Interview with Author Patricia Backley

Updated: Feb 21

Author interview with "TheNZDream" blog

Tell me a bit about yourself….

I am English but emigrated to NZ when I was 59. I wrote and published my first book last year at the age of 69 and have discovered my passion. I now intend to write until I die!

What genre/s do you write in?

I have written historical family sagas, my personal memoirs, co-authored a best-selling coffee-table book about immigrant women, am currently working on a travel memoir, and have three more novels partly written.

How long have you been writing?

I always loved putting pen to paper, but started properly last year in lockdown!

Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these and what publishing route you took.

DAISY is my first book, a historical family saga.


THE WARRIOR WOMEN. A SISTERHOOD OF IMMIGRANT WOMEN is a coffee-table book I co-authored this year with 21 other women. Published in the USA.

THE SECOND DAISY is a sequel to my first novel DAISY and will be published end of November 2021

Did you use an editor? If so who?

Yes, I always use a lady called Colleen Ward, based in Boston, USA

Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?

Yes. 100 Covers and Formatted Books

Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?

Self-published, as at my age I didn’t want to hang around hoping someone would like my stuff!

How do you market your work and promote your brand?(Include links)

My website:

Amazon and other online retailers (Kindle, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Ingramspark, Book Depository, etc.)

My books are also available from Writers Plot bookshop, Upper Hutt, Wellington, and some Auckland libraries.

I also (COVID permitting) attend book fairs and do public speaking.

I have been on several podcasts and done radio interviews.

I was delighted to squeeze in the New Zealand launch of THE WARRIOR WOMEN book a few days before lockdown in August!

What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?

I use Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin and belong to several excellent Facebook author groups.

Do you use an agent?


Do you use paid advertising? If so what?

Have done a little. Bookbub and paid newsletters. Have been lucky enough to get featured for free in several local newspapers and magazines.

Do you have a blog or website?

What inspires you most to write?

People and my travels around the world.

What do you do to help with writers block?

Eat chocolate!

How do you plan your writing and start?

An idea just pops into my head, and I get going!

Is writing your full time job? If not what else do you do?

Yes, I write full time now, although as I am retired I also have lots of time for other fun things too!

What are you working on at the moment?

A travel memoir and three new novels.

What is your target audience?

Anyone who is interested in the lives of ordinary people. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that my books seem to appeal to both men and women, of all ages.

How long does it take you to write a book?

I am pretty fast. The ideas just seem to flow once I start.

When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?

As a child. I loved writing letters, back in the dark ages before email!

What is your writing schedule look like?

Very haphazard! One minute I am writing, then I find myself out in the garden planting some herbs!

What does your family think about you writing?

They are quite impressed, I think!

What do you do when you are not writing?

Garden, eat chocolate, read, walk on the beach, paint, interior design, play mah-jong, watch Netflix, socialize (COVID permitting!)

Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?

From 70 years' worth of travel and studying humans. I have a great love of hearing people's life stories.

What do you think makes a good story?

Anything that keeps people's attention.

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