Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Yankee Doodle Dixie - Lisa Patton - Q&A AND Giveaway

I just finished reading Yankee Doodle Dixie by Lisa Patton, the second book featuring Southern gal Leelee Satterfield. Leelee has just moved back home to Tennessee, following the loss of her husband, her Vermont inn and maybe the new love of her life, detailed in the first book Whistlin`Dixie in a Nor'easter.

Although I hadn't read the first book, I was able to easily catch up and enjoy Leelee's attempts to rebuild her life her life in Tennessee with a new home, new job and new man - all with the assistance of her ever helpful girlfriends. Patton has written an enjoyable sit on the front porch on a sunny day with a mint julep read. One that might have you calling for a girl's night out!

A Bookworm's World was lucky enough to have author Lisa Patton stop by for a few Q&A's. And I have three copies of Yankee Doodle Dixie to giveaway as well!

Are the characters in your book based on anyone from your past ( or present)?

Why yes, what ever in the world gave you that idea! Leelee's three best friends are an amalgamation of several of my own childhood best friends. We all met in kindergarten and spent the next 13 years together. I even went all the way through college with one of them. After spending that much time together, we became family. We watched our childhoods fly into adolescence and we spent our teenage years trying to stay out of trouble! We did everything together from ballroom dancing-school to driver's ed to celebrating our first kisses. We know each other so well. I could even pick their feet out of a line-up! And we're still best friends. While writing I'll call them periodically to reminisce about certain things we did as kids and inevitably I'll come up with something for a new scene.  Like the girls in the book, we've been to a thousand concerts together over the years starting with The Monkeys.  I'm leaving on Saturday to join them in Florida for a girl's trip and I have no doubt that I'll come back with plenty of good material for the next book. My website, www.lisapatton.com, has a short video of three of us together reminiscing about old times. Kissie is based on a black lady who was my second mother. The real Kissie's name is Christine and she passed away in 2000 at the age of 88. It was one of the saddest events of my entire life. I'm still not over it.

Are you a Southern gal yourself? Are the southern accents and attitudes 'real'.

Oh yes, I'm one of the "GRITS" as we say down here - a Girl Raised In The South. I think our attitudes, if nothing else, certainly reflect a southern allegiance. We love living here. We're a quirky bunch, that's for sure,  but we freely admit it! I wrote the accents in the book as I hear them in my head.  It's funny, though, because I've been thinking quite a bit lately about how the the southern accent should be placed on the endangered species list. I raised two children just south of Nashville, Tennessee and you'd never know they were Southern. They don't even have a trace of an accent. When compared to the total population of the state, there are fewer and fewer born and bred Tennesseans in this area. Nashville has become a huge melting pot.

The Help has garnered lots of attention for it's focus on 'black women raisin' white babies'. Kissie plays an important part in your novel. Was there a "Kissie" in your life? What are your thoughts on this subject?

I was raised in the 60s and 70s in Memphis, Tennessee. Many white families, even those living in a less-than-affluent socioeconomic bracket, had a black woman working in the home. She always wore a uniform and usually took the bus to work. I don't remember my family ever treating any of the housekeepers we employed over the years like the way the ladies in THE HELP were treated. We did have a maid's bathroom off the kitchen but I don't remember thinking much about it. My father made the decision to pay off Christine's mortgage when my grandmother died. After all, she had taken impeccable care of his mother and his children. I must say Christine was often more of a mother to me than my own. I loved her with all my heart and because of her I have raised my own children to be color-blind. We don't tolerate racial prejudice in our home - ever.

You've worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. Are the scenes from the book drawn from real life situations?

No, the characters and events are fictitious but I was a promotion director for a Top-40 radio station for several years. It was one of the best, most fun jobs I've ever had. Setting part of the novel inside a radio station, given the "write-what-you-know" adage, seemed like a perfect idea. Deejays are a crazy lot and writing about their daily pranks and the monkey business they create was irresistible. I was able to relive those glory days of working in radio.

I love the covers for your books. Do you have any input into final selection?

Thank you, Luanne, I love my covers, too. I'll never forget when I first saw the cover for WHISTLIN' DIXIE IN A NOR'EASTER. My literary agent, Holly Root, called me while I was at work and asked if I'd seen my email. When I told her that I had not she asked me to look at it with her on the phone. At first I couldn't open the file but when I finally saw the cover for the first time, I burst out crying. It had taken me 13 years to get to that point and it was absolutely perfect. I had no input at all, other than the publisher asking if I liked it. Michael Storrings at St. Martin's is the genius behind both beautiful covers.

What does your writing day look like? Same place/same time?

My writing day is never the same but mornings are my best time. Sometimes I go to the library and other days I'll stay home with my little dog Rosie.  I'll write 18 hours a day when I'm closing in on the end of a book but when I'm eking out the first draft I'm lucky to get in three hours per day. That part makes me crazy!

Is there going to be another chapter in the Leelee Satterfield story?

Oh my goodness, yes. Leelee and her friends are so much fun. I don't think I could leave them at this point. I'm writing the third book in the series now.

Thanks so much for stopping by Lisa - we'll be watching for the next chapter in Leelee's life!

You can find Lisa Patton on Facebook and on Twitter. In the meantime readers, if you think this would be a peach of a read for you, enter to win one of three copies of Yankee Doodle Dixie up for grabs. Open to US and Canada, no po boxes please. Simply leave a comment to be entered, ends Sat. Oct 1st at 6 pm EST. Read an excerpt of Yankee Doodle Dixie.


Linda said...

This sounds like a fun read. I love Southern women's fiction. And I agree that the cover is lovely. thanks for the giveaway.

Booklady said...

This sounds like a great pick for my book club. Thanks for the giveaway!

Beverly aka Booklady

Liz said...

Thanks for the opportunity to have Yankee Doodle Dixie.

One of my dearest cousins, recently lost, was raised in South Carolina. I heard echoes of her in the interview.

Please enter my name.

Hot Off the Shelves said...

Sounds like quite a fun book. Just what I need after plowing through some more serious reads. Please enter me.


petite said...

Thanks for this lovely giveaway. the cover is delightful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

traveler said...

What an interesting Southern story to feature. Many thanks. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this.

Jo-Jo said...

I have really had my eye on this book so I would love a chance to win it! Thanks for the giveaway!
joannelong74 AT gmail DOT com

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Oh how fun! I really would like to get to this series and I'm glad that it's not ending soon. Thanks for the interview!

iwriteinbooks at wordpress dot com

Maureen said...

Thanks for the interview. I do enjoy stories set in the south and this looks like a good one.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

In Julie's Opinion said...

I would love to be entered to win a copy of this book! It definitely sounds like something I would love to read!

jwitt33 at live dot com

Luvdaylilies said...

I just know I would love this book, It sounds like such a good read!
Please count me in for your giveaway and thanks=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Carol N Wong said...

I love to read Southern fiction with quirky characters. Thank you for this giveaway.


Molly said...

Please enter my name

Johanna R Jochum said...

This book sounds amazing and I'm adding it to my wish list! Thanks for a great post and giveaway today!


Laura Kay said...

Sounds great! I'd love a chance to win!

Laura Kay

Charleydog said...

Such a beautiful book cover. Please enter my name in the giveaway. Thanks!

pboylecharley AT hotmail DOT com

ann said...

Sounds like my kind of reading, a book I would enjoy. Enter me please,

amhengst at verizon dot net

Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds like a really fun read! :)


holdenj said...

What a great Q&A. I would love to win Yankee Doodle Dixie! Thanks for the chance!

Anonymous said...

I would love a copy to read!!! Thank You. Terrilea@yahoo.com

Unknown said...

I loved the first book! I am so excited the second one is out I would love to win.


Darlene said...

Please enter me in the draw, and thanks for the giveaway!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

BrittanyGale said...

I've been wanting to read this for awhile now. Please count me in :)


Mary said...

I loved the first book and can't wait to read this one!


Jubilee Reviews said...

I am excited to hear that this novel can stand alone as I hadn't read any of the other works by Lisa Patton. This has been on my tbr list for awhile! Would love to win
Melanieinoh2003 at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

Looks like an interesting read!


Patti V said...

Would love to be entered for this giveaway! This looks good!

Nancye said...

This sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

rubynreba said...

I'd enjoy this book very much. Please enter me.

Misusedinnocence said...

This sounds like a great read. I would love to be entered.


Georgina said...

Would love to win this
chicklitaholic (at) hotmail (dot) com

Meredith said...

I love humorous southern stories!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Carmen said...

Loved WHISTLIN' DIXIE IN A NOREASTER...I would love to read the follow up!