I met Lena M. Pate on Authonomy, a HarperCollins website for writers. We were in a group for authors of mystery and suspense on the site’s forum. Now her mystery novel, Following the Scent, is published.
Birthing a Writing Career by Lena M. Pate
I was born a Yankee from Michigan but never could get used to the cold weather. If it hadn’t been for the evergreens I don’t think I would have survived the whiteouts of winters. Friends and family all enjoyed ice skating, skiing, and sledding. I spent most of my time next to the bonfires. I remember as a child being bundled up with so many layers of clothes covered in a zipped up snow suit that I stood in the yard looking like the star topping for a Christmas tree. I remember once when I was about five taking refuge from the cold in the dogs house. The snow fell off the roof and covered the exit. Since this actual made it warmer, I soon feel asleep. Quite a bit later, my family actually located their long lost daughter. There was another the time, right after I passed my driver’s test, that I slid my car into the side of an apartment complex. The snow that flanked the building, ascended nearly to the third floor. The mass of white came down, entombing my vehicle, engulfing me in darkness made of white. It took a maintenance man and a shovel to get me out of the car through the driver’s side window after which I called a tow truck pull the car free.
Over Christmas one year I visited family in Texas. My aunt and uncle met me at the airport wearing shorts. When we arrived at their home I noticed the decorated palm tree in the yard covered in ornaments and lights. I stood gawking while sweltering in a wool coat, sweaters, snow boots, a scarf and earmuffs. Needless to say, I had to go shopping for clothes.
Arriving back home, the first thing I announced to my family and friends was that I was moving to Texas. I followed through with those plans within a year. I packed my little Maverick to the hilt, borrowed my older brother for the ride there and camped at my relatives for a few weeks while I secured a job and furnished efficiency apartment.
Since then I have worked in the medical field and in 1982 I completed my state boards for my Medical Technology exam. In 2007 I acquired my Allied Health Instructor certification and in 2008 was awarded honorary Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Laboratory Science and Primary Care.
In my fifties, I went through a deep, critical soul searching and decided to retake up writing. I began writing poetry and stories as soon as I knew how to hold a pencil, but life got in the way for a while so that I could mature into adulthood. Facing empty nest syndrome, I discovered that I had a knack and a passion for computers. Thus was born my blog, Lena’s Story and Poetry Corner. From there I wrote a novel just short of 100,000 words. I sent it out to several agencies and received back a few nibbles, but mostly the agencies stated that they could tell from my writing that I was a first time writer, meaning that it would take too many man hours to edit and rewrite. Birthing a writing career is much like birthing your first child. Pain, panic, pride and acquiring something you love but know nothing about how to care for or nurture.
So I spent several years studying, joining writing sites, going to writing seminars before starting the book I now have on line called Following the Scent. From what I have read, expert’s state, write about what you know. So with that in mind, the story takes place in Dallas Texas and the protagonist is a short, quirky clinical lab scientist trying to start her own private investigative agency. Maggie is sassy, with a flair for aggravating the Dallas detectives, a vigilante, the local mob and a serial killer. She even manages to make friends with two exotic dancers by the names of Cotton Candy and Cit Cat. If you enjoy a good laugh and a good cry while sitting back sipping a glass of port, this crime novel is for you.
Lena M. Pate