Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pat Bertram's Light Bringer

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and except for a brief stay in the north woods of Wisconsin and California, she’s lived there all her life. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own.

Pat, welcome to the blog.

Thank you, Susan.
How many books have you written?

I’ve written five books. Light Bringer is my fourth novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are three other novels,  More Deaths Than One , A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I, and one work of non-fiction, Grief: The Great Yearning,.

Tell us about Light Bringer, your most recent novel.

Thirty-seven years after being abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Colorado, Becka Johnson returns to try to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? And why are those same people after fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? The book is a tale of a conspiracy that can be traced back for thousands of years, and Becka and Philip are right in the center of it.

Give a short synopsis of your most recently published book.

My latest release is a non-fiction book Grief: The Great Yearning, a compilation of letters, blog posts, and journal entries I wrote while struggling to survive my first year of grief after the death of my life mate/soul mate. I wanted my fellow bereft to know that whatever crazy things they do to bring themselves comfort, others have done. And as hard as it is to believe, they will survive.

How much of yourself is hidden in the characters of your books?

Freud thought every role in a dream was played by the dreamer, and in a way, that’s the way my books are. The emotions the characters feel are mine since I can only write what I feel, and their personal problems are ones I’ve grappled with. In the writing, though, the characters become more than I ever was as they develop in response to the needs of the story.

As for my nonfiction work, nothing of me is hidden in Grief: The Great Yearning. I tell it all --- my heart ache, my tears, the physical effects of grief, my bewilderment, the great yearning, the strange and mystical thoughts that went through my mind. The whole experience stunned me. I had no idea the scope of grief one went through after losing the most significant person in your life, and I wrote it all down. At the time, I had no intention of sharing the writings, so they are very candid.

How long had the idea of Light Bringer been developing before you began to write the story?
Light Bringer stewed in my brain pan for several years before I actually started to write it. It was the first book I conceived, but I couldn’t figure out who my alien characters were, where they were from, why they were here, so when other stories captured my imagination, I went with them. In between finishing my various novels, I worked on Light Bringer, trying to develop the idea and research the specifics. If you include my research, which I’d been doing for decades before the story ever entered my mind, you could say the idea for the book had been developing for about thirty years.

What do you think is the greatest lesson you’ve learned about writing so far? What advice can you give other writers?

The greatest lesson I learned was not to listen to advice. People say that to be a writer, you always have to write, but that isn’t true. Sometimes you simply have to live, to experience life, otherwise, what do you have to write about?

Can you tell us your writing goals/projects for 2012 or beyond?

Mostly I’m blogging, writing articles, posting interviews with other authors, contributing short stories to Second Wind’s anthologies, and I have a work-in-pause --- a whimsically ironic apocalyptic fantasy --- that is waiting for me whenever I get the inclination to write again.

Where can folks learn more about you and your books?

I have a website -- -- where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my writing, and my life on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog. 
All my books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Smashwords is great! The books are available in all ebook formats, including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

Pat, it's been a pleasure. Best wishes to you in all future endeavors!