I’m so thrilled to welcome historical romance author and sweet friend, Patti Stockdale, to Romancing History today. Although Patti and I met through an on-line group for first-timers attending the American Christian Fiction Writers annual conference in May 2016, we discovered that we once lived less than a block apart from each other in a small Virginia town but had never met. How crazy is that?
Patti’s debut novel, Three Little Things, released February 4th and folks, it’s fabulous. Click here to read my five-star review. Patti has graciously offered a signed copy of Three Little Things to one Romancing History Guest. You can enter the giveaway at the bottom of the post.
Before we chat with Patti, here’s a little bit about her and her new book.
Patti Stockdale loves hope, history, and a good happily ever after. She can’t remember numbers, so she married a statistician. Thanks to him, she’s lived all sorts of places and worked all sorts of jobs. While employed by an NFL team, she once answered the phone by the wrong team name. She doesn’t work there anymore. For 11 years, she directed the programming at a nonprofit senior center and hosted an annual talent show, rocking a Dolly Parton wig, Annie Oakley boots, and a sweet—although snug—Batman costume. She no longer works there either. These days, Patti writes books and occasionally educational assessments and magazine articles.
About the Book
One forbidden love. Two broken hearts. Three little things.
Hattie Waltz should forget the troubled neighbor leaving for boot camp in 1917. He forgot about her ages ago. It had always been the Waltzs verses the Kregers, his family pitted against hers. When she hands him a farewell gift, a chemistry lesson unfolds. The good kind.
Arno Kreger can’t leave Iowa or his old man fast enough. He’s eager to prove his worth on the battlefield and stop blaming himself for his brother’s death. Before entering the train, he bumps into Hattie. He’s loved her forever, always from the sidelines, because nobody crosses Hattie’s pa.
One innocent letter soon morphs into many. Arno and Hattie share three little secrets in each letter and grow closer together. But he’s on his way to war across the ocean, and she’s still in her father’s house. Their newfound love will need to survive dangers on both fronts.
Interview with Patti
Coffee or Tea? Tea. Growing up, we visited my grandparents every afternoon at three o’clock for tea time.
Mexican or Chinese? Mexican. I always order the same thing – cheese enchiladas and rice.
Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal Raisin? Chocolate Chip Cookies. Crispy, please.
Jeans & Ankle Boots or Pajamas & Slippers? Pajamas & Slippers. My go-to fashion is comfortable and casual.
Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre? Pride & Prejudice ranks as my all-time favorite book.
About You & Your Writing
RH: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
PS: I returned to college over twenty years ago to study creative writing. That’s when I researched and wrote the first draft of Little Then, I packed it in a box and accepted a job at a busy nonprofit senior center. A few years ago, I dusted off the manuscript, researched for months, and rewrote the book two or three times. I also freelance, writing reading assessments for an educational publisher. Three Little Things, a historical romance, is my first book. Nine days out of ten, you’ll find me writing and editing in my little office with my back to the window. I’m easily distracted!
RH: Hahaha! I can relate to being easily distracted. I recently switched my office to the back of the house where I can no longer see the goings on in the neighborhood. Which 5 words describe you, the woman, apart from being an author?
PS: Five words that describe me include friendly, curious, hard-working, fun-loving, and a Christian.
RH: I would agree whole-heartedly with each of those descriptors and add a great sense of humor. I wish we had known each other when you lived in my neighborhood all those years ago. What or who is your favorite historical romance novel and/or author? Why?
PS: Deeanne Gist is one of my favorite authors because I can’t stop smiling when I read her books. She charms me from beginning to end.
RH: She is one of my favorite authors as well! Another thing we have in common. Fans of romantic fiction love a cute meet. How did you and your significant other meet?
PS: I’ve known my husband forever. He grew up two blocks from my house and delivered our newspaper. In ninth grade, he asked me to dance. I told him I need to talk to my friend first because she’d had a crush on him. Thankfully, she gave me a thumbs up. The rest is history.
RH: That is just the sweetest thing. I bet you’re glad your friend wasn’t too interested. When did you know you wanted to write?
PS: In high school, my English teacher assigned short stories. I stopped myself around the thirty-page mark. My classmates turned in five or six pages. Still, it took me another twenty years to figure out my career goal.
RH: That’s funny! I’m so glad you’ve found you’re calling! What has God taught you along your writing journey?
PS: God has taught me to stop manipulating my writing career and to trust him.
About Your Recent Release
RH: That is an ongoing lesson that most believers struggle with. I know I do. What was the inspiration behind your recent novel?
PS: Love letters my maternal grandparents exchanged during WW I served as inspiration for my novel.
RH: When I heard the novel was based on your grandparents letters, you’d already hooked me. What a neat way to not only get to know your grandparents in a way most grandchildren never do, but its a pretty neat way to remember them by for your whole family. Do you have a favorite quote from your recent release you’d like to share?
PS: The first two sentences of Three Little Things are probably my favorite, not that it goes downhill from there! “Not once in eighteen years had Hattie Waltz considered praying for a plague. But if a swarm of locusts intervened, she’d not complain.”
RH: Those are some pretty great lines. I was all in as soon as I read them. If you were to pick a particular Scripture verse as the theme of your novel, what would it be?
PS: Deuteronomy 31:6 best fits my story. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
RH: I love that verse and having read the story, I’d agree that they fit your story well. When and where is your story set?
PS: Three Little Things, set from 1917-1918, takes place on the Iowa homefront, three boot camps, and in France.
RH: You must have really had your hands full learning about all those different settings you portrayed in your novel. Who would you cast as the hero and heroine for your story?
RH: Excellent choices! Fans of historical fiction & romance love the details that your research provides. Was there anything particularly interesting that you learned while researching your book that you were able to use in your story that you’d like to share?
PS: Much of my research centered on German-American families during the war and how they suffered discrimination based on their ancestry. I inserted that factual detail into the story.
RH: That is very true. Many German-Americans changed the spelling of their names to demonstrate their loyalty to their new country. One town near me changed its name from Berlin to Lovettsville during that time period. What do you hope readers will take away from your story?
PS: After reading Three Little Things, I hope people fall in love with Arno and Hattie, learn something new about the WW I era, and discover how faith and trust cemented the story.
RH: Well, I certainly did and was rooting for Arno from the beginning. Anything else you’d like us to know about you or your book?
PS: My favorite part of the book is the letters Arno and Hattie exchange, especially the three little things they share with each other.
RH: The Three Little Things that Arno and Hattie share in their letters are so endearing and really make your novel unique. What are you working on now?
PS: I’m polishing my next manuscript set in 1919. Because It’s True showcases a woman who learns she’s adopted and a soldier who learns his sweetheart married his twin. On a road trip to find two siblings for her and a fresh start for him, they discover there’s no place like home.
RH: Oh, that sounds wonderful! I can hardly wait to read it! I had so much fun chatting with you, Patti. Thanks for visiting with my readers.
PS: Thanks so much for this sweet opportunity.
This giveaway has ended.
Congratulations to Deena Adams, the winner of the signed copy of Three Little Things.
Patti has graciously offered a signed copy of Three Little Things to one Romancing History guest. To be entered to win, please tell us “three little things” about yourself in the comments below!
*Giveaway closes midnight, February 19th, 2020.