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Patricia Crossley

Genre: Romance

Publisher(s): w/a Patricia Crossley: NovelBooksInc, Atlantic Bridge, Zumaya Publications, TrebleHeart Books, DiskUs Publishing; w/a Margrett Dawson: Liquid Silver Books (Atlantic Bridge)

Personal website:  http://www.patriciacrossley.com

Patricia would like to share this quotation with you:

"Solomon said one of the most wonderful, mysterious things on Earth is 'the way of a man with a maid.' Every culture has a means of recognizing the delicate, breathtaking dance that takes place between a man and a woman -- getting to know someone, liking what you experience, falling in love. It used to be called courting. To be wooed and won was a beautiful, romantic process, one that fostered a lifetime of passion and commitment. Indeed, the civility and respect for boundaries that romance and courtship entail used to be the raw material of learning how to treat anyone well. They are foundational to culture as a whole. It is arguable that if this civility is not cultivated between men and women, it will not likely exist anywhere." (Elizabeth Nickson, in the National Post on May 11, 2001)

Happily married herself, and believing strongly in the bond of love between two people, Patricia delights in seeing what brings them together, how they fight the odds against them, how they stay together. All her books are about two lovers "finding" each other: across time, after betrayal, through history.

Patricia has four novels published electronically and three short stories. Her latest book is a romantic suspense, set in Victoria BC. Her books are classed as romances, although the big romance houses would argue with that. She always says she writes "Romance with a twist." That twist is what makes them a hard sell to Harlequin or Silhouette, but which appeals to many readers.

Patricia was born and brought up in London, England. She was a real city kid, her life defined by tube stations and double-decker buses. Very few people owned a car when she was little and if she traveled it was by long distance bus or steam train. No motorways then, of course, so everywhere, even on the other side of London, was a very long way away. The countryside seemed a magical place, but the family only went outside the city at holiday times. Her parents favoured the south coast and she had an uncle with a dairy farm in Devon which she adored. She went back there two years ago and found the old stone farmhouse and the tiny village virtually unchanged. This farm was the inspiration for the Godwin House in Journey's End, although she had to move it many miles closer to London in the story.

In her teens she spent a great deal of time in France, living and working with French families and attending university. Although she learned French very young as a second language, it seems to her now that she has always spoken it equally with English.

She grew up reading Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Jane Austen and particularly loved the "fictionalized history" where real people were brought to life. When she did her degrees, she was immersed in the literatures of France and Germany. Much of that literature is about the relationships between men and women, some of it rather cynical. This taught her an appreciation not only for the structure of a book, but also for the analysis of the relationships between people, and the observation of character.

If you are born in Europe, you cannot help but be steeped in history. Patricia's parents later lived near St. Albans, where there is an inn dating back to Roman times and which has therefore served ale continuously for over sixteen hundred years. The cockpit is now a bar. A new road being pushed through unearthed the remains of a magnificent Roman villa. Day trips when she was a child were to Museums, the Tower of London, Hampton Court. History to her was a part of life, and she thinks that is why she tries to bring historical detail into her books.

She became a second language teacher, married an engineer, whom she had first met when she was eighteen (another story) and had a daughter. When she was still a baby, they moved to Montreal, where Patricia found her bilingual skills in great demand. Her other two sons are Quebecers. When she moved to Canada she was fortunate enough to live in the most historic area of the country, where Jacques Cartier landed in 1535. There was a seamless transition from the history of Europe to that of the New World. She was fascinated by the culture of Quebec, where for many years people were routinely isolated, physically and emotionally. They were first cut off from France, the source of their language and culture, they fought to survive in a hostile climate of extreme cold for half the year, they battled to retain a French presence in a sea of English. All these are reflected in the music and literature in Quebec. All the family loved Quebec, and Patricia has used some of the scenes and history from an area just outside Montreal for her paranormal romance, Beloved Stranger.

The family spent two years in Philadelphia when the children were small, and five wonderful years in Baden Baden, Germany, before moving to Vancouver, British Columbia. Patricia worked at a demanding job in educational administration in Vancouver and then for the university in Victoria before deciding to try her hand at fiction. She'd always written a lot: stories for kids, reports, articles, but never had the time to do what she wanted to do, that is let her imagination soar. She's made up for it since! Her husband Rod has a sailboat and he races during the winter. Patricia goes along for the warm summer cruises and works on her books when not helping with sails and steering. They delight in the beauty and the space, not to mention the wilder climate.

When computers began to appear in schools, Patricia was an enthusiastic participant. From the very beginning she could see the wonderful advantages of the software. And then came the internet! What a revelation! When she first began writing seriously, in the early nineties, print was the only option and she tried very hard to break in. It soon became very apparent that she was coloring outside the lines, so to speak, for the main publishing houses. For example, her time travel "Journey's End" moves from the present, to the past, to the future. The big houses found this disconcerting, although they were always complimentary about the writing and characterization. Since "Journey's End" has been e published, it's been selling well. There have been lots more compliments, and even four stars from Romantic Times. So readers like it!

With a foot on both sides of the Atlantic Patricia feels that she can draw what she needs from either well of information. In nearly all the places Patricia has lived since her marriage she has been a "stranger" either by birth or language. This creates a new mindset and way of observing life. It gives her a wealth of experience to draw on, enriching her own life as well as her writing.

Since they reached the edge of the North American continent, Patricia and Rod set off for new adventures. From September 2001 until March 2002, they are volunteering in an educational organization in Kenya.

On her web site, you'll find reviews and first chapters of her novels and extracts from the short stories. Very soon she plans to start posting the opening of her suspense novel, and she'll be looking for feedback. Her site has several free downloads, including samplers, stories and a whole cook book. You can email her at patricia@patriciacrossley.com  if you would like to be added to her mailing list for short articles about her experiences and the people she meets in Africa over the next six months.

Visit Victoria, British Columbia: http://www.city.victoria.bc.ca/visitors/attractions.shtml