Ryan James Patrick discusses his new novel, Sarah Meets Mace, shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

Ryan James Patrick was born in 1953 in Calgary, Alberta, and worked in the insurance claims business for the first 30 years, and then as a legal consultant to law firms representing accident victims, helping to deal with their insurance claims, for a further 15 years. He is presently unable to continue working part time in that field because of COVID. Before writing this e-book, most of his experience was with non-fiction; in writing hundreds, if not thousands, of insurance claim reports, then later on writing hundreds of legal style papers, including legal opinions and countless settlement proposals.

Can you tell us about your book in three sentences or less?

The book begins with two lonely people, Sarah and Mace, who meet and fall in love, while Mace helps Sarah work her ranch in Wyoming. After they sell her ranch, they hit the road and eventually end up in the Florida Keys, in a town called Turtle Bight, where an old friend of Mace lives. Before they leave for Florida, they have an amazing adventure, driving to Shiprock, New Mexico, where they watch the most amazing sunrise on Earth, then west to the Red Rocks of Monument Valley, then back to New Mexico, where they explore much of that spectacular State, before returning to Florida to live.

What inspired this book?

Mostly inspired by music from the 70s and 80s, including Jimmy Buffett’s music.

Describe your writing style in five words or less.

Old-fashioned writing style.

What first drew you towards writing?

Drawn to writing, inspired by the thousands of books I have read.

What do you wish you had known when you first started writing?

Before I started writing I wish I had known how difficult it was to get published. 

Do you have any writing projects in the works right now?

No more projects in the works. 

What’s the best book you’ve read recently?

Best book I have read recently is an old classic, Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne.

The Kobo Emerging Writer Prize was created to bring literary recognition to Canadian talent and kick-start the careers of debut authors. A $10,000 CAD cash prize will be awarded to a book in each of three categories: Nonfiction, Literary Fiction, and a rotating Genre Fiction category. In addition, each winning author receives promotional marketing and ongoing communications support throughout 2022.

Ryan James Patrick is one of six authors nominated in the Romance category for 2022. Best-selling romance author Nana Malone will select this year’s winner, to be announced on June 22, 2022.

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