Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kathleen's Voices ~ Insanity or Inspiration?

Yesterday I posted my thoughts on the wonderful book Fatty Patty by Kathleen Irene Paterka. You can read my thoughts here. Today Kathleen is answering my question about the voices in her head.

Here is the question I like to pose to authors ~~

Kathleen ~ I have heard other authors say that they 'hear voices in their head' and that is how they write their books: the characters are telling their stories. Not being a writer myself, that concept has always intrigued me.

When some people hear voices, we get them medical attention, others end up becoming writers. Does this happen to you? How do you come up with your stories?

The Voices in My Head: Insanity or Inspiration?

One evening a few years ago, I was watching the TV news when a short feature story about a woman who’d given birth to a set of twins captured my attention. The babies, both girls, were fraternal twins. One of them weighed less than two pounds at birth while the other was fat and healthy. Somehow, Baby #2 had received most of the nourishment while in their mother’s womb. Baby #1 spent weeks in the hospital’s neo-natal unit. Baby #2 went home much sooner.

I couldn’t stop thinking about those babies. One fat, one thin. How would they grow up? What would they be like as adults? Would Baby #1 gain weight and catch up with her sister, or would Baby #2 always be fatter? Plus, the idea of twins has always intrigued me. My husband is an identical twin, and my sister had two sets of twins. The thought that one twin could enter the world healthy and thriving, while the other twin was sickly and scrawny, got me wondering. And suddenly I heard a voice in my head. “Take care of your sister, Patty. She’ll never be strong like you.”

Thus was the idea for FATTY PATTY born. A fat baby (Patty) and her sick twin (Priscilla). Once I had the two sisters nailed, Patty’s voice took off in my head. She’s a real chatterbox, and I learned to keep a pad of paper and pencil close by because I never knew when Patty would start talking. I didn’t want to miss a word. Sometimes, I scribbled so fast, it was hard to read my own handwriting! I love the freedom of writing in first person. It allowed me, as the author, to explore the inner world of Patty’s mind and draw deep on the emotional baggage she’s carried all her life… guilt that she’s the one responsible for Priscilla being so scrawny at birth; shame at being the fat twin; duty, to live up to her late mother’s admonishment: ‘Take care of your sister, Patty… she’ll never be strong like you.”

FATTY PATTY is my debut novel, released May 2012, and the first of four in “The James Bay Novels” series. I’d always wanted to write a book about being overweight. I was a big baby (I weighed in at over 9 lbs. at birth), a chubby little girl and eventually, a fat teenager. By the time I graduated from high school, I weighed 300 lbs. I lost the extra pounds many years ago and have maintained a healthy weight for nearly 35 years. But I know plenty of women have self-esteem issues when it comes to their bodies and I wanted to explore that theme. Using the idea of twins worked out perfectly. Patty Perreault is the overweight heroine of FATTY PATTY, while her fraternal twin, Priscilla, is a thin beauty. The two sisters are very close. Patty’s childhood nickname was Fatty Patty. Though she’s an adult, Patty still remembers the cruel childhood taunts from the very same school playground where she is now a teacher. The novel deals with Patty’s struggle to confront her self-esteem issues, put down the fork and give her heart a try.

~~ I love it!
It is always so interesting to hear what authors have to say about their characters 'talking' to them.
I think it's fascinating!!

Thank you so much, Kathleen, for a little insight into your insanity or inspiration, which ever it is.

Author Bio

Kathleen Irene Paterka fell in love with writing (and food) at a very young age. By the time she graduated high school, she’d completed her first manuscript and she weighed 300 lbs. Though the extra pounds have long since disappeared, Kathleen still carries the emotional scars of being a former fatty. FATTY PATTY was born from the cruel teasing she endured on the school playground. Kathleen is the author of numerous novels which embrace universal themes of home, family life and love, including the Women's Fiction series, "The James Bay Novels". Kathleen is the resident staff writer for Castle Farms, a world renowned castle listed on the National Historic Register, and co-author of the non-fiction book FOR THE LOVE OF A CASTLE, published in 2012. Having lived and studied abroad, Kathleen's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Central Michigan University. She and her husband live in the beautiful north country of Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Kathleen loves hearing from readers.

Connect with Kathleen!

Buy the Book!

**Everyone who leaves a comment on thetour page will be entered to win a $25 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy ofFatty Pattybefore August 27 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**


  1. Susan, thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to share my insanity/inspiration. LOL I've loved being part of the CLP blog tour, and especially having been afforded the chance to visit The Book Bag as a guest! Thank you again!


  2. I love the cover concept! :D
    Unique :)
    lady_milano3 at yahoo dot com

  3. Hi Lady! That cupcake Patty has in her hand looks delicious, doesn't it? So tempting... hopefully the book contains some delicious tidbits in it, too!

    If you're in the N. MI. area on Saturday, Aug. 25th, please stop by McLean and Eakin Booksellers. I'll be autographing copies of Fatty Patty... and there'll be free cupcakes!


  4. I love how Fatty Patty was born, that is an awesome story! And a perfect example of how everything around us can be inspiring.

  5. Stopping by from the Linky List on Carole's Chatter. I also entered the contest for the Laura Lippman book...thanks.

    NEW FOLLOWER....very nice blog.

    Stop by my blog if you like to have a look around and also sign up for the giveaway if you like.

    Silver's Reviews


Thanks SO much for leaving me a comment! Every single one means a whole lot to me!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...