Pat Guerry Hodnett
Author of A Place for Lily Kate

Pat Guerry Hodnett





 Q. How long have you been writing with an eye on publishing?


A.    I've always been a storyteller. One day, I sat down to write a short story about something that had happened in Ferguson-Youngblood's Store in York, where I live. I liked the way it sounded, and several of my friends thought it was good. I then began thinking about a book of stories that happened in York, but how would I present it was the question. My creative side took over and I invented a main character and circumstances that would present opportunities to bring in local businesses and institutions that existed in the 1950's.

Q. How did you break into publishing?

A.    I attended the South Carolina Writers' Workshop at North Myrtle Beach in 2008 and sent in 30 pages of material to be critiqued. An editor from Red Letter Press in Columbia, S.C., was the one to whom I was assigned and he liked what he read. He took my first book, guided me through an editing process, and then Red Letter Press published it.

Q. Where do you get your ideas for stories?

A.    My hometown is a beautiful place, steeped in history and teeming with stories about the past. I grew up hearing these tales. A friend got me started on my own stories with an event that happened to her. I wrote it up, adding here and there for entertainment purposes.

Q. Do you follow a writing regimen or write only when you feel like it?

A.    I don't have a regimen. I should, but life interferes. I write in long hand in a composition notebook, and then type it up. I carry the notebook everywhere: in the car, on vacation, to the beauty shop, etc. 

Q. What authors and books do you most admire?

A.    My favorite is Jan Karon, for her characterizations, Barbara Kinsolver, for her beautiful prose, and Sue Monk Kidd.

Q. Lily Kate Is very much a story of your hometown. How was it received there?

A.   I was amazed by the response of the people of York for my book about Lily Kate. Actually I was shocked. They loved it and everywhere I go they tell me so. They keep asking for the sequence.  The York Historical Society has given me a lot of opportunities and has offered to sponsor a book signing for me on the next one. 

Q. What's next for you as an author?

A. I have just finished my second novel, Dragon Smoke, about  Lily Kate and her days as a senior in York High School. It's set in the 1950s, also, and is about her experiences as a 16-year-old with her best friend.

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