Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them  share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Patricia Canterbury, author of Carlotta’s Secret.



Welcome, Patricia!


Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?



Author Patricia Canterbury

I’m a native Sacramentan, political scientist, world traveler,(I’ve been though out Europe by car; Six countries in Africa; Peru (up the Amazon by myself); China and Mongolia; as well as all 50 States, Canada, Mexico and Cuba,) an art collector and philanthropist.

What I did for a living was as a  State Administrator for State of California’s Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. I was the Assistant Executive Officer.

I love to write mysteries and write them in children, mid-grade, adult, and science fiction, fantasy novels. My hobbies are collecting original art of California artists, reading and writing. My interests are supporting women and children through fund raisers with Soroptimist International of Sacramento and the Los Rios Foundation (supporting the community colleges of the Los Rios District.) I’ve been a member of both organizations for over 25 years. And supporting my local library Foundation as a member of their fund raising arm for nearly 13 years.

I do not have any hidden talents unless it’s taking folks conversations and putting them in books. I’m a terrible eavesdropper.



On Workspace

1. Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing at my computer on my desk. I do not have a picture to send you. I do some writing, by hand, on the swing in my backyard. Lots of wild things squirrels, ducks (which love the pool), dragonflies, butterflies, birds, an occasional raccoon to observe.



2. Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

I got my desk at a “garage” sale.  My work area is not arranged.


3. What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

The only things on my desk are pencils, stapler, and old-fashioned rolodex  and a notepad. There is nothing specific I need around me to write.


4. What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

What I love most about my workspace is there is a large sliding glass door which overlooks the pool, roses, grape vines and the window above my desk has a hand-made stained glassed “picture” of Victorian houses given to me when I moved from San Francisco. I don’t have favorite things on my desk or things I use often, except for pens or pencils.


5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

I don’t drink anything at the desk. When thirsty I get up and go into the kitchen or living room.

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

I don’t have a favorite author. I go through bouts where I read everything by a certain author and sit around waiting for them to write something new. I’ve been writing since I was 10 and grew up in a home filled with books. I  find inspiration all the time from new authors, members of my Sisters in Crime Chapter Capitol Crimes, my critique group, books friends give me I would NEVER purchase for myself and end up loving e.g., The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Swallows of Kabul loved them both would never have purchased either one.


2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

I don’t have a typical day. Someone or something will inspire me, an overheard conversation, someone’s name (someone I don’t know and hear their friend call them). I don’t think I have any writing quirks or rituals.


3. Do you write every day?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I don’t write on something specific every day but I write SOMETHING every day. I spend from an hour to eight depending on whether I’m working on something new, whether something has inspired me or I have a deadline. My biggest writing distractions are my cats (one is a Siamese with a VERY LOUD, DEMANDING VOICE) and the other is a gray cat who loves to sleep on the keyboard. My husband always knocks before he interrupts my writing and he answers the phone if I’m writing.


4.Why do you write?

I write because I have a “million” stories in my head all of which want to come out.


5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

Writing tip find a comfortable place and write, whether it is outdoors on the swing, at a desk, at a coffee shop wherever you’re comfortable and let the words flow.

My favorite quote is part of my signature: Australian Aborigines say that the big stories, the ones in which you may find the meaning of your life, are forever stalking the story teller, sniffing and tracking their prey in the bush. Robert Moss, Dreamgates



Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your writing life, Pat!

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

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2 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Patricia Canterbury”

  1. Elaine Faber says:

    Wonderful interview with Patricia Canterbury. Loved getting to know more about this lovely woman, a co-member of Sisters in Crime here in Sacramento. I would love to be interviewed by you. I write cozy CAT mysteries. Black Cat’s Legacy and just ready to publish Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer.
    Patricia has read and enjoys my work, so you know it must be the purr-fect light mystery reading!

  2. She’s practically my neighbor! Well, she’s about three hours away by car. That’s kind of close.

    Her writing spot looks like it’s filled with creativity.

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