Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Take Five and Meet Patricia Hale and her book The Church of the Holy Child

Okay, the title surprised me and then I read Patricia's post. WOW.

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Patricia.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, The Church of the Holy Child?

Hi, L.A. Thanks for having me as your guest today. I was watching a movie about a serial killer who found his victims through his job as a volunteer for a suicide hot line. I thought that was really horrible and then began thinking of comparable atrocities. I came up with a killer who targets women escaping domestic violence. It’s a terrible irony to be escaping familial violence only to be killed by an outsider. I’m really not as deranged as this makes me sound, but I thought it was an interesting twist. I’ve left out the graphics so readers won’t be turned away. The story takes the reader on a twisted hunt for the killer.

When you’re brainstorming for a new story, what usually comes first for you, the plot or the characters?

Definitely the plot. And then, depending on what the plot entails I imagine who is right for the job. What kind of character traits would the person need to have? What strengths and weaknesses would allow them to confront the issue, but at the same time, I want their own shortcomings to create obstacles and internal struggles as they pursue their goal.

 What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict or emotions?  Why?

I enjoy writing a character and getting to know them as the story moves along. Conflict can be very absorbing and intense in a good way. Writing emotions can be challenging because you don’t want to spoon feed the reader what they should feel in any given scene. The characters should bring out emotions in the reader through their behavior, their conflicts, their decisions as well as with their internal and external dialogue. The reader should not be told how to feel. Emotions should be triggered by the behavior of the characters. Making that happen can be challenging.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

I eat. I keep getting up from the computer and going to the kitchen for a snack because I’m nervous and I eat when I’m nervous. It’s those first few lines… I write them and re-write them until I begin to relax and then I get hooked. Once I have the first paragraph on the page, I’m good and I keep writing until I run out of thoughts. Then I leave it and the next morning re-read it and rewrite it again and keep moving forward in that fashion. I’m a pantser.

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

I’ve always wished I’d gone into law enforcement so I would be Jennifer Lopez’s character, Harlee Santos, on Shades of Blue. She’s a mom, a detective, she keeps secrets and she’ll go to any extreme to keep her family safe. In another life, I’d leave my computer behind and live the lives of my characters.

Give us a brief summary of The Church of the Holy Child:
When a missing woman is found dead, her husband is charged, but when a second body appears showing the same wounds questions arise and what looked like a slam-dunk becomes anyone’s guess. The bodies are piling up, and one person knows where the killer is. Father Francis, a priest at The Church of the Holy Child, listens to the killer’s disturbed account of each murder and wrestles with the vows that bind him to secrecy.


Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. The second book, Durable Goods, will be released in March 2018. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.

Find Patricia:


  1. Thanks for having me as your guest today, L.A. The Church of the Holy Child is on BookBub this week for .99! Hope you and your readers will enjoy it! Wish you all a happy holiday season. Best, Pat

  2. That's an interesting premise, Patricia. Your priest's conflict reminds of Faulkner's "human heart in conflict with itself" - always a good story. Good luck with your book.

    1. Hi Sandy,
      It's nice of you to drop by. Doesn't Pat's book sound interesting? And thanks for the reminder of Faulkner's quote, I knew it went something like that, but my memory wasn't that succinct :)
      Merry Winter, L.A.

  3. Hi Pat,
    It's wonderful to have you as a guest on the blog. You've created a great conflict and I can't wait to see how it plays out.
    Merry Winter :)
    Hugs, L.A.