Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Patricia Steffy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Patricia Steffy will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

I loved the “Meg” mysteries by Holly Beth Walker. Meg was smart, tenacious and always able to solve a mystery with the help of her friends. Think “Nancy Drew” only younger. She was intrepid. Many of the stories included bits of history or had a historical element to them, and I think that added to my fascination. I got the first one for my ninth birthday, and I still have them – although I recently discovered that I never read the second book. I'm on the hunt for it because even after all of these years, despite aging out of their target audience, I still want to read one more “Meg” mystery.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

“My Letter to Fear” is funny, heartbreaking and ridiculous – like life.

E-Reader or print? and why?

I'm mainly a print reader, although I have read some e-Books. I like the feel and smell of print editions. I once dreamed of having a home with a big library, complete with moving ladder to reach the top shelves (and middle shelves, as I am quite short). The print editions still give me that glimpse into what I once wanted, I think. Of course, I'm traveling more now than I ever have, so I can see myself succumbing to the lure of the e-Reader.

One book at a time or multiples?

I can only read one book at a time. I need to lose myself in the worlds when I'm reading fiction, and I find myself distracted and oddly displaced in a story if I juggle multiple books.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)

Bookmark! I have some gorgeous ones friends have given me over the years. If I don't have one of those, then I'm likely to use slim junk mail.

When do you do most of your reading?

I do most of my reading at night before bed. I consider it a little pre-dreaming or pre-escape before sleep (unless I just can't put it down and then sleep has to wait). This is only if I'm not reading material with particularly graphic or disturbing scenes. Books that give off too much scary/disturbing imagery have to wait for lazy afternoons. I don't want that swirling around my brain as I sleep.

Favorite place to read?

It's a tie. I love to read while soaking in the bathtub or propped up in bed. I think I'd also be remarkably happy reading in a hammock, but we don't have one here, so the jury is still out.

Do you loan your books?

I do loan my books! Many of my friends are also book lovers and are very careful with anything loaned. We frequently offer up books we love to each other.

Re-reader or not?

I can be a re-reader. “All the King's Men” by Robert Penn Warren is one of my favorite books of all time. I can't even guess how often I have read that. “Pride & Prejudice” has been read more than a dozen times. I got in the habit of reading “Bridget Jones's Diary” every January. There are travel books that I'll go back to, particularly if I'm going to visit the area mentioned.

Keep books or give them away?

I used to keep every book that came into my home. I moved books with me to college, from college to Washington, D.C., to Boston, to New Jersey and on to California. When I moved again in California, I took serious inventory, and I realized that I had been paying to move many, many books that I would never read again. It was then that I started donating the books or selling them at yard sales. I've now got the collection down to “books I love” and “books I have to read.” I still have dreams of that impressive home library one day, but for the moment, this feels right.


Over the course of two years, Steffy conducted interviews with the fabulous women around her and their equally fantastic friends. She put no restrictions on age, or ethnicity. They just needed to be willing to answer some questions. The questions covered a variety of topics, including aging, body image, abuse, rape, addiction, confidence, loss, beauty myths, and fear. Steffy asked them about the expectations they had for their lives when they were very young versus their current realities as adults. She asked them to tell her the best things about themselves (a question which was surprisingly difficult for people to answer) and the worst things. Those answers—the funny, the heartbreaking, and the hysterical—and her own experiences became the basis for these essays.


From Worry

Like most young girls, I was once told that everyone is good at something. All you have to do is find the one thing you are absolutely passionate about and make it your own. Once you do that, or so I was told, life would unfold according to plan. Question: what happens when the one thing you are good at is worrying? Because I'm really, really good at that.

I once got into a heated discussion with an ex because he thought worrying was a ridiculous waste of time, and this astounded me. Of course worrying is useful! Without worry, you don't plan for every possible contingency. Without worry, you can't possibly cheat Murphy's Law, Destiny and the Fates. With worry, you might just pull one over on them.

I worry about everything. I can do it anywhere and at any time. Ninety-eight percent of my brain can be thoroughly engaged, but that shifty two percent is secretly trying to figure out what to do in case of an earthquake, flood, famine, poverty or the cancellation of my favorite television show. ...


Patricia Steffy attended Kenyon College and American University. She is a recent refugee from the corporate world where she worked as an analyst for a law firm for more than 16 years. An escape plan started to develop as she pursued her interests as a writer and producer through Circe’s World Films. She has been involved in co- and exec-producing a number of feature and short films ranging from broad comedy to psychological drama, including the award-winning short Touch. She is currently developing Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths as a web series. The series is based on her long-running blog of the same name.


Pieces from My Letter to Fear were featured in a one-night only special showcase event. The showcase was directed by Danielle Turchiano and featured readings from Nikki DeLoach (Awkward.), Lesley Fera (Pretty Little Liars), Stevie Lynn Jones (Crisis), Jen Lilley (Days of Our Lives), Roma Maffia (Pretty Little Liars), Dennisha Pratt (The Sunny Side Up Show), and Carla Renata (Hart of Dixie). You can see excerpts from the readings here: http://www.patriciasteffy.com/showcase/.

Website: http://www.patriciasteffy.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PLSteffy

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Diesel, or Smashwords.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on the tour, I enjoyed the excerpt, and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Thank you for hosting me and "My Letter to Fear!"

  3. What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

    1. Thanks for following the tour! I just finished The Master Blaster by PF Kluge. It was a slow build kind of book, but the last third really came together and the ending was very powerful. Now I'm going back to pick up some classic books that I haven't read for one reason or another.

  4. Sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing :)