Alan Chats To Writer Patsy Collins

Shutterstock / Carla Nichiata © Patsy Collins

Many of you will be familiar with the name Patsy Collins. She is a published novelist, short story writer and also renowned blogger. Patsy is also a regular contributor to the pages of the “Friend”.

She’s one busy lady, but thankfully Patsy found the time to chat to me about her love for stories and writing.

You often work from a campervan and describe yourself as “The Travelling Writer”. How did that come about?

Once we had the van, it just seemed the logical thing to do!

My husband is a freelance photographer, and I assist, so we often travel as part of his work. I’m frequently inspired by things I’ve seen, done or overheard on our adventures. Writing “on location” has many advantages. Not only does it give me something to do in wet weather, but it also helps with research. If I want to know what it would feel like to climb that hill, how cold the sea is or what the local culinary delicacies taste like, I can find out at first hand.

The van also makes it easier to meet fellow writers. I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with people I’ve met online, including several “Friend” authors. And I have presented writing workshops in places it would have been impractical to visit on a day trip in a car.

You are a prolific writer of romance novels and short stories. If you had to choose a favourite creative outlet, which would it be and why?

You can’t make me choose! You wouldn’t offer tea OR cake would you? A person, or this person at any rate, needs both.

Your first audio book, “Escape To The Country”, has just been released. How does it feel listening to your novel being narrated by professional actress Claire Storey?

Weird, but in a good way. I was actually a little nervous beforehand, I suppose because it was so new to me – it was my first time listening to an audio book. I soon got over that and enjoyed listening.

Claire has done a brilliant job, adding to the story with the voices she’s used and emotions she’s expressed. It’s still very much the story I wrote, but now it feels like something more.

On your Womagwriter blog, you are often championing writers in their quest for success. How important is it to you that new and unpublished writers have the right support network?

I was fortunate, when I first started writing, to have an excellent tutor (novelist June Hampson) and to find knowledgeable, generous and supportive friends online. I still made lots of mistakes, of course, but nothing too drastic.

Not everyone is so lucky. Sadly, there are people trying to take advantage of writers; there’s a lot of bad “advice” available and for some it can be a lonely and frustrating experience. I want to encourage writers to enjoy their creativity. To help steer them towards those people, things and organisations which will help, and away from whatever might do the opposite.

I love reading good stories and if new writers aren’t helped and encouraged, who’s going to write them?

Which three traits best describe you as a writer?

Undisciplined, enthusiastic, optimistic.

What are your writing plans for the future?

As I’m enjoying what I do so much, it will be more of the same. That’s more short stories for “The People’s Friend”, and other magazines. More novels – I have a romantic murder mystery ready to release later this year, and I have another romance novel underway. And as restrictions ease, I hope for much more travelling in the van, eating cake and enjoying the scenery in the name of research.

To find out more about Patsy’s writing you can visit her website, or sign up for her newsletter.

Read Patsy as our Writer Of The Week.

Alan Spink

Alan is a member of the “Friend” Fiction Team. He enjoys working closely with writers and being part of the creative process, which sees storytelling ideas come to fruition. A keen reader, he also writes fiction and enjoys watching football and movies in his spare time. His one tip to new writers is “write from your imagination”.