Time for another indie author interview. Today we’re talking with Patricia E. Gitt, four-time author with her newly released mystery novel, FYI – An Unintended Consequence. So let’s start with the synopsis.
Synopsis for FYI – An Unintended Consequence: Fake news terrorizes Taryn Cooper Walsh, managing partner of 4G investments. Each mysterious mailing contains increasingly viscous lies all suggesting that Taryn is running an unethical firm…a firm she founded with three women she has known since grade school, and a silent partner. Supported by her husband, Taryn searches for the source of these fallacious clippings before they are leaked and destroy her reputation along with the trust of investors in her firm. As the news clips continue to arrive and escalate in libelous claims, Taryn becomes physically ill, blaming it all on her increasing anxiety and inability to find even a clue to the person behind these attacks. Melissa, a longtime business friend of Taryn’s, hires a dubious contact to shadow Taryn and make sure she remains safe. Who would want to destroy Taryn, 4G Investments and its partners? Was it a disgruntled investor? An unethical associate? A competitor in the highly charged hedge fund world? This is a tale of a seemingly innocent incident fueling one person’s plot for revenge
Bio for Patricia E. Gitt in her own words: Having built a successful career in public relations, I met and worked with some of the legends of my profession. Fascinated by power, those who amass it and those who are exiled from it, I have used this writer’s resource in creating fictional worlds that will be familiar to business women and men alike. With today’s fiction featuring women as detectives, physicians, attorneys, magazine editors, I missed the passion and excitement that women I knew brought to their business careers. I wanted to read novels featuring the strength of the women I met and worked with…the qualities that made them successful in the corporate men’s club, and how women balanced their dynamic careers with their private lives. I am now enjoying a second career as an author of novels of women, mystery/crime and success. Raised in Kings Point, New York, I earned a BS degree from the University of Vermont and an MBA from Fordham. During my career I served as Chapter President of American Women in Radio and Television and was listed in editions of “Who’s Who of American Women”, “Who’s Who in Finance and Industry”, and “Who’s Who in Professional and Executive Women.” My novels of women, mystery/crime and success are CEO, ASAP, TBD and FYI.
And now, on to the interview with Ms. Gitt who has some pretty interesting things to say.
How long have you been writing?
I have been working at my fiction since 1976, finding the transition from business writing to the novel, a learning experience. Over the years I have benefited from writing workshops and assorted classes with authors connected to one of the New York City universities.
Currently, I have published four novels that may be found on Amazon, each a mystery involving a woman in threatening circumstances. As Agatha Christie did when she placed her characters on a train, or country house, I place mine in a business environment. Each business has its own culture, profile and provides a setting that may not be familiar to those not in the business world. My trademark titles…each an acronym: CEO, ASAP, TBD and FYI, are short-cuts to identifying the business setting for each of my crime novels.
I love a good mystery or thriller, with a plot, characters and settings that are unfamiliar. The early Tom Clancy books drew me to his fast paced plots including military details that I had been unfamiliar with. In my books, I try to keep the reader turning pages and finding bits of knowledge about a topic that may not be widely known.
What’s your favorite book? Who’s your favorite author?
The book that I read when in junior high school and keeps my attention to this day is W. Somerset Maugham’s “Of Human Bondage”…each time I read it I want to yell at Philip Carey to wake up and not to keep yearning after Mildred. Favorite authors would be Sir Conan Doyle, Ian Rankin, PD James, Barbara Wood and Nora Roberts.
From where do your ideas come?
So far my ideas come from my previous life as an executive in public relations. I had been blessed with a variety of interesting clients at the forefront of their individual fields. However, as I read the daily newspapers, some item will catch my imagination and I ask myself “what if…” and in answering that question, I begin to develop a tale.
Have you had any brushes with writing greatness?
Do you think writing is a form of therapy and, if so, has it helped you work through anything in particular? What has been your greatest writing lesson? Life lesson?
When I write something that makes me smile, laugh or say “Why didn’t I do that?” I turn off the computer knowing that I couldn’t do any better that day. My life is my toolbox. My friends my support and sounding board, each with different literary tastes. They keep me on track and prevent me from isolating myself from the world outside my imagination.
Do you work outside of writing, i.e., do you have day job? What’s your best time of day to write?
Since I retired, writing novels is my day job. That includes research, travel for the details found in specific locations, and increasingly, understanding marketing in the online world. I also enjoy reading the work of other authors suggested by my book club, Books Go Social authors, and friends. I’m usually at my desk from 11-3, and sometimes hide out in a library, or another location to write and get away from distractions at home.
From where do you pull inspiration? How do you keep the creative spark going?
The great mystery…where do ideas come from? I don’t plot, I begin with a premise and with pen and spiral bound notebook and write chapter 1. I then close the book and the next day reread from the beginning, asking myself ‘what do I want to know next’…and continue. After about three chapters I transfer everything to the computer, however, each time I sit down to write, I read from the beginning.
What’s your perfect writing day look like?
I learned early in my career that there is no perfect! Sorry, but given no distracting obligations, a perfect writing day would be no phone calls, emails, or people needing my attention between 11am and 3pm.
If you could be a character in any novel, what character would you be and why?
There is a little of me in each of my characters…but Barbara Stanwyck and Ann Sheridan would be my role models…strong, sassy and accomplished women.
My novels and characters challenge the “feminist” point of view. I believe that I am a person who happens to be a woman, and therefore, entitled to anything my skills and hard work prepare me for. Life isn’t fair. Get over it. The main difference between my point-of-view and the feminist’s, is that by focusing on the inequities and limitations in life, you take time and effort away from moving forward with your own. I do not want to be marginalized as a part of society, rather I am a participant in its entirety.
What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to?
I have always traveled. As a child of an airline captain, hopping on a plane, train or in a car for anywhere from a day to a week is normal. And luckily I traveled during my career to meet with business leaders around the country. Each trip has been an adventure during which I met and learned about people with other interests, their varying cultures, and of course the food and lifestyles of people near and far.
My favorite place, though, is where I’ve just returned from: Antarctica.
What’s your favorite childhood memory?
At age 12, I pulled a paper covered book from my parent’s bookcase. It was The Book of a Thousand and One Nights. I think they were trying to hide it from me. It is one of the early and best translations of the Arabian Nights tales, and it still fascinates me. It is probably why I have always found reading a highly rewarding enjoyable pastime and one where the unusual can be explored.
And the final question, do you think writing can save the world?
I believe that by reading the thoughts, information and views of others, we can better examine our own. Where people who disagree with you talk back, books don’t, rather, they can open your eyes.
Thanks, Patricia, for a lovely interview. Patricia’s contact information can be found here:
Amazon author page: Patricia E. Gitt