My Books!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Moon Over Alcatraz

Welcome!  My guest today is Patricia Yager Delagrange, author of Moon Over Alcatraz.  She's offering a $25 Amazon gift certificate to one lucky commenter, so follow her tour and comment often.  You can find the tour schedule here:  Patricia, thanks so much for stopping by.

1.Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in the small (80,000) city of Alameda which is the venue for Moon Over Alcatraz.  I went straight to college after high school and studied at the University of Madrid for my junior year.  Then I transferred to U.C. Santa Barbara where I got my Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and went on for my Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University.

I am married and have an 18-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter, two very large chocolate labs and an extra-jumbotron Friesian horse, Maximus, who gets to live in a stall with a million-dollar view in the Oakland hills.

2.What event triggered you to become a writer?  Any major inspirations?

Talk about inspirations...  My daughter came home from school in 2009 and told me that her friend had asked her why her mommy didn’t have a job.  I’d been a stay-at-home mom since becoming pregnant with my son in 1993.  So I started  thinking.  I did have more free time since the kids were becoming more independent.  So I went to the Apple store, bought a Macbook, told myself and family I was going to write a book.  And I did.

3.How many manuscripts did you submit before you were published?   How did you feel when you got “the call”?

Moon Over Alcatraz, my second book, was published in January of this year.  I had already signed a contract for my first book Passing Through Brandiss with Wild Child Publishing but that won’t be coming out until late this year.  I never have received the “call” because I went directly to e-book publishers and I don’t have an agent.

4.What’s the very best thing about being an author?

I think the very best thing is having the ability to write a book at all.  When I began this journey I had no idea I’d be able to write more than, say, 20 or 30 pages.  When I ended up writing an entire book, no one could have been more surprised than I.  It was a miracle.  Then I wrote three more novels and I’m still surprised...and happy.  That’s the coolest thing.

5.It sure is!  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Oh yeah.  Pretty simple, yet difficult.  Persistence.  Never give up.  Don’t stop writing.  I think that if a writer believes, really believes, that their writing is good then keep studying the craft, take online classes, get support and advice from online writer’s groups, and write, write, write.  And no matter how many rejections you get, learn from them what you feel is appropriate and slog on.

6.That's good advice.  Would you share your links with us so we can find you on the web?

I have a website which is also my blog site: and my book is available at Musa Publishing, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

7.We’d love to read an excerpt. Include a buy link so we can get the book.


Following the death of their baby during a difficult birth, Brandy and Weston Chambers are grief-stricken and withdraw from each other, both seeking solace outside of their marriage; however, they vow to work through their painful disloyalty.  But when the man Brandy slept with moves back to their hometown, three lives are forever changed by his return..


Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees.  Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to a tiny casket.

Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box.  I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on top.  Weston joined me, placing a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.

He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly.  I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.

Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw.  She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave.  It pecked around, chirping a little song then flew off - as if saying goodbye.  My heart squeezed inside my chest.

I picked up a small handful of soft dirt.  “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.

Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side.  Why her?  Why my baby?  Was this supposed to make sense?  And, if so, to whom?

We drove home in silence.  No words existed to express my grief.

Oh, Patricia, that is so sad!  Such emotion.  Everyone is going to love this book.  Come back and see me soon.

Buy Links:


marybelle said...

That is certainly quite an inspiration. I wonder if it also took courage? I know it would for me.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting Patricia today.

Patricia said...

Thank you so much for hosting me at your site today.
Patricia Yager Delagrange

Patricia said...

Marybelle, yes I think Brandy would have to be a very courageous person to pick herself up and get on with her life. I'm glad I've never experienced the death of a child, but I think we've all had personal experiences that would be termed equally as devastating in some form or another.

Rita Monette, Writer said...

Thanks for your story. Your book sounds very interesting.

Janie Emaus said...

I've been following you around the web. Some day it would be great to meet in person!

Patricia said...

Hi Janie! Where do you live? I'd love to meet you some day. Virtual friends always carry a certain "intrigue", don't they?

Anonymous said...

I bet Madrid was really interesting. Do you think there might be a novel in those experiences?


fOIS In The City said...

Patti, you words are heart-wrenching and reflect your talent for evoking emotions. I knew from you blog posts that there was something "special" about you and your book proves it :)

Patricia said...

Oh, Florence, you are too kind. What I want is for readers to "feel" some emotion, any emotion, when reading my books and hopefully I've been able to do that with Moon Over Alcatraz.

Patricia said...

To Anonymous, THANK YOU for asking the question about a book about Madrid. I'd REALLY have to dig deep for that one because it happened in 1972-73. But the emotions I felt and the heartbreak of missing my family - that I can find somewhere in my mind and heart.
Thank you for the suggestion.

MomJane said...

This story sounds so touching. Sad but it seems there will be a HRA. I hope so.

Karen H in NC said...

Do you do major rewrites to your books before turning then into your publisher? Recently another author told me they completely re-wrote the same story twice until they were satisfied and turned it in. Didn’t say if there requests for edits or not….but it made me wonder…is that a case of overthinking something to the point of outsmarting yourself? Is it best to try to get the product perfect or wait for it to come back bleeding with edits?

Patricia said...

Mom Jane,
Yes, Moon Over Alcatraz totally has a Happily Ever After that most romance readers will love, however because it's women's fiction with romantic elements, there are obstacles this woman, Brandy, has to overcome before she gets it.

Patricia said...

Karen H,
Every one of my books has been edited by me at least ten or more times before I send it to my personal editor who then edits and critiques it and then I do the rewrites for whatever she thinks needs to be changed. So, from what the book looks like in the beginning to what it turns out to be is very very different. But, in my opinion, it's SO much better. I wouldn't send my books out to be read after I initially write them because there are too many things wrong with them. Here I'm not talking only about spelling and grammar. I'm talking the way X character perhaps interacts with Y character and how that should be changed, or tweaked or whatever. Revisions take me more time than writing the book itself.