Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My bio and facebook page are at http://patriciamartinholt.com
I raised my children in Arizona, owned a consulting firm creating administration systems for the professions, and left it behind to move to Jordan with my new husband for our honeymoon and his water consulting assignment. We returned to Texas and Wisconsin to embrace a second career in art and fine crafts.
I now live and write in Georgia.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
COMMITTEE OF ONE, Making a Difference One Life at a Time is the true story of Leila Wahbeh, a woman who devoted her life to helping her people help themselves. I spent six day a week with her over a two-year period helping her change lives in the refugee camps in and around Amman. I saw for myself what one purposeful, determined person can do and how people with nothing, given hope and help, then reach out to do the same for others. It changed my life as well.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I spend a lot of time thinking about a possible project before I start. While I consider the options, I also consider the difficulty of the project, the number of people I must interview, the implications of the work on the subject, his or her family and friends, and so on. I also think about the staying power of the subject. Will he/she see it through to the end. I don’t begin until I have all the necessary elements in place.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I admire Dorothy Parker, Scott Fitzgerald, Penelope Lively, Nadine Gordimer and for current character development and humor Alexander McCall Smith. In non-fiction Truman Capote for In Cold Blood, Tom Friedman for all his books and columns in the NYTimes and Michael Lewis for his penetrating investigations into our financial crisis and the people who caused it. Robert Caro’s life’of LBJ is a stunning series – I await the next book with breathless anticipation.
What are you working on now?
Chosen Mothers Chosen Daughters is the blog I’m writing with my chosen daughter Annie.
I’m deciding between another book on refugees and one on a family in Europe whose lives are so fascinatingthat someone must capture it before it’s lost.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My method is to speak to groups interested in my subject. I’m not savvy about social media and how best to use it, so must count on other means to share Leila’s story.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Never give up. No matter how many rejections you get, if the work is good and you’ve been honored with awards for your writing, keep on. Self publish. If you have something to share with the world, if you have the courage of your convictions, you’ll make it happen.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
If you don’t plan to do it well, don’t do it. Many people are careless, negligent or indifferent. Stand out from the crowd.
What are you reading now?
Masters of Deceit, And the Mountains Echoed by the author of The Kite Runner, March by Doctorow about Sherman’s march through Georgia, and Making a Literary Life.
What’s next for you as a writer?
More writing and continuing my business as a fine craft artist. My work can be seen at
http://patriciamartinholt.com by clicking on the fine crafts tab. I create ornaments, magnets and pins from low fired clay. They’re then painted with acrylics, wired and beaded and placed in fine craft galleries.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Grapes of Wrath, The Jungle, Liar’s Poker, The Big Short, etc.
Books that make an impact.