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Writer’s Window: Patty Smith Hall

Monday, July 11, 2011

Joining us today for Writer’s Window is historical-romance author Patty Smith Hall.

One lucky commenter* will win a signed copy of Patty’s debut novel, Hearts in Flight. Deadline for leaving a comment to enter the drawing is Friday. To enter the drawing, you must answer the question posed by Patty at the end of the interview. Only one comment per person will count toward the drawing. Please do not include your e-mail address in the body of your comment—just make sure it’s correct when you sign in to leave your comment. The winning name will be drawn next weekend and the winner will be notified via e-mail.

*U.S. residents only, void where prohibited. If you win the drawing, you will be ineligible for the next three drawings, though hopefully you will still come back and join in the discussion.


Serving her country as one of the Women’s Army Special Pilots is Maggie Daniels’s dearest wish. But there are obstacles to overcome above and beyond the enemies in the Pacific, including her overprotective family, skeptical fellow pilots—and handsome, distant squadron leader Wesley Hicks. Whatever it takes, Maggie will prove herself to Wesley, until she succeeds in winning his admiration . . . and love.

Wesley can see that Maggie’s a first-class pilot. She’s also too fearless by half. The war has cost Wesley so much already. Can he let go of his guilt for a chance at happiness—and can he learn to trust in God . . . and Maggie . . . enough to believe in love for a lifetime?

Welcome, Patty!
What do you like best about being a writer?

    I love finding pieces of history that most people don’t know about and building interesting characters with that information. Raising daughters, I’ve always thought it important that my girls understand the important part women played in building this country so I love it when I discover a unique piece of history like the Women’s Army Service Pilots.

What do you like least about being a writer?

    A blank page! That first page is always the toughest, but when I get passed it, I’m just fine.

Pop, Soda, or Coke? What do you call it, and what’s your favorite variety?

    COKE!!! And I drink the real thing—no diet or caffeine for this southern girl!

What’s your favorite dessert?

    My momma’s German Chocolate Cake—there is absolutely nothing to compare to it.

What’s the most fun/interesting/crazy/scary/unique hands-on research you’ve done for a book?

    Hmmm. I’m one for lots of hands-on research. But I’d have to say the most interesting research I’ve done it to actually climb into the cockpit of a P-51 and have a D-Day bombing pilot teach me how to take off and land that plane.

What’s your favorite movie from childhood?

    The live version of Cinderella with Leslie Ann Warren. I still remember all the songs and can sing along!

If you were to write a novel about what your life would have been like if you’d become what you wanted to be at eight years old, what kind of character would the story be about?

    She’d be sitting in the Oval Office, dealing with the economic crisis and mess over in the Mid-East. Yep, I wanted to be the president. But I outgrew that, thank the Lord!

What makes you happy?

    A good book, a full belly and a Sunday afternoon stretched out in front of me. Everyone at my house takes afternoon naps so it’s a time for me just to read.

What makes you nervous?

    Deadlines! I’m such a perfectionist that it’s hard for me to let go of anything until I feel like it’s ready and deadlines aren’t good for that. But I’m learning.

What’s your biggest dream for the future?

    That my daughters have happy, healthy lives that have purpose. That my husband finds his passion. And that I serve the Lord through my writing for a long time.

Tell us about your newest release and what you’re working on now.

    Hearts in Flight is the story of Maggie Daniels, a member of the Women’s Army Service Pilots who is ferrying B-29s much to Captain Wesley Hicks dismay. Maggie is determined to prove herself, to her family who lives nearby, to the men in her squadron but most of all to Wesley, who fears losing someone else he loves.

    I’ve just finished the second book in my WWII series which features my favorite hero I’ve ever created. Then I’ve got a book I wrote during novel track last year that needs editing—it’s based in the Georgia gold rush of 1828.

Where can people find out more about you/connect with you online?

What question do you want to ask the commenters to answer?

    What is one of the most interesting historical tidbits you’ve ever heard?


A romantic at heart, Patty Smith Hall is an award winning, multi-published author. Her stories of encouragement and hope can be found in Guideposts, Journey, and Chicken Soup for the Nurse’s Soul. Her Genesis award–winning novel, Hearts in Flight, was just released by Love Inspired Historical in July 2011. Patty resides in Georgia along with Dan, her husband of twenty-eight years, two daughters, and a Yorkie who loves to cuddle.

  1. Monday, July 11, 2011 4:04 am

    I have been waiting for this book. I remember when Patty first told us about her book and have been patiently waiting for it to come out. I am doing an order soon and this will be on my list.
    love the interview. so cool about getting into the cockpit of a P-51 what great research.


    • Monday, July 11, 2011 4:11 am

      woops one of the most interesting facts came from a Gilbert Morris novel set in WW1 in france. I learnt what Roland Garros home of the French open was named after Roland Garros WW1 France flying Ace. He help invent the machine gun to attach to the aircraft that didn’t shoot the propellor off.
      There are other facts I have learnt from books but his is the one that really stuck me and I want to go to a trivia night and be asked how did Roland Garros home of the french open get its name.


  2. Gina Arnold permalink
    Monday, July 11, 2011 7:52 am

    The book sounds fabulous! I will definitely look for some of your other books next time I’m looking for something to read! :). As for history facts… My favorite is one I found while doing some character development for my role in Aladdin with our community theatre. So… Did you know???… “In traditional Islamic law, a woman was not responsible for the upkeep of her home, and she could demand payment for any work she did in the domestic sphere.” – I thought this was very strange(definitely not what I would have expected). I’m assuming that the payment demanded would come from the husband… This sounds pretty great for the wife! 😉


  3. Monday, July 11, 2011 8:51 am

    AusJenny–I remember you being there when I told folks about Hearts. I’m so glad to gotten to know you this past year.

    That’s interesting about Roland Garros–I knew they had a problem with guns shooting off the propeller but didn’t ever know how they fixed it. But why name the place where the French Open is played after him? Did he like tennis?


    • Monday, July 11, 2011 7:06 pm

      Patty I think it was more of an honor Where the french open is played was only developed after WW1 and I guess they wanted to name it after someone important. I think I read it was built in 1922. Roland Garros was captured and a prisioner of war also. But he was a national hero and I would say it was to honor him in a lasting memorial.


  4. Monday, July 11, 2011 8:52 am

    Gina–I may have to use that piece of historical information over the next couple of weeks. We’re moving and I’m cleaning out EVERYTHING(working on a closet right now!) My poor husband wouldn’t have enough money to pay me! LOL


    • Gina Arnold permalink
      Monday, July 11, 2011 10:31 am

      Go for it!!! 😉 Although your husband probably won’t appreciate it much…


  5. Monday, July 11, 2011 11:06 am

    Um, since my mind is stuck in French Revolution mode, I’ll go with one from there. Over 80% of the people killed during the Reign of Terror were peasants.

    I originally assumed they were all aristocrats. Turns out the aristocrats were already killed or had fled the country by the time of the Terror, though.


  6. Monday, July 11, 2011 11:08 am

    Oh wait, Patty, your book sounds wonderful and I’ve been planning to read it ever since Laurie Alice recommended it this spring. I was so busy thinking about how to answer the “must answer” question, that my brain spaced out concerning your book. It looks great, and I LOVE the airplanes in the background. It really makes the book stand out as something new and different.


  7. Judy Burgi permalink
    Monday, July 11, 2011 11:31 am

    I read that President Franklin Roosevelt was the first President to ride in an airplane. I don’t know why, I just thought that was interesting.

    I would love to win a copy of, Hearts in Flight. Patty you are a new author to me and I am looking forward to reading your books.

    God Bless


  8. Monday, July 11, 2011 12:52 pm

    Most interesting historical tidbit I’ve ever heard … hmm…Oh, I got it!
    I think it is hilarious how Dollar Stores came to be. They actually began as a con game. Con artists would hang cheap stuff in storefront windows, and when they got customers in the door, they would direct them to the back room where they were having a boxing match, or horse race betting, or even a presentation on some farm related issue, then they would con your money out of you.
    Eventually someone discovered that he could make more money just selling cheap merchandise than he could conning people. And the $ store was born.

    Thanks for the chance to win.


  9. Monday, July 11, 2011 1:07 pm

    I’ve two historical tidbits, only because they are related to my ancestry.
    During King James VI rule, the MacGregor name became outlawed because the king’s forester was killed by MacGregors. According to history, they killed the forester because he had hanged two clansmen for poaching. For over 200 years, the clansmen could not use their surname, instead had to take on either their mother’s maiden clan name or other surrounding names. The MacGregors even lost their land to the Buchanans, MacDonalds, and Campbells. Some, standing their ground, became outlaws (Rob Roy legend) and some came to America (my ancestors).
    Another tidbit:
    Johannes Bleicher, fleeing religious persecution as a Protestant Dutch German, came to America with the William Penn community. He was what we called Quakers today. Today, his descendants are known by the last name Blaker (my grandmother’s maiden name).


  10. Monday, July 11, 2011 2:35 pm

    After quickly reading the blurb, we went grocery shopping, with the requisite library stop. While browsing for GOOD books for my kids 😉 guess what I found? A book on women pilots in WW2. LoL. I checked it out!! 🙂

    The most interesting historical tidbit? Coal boom towns here in IL. Sounds strange, but one in particular intrigues me, especially as I hear the older generation tell stories about their grandparents… Makes me drool. LoL


  11. Monday, July 11, 2011 6:14 pm

    Hey Naomi, Don’t worry about it. I figured you’d have a great tidbit from the French Revolution–and I’m so looking forward to your book!


  12. Monday, July 11, 2011 6:16 pm

    I didn’t know that about President Roosevelt! I find it interesting that his wife’s uncle Teddy was the president who bought the first plane for the armed forces–and guess who he bought it from?


  13. Monday, July 11, 2011 6:18 pm

    Kristen, it’s interesting to me that lots of stuff started out being illegal–like NASCAR. But I did not know that about Dollar General–and I love that store!


  14. Monday, July 11, 2011 6:20 pm

    Daphne, I love when our family history holds a cool tidbit of history and it sounds like yours does! How neat is that!


  15. Monday, July 11, 2011 6:25 pm

    Patty, you’re going to love that book! The girl pilots are some of the most overlooked but fascinating people of that time. There’s a lot of interesting historical stuff in the Great Lakes area–I couldn’t get over the Germans in Michigan who sent their children to fight for Hitler. That one blew me away!

    Thanks everyone for coming by today, and thanks, Kaye for having me. It’s always a pleasure to be here!


  16. Monday, July 11, 2011 8:43 pm

    Well, this may not be interesting to anyone but me, but when watching Ken Burns’s “The War,” I was amazed to learn my husband’s great-aunt worked in an airplane factory in Mobile, AL. I learned this because she was INTERVIEWED as a representative from Mobile! Craziness! And she had lots to say about working there, so it was fun to listen to her and talk to her about it afterwards:)


  17. Monday, July 11, 2011 9:10 pm

    Your book sounds wonderful and the cover is lovely! I have so say, my favorite day of the week is Sunday. Worship gathering in the morning, an oh-so-delightful nap in the afternoon, and Masterpiece Theater in the evening. Best day of the week!


  18. Monday, July 11, 2011 10:28 pm

    Emilie, don’t you just love discovering stuff like that? One of the side stories about Hearts in Flight is that my grandmother gave me the idea of the boarding house. We were at this lovely antebellum house for my cousin’s wedding and my grandma started telling me stories of her time living there with my great aunt–of the church get togethers and dozens of friends coming over to listen to the Grand Old Opera.Hearing her talk just cemented the idea of a boarding house in the story and worked so well for that time. We really should be more respectful of the history these older people have to share.

    Thanks for coming by!


  19. Monday, July 11, 2011 10:31 pm

    Sherrinda, Sundays are the best! And for the summer, if I’ve already seen Masterpiece Theatre, Castle is on! Thanks for dropping by!


    • Tuesday, July 12, 2011 6:27 am

      Castle!!!! I absolutely love Castle. It is my favorite show and I try never to miss it. Such wit and boyish charm…great chemistry. Love it!


  20. Tuesday, July 12, 2011 4:05 pm

    Isn’t Castle the greatest! And that season ending. . .oh my! Sherrinda, girl, we need to talk!



  1. Book Review: Hearts in Flight « Damsels in Regress

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