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 Fry, author of the Klepto-Cat Mysteries.

cat eye catnapped

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?

Patricia Fry and Lily

Author Patricia Fry and Lily

I’ve been writing for publication for over forty years, having started out writing articles for magazines. My articles have appeared in Writer’s Digest, Publishing Basics, The Artist’s Magazine, The World and I, Woman’s World, Entrepreneur, Los Angeles Times, Your Health and many, many others. My first “office” was a corner in my bedroom, where I worked on a manual typewriter atop a TV tray.

My first book (Hints for the Backyard Rider) was picked up by a publisher in 1978 and five years later, I established my own publishing company (Matilija Press) through which I produced numbers of books on a variety of topics from grandparenting, youth mentoring and how to present a Hawaiian luau on the mainland to a fun book of true cat stories. Currently, I have 43 books to my credit, most of them for authors on subjects such as publishing, book promotion and writing a book proposal. My most recent 3 books for authors are Publish Your Book, Promote Your Book and Talk Up Your Book (Allworth Press, 2011 and 2012). Also available at in print, audio and Kindle.

About fifteen years ago, I began working with other authors on their book projects and continue to enjoy editing both fiction and nonfiction works for clients.

I’ve been involved with SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network) since its inception in 1996. I’m currently executive director of this online networking organization.  Representing SPAWN as well as my own literary business and books, I travel throughout the US and speak at writers conferences and writers group meetings about publishing and book promotion.

Aside from writing—which I do in some form all day most days—I enjoy photography, family (we are 5 generations rich), our cats, Max, Sophie and Lily and taking long walks (I’m blessed to live in California where I can walk every day).

As for a hidden talent; throughout all of these years, I wrote nonfiction. That’s all I wrote—all I wanted to write. In recent years, however, I’ve been called upon to edit many fiction manuscripts and found that I enjoy it immensely. In 2012, as a birthday gift to myself, I decided to try writing a novel. That’s when the Klepto Cat Mystery series was created. Now I am absolutely in love with writing fiction. I currently have four cozy mysteries: Catnapped, Cat-Eye Witness, Sleight of Paw and Undercover Cat. They are all available for Kindle. The first two are in print with more to follow. Watch for The Colony Cat Caper to debut this summer as a Kindle book.


On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I write physically at my computer in my office most of the time. But what writer doesn’t also write in his/her mind throughout the day—while walking, taking a drive, playing with the grandkids, gardening, etc.?




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

My cats. Lily (5) is in my lap as we speak and Max (15) is impersonating a paperweight on my desktop. The cats are also sometimes my worst writing distractions.


Lily helping herself to a glass of my water

I’m a great proponent of authors and freelance writers surrounding themselves with items that represent their accomplishments and worth—things that make them feel good about themselves. We have enough rejection in this career. I believe it’s important to offset that by wrapping ourselves in love and a sense of worth.


One of my kitties, keeping my chair warm for me

On my walls, I have pictures of myself swimming with stingrays, speaking before an audience and modeling with my grown granddaughter when I was in my 60s. I’m also surrounded by copies of some of my book covers, my photography (including an award winning shot of a cat) and lots of family pictures, including one grandson flying his own plane and a great-grandson bringing me flowers on May Day.


My favorite office equipment:my filing cabinet


On Writing

1: Do I have any writing-related rituals or quirks?

I head for my office as soon as I get up—between 3:30 and 5:00 a.m. The one thing I must do before starting my writing day is to feed the cats or I won’t get any work done. I write until around 8 when I stop to straighten up the house and have breakfast (usually oatmeal with blueberries and nuts). I work for another hour or so before taking my walk. My next break is around noon, when I run errands (ship books, pick up my business mail, etc.) and then I work until around four when Judge Judy comes on. I also take a day or so off every week to spend time with my 92-year-old mom.

I blog almost daily at and occasionally at I have a facebook page: KleptoCatMysteries. And a Twitter account.


2.  Why do I write?

I tell people it’s because I can’t not write. It’s evidently in my DNA. I’m an addict.


3. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us? 

My advice for writers is, if you are making excuses for why you can’t write, you don’t want it badly enough. Of course, there are periods in our lives when it may be impossible to spend time doing what we truly want to do—we’re caring for an infant, an elderly family member or working long hours at a regular job. But in most cases, if the desire is strong enough, the individual can and will find a way to do what he wants. Sure sacrifice is necessary. Anytime something is getting in the way of what we truly want, we must sacrifice something—TV-watching, clubbing, volunteering, etc. Here’s my story of sacrifice:

There came a time in my life when I had to go to work—get a real job. I was despondent. I so missed my writing life and being at home. When it occurred to me that a full-time job may be in my future for the long-haul, I realized that I had to find a way to write no matter what else was going on in my life. And this is a very important point. If you want something badly enough, you must find a way to pursue it no matter what else is going on in your life.

So I started getting up at four in the morning. I’d write for two hours, then take my walk and get ready for work. I also wrote on weekends. After eight months on this schedule, I had built my freelance writing business up to the point where I could quit my job. I’ve supported myself through my writing and editing work ever since.


Smokey is my mother’s cat–the model for the main cat character in my Klepto Cat Mystery series.

Here he is with book two–Cat-Eye Witness

I also have some advice for authors: Study the publishing industry before ever getting involved. Publishing is a fiercely competitive business that requires a business sense. Bring your emotions into the business and you’ll most likely fail. In other words, make solid decisions based on knowledge of the industry rather than your heart-strings. Educate yourself about the industry, your options and your responsibility as a published author before ever writing that book. I’ve written over a dozen books, hundreds of articles and thousands of blog posts for authors. I’ve conducted workshops and presentations at conferences and for groups in dozens of cities throughout the US and I’ve worked with around a hundred authors and I can tell you there are no shortcuts to publishing success. Success as a published author is certainly attainable, but it takes more than a desire to write or even a good book. I suggest to authors that they consider themselves the CEO of their books from the very beginning so that they are more apt to make executive decisions rather than emotional ones.

Sure you can bring passion into the equation. We want/need to feel passionate about what we do or we may not be motivated to carry on. The emotions you want to keep at bay are those that tend to sabotage your success—those that may cause you to go blindly into a bad publishing contract or produce a book before it is actually ready for publication.

Good luck to all.


Patricia Fry’s contact info



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

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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4 Responses to “Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Patricia Fry”

  1. Patricia Fry says:

    Thank you for this interview opportunity. It’s always fun to talk about the writing world. Of course, for over 40 years, that’s my main topic of interest. For those interested in the Klepto Cat Mysteries they are available at

    Thanks again for hosting me and Lily

  2. Her addictions to cats and writing are about the best ones I can think of. I really enjoyed hearing how she organizes her day with writing and time for the things that keep her life in order. I love her filing cabinet, too!

  3. Cats are always a great distraction Patricia!

  4. Nas says:

    Congratulations to Patricia Fry! Loved reading all about her, thanks for sharing!

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