HEIDI'S PICK SIX - Patricia Gulley

PPatricia Gulley_Heidi's Pick Six
Pat Gulley

1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
Of course, I like my main character in my debut novel Downsized to Death, Prudence Peters, a bit of a workaholic, a traveler and someone who understands what it means to carry the load on her shoulders. She's a manager of a branch travel agency for a national travel company. But Harriet Merriwether, her top producing cruise specialist, is the hoot of the story. 'Buttoned up neck to knees in shortwaist dresses, a passion for odd little pins and glitzy gowns for formal night on cruises, she has an eyebrow that speaks volumes.

2. Tell me about your travels.
Since I'm a retired airline and travel agency person, I think I've done a lot of traveling, but I also consider myself a novice compared to people I've worked with who have been around the world a few times. I'll list some foreign travels: London (several times and still planning-next to NYC they have the best theater); a few other places in England; Amsterdam; Paris (don't like Paris); Vienna; most main cities in Italy (loved Sorrento); Cairo; Athens; Istanbul; Kusadasi; Rhodes; Cyprus; St. Petersburg; Helsinki and Stockholm; Berlin; Copenhagen; Tallin; Frankfurt and Munich; Madrid; Nice; Geneva and Zurich; Lucerne; and a few others in Europe, some several times.

I've also traveled to Botswana to Safari in the Okavango Delta, and we jumped off from Zimbabwe where we saw the Victoria Falls. Hong Kong was the only place in Asia, and no South Pacific at all.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Coffee, and strictly soy milk-no cow juice.

4. What else can you do besides write?
Hmmm, good question, I wonder myself sometimes.

5. Who are you reading right now?
Martin Edwards, The Serpent Pool.

6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?

8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?
When those odd 'scenes' pop into my head. Even if it is only a few words, I'm encouraged to open a file and add the words and that sends me on a typing spree that can last hours. I love them, but they aren't a daily thing.

9. Food you could eat everyday.
10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
NO music speaks to me anymore. I'm from the generation of 50s rock and roll, and I've always liked rock, right up until heavy metal, but I just don't 'do' it anymore. Music is a major distraction IMHO. I know some people feel it helps them do all sorts of things, but I see it as a stopper-to-listen, and then you have to waste time remembering where you were in something. Okay, while I'm driving-a little-but I am constantly turning it down so I can't hear it.

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
I'm a major seat-of-my-pants writer to begin with. The vomit approach is how Nora Roberts described it. If I can get the first part of the story written I turn to the ending and see what happens. If it seems good, then I have something to aim for, and I might outline the 'path'. Everything is subject to change, but I try to get it all out first before rewriting.

13. Celebrity crush.

14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
Working people. Anyone who works for a huge company and is out in the boondocks trying to handle all the memos being handed down from on high.

15. Do you still watch cartoons?
Heck yes! Got two grand kids and they are moving from cartoons to animation stories. Some are really great, lots better than when I was a kid. I'm from the 'funny book' generation, and my Investment Group started with Travel Agents and Graphic Book writers, or their wives. It's all cartoons, but don't say that out loud.

Pat Gulley is a retired airline person. (No, not a stewardess.) She worked in reservations, mail ticketing and rate desks, and as a travel agent, mostly leisure. Born in Pennsylvania, she was off as fast as she could to New York City. She moved to Oregon, pregnant with her only child so her husband could finish college. There she worked as a travel agent and took off to see as much of the world as her companies would pay for. Retired, she lives on a floating home on the slough side of an island in the Columbia River. She writes full time and travels as much as possible. Cruising is her favorite.

Her first novel Downsized to Death just came out from Wings ePress, Inc.


  1. What a lot of traveling you've done, Pat. It sounds like you've had a lot of cool experiences.

  2. Great theme for a mystery! Can't wait to read it.

  3. Great interview, Pat and Heidi. Heidi, darling, anytime you want to interview moi, you know where to find me...

  4. Pat, I loved the book. Darice

  5. Nice interview! Thanks for this, Heidi and, of course, Pat.

  6. Hi Pat,

    I'm with you on music - I don't listen to it while I'm writing. It's got to be quiet. Except, my favorites were from a bit earlier - crazy things from the late 40s, early 50s, like "Open The Door Richard," and "Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini!"

  7. Pat,
    Great interview. I enjoyed reading about your background and all the places you've visited. I look forward to reading your novel.

    Marilyn Levinson

  8. Wow Pat! I have to say your characters names alone make me want to read your book--hilarious! Good luck to you. I think your 'vomit approach' is a stroke of genius!

  9. Pat Gulley reads like an interesting person and "Downsized to Death" sounds just as interesting. The inside view of the travel world plus living on a house boat are fertile fields for more good writing. Keep travling. Keep writing.

    Joanne P

  10. Thanks for the review. It prompted me to buy the book, which I really enjoyed. A very good mystery. As a frequent traveler I appreciated the accuracy about the travel industry. So much of the fiction set in a travel environment does not portray it correctly. It's nice to see a mystery writer with so much travel experience.


  11. Wow! What a busy weekend here on Field Notes.

    I'm replying from my brother's house in Louisville, so forgive the late responses.

    First of all, thank you, Pat for taking time to do a PICK SIX.

    Jennie Bentley:
    I would be happy to have you participate in a future interview. I'll be in touch or you can contact me at heidirubymiller AT gmail DOT com.

    That's an open invitation to any writer, so please feel free to pass the information along.

    Kaye George:
    I'm always happy to interview other authors. There are so many ways we can help each other in this tough publishing world.

    Thank you, everyone, for stopping by!



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