Writing has always been a dream and a passion for Patrice which started at the tender age of nine. Starting out writing short stories, she found a new passion for poetry at fifteen. Since then Patrice has been writing poems of life’s situations and reality in this world. Her poetry has taken her places that have made her think about publishing her first book. Her dream came true in May of 2012 when Patrice published her first book, a poetry book entitled “A Collection of God’s Word and Motivation” As a book of poetry and words of encouragement, she wants to be able to speak to her situations through the art of poetry.
While continuing her penmanship of poetry, Patrice published her second poetry book the following year in 2013 entitled “Lyrical Passion Tears from my Inkwell” dealing with personal situations, she wants to tell her story and write about situations that others can relate. Her third book, which is a children’s book called “Patricia’s Trip to the Hospital” was published in 2014. As a survivor of Sickle Cell Disease, she decided to write a children’s book series called “Sickle Cell Kids” in honor of children living with this deadly disease. Her latest children’s book, “Patricia’s Guardian Angel” was published May of 2016. She’s also published a short story called “For Kindle’s Sake” which was released in February 2016 and is planning on making it a two part series, with the sequel being called “For Kindle’s Sake: Sweet Revenge”. On July 8, 2019, Patrice published her eighth book called “Through My Lens” which is a book of inspirational and motivational poetry.
In 2019 Patrice created her brand ‘That Riverz Gurl Brand LLC’ which consists of everything she does in her career such as writing for several magazines and interviewing well-known people in the industry, writing books to keep her readers inspired and motivated, offering writing services for business owners and PR firms, owning her second magazine, ‘Versafi Magazine’ and making breast cancer bracelets in honor of her grandmother Catherine Britton who passed away in May 2012 of Breast Cancer.
There will be more book projects to come in 2020.
1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I remember when I was nine years ago so I had to be in the fourth grade and I just started writing. It wasn’t planed or anything to be honest. LOL. My parents always noticed when I was younger and a baby that I would take the newspaper and scribble all over it. But little did they know I was destined to be a writer. I wrote short stories that came from my vivid imagination and shared the stories with my parents in which they were very impressed! But honestly God alone blessed me with the gift to write, to share with the world my talent and my creativity through my books.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Absolutely! So I have published a total of eight books with my ninth one to be published in September in honor of Sickle Cell Awareness month. I have written four poetry book, three are inspirational poetry that talks about day-to-day life situations and some about the experiences I’ve gone through and the latest poetry book that was published in February of 2020 is a collection of love poems. It’s a very short book, but filled with deep emotions on what love can make you do. I have published two children books which is a series that tells the journey about a little girl living with Sickle Cell Disease. It’s more of an educational book to teach children and adults about what SCD is and who it affects and the last two are short fiction stories which I plan to re-do one of them and write the sequel to the other one. It’s been so long since I’ve written them. LOL. However, all my books are on Amazon. Readers can visit my website www.thatriverzgurlbrandllc.com and click on ‘Books” and it will take them directly to my author page.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am in the process of having my ninth book published. It’s called ‘Patricia’s Visit to the Hospital’ and is part of the series called ‘Come Learn with Patricia’ that talks about a little girl (me) that is living with Sickle Cell Disease. It’s a very educational book because it lets you know what a child living with SCD goes through. I don’t want the children reading the book to feel sad because Patricia is always in pain, but I want them to know that she is a strong super hero who always bounces back strong! At the end of the book is a workbook for the child and the parents that will teach them more about SCD as well as learning more about how they can volunteer or even become an advocate in their community.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
The biggest achievement within my writing career thus far is becoming an author in the first place. My first book ‘A Collection of God’s Word and Motivation’ was published back in 2012 with my second book of poetry ‘Lyrical Passion Tears from my Inkwell’ in 2013. Just seeing my name of a book was let alone confirmation for me that I was born to do this! As I continued to use my vivid imagination in my books, I realized that this is what I was called to do on this Earth. My purpose is to write and become a storyteller to the readers. In the next five years I would like to of course write more children books as well as non-fiction and fiction stories. Because I am the owner of my own brand called That Riverz Gurl Brand LLC, I own my own magazine called Versafi Magazine and I want to continue doing that while continuing branding myself to a wider and bigger audience and working on my small writing boutique firm. My main goal is to give back to the writing community by offering them literary services.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Honestly, I never really dealt with real rejection in my writing career. But when I have applied or expressed interest in some of these magazines, some of the editors or managing editors felt like I wasn’t good enough to do the cover stories. But there is a God because I reached out to a young lady who has her own magazine called ‘Bronze’ and she was the one who gave me my very first cover story back in December of 2018 and ever since I was doing cover stories with that magazine. I noticed a lot of people don’t want to give you that chance, but there is always somebody who will!
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
When I am in the midst of writing a new book, I typically take a notebook and just jot down potential titles, character names along with their details and personality, location, basically the whole nine yards! LOL. I’m very detailed when it comes to my outlines because I like to plan how the story is coming to go from the beginning to the end. Some people don’t do that. They just dive right into the story and for me personally I can’t do that. I have to have some type of structure with my books.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Wow! That is a great question! To be honest I’ve heard about a lot of authors who are in their 50’s and even 60’s to write their first book and some have done well with it. I’ll put it like this, if a person in their 70’s can still go to school and get their degree or diploma, then a person at an older age can write a book. Some people may think otherwise, but I really believe they will succeed as well.
8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally, and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
It took me a few minutes actually to come up with a response to that question. LOL. To be honest all the books I have been reading were Urban Fiction so they didn’t move me in any way, however I did read a book by an author which is a non-fiction book about her life living with mental illness and caring for her kids. The book is called ‘Dynamically Own it! Having the strength to face it all’ This book touched me because she had the strength to get through her loosing custody of all her kids because of her mental illness. It was really touching for me. My favorite authors would have to be in this order: Nikita Lynette Nichols, Kim Cash Tate and Kimberly Lawson. They are all Christian fiction authors. The book that I am currently reading now is ‘Different Sides of the Same Coin’ by Chyrel J. Jackson and Lyris D. Wallace. They are both sisters who wrote this book of poetry.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?
That’s a true statement, but to be honest, I enjoy reading my own work because I want to hear how the story flows to me as me just being a reader. Every book that I have published, I always have a copy and re-read it.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?
A lot more people are going into the self-publishing industry because you can actually save money and take control of your entire project! My first three books I went to a traditional publisher and it was a decent experience. I don’t want to brag about it because there’s really nothing to brag about. One of my publishers which was independent didn’t deliver what I truly wanted in my first children’s books, so that is why I’m re doing it so that it can be done how I want it. Marketing is a challenge with most authors and a lot of traditional publishing companies doesn’t include those tools within their packages. If I’m paying $1000 to get my book published, then why can’t they add some promotion or marketing in there as well? Now I am grateful that one of my publishers I can still go to and get my books published. He is currently publishing my children’s book and the communication between him and I is very good!
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
When I’m writing a book whether it’s a children’s book or a poetry book, I strive to be different in every aspect of my writing. There are a lot of books in many genres that are alike and with the same book concept. Same thing with children books. That’s why I chose to do series on Sickle Cell Disease so that people can be educated on it while still enjoying an adventurous story. Writing has actually empowered me in my purpose because I finally am writing to educate people within my children’s books because as an advocate and educator I strive to educate people about SCD is.