Interview With Author Patricia Broderick
An obituary writer finds herself the center of attention when the glamorous members of a posh Southern California beach side community start turning up dead in the thrilling murder mystery, Dead On My Feet, by author Patricia Broderick. I recently interviewed Patricia about her book, her research that went into this book, her path to publishing, and more.
Can you tell us a bit about Dead On My Feet?
Dead On My Feet is set in the wealthy seaside enclave of La Joya, California, and features a colorful team of reporters at the humble shopper, the Coastal Crier. The crew includes Nellie Bly, the “dead beat” or obit writer; Finn O’Connor, City Hall and crime reporter; Priscilla Potter, society writer; and Cap’n Jack Cobb, a commercial fisherman turned chief of the Crier. The plot centers around the grisly murder of an international shoe magnate and eventually leads Nellie and her pals on the trail of ruthless smugglers that traffic in endangered wildlife.
What inspired you to write a book about an obituary writer?
During my career, which spans both broadcast and print media, I have occasionally written the obits of prominent locals. While I have never uncovered any nefarious plots among those I wrote about, it occurred to me that many gems can be mined in these obituaries, especially when you get to interview those who have known or worked with the deceased. I used that for the basis of my story and let my imagination take over from there. Also, the subject of endangered wildlife parts had been reported in San Diego, where the wealthy neighborhood of La Jolla is located. I changed the spelling to take literary license when needed.
What kind of research went into writing your book?
I did substantial research on wildlife smuggling around the country, including in Southern California, and tapped into local press reports on incidents that happened in San Diego. The statistics were very helpful in developing the plot, although the murders in my book are pure fiction.
What was the path for publishing Dead On My Feet?
I have a subscription to Writers Digest and one of its issues was devoted to independent publishers, including CamCat. I proceeded to fill out an extremely comprehensive submission form online, sent it in, and hoped for the best. Next thing I knew, I received an email from Sue Arroyo, the publisher, who scheduled a phone chat. When Sue told me that she enjoyed the book and wanted to sign me, I nearly fell off my chair. My husband, who was in the room with me, ran to our daughter’s room to give her the good news. An incredible moment for us! Later on, I was thrilled to be among the finalists at the recent Silver Falchion Awards in Nashville.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
My advice for aspiring authors: Never give up. It’s also helpful to attend book fairs and local conferences, as well as joining groups such as Sisters in Crime, which offers resources to writers. For instance, I joined one of the sub-groups, which offers critiques by other writers or you can opt for a full manuscript exchange with only one author. I opted for the latter for my planned sequel. I also use an excellent editor/reader to review my final draft. This is not cheap, but it’s absolutely worth the cost. An objective and professional set of eyes is priceless in the polishing process.
Where can people order Dead On My Feet?
Dead On My Feet is available in a variety of formats wherever books are sold, including, of course, CamCat Books. Where’s the best place(s) to follow you?
My social media accounts: PatriciaBroderick.com; Twitter.com; Goodreads.com; Instagram; LinkedIn.com; and Facebook.com. I admit to not being proficient at setting these up, but fortunately I had a Millennial daughter around to do the heavy lifting. Now that she’s working abroad, my husband and I are on our own!