Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Today's Special -- Patricia Rice

We are thrilled to have New York Times and USA Today best selling author Patrcia Rice joining us at The Romance Dish today! Patricia, a former CPA and author of forty-seven books, is a firm believer in happily-ever-after. She is married to her high school sweetheart and has two children. A native of Kentucky and New York, a past resident of North Carolina, she currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri, and now does accounting only for herself. Her newest, The Wicked Wyckerly (out today!), is the first book in her new regency series entitled The Rebellious Sons. Please help us welcome Patricia as she talks about quirky characters!

I have been told that I write quirky characters. I’m not sure where anyone gets that idea. To me, my characters are real, but then, I suppose I’m not exactly normal, so maybe quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder. I personally know math geniuses who can sum long lists in their heads, so the hero of THE WICKED WYCKERLY isn’t odd as far as I’m concerned. Perhaps a charming math genius may be stretching reality a little, but that’s how Fitzhugh Wyckerly survives in his aristocratic world. Earls without fortunes have to have some reason for existence, and being a pleasant dinner companion and a good hand at cards suits his talents.

Abby, my heroine, is a bit shy since she’s never lived outside her small rural town. Who among us wouldn’t be a wee bit timid if presented with a dashing aristocrat—literally dashing, as in running—down the drive? But she recovers quickly once she’s on the familiar ground of childcare, because she’s been caring for her four half-siblings the better part of her life. Maybe wanting to get them back from a guardian who thinks they ought to be raised by a man is a touch quirky. I’m not sure I would have gone looking for my brothers had they managed to find another home, but I was pretty young then. Abby is older than her siblings, they’re her only family, and she desperately wants them back. A bankrupt gambler like Fitz is useless for her purposes.

I think the real quirkiness of my characters is that they’re always dreadfully mismatched but still seem to bring out the best in each other, even if one is pushing the other in the Thames and calling them a beetle-brained catchfart. Abby doesn’t stay shy for long!

What do you consider to be a quirky character—in your life or in books? I once had a teacher who looked like a cow and told me I couldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction, until I pulled out Austen and Bronte and proved her wrong. We all have stories to tell, what’s yours?

The Wicked Wyckerly by Patricia Rice

When he becomes seventh Earl of Danecroft, rakish John Fitzhugh Wyckerly also inherits a crumbling estate and massive debts. Determined to do right, he reclaims his illegitimate daughter Penelope and heads to London in search of a very rich wife.

Abigail Merriweather's farm has been quiet since she lost custody of her four young half-siblings-until a roguish gentleman named Fitz stops for a rest, his rebellious daughter in tow. His etiquette is questionable, his parenting deplorable-so why does Abby delight in his flirtations? And when she seeks a suitor to help her regain the children, why does Fitz keep popping up?

For more information on Patricia and her books, please visit her at http://www.patriciarice.com/


  1. Hello and welcome to The Romance Dish, Patricia! Congrats on your newest release! I absolutely love the name Abigail as that's my daughter's name. *g* This one sounds like a great read!

    I adore quirky characters. They're unique and endear themselves to me as a reader. I think in some way we all have our own little quirks that make us who we are. :)

  2. Everything I hear about The Wicked Wyckerly makes me more eager to read it. It sounds delightful.

    I definitely have some quirky family members. One of my favorite stories concerns a quirky cousin of my mother's generation who had a weakness for booze and gambling. He once won a princely sum in a poker game while he was inebriated. Determined to keep his money safe, he staggered into a large, downtown church in a big Southern city and hid his cash, confident that no one would find it. When he sobered up, he couldn't remember in which church he'd hidden his treasure. He never found his money. Since childhood, I've woven stories about the person who found it.

  3. Blogger has been having problems with comments this morning. Since my "test" hasn't disappeared I'm hoping that means they've fixed the problem.

    Welcome, Patricia! It's great to have you visiting with us here at The Romance Dish. I loved Fitz and Abby! Totally mismatched, as you said, but perfect for one another all the same. I can't wait to see what you have in store for the other rebellious sons!

  4. ACK! Something happened to my comment from earlier! I'll try it again....

  5. Hello and welcome to The Romance Dish, Patricia! And congrats on your newest release! I love the name Abigail as it's my daughter's name. *g* This sounds like a great story!

    I adore quirky characters. Quirks make them unique and endearing to me as a reader. And I believe that everyone has their own quirks that make them who they are. :)

  6. Do you call your daughter Abigail or does she have a nickname?

    It's the little details--or quirks--that makes us all human. I'm hoping they also bring characters to life!

  7. Hi Patricia,

    Congratulations on the release of your latest book. It sounds really good. I haven't read your work but I believe I'll be looking for your stuff!

    I love quirky characters to, whatever that is since I believe everyone, in real life as well as fiction, is quirky in their own unique way!

  8. I love a quirky character. I think it adds something to the story. Livens up the pages.
    Cannot wait to read this book..

  9. Janga, how funny! I love that story! I'd also love to hear the stories you've woven about the person who found the money. Knowing you, I'm sure they're fascinating!

  10. Hi, Patricia! We're so glad to have you with us today.

    I think quirky characters make a story more interesting. Same goes with quirky people. My chemistry teacher in high school was the epitome of the absent minded professor---hair sticking up, chalk dust on his clothes. Absolutely brilliant and very dear.

    Our class learned that we could postpone a test for days by asking our prof questions that we lead to crazy tangents.

  11. Hi!
    I love quirky characters. Lorelei from Gilmore Girls has always been my favorite. In fact the whole town of Stars Hallow in the series is the epitome of quirky. lol In real life i've only known one quirky person and that was my fifth grade teacher Mrs. Jones. She would always regal us with stories that she's done at home or have a empty cover of butter taped to her desk because she considered herself to be "butterfingers". ^^ I have to admit she was the most favorite teacher i've ever had.


  12. congrats on the release -- it sounds like an interesting & fun read :) there's nothing wrong with quirky -- it makes life more interesting ;)

  13. What a bummer that Blogger has picked today to go nutso and botch the comments.

    I LOVE this book! I was lucky enough to get an advance copy, and it's fabulous. It's funny and, yes, quirky, and hot in all the right places.

  14. Hey Patricia! It is so wonderful to have you with us today. Congrats on your latest release. I have to say that I love the title. It has such a wonderful ring to it. Of course it sounds like a fabulous read too!!! One I will definitely have to pick up.

    Personally, I love characters that are quirky. I mean, really, aren't we all a little bit quirky? Seems to make the world go round :-)

  15. Congrats on the release of TWW, Patricia! It is on my TBB list.

    I like to read about quirky characters; they add fun and lighter moments to a story.

    I don't think I'm quirky, but when I was (much) younger, I used to dance on the table top on Fridays for anyone who got an A on the spelling test. I danced to songs from The Lion King and Chatahoochee by Alan Jackson, stuff like that. My dad hated that I did this because it wasn't very dignified for a teacher, he thought. I jokingly said one Thursday that I would dance on the table for anyone who got an A and the students held me to the challenge! For the longest time I was known as the teacher who dances on the table. So, of course, classes from year to year kept me dancing.

  16. Deb, you danced on the table? How cool! Nobody every did that for me.

    The boy loved Chattahoochee when he was little. That waterskiing video was the best!

  17. Patricia Rice said: Do you call your daughter Abigail or does she have a nickname?

    Sorry, it took me so long to get back to you, Patricia! I had trouble logging in yesterday after leaving the second set of comments.

    We call her Abby or Abs. :)

  18. Sad to say, I am usually the one considered the quirky character. If anyone wants items for display, costumes, odd information, they call me. Chances are I have it in my house somewhere. I have many varied interests and at one time or another have done a class on them. Comes in handy for library programs or class specials.