A few weeks back I had the pleasure of reading the first book in Kathleen Irene Paterka’s “James Bay” series, Fatty Patty. If you read the review (which can be found here), you know that I loved the book but found Patty difficult to take …. mostly because she showed the world some flaws that I related to a little too well. It’s an engaging book about Patty’s growth and I think it takes a very well-told story to keep you glued to the pages when you are uncomfortable. So, this morning I am super excited to bring all of you more of Patty – a conversation with Kathleen, Patty and Patty’s twin sister, Priscilla!
Kathleen: Thank you for hosting us today, Julie! Patty, Priscilla and I are thrilled to be here chatting about our books—
Patty: Excuse me, but don’t you mean my book? After all, it’s my name that appears in the title. Fatty Patty. That’s me.
Kathleen: Patty, after everything you went through in the book, I was thinking you might prefer not to discuss certain things. May I remind you that some people (Julie, among others) didn’t exactly like you throughout the book?
Priscilla: She never meant to be mean. I didn’t think she was mean.
Patty; Thank you, Priscilla. Love you, sis!
Kathleen: I think it goes without saying that since the two of you are twins, you’ll stick together…
Patty: Through thick and thin, right? Don’t deny it, I know that’s what you were going to say. But we might as well face it: I’m the thick one, and Priscilla is the thin one. That’s the way it’s always been, and the way it always will be. Priscilla was thin at birth and can eat what she wants. Me? I was born fat.
Kathleen: May I remind you that I also know what it’s like to be overweight? When I was in high school, I weighed 300 lbs. I’ve been at a normal weight for 35years now.
Priscilla: We have a little diet scale in our kitchen that I bought for Patty. It’s next to the little TV I keep on the counter.
Kathleen: Glad you mentioned the TV. Here’s the way I came up with Patty’s story: one night I was watching the news and caught a feature about a woman who had given birth to twins. One of them was born plump and thriving, while the other was scrawny and weak. The healthy twin had received most of the nourishment in their mother’s womb. The sick twin spent months in the hospital, while the first twin left after only a few days. The story left me wondering what might happen to those twins when they eventually grew up. Would one remain healthy and fat, and the other sick and thin? Eventually, Patty and Priscilla came alive in my imagination, and the rest—
Patty: Don’t give away the ending! My story is a good read, especially if you’re dealing with overweight issues.
Priscilla: And romance! There’s lot of romance. Everyone loves romance.
Kathleen: True… and everyone loves Sam.
Patty: Don’t give away the ending!
Priscilla: Why don’t we talk about the other three books that make up the series?
Kathleen: Thanks for the reminder. Fatty Patty is the first of four novels which are set in James Bay, Michigan. It’s a fictional renowned resort community with a small year-round population that swells to nearly twenty thousand during the twelve weeks of summer.
Patty: Fictional? Priscilla, did you know that we don’t live in a real town?
Kathleen: Readers don’t need to read each book in order to enjoy the stories. Each novel has its own central characters and unique plot. Home Fires, the 2nd book, is about Rose Gallagher, a female attorney who comes home to James Bay for six weeks to help her mother who’s having surgery. Meanwhile, there’s an arsonist at work in James Bay. While Rose is home, she gets involved in trying to figure out who’s setting the fires. My husband Steve is a fireman. He inspired me to write the story of Home Fires and Rose. I have great respect for our first responders, and I love my own fireman. Meanwhile, in the story, Rose meets the Assistant Fire Chief—
Priscilla: Fireman Mike! I’ve always thought he is so handsome.
Patty: He’s one of my heroes. He rescued our school when we had that gas leak.
Priscilla: And saved that little boy, remember? There was a big article about it in the James Bay Journal.
Patty: That’s our local newspaper. I think Lucy Carter wrote the feature story. Lucy was a reporter for the Journal before she won the lottery. $70 million dollars. What does a person do with that kind of money?
Priscilla: Lucy’s a sweetheart. I was so glad when she got her own book.
Kathleen: Lotto Lucy is the 3rd book in the James Bay series. Funny, but the idea behind the story started with a Jaguar convertible. A Jag has always been my dream car. I got to thinking, how could I afford that type of car? I’d have to win the lottery… which is exactly what happens to Lucy. It was an interesting story to write.
Patty: Sam shows up in Lotto Lucy. Lucy hired him to help her with her finances. Sam’s an accountant and financial advisor. He’s very smart about money.
Kathleen: And Lucy needed all the help she could get. What happens when you’re born with nothing, and suddenly, you have everything? How do you cope? Money can buy a lot of toys, but it can also cause a lot of problems.
Patty: You’re talking about Lucy’s mother, right? Lila caused quite a few problems when she showed up again in James Bay.
Priscilla: I think Lila shows up in the 4th book, too.
Kathleen: That’s right, Priscilla. Lila is one of the main characters in For I Have Sinned, the 4th and final book in the series. It’s the story of Fr. Greg, who is the pastor of the local Catholic Church in James Bay. Fr. Greg is struggling with more than a few problems. His deep love for God isn’t in doubt, but the same can’t be said for his faith in the church and some of the outdated church laws and rules he’s forced to uphold and live by.
Patty: Including the vow of celibacy. There’s an interesting dilemma for a priest. Let’s not forget that Lila is one of the main characters in the story.
Priscilla: For I Have Sinned is one of my favorites. I have a copy of it next to my bed. An autographed copy! I’m hoping Kathleen writes more about Fr. Greg.
Kathleen: Readers constantly ask if the series will continue. I’m thinking about it. For now, I’m concentrating on finishing my new book, The Other Wife, which takes place in Chicago. Meanwhile, Royal Secrets, my novel about a family of women who own and run a wedding chapel, is set in Las Vegas. Chicago and Las Vegas are both big cities, so it might be fun to return to James Bay. It’s a small town, but it has a large population of unique characters, each of them with their own story to tell.
Patty: And they’ll want to read my story first. It’s definitely the best of the four, don’t you agree?
Kathleen: I do have my favorite, but I’m not telling which one it is. Why don’t we let readers decide for themselves? All the James Bay novels, plus Royal Secrets, are available on Amazon.com. Thanks again, Julie, for hosting Patty, Priscilla and me today. We had a wonderful time!
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And check out all of her books!