Thursday, August 23, 2018

Interview with writer Patrick Canning

Author Patrick Canning is here today to chat a little bit about his Victorian adventure, coming of age novel, The Colonel and the Bee.

Welcome, Patrick. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 32 and live in Los Angeles with my dog, Hank. With my writing, I try to include humor, interesting characters, and unpredictable narratives. Hopefully the reads are fun and speak to some of the deeper truths in life, if not, they make outstanding paperweights.

Please tell us about your current release.
A peculiar explorer and downtrodden acrobat travel the globe on a building-sized hot air balloon, racing against a menagerie of deadly treasure hunters to solve a riddle and locate the precious artifact it promises. 

What inspired you to write this book?
I liked the idea of people flying around in an absurdly big hot air balloon and getting involved in adventures wherever they landed. Hopefully the characters themselves are real to life, dealing with relatable issues, but the nature of their exploits should sometimes stretch what we think is possible. I think the world of The Colonel and the Bee straddles the line between reality and fantasy.

Excerpt from The Colonel and the Bee:
“Flying the Ox is much more akin to playing an instrument than operating a machine. Approach the challenge less formally, do so with confidence, and the craft’s perfect obedience will be your reward.”

I lost sight of the burner strap and by accident pulled a vent on the main balloon. We began to rotate and descend with great rapidity. The Colonel allowed me to find the correct cord on my own, and I did so just in time as the Ox nearly scraped a rolling pasture hill, startling a herd of brown Belgian cows enough to sour their milk.

Taking care to avoid the ripping line, I continued to bring the Ox up, searching for the northwest wind. To my chagrin, I sent us southeast, and it took a deft intervention from the Colonel to set us right. Applying the correct pressure on the correct combination of cords in the correct sequence did indeed give him the appearance of an accomplished maestro.

“Skill comes with practice, and northwest can be elusive. Northeast can be downright tempestuous,” he said as if recalling a talented snooker rival.
I readied another question, but the Colonel anticipated me. He held up a gentle hand to stay the incoming query, motioned with both hands downward, indicating I should relax, then gestured to the edge of the Ox.

What exciting story are you working on next?
A murder mystery that takes place in the Midwest in the 80’s. A middle-aged divorcee is forced to play detective after she moves to a seemingly-normal neighborhood and very weird things start to happen.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it’s still ahead of me, my goal is to make my living from writing.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I think the best time to write is early in the morning when you’re fresh and productive. Any day jobs and non-writing responsibilities can have the leftovers.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m particularly bad with titles for some reason. My process is to list dozens of bad ideas/ask for outside input/eventually give up and pick the least-worst option.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Astronaut! Still do! Unfortunately NASA seems to go for classic good looks and mathematical proficiency in their candidates so I haven’t gotten the call yet.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love book recommendations, contact info is on my website if you’d like to share some of your favorite titles!


Thanks for being here today, Patrick! Happy writing!

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