Friday, February 10, 2023

7 Questions with Historical Fiction Author Perrie Patterson


Perrie is a graduate of the University of Alabama. She and her husband Jeff have raised two children and live just north of Atlanta. While Jeff still works for Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia, Perrie has taken to writing novels. Her first four books fall into the new adult romance category, and three of those stories are in the Crimson Series trilogy and take place on the University of Alabama campus. Her other book, Hit Zero could be either young adult (characters are 13-17) or new adult (characters are 18-24) and is a ----second chance, finding a faith of your own, falling in love, all while learning to forgive someone who's hurt you deeply story---- set to the background of competition cheerleading. Perrie's 5th novel is her first historical fiction romance and takes place during the American Revolution and was inspired by Benjamin Tallmadge, a Second Continental Dragoon commander and the espionage leader for what historians would later call The Culper Spy Ring. Available here 

In her free time, Perrie volunteers with the local NSDAR and holds four positions in her DAR chapter. She is a mentor for the Forsyth County School system, leads a ladies Bible study group through Brown's Bridge Community Church, hosts a book podcast where she interviews authors of all genres called The Talking Book Atlanta, and she and husband Jeff enjoy team trivia with their regular Tuesday night team. Perrie's books are available on Amazon, and her website is: .

1. When did you first get hooked on history?

I had a great high school history teacher. I grew up in Mandeville, LA which is along the North shores of Lake Pontchartrain. But history was not something I was interested in majoring in in college. I was told at a fairly young age that I could join the NSDAR, because I had an ancestor who fought in the American Revolution. I was actually a fashion merchandising major and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1989.

2. What role does history play in your life?

As I mentioned in the first question, I knew I could join the DAR at a young age, but it wasn't until a neighbor mentioned to me one day that she was planning to attend the local DAR chapter meeting. I told her that I knew I could join it and told her I'd like to go with her. It turned out that I did join the chapter and she did not join. I joined the NSDAR Chestatee River Chapter in 2015. Ever since that time, I've grown fonder of our American history and founding of our nation, as well as my own family's role in that. I am now also a member of the Decedents of the Founders of New Jersey, as an ancestor came over from England during the Puritan migration around the year 1636 and helped to settle cities, towns and the state of New Jersey.

3. What role does history play in your career?

As an author, I have written a historical fiction based on the life of a Second Continental Dragoon commander who was also the espionage leader for what historians would later call The Culper Spy Ring. I also have a podcast called The Talking Book Atlanta and through the podcast I interview authors of all genres, some are historians and have written fabulous nonfiction. 

4. Why do you feel studying history is important?

Not only is history interesting, I think that by studying the events, people and things that happened in the past it helps us to better understand what happened in the past and maybe reasons for the way things happened. Studying history might also provide a window into the past giving us a view into the lives, the thoughts and the scenery of past worlds, countries, cities, queens and kings, and kingdoms, which in turn should help us to better understand our lives today maybe giving us ideas about what works and what doesn't. 

5. What is your favorite period in history?

I would have to say the 18th century is a favorite of mine. Particularly the study of the American Revolution and the founding of our nation.

6. What drew you to writing  historical fiction?

It goes back to being a member of the NSDAR, and for those unfamiliar ----that stands for the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution which is an ancestor-based society and was founded in 1890 by four women. It is one, it not the oldest all-female volunteer service organization in the country. It focuses on God, Home, Country through service, volunteering, preserving our historic sites and buildings, celebrating our history, providing scholarships for students and educating the public about our nation's history as well as supporting our veterans and active military. My local chapter has a book club and through that we read a book titled: 355 Women in Washington's Spy Ring by Kit Sergent. At the same time, I was reading this novel, I was watching the TV show based on Washington's spies called TURN. From there my fascination grew to the point I had to write a book inspired by the life of Benjamin Tallmadge, who was asked by Washington to take up a private correspondence during the revolution which helped Washington win the war.

7. What are the Hallmarks of  great historical fiction in your opinion?

Great historical fiction must be filled with historical facts, and some of the work’s characters should be real people from history. Historical works of fiction should draw the reader into the story by giving them a character or several characters to root for, those whose lives they are intrigued by and wish to know more about. And good historical fiction should have a touch of romance, as well as enthralling and captivating scenes that bring the reader into the pages of the book through the use of words they can almost taste.