Monday, June 22, 2015

Michigander Monday: Patricia Abbott

I'm pleased to welcome Patricia Abbott to Michigander Monday!

Debbie:  Patricia, please tell us a little about yourself.

Patricia:  For the last fifteen years I've been a short story writer, publishing more than 140 stories in various zines, print journals, and anthologies. I have also published two ebooks through Snubnose Press and edited an anthology through Untreed Reads. My husband just retired as a distinguished professor in political science at Wayne State University. I am also the mother of two grown children: Josh is an Assistant Prosecutor in Macomb County, MI and Megan is a novelist and screenwriter and lives in New York. Before retiring to write full-time, I wrote various publications at W.S.U for more than 20 years. For many years we lived in Grosse Pointe but now we live in Huntington Woods, MI

Debbie:  And, of course, we want to know all about your book.

Patricia:  Concrete Angel flips James Cain's Mildred Pierce. Eve Moran has always wanted “things” and has proven both inventive and tenacious in getting and keeping them. Eve lies, steals, cheats, swindles, and finally commits murder, paying little heed to the cost of her actions on those who love her. Her daughter, Christine, compelled by love, dependency, and circumstance, is caught up in her mother’s deceptions. It’s only when Christine’s three-year old brother, Ryan begins to prove useful to her mother, and she sees a pattern repeating itself, that Christine finds the courage and means to bring an end to Eve’s tyranny.  The book is set in Philadelphia in the sixties and seventies. (Polis Books is the publisher.)

Debbie:  Other books or projects on the horizon?

Patricia:  I had a two-book deal with Polis so a second book, set in Detroit and called Shot in Detroit, is due to be published in Summer 2016.

Debbie:  Upcoming appearances?

Patricia:  I was in New York last week at The Mysterious Bookshop.  I'll be at Bouchercon, the international mystery writers conference, in October, hopefully at the Grosse Pointe library sometime in the fall, and at an event in Austin sometime this winter.

Debbie:  Do you have a favorite Michigan bookstore? And/or a favorite Michigan library?

Patricia:  My favorite Michigan bookstores include Book Beat in Oak Park, Aunt Agatha's in Ann Arbor, Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, and the Grosse Pointe Public Library, which has fed my need to read for 45 years. I am now becoming involved as a Friend of the Library in Huntington Woods.

Debbie:  How about a favorite place in Michigan?

Patricia:  I am crazy about so many towns in Michigan. This would include Chelsea, Michigan where we go see productions at the Purple Rose Theater; Leland, Michigan, where we have spent many vacations, Traverse City, which has become a truly great city in recent years, Ann Arbor, where both my kids went to college. We have spent many an hour browsing bookstores, seeing productions at Performance Network, the Hill Auditorium, etc. in Ann Arbor. And as someone who has lived outside Detroit for 45 years, I am gratified and hopeful about its recent steps toward a renaissance.

Debbie:  Do you have a Michigan event or happening that you love to attend?

Patricia:  My very favorite Michigan event is the Traverse City Film Festival, which we have attended almost every year since its inception. For anyone who loves movies, this is pure bliss. I cannot compliment Michael Moore or the people of Traverse City enough for putting on such a great festival. Runnerup would be the Kerrytown Book Festival in September. Such a special day.

Debbie:  A few fun Michigan people we should all know about?

Patricia:  I have been part of several writing groups over the years and would like to mention some of the great Michigan writers I have met through these groups: Kathe Koja, Dorene O'Brien, Mitch Bartoy, John Gallagher, Patrick O'Leary, Alinda Wasner, Ksenia Rychtycka, Claire Crabtree, Anca Vlaospolos, Anthony Ambrogio and Robin Watson.

Debbie:  Something you'd like a non-Michigander to know about Michigan?

Patricia:  Detroit's on its way back. From almost empty streets downtown five years ago to crowded restaurants and events today. Young people have done much to help in this revitalization. So too having the great anchors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Michigan Opera Theater and many more. Few people realize Detroit is a world class city in so many ways.

Debbie:  Last question.  Some folks in Michigan refer to themselves as Michiganders, others as Michiganians. For our ongoing vote tally: are you a Michigander or a Michiganian?

Patricia:  Michigander although I also regard myself as a Philadelphian. Concrete Angel let me tap into the love of my hometown.

Debbie:  Patricia, we'll add you to the Michigander/Philadelphian column.  Thank you very much for joining us today for Michigander Monday!

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