Welcome to Pat Hale, author of Cole and Callahan novels!
What’s your idea of the perfect day?
My perfect day includes a wake up yoga routine followed by coffee and the rest of the morning writing. A long afternoon walk in the woods with my dogs and then an hour spent with a good book and a glass of wine before my husband gets home from work and I have to start dinner!
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase/expression or meal?
I’m never without my mother and baby elephant ring. A gift from my daughter confirming that the female of the species stick together.
Which books/authors inspired or influenced you the most?
Stephen King’s book, On Writing, was and is an important influence. I still pick it up and randomly flip it open when I need a boost. I’m also a big fan of his writing style. He is a storyteller and makes the reader feel as though he’s speaking directly to you. I read Jodi Picoult for her plots. She’s adept at presenting both sides of an ethical dilemma, making the reader question their own beliefs.
Do you listen to music when you write?
No, I like complete quiet. (Just the snoring of my dogs.)
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
It would be an M&M because it is a hard police procedural on the outside, but the inner layer (or subplot) is soft, wrestling with the heart and human compassion.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I read an article about the dedication of people working on hot lines and began to think what if the hot line volunteer wasn’t so good? What if the hotline was a way for a killer to select their next victim? I began playing around with that idea and that’s how the story began. It has wavered some in its final version, but it was the hotline idea that started the whole thing.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
I’ve never set out to purposefully include religion in any of my stories, but a religious conflict or undercurrent always shows up. In The Church of the Holy Child, I wanted to write about a serial killer using a hot line then the priest appeared in my head. I think his dilemma adds a great layer to the story, but I didn’t start out with the idea in mind. I was raised strict Catholic and grew up fighting against the rigidity and what I interpreted as hypocrisies within the religion. I think the questions I wrestle with are always in my subconscious and often make their way into my characters heads.
Tell us about your main character.
Britt Callahan is half of the PI team of Cole and Callahan. She was previously a family law attorney, but when a case she lost culminated in the shooting death of the woman she had represented, she lost all confidence and resigned from the law firm. Griff Cole, her boyfriend, has his own PI business and convinced her to come and work with him. Now Britt is trying to regain her lost faith and on a mission to prove her worth, primarily to herself.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Aaron Stampler from the movie Primal Fear, Lou Ford from the book, The Killer Inside and Norman Bates.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Stephen King, Robert Parker, Tana French, Sophie Hannah, John Hart and Dean Kuntz.
What’s next for you?
The Church of the Holy Child is the first in a series of Cole and Callahan PI novels. The second book, Durable Goods will be released before the end of 2017.
Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.
FB page: @patricia.hale.102