Phaedra Patrick

As a child I read everything I could, from books at the breakfast table to the labels on shampoo bottles. So, as a present for my eighth birthday, my parents joined a book club for me. My heart leaped when the quarterly magazine dropped on the doormat and I could choose and order a book. I was attracted to the fairy stories, of make-believe lands and thrilling adventures. But I was also intrigued by how words fitted together and I knew that I wanted to write, too.

It was in my early twenties, doing a job I hated, that I finally plucked up the courage to give it a go. Fighting the voice in my head telling me that ‘ordinary’ people like me didn’t become authors, I taught myself to type and loitered in bookstores at lunchtime. I read the book blurbs, perused the covers and swotted up on literary agents and publishers. It took lot of perseverance and several rejected novels before The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper was eventually snapped up.

Even though I now write full time as my job, it’s something I’d do anyway. It’s both a compulsion and a passion. If I don’t do it, I can become terribly cranky. And, in the bath, I still keep reading those shampoo bottle labels.

Phaedra’s newest book, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone was released in the United States on May 16th.