Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I’m officially a blogger. I can’t believe it! This will serve as the first of many confessions I’m sure, but . . . I never thought I’d ever blog. I don’t know that there’s a good reason for this old-school ideology, but never-the-less I’ve confessed it to you like I would my many missed dental appointments to my closest friends. Maybe it’s because I’m sort of A.D.D. and not a good enough manager of my time to even read the blogs of my friends, (well, there goes another confession) but I know I’m going to enjoy it. It gives me a chance to pretend I’m a columnist – a dream I’ve had for several years.

I’m the Novel Girl Wednesday, or Lisa Patton, as my parents named me, and I am so happy to be amongst this wonderful group of women. All of their books sound amazing and I look forward to holding each of them in my small, freckled hands. I think I’m the granny of the group as I have the oldest children. And they are my finest accomplishment in life. I gave birth to two of the kindest, sweet-hearted, funny, talented young men I know. Michael is my oldest child and at 20 years of age, he is already smarter than his mother. Well, actually, I think he may have proven that 15 years earlier, when he looked at me square in the face on Christmas Eve and asked me if I seriously expected him to believe that a man in a red suit, flew through the air behind eight reindeer and then landed on our steep, slate roof which was covered in ice.

His younger brother, Will, reminds me every day of myself at 18 when all I wanted to do was blast off to the next concert. I remember as a younger teenager swearing to myself from the backseat of my mother’s long, pointy, Sedan De’ville, while her Easy-Listening radio station ruined my after-school euphoria, that my own children and I would listen to the same music no matter what! It never ceases to amaze Will that his mama actually listens to Led Zeppelin at her age, well, I won’t confess that number but I will say I’m to the age where I don’t tell it anymore.

I also live with two adorable animals. Rosie, or Rosebud as I sometimes call her, is my funny little Havanese puppy dog and Snowbelle is my solid white 11-year-old kitty cat. Since Rosie has grown up with a feline for a big sister, I fear she thinks she is one by the way she gets up on the kitchen counters when I’m not looking or scratches the earth after she uses the potty. Sheesh, what have I done to that poor little dog by not buying her a canine playmate?

Writing a novel was not my life-long dream until about 12 years ago. Then, by all means, it became that dream. I think I kind of stumbled on it, actually, as my name had never appeared on a “by-line.” Oh, I had written various pieces in my jobs – everything from press-releases to radio spots, but I had never published a single thing. Way back in 1996 I got the idea for my novel, and wrote a few chapters. Then I took a job that required me to travel quite a bit so I stuck it in my drawer for eight long years. Plus I was raising my sons alone after a divorce, and work for me had to be full-time. It wasn’t until 2004, after the advice of a friend, that I decided to yank that thread-bare manuscript out of my drawer and take a serious stab at finishing it. After many long nights, early mornings and almost every weekend of my spare time, the end result is my first novel, my first publishing credit, my third child - Whistlin’ Dixie In A Nor’easter.

It’s the story of Leelee Satterfield, a sweet-sheltered southern girl who follows her husband’s dream of becoming an innkeeper in … of all places, snowy Vermont. When she arrives, two young daughters and her ancient Yorkie in tow, there’s a truckload of things nobody bothered to mention to her about life up North. It's a fish-out-of-water story with all kinds of calamity. Since the story is told in first person, through the eyes of a southerner (I’m a deeply rooted southern girl myself so I think I can write about southerners with some kind of authenticity) it falls under Southern Fiction, and from what my agent tells me, the actual genre is Women’s Fiction. I also lived in Vermont for three years myself, so I have tried to write about the differences in the two places in an informative but humorous way. The first line of my book might give any southerner an idea of one of the main differences between the two regions, “No one ever told me you can’t bury somebody up North in the wintertime.”

I’ll shut my mouth for today, but once again, I’m so happy to be called a Novel Girl with Carolyn, Jillian, Lesley, Maureen, and Tracy and have Thomas Dunne Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, as my publisher!

See you next Wednesday!

Signing off from Franklin, Tennessee,


Tracy Madison said...

Lisa! "WOW!" is right, excellent post. I love the Christmas Eve story about your son. And I love, love, love the first line of your book. I can't wait to read it.

Maureen Lipinski said...

Woo Hoo! Props to Thomas Dunne! Holly and Katie are sure smart to have picked both of us up! :)

Jillian Cantor said...

Lisa! I loved reading more about you and your book. I can't wait to read it!!

Lesley Livingston said...

Yup! Another awesome post (dang, we're good! *grin*) and a REALLY awesome first line!

I can't wait to build my little bedside NOVEL GIRLS TBR-ASAP pile.

Anonymous said...

Go, Lisa. I'm from the South, too and I can't wait to read your book! I think my husband, Robert S., will love it too. It sounds like it would appeal to anyone. So proud of all you Novel Girls. Way to Go!!!

Anonymous said...

Never blogged before, but have to say what what a fun read this book is - didn't want it to end! More power to LeeLee, the South and Miss Lisa - you go Girl!!!!!!