How well do you know writers? Even if you’re close to several, the next one will surprise you. Every one is so different.
This week, get to know Patricia Logan, author of erotic romances and mysteries.
How would you describe your books?
I have written almost 70 books, so I’ll concentrate on the last five years. Otherwise, we’ll be here all day. LOL. All of my books are MM (male-male) romances, a handful are MMM, and there are two MMF in the mix.
My most popular and longest series is my Death and Destruction series. It currently comprises ten books with eleventh planned. It follows the lives of two ATF agents who go about solving crimes covered by the scope of the agency’s mandate, (ie. alcohol, tobacco, firearms, and explosives). Each book follows the same pair of agents who get together as love interests in the first book and builds on not only their personal relationship, but goes into crime solving. Each book has a specific crime. I have, for example, a fireworks book, a mining disaster book, an avalanche book, a bomb book, etc. Each of those crimes falls under the ATF’s mandate since each crime has something to do with the items mentioned above.
My second best selling series is my Thin Blue Line series, which is a spin off from the Death and Destruction series. There are three books that deal with LAPD corruption, terrorists, and Homeland Security Investigators, once again a gay couple who become partners and then lovers.
The next series is my WITSEC series, four books that follow many of the same characters in the two series mentioned above. It features an ATF agent who is undercover with the LAPD who falls in love with a crime victim and it also covers an ongoing serial killer mystery.
The next series is my A Spy like Me series of two books which features a main character who is a fixer, a former CIA operative. He falls in love with an artist.
Finally, my current series is an utter departure from those mentioned above. It is the Prosper Woods Chronicles series, currently four books with a fifth to be released by the end of the year. It is a paranormal, shifter, werewolf, vampire, ghost, ghoul, witch romance. Haha. This tiny little town in northern California, features a sheriff who is a magical creature, and a vampire whom he falls for. Along the way, many other characters come into play, most of them friendly, but not all of them. It’s loaded with comedy and a little bit gruesomeness now and then, but is a light-hearted almost parody on the supernatural/paranormal MM romance category.
Was writing books something that you always dreamed of doing? Or was there something that precipitated the decision to sit down and write that book?
I was in the mortgage business for 18 years when the market came to a screeching, crashing halt in 2008, so I had no more reason to go to work. I sat down and read through about 75 romances in my house when I threw the book I was reading aside and decided I could write one. I finished the first book (an MF Regency romance) in 2008. I never published it, and have since lost the flash drive it was saved on, but it was a good training ground for subsequent books.
Did you send it to agents and/or publishers, or did you publish independently?
That book and the other MF that followed weren’t good. I mean the stories were just okay, but it wasn’t until I sat down and wrote my first MM, that I knew I had a winner and that I’d found my true genre. I sent it out to 39 publishers. This was 2008, so I sent all submissions by snail mail—the first three chapters and a query letter—and all of them were tossed onto the slush piles. I’m pretty sure I warmed half of Manhattan that year from the burning piles of my word salads. I even got a pamphlet back from one publisher that was titled “How to write a book.” LOL. (I’m holding my stomach, laughing at how hysterical these publishers are…not)
I finally got one reply from a small publisher in MM romance in Texas, Torquere Publishing. They agreed to publish the first book with a promise of more in the series, but they told me I had to learn how to write—HAHAHA—in proper POV. That was a term I’d never heard and had to ask about from a friend. The edits were hideous. Half my manuscript was RED RED RED.
In any case, I did a total of four books for that publisher and then moved onto another publisher and another and another. All those publishers went out of business between 2010, when I was first published, and 2012. That’s when I started self-publishing. I’ve never gone back to traditional publishing…and thank God for that.
My self-publishing journey is a subject for another blog altogether but I will say, for the most part, it has been awesome and I have a loyal and fantastic, and incredible group of effing people around me and supporting me.
How do you think your writing and your books have changed since then?
I don’t use outlines unless I get really stuck. I’m almost always a pantster now, unless, I am writing one of the Death and Destruction books. Those books are long, 100,000 words and more, and require a TON of research on the subject so they have to be outlined like any good mystery, so I know the mechanics of the mystery solving process and describe things in order.
I also need a lot less editing. Yes, I finally did learn how to write in POV about 65 books ago. I can also spell now. HAHA
Tell us about your work in progress.
Two days ago, I typed “The End” on True Prince, the fourth book in my Prosper Woods Chronicles series. It’s with my editor now. This series reads a lot like a serial with minor cliffhangers at the end of each book, even though each one solves a mystery. It stars a shifter (I can’t tell you what kind unless you read the books) and a vampire who are in love. I know, I’m a big, schmurpy sad sack of lurve.
They are friends with a good werewolf pack, its alpha, and his mate, pursued by a bad werewolf pack, its alpha, and his mercenary wolves. They are also being pursued by a coven of bad vampires who want a set of ancient books that our vampire hero owns and are constantly making life miserable for them. Then, they are surrounded by a lot of strange shifters, from insects, to fish, to pterodactyls. HAHA. It’s set in a totally strange little town set in the sequoia forests of northern California. It’s a lot of fun, to be honest.
What impacts, if any, has the pandemic had on your writing?
I hit a brick wall of writer’s block last September, so I pulled out my trusty Death and Destruction series and returned to my boys. I had finished the series after nine books, but I couldn’t come up with anything new that I really liked. I have to preface this to say, I haven’t been without an idea for a book for 13 years but I just couldn’t get any words on paper.
In any case, I’ve already written almost a million words for the characters in the Death and Destruction series, so I returned to them. They’re like old friends. I sat down and did research on avalanches for a month and then outlined the heck out of it before writing and releasing book 10. It kickstarted my brain, and after I released it four days before Christmas, I felt a hell of a lot better and started planning my Prosper Woods Chronicles series.
Is there anything about your first book that you wish you had written, or done differently?
I wish I hadn’t written so many sex scenes and made my guys so sappy. They’re way too lovey-dovey. It features a bad boy motorcycle rider and a banker but still, they were so… “Oh, I love your hair… give me a blowjob!” *hangs head in shame*
In later books, my guys are much more rough-around-the-edges types, hardboiled and gritty. I also write a lot less sex now. I only include three scenes in a 100,000-word book, which is just a little more than five percent of the entire story. I think my first books had seven or eight sex scenes per book. Bleh…
What are some things about others’ books that you love?
How they write such comedy with ease. I wish I could do that without having to think so hard about it. I definitely have a ton of comedy in my books, but it never comes easy to me.
What are some things about others’ books that you detest?
Too many sex scenes that have no place in the book since they don’t advance the plot at all.
What advice do you have for new and aspiring authors?
Write what comes naturally to you. If you read mystery and like it, try your hand at it. The same with comedy or romance. If you’re not a romance reader, don’t do it just because you want to write in that genre. Romance readers can smell a faker a mile away.
Build a good team around you. Choose a good editor, a good cover artist, a good formatter. Get a good computer and subscribe to an offsite storage space to save your books. I use Dropbox and it has saved my life (and my manuscripts) many times over. Invest in Word 365 if you write with Word. It’s more expensive than the freebie program that comes with your PC but it’s worth it. It has a built-in thesaurus and is constantly updating and adding new words to its dictionary.
Try to write a fixed number of words a day. Set a goal. That might be 500 words when you start out, and then build to larger and larger word counts. Take frequent breaks from your computer. Eat well. Drink lots of water. Writers are some of the unhealthiest people I know. They sit at their computers all day, straining their eyes and their backs, and end up with deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks, diabetes, and all the unhealthy things that come along with those diagnoses.
Write settings which are familiar to you. If you’ve never been to Chicago, don’t set a book there. People from Chicago will pick up on what you don’t know about the city the moment you put the words on paper. If you have to write in an unfamiliar setting, find a buddy writer who does know the setting. Or do like I do and sit down and research the hell out of it until it comes second nature. Then send it to a friend who lives in Chicago. Let them double-check.
Get a good beta reader (or two or three) who are not huge fans. Make sure that these guys are going to tell you the truth about your book, not what they think you want to hear. It’s great to get a good friend to read your words because they can and will tell you the truth as well as build your ego. We all need a little of that. But it’s good to find a critical beta as well.
If you’re writing a GLBTQ+ character, get a GLBTQ+ sensitivity reader to read your work before you publish it. It will save you a huge headache in the beginning when you’re new to that genre if that’s what you choose to write in.
The same thing goes with military settings. No one, and I mean no one, is going to take you seriously if you completely blow the details about something in your book. In my first book, I referred to my marine as a soldier and boy, did I get shit in the reviews. I had to go back and fix stuff later.
Thank you to Scott who asked me for my feedback. Just remember! Most importantly, have fun!
Thank you, Patricia!
International bestselling author
resides in Los Angeles, California. The author of several #1 bestselling romances in English, Italian, French, and Spanish lives in a small house with a large family. When she’s not writing her next thriller romance, she’s watching her grandchildren grow up way too soon, and raising kids who make her proud every day.
One of her favorite tasks is coaxing nose kisses from cats who insist on flopping on her keyboard while she types. Married to a wonderful man for 35 years, she counts herself lucky to be surrounded by people who love her and give her stories to tell every day.
Pick up your favorite Patricia Logan Book from Amazon.
Check out her Audio titles at Audible.com.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She loves to hear from readers more than anything and will respond to all emails.