Frequently Asked Questions

How can I send my story ideas to Patty?
Please, please, please don't! Patty appreciates the thoughtfulness and generosity you are expressing, but for various legal and other pesky reasons, she cannot look at someone else's story ideas. However, she does suggest that if you are creative enough to come up with these great ideas, you are also creative enough to put all that energy into making up your own world, your own rules, and writing your own book - so why are you waiting and reading this? Go forth and write!

How can I get a bookmark?
Sadly, we don't have any bookmarks, and we aren't likely to get them in the future. Contrary to the image portrayed on Castle (we all love, love, love that show, by the way!), most authors are not rich millionaires with money to burn. Mailing a couple of bookmarks doesn't seem like much: a dollar or two for the bookmark plus shipping, a few minutes to adrress an envelope, and a quick run to the post office for mailing. However, if you do that a few thoudand times, both the time and the money add up!
However, we have some amazing merchandise available in our store. You can get something much nicer than a silly printed bookmark, and we'll charge just enough to cover our expenses.
Will you critique my manuscript?
Sadly, writing is a full time job, and what time Patty doesn't spend on writing and travel is spent with her family or her horses. Giving an in-depth manuscript critique is very time consuming, and she just doesn't have that time available. Her trusty assistant, whose salary depends on Patty having the time to write those books, suggests you join a local writers group and/or submit your manuscript to writers workshops - those are very useful tools for improving your writing craft!
Can I take you out for a drink and meet you in person?
Writing is a solitary business, and most writers like it that way - believe it or not, they are usually shy, and Patty is no exception! She very much appreciates the invitation, but she much prefers to hide in her office and her imaginary worlds and torture her imaginary characters in ways that would get her tossed into jail in the real world. So really, she's doing you a favor by not taking you up on your offer!
Why can't you do a signing in my city?
We got ripped off and that cloning machine we bought doesn't work!!! Because of that, there's still only one of Patty, and since she does need time at home to write those books we all love, there are only so many cities she can visit in a year. In fact, we have really had to cut way back on how much she travels; she's trying to write two books a year, and that takes a lot of time and energy. Her publishers choose where she will go each year on her annual book signing tour in March; since they are paying for her, we sort of figure they're allowed to choose! However, they do take into consideration the number of requests for signings they get; it's not a guarantee that Patty will come to your home town, but it doesn't hurt to ask! You can send your requests to the publishers or to Patty's assistant and get added to their list.
How many Mercy and Alpha & Omega books are you going to write?
Patty has said that as long as she's having fun writing them, can keep them fresh and exciting, and they're selling well, she'll continue to write them indefinitely! She has no plans for wrapping up either series. Her trusty assistant, who loves her job and wants it to continue forever, does her best to torment and harass Patty into road trips and research to help keep the ideas coming! Failing that, she keeps Patty's glass of Diet Mountain Dew always filled!
Will Mercy/Anna have babies?
Truthfully, we haven't been brave enough to ask Mercy or Anna that very personal question! We are sure if and when either of these amazing couples decide to start a family, they will be awesome parents...which will likely lead to a really dull story! Good parents don't deliberately jump into life and death situations and leave their children parentless, nor do they go out courting danger that could follow them home and endanger their children. They would have to play it safe and avoid adventures, which - face it - is boring! I suspect if and when they do have babies, it won't be for a while - the fae are loose and they're not happy, and having a baby while this is going on would be very foolish!
How can I get published/get an agent?
See our wonderful articles under the Writing section of this site. There is lots and lots of useful information there, so feel free to use it!
Will Mercy stay young like the werewolves, or will she grow old and die?
Trying to get a straight answer out of Patty is worse than getting a firm commitment from a Gray Lord. She claims she mostly answered this in Night Broken. Obviously, she feels that ambiguous hints with a side-order of maybes is a solid answer. We respectfully disagree. We tried torturing Patty and withholding her Diet Dew, but she has a very strong will and refused to tell us anything more.
When will Leah/Christy die a horrible and painful death?
These are ladies we just love to hate! If they were gone, we'd have to find another character to hate on, and that would be very frustrating, so it's just easier to keep them around, don't you think? Patty has no plans to kill either of them off, so we'll just have to suck it up and name our voodoo dolls after them.
Will there be a book about Bran?
Oh, heck no, he'd freaking kill us! Bran is a genuine Man of Mystery, and he likes it that way! If we started tattling on him and his secrets, he would be on us like -- No! Bran! Honest! We're not saying any —glurk!
Can I have permission to write a story featuring your characters?
Show me a good author and I'll show you an avid reader. It should be no surprise that many readers are also writers, and a good book can set the creative juices flowing. There is a natural desire to continue the story, to explore the interesting "what if's" left lying around by other authors —a bit of borrowing if you will. Known as "Fan Fiction" or "fanfic" these stories are read, traded and enjoyed by a large number of people. In fact, some of the fanfic out there is very well written and shows a great deal of both talent and dedication. Unfortunately, there's often a bit of tension between the original authors and those writing fanfic. Some fanfic authors try to be extra-courteous by asking permission of the original author, which is almost always denied. This leads to hurt feelings and flame wars . . .
Some authors read and enjoy fanfic based upon their worlds, while others get grumpy that other folks are 'stealing' their ideas. Authors are, after all, control freaks who create imaginary friends to boss around! There are, however, a couple of problems with fanfic, other than possibly hurting the feelings of some ego-maniacal author. An author's work is protected by copyright, which prevents other people from hijacking their work. When an author submits a book to the publisher one of the standard contract clauses asserts that the purchased work is free from any copyright claims or violations. Typically the entire contract will be voided if that claim is falsified, so it's very important. There's actually two possible copyright traps presented by fanfic.
Suppose some bloke, we'll call him Bob, attempts to publish a new Hurog novel. Generally copyright would protect Patty's work, and Bob would run afoul of the "original work" clause. However, what if Bob can produce a letter from Patty, granting him permission to write his novel in the Hurog world? Now he's in the clear, and his work can be published. This is how shared worlds work. Now, suppose instead of a clearly-written letter, Bob has an ambiguously-worded email, or a tattered napkin stating "Have fun in Hurog, Bob. I can't wait to see what you come up with." Now the situation is unclear. Maybe Bob can get his book published, maybe not -- but there's almost certainly going to be an expensive court case to figure it out.
This can also work the other way around. I know from Patty's fan-mail that there are some really smart fans out there making predictions about the events of the next book. Let's say our friend Bob writes a great fanfic, and asks Patty to read it. Now, let's pretend that Bob's piece was substantially the same as the novel Patty's been writing for the last year. This is not as unlikely as you might think, and it creates a real problem. If Patty publishes her book, Bob is going to assume she stole his work, and may invoke copyright protection for his ideas. What's more, it can be verified that his work was publicly posted, while Patty's work was sitting unseen on her computer. In a legal battle, Bob is likely to prevail. Even if he loses, he and many others will remain convinced that Patty is a thief.
Given the potential land mines that fanfic presents, most authors adopt a don't ask, don't tell approach. They can't safely grant permission to write in their worlds or admit that they've read fanfic pieces based on their worlds. This is the approach that Patty is taking. If you want to write a story in her world, you'll have to do it without official permission. If Patty happens to read it, and thinks it's the best thing ever written, she can't write to tell you so. It's not because she doesn't like you or your work, but because it's legally risky, and she has to protect her ability to write and play in the worlds she's built. Peace.