Interview with Kevin D. Patterson, author of Small, Dark, and Handsome

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Small Dark and Handsome Title: Small, Dark, and Handsome
Author: Kevin D. Patterson
Publisher: Dark Peak Publishing
Pages: 270
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Ethan Anderson desperately wants to find his soulmate and he’s convinced that his height of 5'6" is limiting his options. Not wanting to end up like his friends with shallow lives filled with clubs and one-night stands, Ethan turns to a popular dating website where he connects with Anna Collins, a born-again Christian who just may be the woman he’s been looking for. But, when she’s ready for a committed relationship, will Ethan be able to ignore his friends, abide by Anna’s celibate lifestyle, and look beyond her five-inch height advantage to see a future with her before she gives up and moves on?

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Kevin.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

A: Thanks for allowing me to connect with your readers! I've spent over 15 years writing marketing materials to help organizations sell their products and services. Most of my experience has been with Silicon Valley-based software companies, and although I really enjoyed these roles, it was sometimes hard for me to feel passionate about some of the products that were geared towards technical audiences. A few years ago, my wife and I had a chance to live and work in Hyderabad, India for two years, which was a life-changing experience. When we returned, I wasn't certain what I was going to do next, but I knew that I wanted to work on a unique and fulfilling project that would bring me a great sense of pride and passion each day. When my wife suggested that I focus on my first novel instead of rushing back into Corporate America, I gave her a big fat kiss, went straight for my laptop, and didn't stop typing until I had banged out my first draft of Small, Dark, and Handsome.

Q: Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

A: Small, Dark, and Handsome is a romantic comedy about Ethan Anderson, a guy who desperately wants to find his soulmate. Historically, he hasn't had much luck with love, and at 5'6", he’s always felt that his height (or lack thereof) has limited his options. He knows that he doesn't want to end up like his friends who are obsessed with clubs and one-night stands, so Ethan takes a different path and tries out online dating. Eventually, through a popular dating site, he connects with Anna Collins, a born-again Christian who just may be the woman he’s been looking for. But, when it's time for a commitment, Ethan has to decide if he can resist his misguided friends, abide by Anna’s celibate lifestyle, and look beyond her five-inch height advantage to see a future with her before she gives up and moves on. Why did I write it? Well, in the past, I spent a lot of time observing social interactions, and I always wondered what kind of impact height played in dating opportunities for both sexes. That was my initial focus for this story, but I eventually realized that I also wanted to address some other challenges that people commonly face in their search for a soulmate.  


Q: What were some of the biggest challenges you faced writing it?

A:  Creating a good balance between comedy and romance was very difficult. At first, I gravitated much more towards comedy, incorporating as many jokes and humorous scenes as I could stuff into each page. Later, I realized that some of the material wasn't that funny, didn't fit well into the story, and made it hard for the reader to take the main character (and the author) seriously. I also had to get over my tendency to tell too much of the story from the main character's point of view, instead of showing how things played out through dialogue between characters. Overall, I'd say my biggest challenge of all was the editing process. I did work with a professional editor who was excellent, but I had no idea that the process would take so long. Coming into the editing phase, I expected it to be finished within a few weeks, but six months later, we were still going at it. When we finally finished, I was definitely pleased with the final product. I had also developed a new-found appreciation for authors, especially those who are able to crank out high quality stories on a regular basis.     

Q: Do you have a press kit and what do you include in it?  Does this press kit appear online and, if so, can you provide a link to where we can see it? 

A:  Yes. It contains everything you need to know about me and my novel in one place, including the synopsis, book specs, author bio, images, fan pages/contact info, my interviews and guest blog posts, and a link to an excerpt (Chapter 1). The online press kit can be accessed here: http://goo.gl/naN5iM

Q: Have you either spoken to groups of people about your book or appeared on radio or TV?  What are your upcoming plans for doing so?

A: I haven't had any speaking opportunities yet; however, I'm about to wrap up my first virtual blog tour which has helped to generate some exposure for my novel and for me as an author. Later this year, I also plan to exhibit at some book conferences for the first time, and going forward, I'll continue to reach out to audiences through as many different platforms as I can. 

Q: Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/she is?  If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

A:  I published this first novel through my own publishing company, Dark Peak Publishing, LLC. Prior to going the self-publishing route, I did do some research about whether or not to use an agent, but in the end, I decided against it, primarily because I wanted to get my book out there and didn't want to wait months on someone else to decide its fate. That said, I am open to the possibility of working with an agent on future projects because I've seen how their connections and resources can really make a difference, especially in the launch and initial promotion of a novel.

Q: Did you, your agent or publisher prepare a media blitz before the book came out and would you like to tell us about it?

A: As I first-time author, I had a general marketing plan, but the initial launch activities focused more on word-of-mouth efforts as opposed to incorporating press or media-related initiatives. Now that I know just enough to be dangerous, you can expect the marketing plans for all of my future titles to have an intense up-front media blitz, including pre-release events, interviews, and press releases.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

A:  Definitely. In fact, I just started working on my next book and it will be another romantic comedy. I can't say much about it yet, but it involves social media, virtual relationships, and the often overbearing role that they play in many of our lives.
  
Q: Thank you for your interview, Kevin.  Would you like to tell my readers where they can find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

A: My book is available at leading book retailers, including Amazon, iBooks, and Barnes & Noble. You can find me on the web via the links below, and you can contact me directly at kevin@darkpeakpublishing.com. Thanks again for this great opportunity to share my story with your readers!

Website: www.kevindpatterson.com
Twitter:@kpztweets
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorkevindpatterson






Kevin PattersonKevin D. Patterson is an experienced marketing writer and has developed communications for many of today's leading brands, including HP, American Express, Oracle, and Deloitte. After much encouragement from friends and family, he decided to pursue his passion for creative writing, and the end result was his debut fiction novel, Small, Dark, and Handsome. Kevin was born and raised in San Francisco, CA, and has also lived in Michigan, New York, and overseas in India. He currently lives in Plano, Texas with his wife and son. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s MBA program, Kevin is an avid sports fan and tennis player. You can keep up with Kevin and his upcoming projects at www.kevindpatterson.com

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