The Indie scene is hot right now, but for years before the explosion, many authors delved into it bravely. One such is my good friend Patty G. Henderson. She started out writing comics and fanzines in the 60s and 70s, and moved on to pen her own novels, produced by various houses over the years
Author Patty G. Henderson
included Bella Books. She moved out on her own some years ago and producing her most popular series, the Brenda Strange Supernatural Mysteries. She recently decided to try something new, releasing two Gothic Romances harkening back to the great Gothics of the ’60s and ’70s. She has her own publishing imprint, Blanca Rosa Publishing, and is also skilled in graphic arts and has her own graphics business Boulevard Photografica. (*points to sidebar*) and yes, she’s good–and I’m not just saying that because she did my cover art.
She recently sat down with me for an official-like Q and A to talk about her work.
Patty, thanks for being with us today. Can you tell us, what was the inspiration for THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE?
Patty G. Henderson: I’ve always wanted to try my hand at writing an old timey paperback “Gothic,” the type you would find in any neighborhood drug store or grocery store in the 60s and 70s. They were easily recognizable by their dark, brooding covers usually featuring a young woman running away from a dark, gloomy castle or big mansion. And the mysterious man she falls in love with turns out to be her hero. But since I write lesbian fiction, I wanted to write my Gothic as a Historical set in 1812, just before the start of hostilities between the newly minted American colonies and the Brits, where the woman meets and falls in love with another woman who turns out to be her heroine! So, I decided to write one and that was my very first Gothic, THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE.
Sounds like fun–what am I saying? It was very entertaining! What kind of research, if any, did you have to do in order to write the book?
Patty: With Historicals, there has to be a serious attempt at research. I read books on the political and military upheavals that were part of that era and what exactly led to the escalation and start of the War of 1812. I also researched what type of commerce was applicable for the region where I decided to set my story, the morals, dress, language and cultural norms of the era.
Sounds like a lot of work, but you know I’m always for research. So, who’s your favorite character in this particular book? Oops. I know, it’s like picking your favorite sibling, right? Anyway, twisting your arm, can you tell us the answer?
Patty: I never have one favorite character. I love George/Georgina and Constance, of course, but the Edward, Roger and Catherine are so deliciously evil and despicable that I love them in a “villain” sort of way.
Roger…grr…(well, friends, you’ll just have to read the book to see why I say that. But yeah, they’re all interesting). Next question, is there a particular tidbit you’d like to share about THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE?
Patty G. Henderson: About half way through the book, my precious mama got sick and after a heart-breaking near two weeks in the hospital, passed away.
I’m so sorry.
Patty G. Henderson: She was my everything and I suddenly didn’t know what would become of me without her. I suddenly found that writing and working on finishing THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE was therapeutic for me in helping with the grief. It was something I knew my mama would have wanted me to do. I dedicated the book to her. But it was a very tough time for me but the book will always help me remember my mama in a very special way. I changed my publishing imprint to reflect the love and admiration I have for my mama, Blanca Rosa.
The dedication to her definitely shows that.
You’ve been Indie publishing for quite a while now. What draws you to it?
Patty G. Henderson: Freedom. Independence in publishing. Total control of one’s career from start to finish. I went through three traditional publishers, two small and one a large and established lesbian publisher, Bella Books. I was not satisfied with any of the experiences. One was a nightmare, the second not much better and the third was just lacking what I was looking for my career. I like being able to track how my books are doing in both eBook and trade paperback through Amazon and though self-pubbing does take some initial output, in the long run, the profits are better. I would never, ever consider signing a contract with a publisher again and encourage any new or established author to consider self-pubbing as a viable and attractive alternative to publishing.
It’s definitely that. What do you think of the recent shift in thinking on Indie publishing?
Patty G. Henderson: It is the new Golden Age of Publishing. The doors to the gates have been broken down and wide open. Agents and their elitism are no longer the ones calling the shots and choosing who makes it or who doesn’t. We now have the power to elevate the ones who should be the true gate keepers: The readers. Readers can now decide who and what to read and what is worth recommending or not. It is the reader base we as authors must now cultivate.
Definitely an interesting shift in the landscape, that’s for sure. Is there any advice or words of wisdom you’d like to pass on to those who’d like to dip their toes in the Indie waters?
Patty G. Henderson: I encourage any author, new or established to explore all avenues of self-pubbing. Do lots of research and choose the path that meets the requirements for what you’re looking for in your writing career. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from other self-pubbed authors. Write your book and make it as good and as professional as any traditionally published book on the market. You will be competing with the big guys and your book should reflect that. Get a good editor. Find a professional book cover artist. Do not skimp on these important parts of your book.
Good Advice. (*cough* And I’d encourage any indie author to see about Patty’s cover art work. ) Can you tell our readers a little about THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE?
Patty G. Henderson: The book is an homage to the old, paperback Gothics of the 60s and 70s where the heroine finds herself in a dark, menacing castle or manor, where she meets challenges involving murder, secrets, etc. and usually meets a dark and handsome hero who somehow manages to save her and they live happily ever after…..Except…..that in THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE, the “hero” my heroine meets isn’t a “hero” at all but a heroine and they do fall in love and live happily ever after. The book is a lesbian Gothic Historical Romance.
Finally, do you have any forthcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers? What’s next for you after THE SECRET OF LIGHTHOUSE POINTE?
Patty G. Henderson: I always love to talk about new books.
Good! ‘Cause I love to hear about them.
Patty G. Henderson: I’ve just published, this July 3rd, 2012, my newest lesbian Gothic Historical Romance, CASTLE OF DARK SHADOWS. The book is set in the Victorian Era and tells the tale of Olivia Hampton, a book lover and librarian assistant, who is offered the job of cataloging an aging and sick man’s extensive library. She finds out that she must travel to the famous and isolated Dunraven family castle where she is to do the work. She didn’t count on the history of madness and murder that follows the Dunraven family or that she would fall hopelessly in love with Marion Dunraven, heiress to the Dunraven estate. There is, of course, murder, suspense and lots of lightning, dark halls, candlelit romance and all the goodies associated with Gothic romances. It’s available now via Amazon in Kindle and trade paperback and also ePub via Nook at Barnes and Noble online.
Thanks for being with us Patty, good luck with Castle of Dark Shadows. Folks, if you’d like to learn more about Patty G. Henderson and her works, you can visit her online at: http://www.pattyghenderson.com/ or follow her on Twitter: