20 Questions with Patricia Ann Preston

1. So, what’s your book all about?

It’s a story about a wacky bunch of Southerners at a yard sale. It is of high literary merit and I expect some day it will studied alongside Faulkner and Twain. After all, a shorter version of this story placed in the William Faulkner Short Fiction contest. Seriously.

2. What inspired you to write this tale?
Yard sales are huge in the South. Half the stuff in my house came from yard sales. I’ve had several sales. My mom and my cousin were yard sale queens. So I decided to write about the folks that show up at your sale before dawn, the neighbors who haul out their stuff when they see people stopping at your house, and the twerps who want to know if you take a quarter for an item marked fifty cents. Seriously. It’s only fifty cents. Also, the first version of this story was my first attempt at writing a premise-bound short story. I came up with the premise first—an act of kindness leads to a great reward—and built the story around the premise.

3. Do you have a favorite quote about creativity/inspiration etc…? What is it?
Run, Forrest, run!

4. What things do you keep in your “writing space”? Do they inspire you? Confound you? Hold wires in place?
Besides the ordinary things writers have in their offices, I always have a glass of sweet tea and some type of music playing. (Currently, Bad Moon Rising is playing.) Oh, I also have photos of #mannipples on the wall, Ben. They inspire me.

5. What is your perfect “writing space”?
I like what I have right now. But, if we’re talking wishful thinking, it would have a wall of windows overlooking forested hills and a vibrating recliner.

6. If your car horn could play any song, which would it be? Can’t say Dixie.
Has to be Dixie. I live in Mississippi. You’d get shot if you played something else.

7. What would you name the first permanent settlement on mars?
Dry Gulch

8. How tall is the perfect sidekick? Please explain why it even matters.
Tall as he needs to be. It doesn’t matter.

9. If you were to mess with the time stream, what would you change? Let’s assume a hundred other people already took care of Hitler so you don’t have to say, “Kill Hitler.”
9-11 would never happen, nor the ensuing aftermath.

10. Let’s say your character has a pet brown bear. What’s the bear’s name?
Smoky. How’s that for original?

11. If you had to give an antagonist an annoying trait, what would it be?
Spitting. You know, hacking then spitting. Eww! By the way, I thought Spit of the Demon meant saliva. Like poison spit. You’d have to be a Boy Scout to know about spit as in cooking over an open fire. You should take a poll. I bet I’m not the only one who thought that. That’s something you can tweet about along with #mannipples.

12. What kind of car would your ultimate protagonist drive?
That’s a guy question. Okay, so, I would say a 1969 Mustang Mach I muscle car. Those cars were fast. Back in the day, I headed to Florida in one on Spring Break. We left at midnight on what was an 8-hour drive and made it in less than 6 hours. Never went under a 100 miles an hour and we were on the beach at sunrise. I was definitely young and fearless. Not so much now.

13. You’ve got a year to travel anywhere. Where?
France and New Zealand. I love all things French, and Lord of the Rings was filmed in New Zealand.

14. You just bought a boat with your book fortune. What are you going to call it?
Lucky Gal!

15. What kind of music, if any, gets you typing the fastest?
Bluegrass. I wish I could type as fast as they can pick.

16. What’s the punch line to your favorite joke?
Smile! We’ve just put this on Facebook.

17. What lyric do you sing poorly, yet loudly?
I sing poorly regardless. Right now, Sharp Dressed Man is playing so I’m ripping it along with ZZ Top.

18. You find a portal to another world in your sink’s drain. What is this other world called? And what is the best way to clean the portal so it doesn’t smell like old food?
It’s called La-La Land. The sun is always shining. Rainbows color the sky and there’s plenty of gold for everyone. And, best of all, they all drink daisy juice, which is like a shot of prednisone, oxycontin, and Zoloft, except there’s no addiction or side effects. Everybody’s energetic, pain free, and happy as can be. You can clean the portal with a mixture of lemon juice and vodka.

19. Where can people learn more about you, your work or any pets you have?
You can find me in cyberspace at www.patriciaannpreston.com
Follow me on twitter @pat_preston
No pets right now. I have a plant that hasn’t died yet.

20. What’s next?
Another Down Home Humor story called “Laid to Rest.” Set in 1958, it introduces Darlene Higginbottom, Richie Underwood, and Tommy Ray Petty. When the philandering mayor of Clayburn dies of a heart attack in Darlene’s bedroom, Richie, Tommy Ray and Darlene attempt to get the dead mayor home before anyone finds out where he died. Especially his highfalutin wife, Lucinda Ledbetter Stroud. I love these three comical characters and hope to write more stories about them.


  1. Thanks for having me, Ben! Will be able to reply to comments later in the day.

  2. Patricia, you are a true Southerner. LOL! And this compliment is from a person who grew up in L.A.–Lower Alabama, that is. Fun stuff!!! I definitely need to read your short story!

  3. Thanks, Melanie. And congratulations on all your success and awards! Melanie is like the Meryl Streep of Christian Fiction!

  4. I tried reading “The Yard Sale” at the local coffee shop and they kicked me out for laughing so loud! Great interview and I love your favorite quote about creativity: Run, Forrest, Run!

  5. What a great interview….And what a classy lady, our Dixie Belle! **hugs**

    Cindy Nord

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Cindy and PT. Hope you gals are having a great day!!

  7. Thank you, everyone, for dropping by. And, thank you, Patricia, for some great answers.

  8. Better late than never. Pat I got so tickled at you in this interview. You are my kind of gal (and writer) I just found out about this or I’d been here sooner singing your praises.

  9. It’s too early in the morning. Better late than never is better than never, Edna! Glad to hear from you.

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