A Day in the Writing Life of … Patricia Bernard

Welcome, Patricia & thank you for participating on our blog.

What time of the day do you write? Are you a morning, night-owl or anytime writer?

I write from 8.30 in the morn till 8.30 at night, if no one interrupts me, which would be a miracle. I take 3 hours off in middle day to go to beach, usually taking the pages I have written to edit.

 Where do you write? Do you have your own special place? Does the location vary?

 I write in an office which is a mess. I have scraps of paper with ideas on them all over the shelves, desks (2) and sofa. This is because if I file anything away it is lost forever. I need to go through my pieces of paper on a weekly basis. Often find unpaid bills in there amongst the newest book idea.

 Is there any particular rituals you do to set the mood / harness your muse?

When writing I need silence, when editing I play James Blunt, Pilgrim Brothers, Julio Ingles, Neil Diamond and Leonard Cohen.  This helps so much.

 What’s the first think you do before you begin to write?

I often lie in bed and visualise the first page, first chapter. But before that I have started what I call a scrape book. I have cut out pictures of places, people, written character histories, chapter run downs (brief) and definitely the ending, which may change if a better one comes along, but it is what I am aiming the book towards.

 Do you spend much time reading over the previous day’s work?

Yes. It gets me into the next day’s writing mood.

 Do you have a special system in place in order to begin writing or go with the flow?

No system. I try to live the story and the characters whilst walking the dog, cleaning the house, and gardening.

 Are you a plotter / planner or a pantser?

I am a plotter. The plot always comes first. e.g. my newest paranormal came about whilst I was being interviewed for a t.v. program. The interviewer is someone I have known for 40 years, yet she grows no older. How does she do it? IS she selling her soul? Is she selling the souls of the people she interviews. And so it goes.

 Do you edit as you go or prefer to edit after completion of the ms?

I edit as I go, every 40 pages, over and over at the end. I edit till I hate the book.

Do you have a schedule that you follow for your writing time? Are you a goal setter with your writing?

I am a goal setter, never stick to it, life gets in the way, but I have a goal. I work to a daily schedule.

What writing tools do you favour? Long hand, computer …..

Long hand for original notes, computer for when writing.

Do you use whiteboards, posters, visual aids to help in your creativity?

I use maps for just about every book. If it is a murder, I draw the map of the room or house. Certain photographs and pictures give me ideas and set my writing mood.

 Do you give yourself any writing rewards for achieving goals?

Oh dear, yes food. Naughty as I am trying to lose weight. Especially to look glamorous for the New York Romance writers Festival.

 Can you name five objects that are always on or near your work desk while you write?

2 fluffy dogs, Silk and Bijoux, photographs of grandkids, bookshelves full of favourite books.

What is your favourite form of procrastination?

Swimming, reading, theatre, opera.


Thank you, Patricia for sharing your writing life with us.

Leave a comment


  1. Lovely to learn more about you, Patricia. And what an intriguing photo – what country were you in at the time?

  2. Patricia,
    Loved hearing about your writing life, and I checked out your adventurous life on oyur web site. Wow! So many countries visited. So much fun,

  3. Loved your outline of your writing day – sounds perfect to me. Especially the bit about the hours at the beach :). Great post, Patricia.


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