, you can help those who are beginners.
What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
I like reading historical fiction, especially about World War II. John Steinbeck, William Faulkner, Harper Lee, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Emily Dickinson are my favorite writers. If I sat next to any of them at dinner, I would want to know what they consider their best-written work and why.
What do you want your readers to feel when they have closed the last page of your book?
Throughout my books, I want my readers to cry, get angry, fall in love and wonder what life is all about as they look up at the stars. But when they get to the last page, I want them to understand that the reason they felt all these things is that literature is one of the most powerful ways of connecting us with others, of letting us know we are not alone.
What do you consider your most thrilling writing experience?
My most thrilling writing experience came from Kirkus Reviews describing my novel “The Eyes of the Doe” as a story that effectively anatomizes the selfishness of grief. I am thrilled, though, by any review I receive.
What advice would you give to your younger writing self?
I would tell my younger self to be patient, that the best writing comes with age. But I would share my motto as a reminder that it is never too late to begin writing: “Forgotten dreams are like embers just waiting to catch fire again.”
What’s coming up for you, and when can we expect another book?
My second poetry collection, “Kaleidoscope, Life’s Everchanging Views,” will be released in September 2022. In the meantime, I have begun working on a historical memoir that dates back to the mid-1800s and continues until 2005. The story is about my husband’s former family cottage in the Finger Lakes, New York, and its connection to one of the first women doctors in the United States.
Patricia Taylor Wells published her first book in 2016: “Camp Tyler, A First of its Kind” for the benefit of Camp Tyler, the oldest outdoor education school in the country, which she attended as a child.
Since then, Ms. Wells has published the following books: “The Eyes of the Doe” 2017 (novel), “Mademoiselle Renoir à Paris” 2018 (memoir), “LodeStar: Reflections of Light and Dark” 2019 (poetry), and “The Sand Rose” 2021 (novel).
Her awards include First Place for Family Life/Inspirational Fiction in the Best of Texas Book Awards in 2018 (“The Eyes of the Doe”) and First Place for Poetry in the Best of Texas Book Awards in 2020 (“LodeStar: Reflections of Light and Dark”). She has also received eight awards for short stories from 2019 to 2021.
Since 2016, Tyler Today Magazine has featured Ms. Wells six times in its “Authors Among Us” column, which she helped inspire to benefit local authors.
Ms. Wells, who holds a BA in English and French, facilitated writing critique groups for the Atlanta Writers Club and Knoxville Writers Group. She especially enjoys writing poetry and draws inspiration from the wide range of experiences she gathered from her travels and living in various places.
You can visit her at –