Interview with writer Patrick Canning

Author Patrick Canning is here today
to chat a little bit about his Victorian adventure, coming of age novel, The Colonel and the Bee.
Welcome, Patrick. Please tell us a
little bit about yourself.
I’m 32 and
live in Los Angeles with my dog, Hank. With my writing, I try to include humor,
interesting characters, and unpredictable narratives. Hopefully the reads are
fun and speak to some of the deeper truths in life, if not, they make
outstanding paperweights.
Please tell us about your current
release.
A peculiar
explorer and downtrodden acrobat travel the globe on a building-sized hot air
balloon, racing against a menagerie of deadly treasure hunters to solve a
riddle and locate the precious artifact it promises. 
What inspired you to write this book?
I liked the
idea of people flying around in an absurdly big hot air balloon and getting
involved in adventures wherever they landed. Hopefully the characters
themselves are real to life, dealing with relatable issues, but the nature of
their exploits should sometimes stretch what we think is possible. I think the
world of The Colonel and the Bee straddles the line between reality and
fantasy.
Excerpt from The Colonel and the Bee:
“Flying the Ox
is much more akin to playing an instrument than operating a machine. Approach
the challenge less formally, do so with confidence, and the craft’s perfect
obedience will be your reward.”
I lost sight of
the burner strap and by accident pulled a vent on the main balloon. We began to
rotate and descend with great rapidity. The Colonel allowed me to find the
correct cord on my own, and I did so just in time as the Ox nearly scraped a
rolling pasture hill, startling a herd of brown Belgian cows enough to sour
their milk.
Taking care to
avoid the ripping line, I continued to bring the Ox up, searching for the
northwest wind. To my chagrin, I sent us southeast, and it took a deft
intervention from the Colonel to set us right. Applying the correct pressure on
the correct combination of cords in the correct sequence did indeed give him
the appearance of an accomplished maestro.
“Skill comes
with practice, and northwest can be elusive. Northeast can be downright
tempestuous,” he said as if recalling a talented snooker rival.
I readied
another question, but the Colonel anticipated me. He held up a gentle hand to
stay the incoming query, motioned with both hands downward, indicating I should
relax, then gestured to the edge of the Ox.
What exciting story are you working on
next?
A murder mystery
that takes place in the Midwest in the 80’s. A middle-aged divorcee is forced
to play detective after she moves to a seemingly-normal neighborhood and very
weird things start to happen.
When did you first consider yourself a
writer?
I think it’s
still ahead of me, my goal is to make my living from writing.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s
your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find
time to write?
I think the
best time to write is early in the morning when you’re fresh and productive.
Any day jobs and non-writing responsibilities can have the leftovers.
What would you say is your interesting
writing quirk?
I’m
particularly bad with titles for some reason. My process is to list dozens of
bad ideas/ask for outside input/eventually give up and pick the least-worst
option.
As a child, what did you want to be when
you grew up?
Astronaut!
Still do! Unfortunately NASA seems to go for classic good looks and
mathematical proficiency in their candidates so I haven’t gotten the call yet.
Anything additional you want to share
with the readers?
I love book
recommendations, contact info is on my website if you’d like to share some of
your favorite titles!
Links:
Thanks for being here today, Patrick!
Happy writing!

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