Monday, February 23, 2015

Author Interview: IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS with Tricia Schneider

I'm happy to welcome author Tricia Schneider to Between The Pages. Tricia is a fellow author published by The Wild Rose Press who amazes me with her ability to juggle home, family, and her writing career. Tricia, I'm happy you could visit us this morning.

Thanks, Lynda, for hosting me today! You had so many interesting questions for the interview! For your readers who don’t know me, I’m an author of paranormal and gothic romance published with The Wild Rose Press. I worked for several years in a Waldenbooks store as Assistant Manager and bookseller. When the bookstore closed in 2010, I turned to writing full-time while raising my 3 young children (with another on the way!). I live in Pennsylvania with my musician husband and two neurotic cats.

1.      (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I speak a different language, dialect, or local slang?

(Tricia) I’ve lived in Pennsylvania Dutch country all of my life and have picked up the accent of my German immigrant ancestors. My fascination with the language began when I was very little. All of my grandparents spoke varying degrees of Deutsch although they weren’t as fluent as their parents. During World War II, my great-grandparents encouraged their children to speak only English especially since this area was heavily monitored by the government in search of German spies. Despite this, my grandparents still picked up enough of it that they could teach me a few phrases when I was little. Although the language has since faded, the accent is still strong in this area, especially among the elderly. There’s still a section in the local newspaper that prints an article in PA Dutch to keep our heritage alive for newer generations.

When I went to high school, I studied the German language which is closely connected with Pennsylvania Deutsch. Most of the words are similar, enough that I could understand it. Now I speak German as a second language, although I still don’t consider myself fluent. I practice it on occasion with my husband and I teach some of it to my children. I’d like to learn more languages someday, too. Maybe Italian or Russian.

(Lynda) Speaking a second language has always been a goal of mine, one which I'm said to say, I haven't accomplished yet. With my love of Asian dramas, I have been able to pick up quite a few words and phrases in Korean. I'm not sure that counts, but it's fun. :)

2.      (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have any critters that keep
me company while writing?

(Tricia) I have 2 cats that my husband and I rescued. Their mama was a stray cat who gave birth to a litter of four beneath the deck behind my house. My husband tried to catch them, but only managed to grab two before the mama got wise to our tricks and whisked the other two away. Now we have Oscar and Cassius who both keep me company while I write at night. They curl up with me on my sofa to keep my feet warm or they nuzzle around my head while they sit on the cushions behind me. Most of the time they like to try to chase the arrow across my screen while I’m clicking links on the internet. Cassius is my scaredy-cat. He’s afraid of everything. And Oscar thinks he’s a dog. My husband whistles for him and he comes running. Sometimes I think his tail wags, too!

3.      (Lynda Asks:)  IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I also have other hobbies, if so, what kind?

(Tricia) Some people would say reading is a hobby, but for me it’s more like breathing. I read all of the time, but I don’t consider it a hobby. It’s a necessity! I do enjoy other hobbies such as crafts. I’ve become a Pinterest addict with all the fun projects I find on there. I like to cross-stitch while I watch TV. And recently I took up crocheting again. My mom taught me a few basic stitches when I was little, but after she died I stopped. Just a few weeks ago, I picked up some yarn and started again. And I really like it! I’m also an amateur genealogist. I began tracing my family tree years ago by writing down every family member that my grandparents could remember. Now with the internet, I have so much information available that I’ve traced my family back to the 1300’s. Most of my branches are German, but I’ve found French and English, too. There are stories passed down in my family that there’s Native American heritage somewhere among my ancestors, but I haven’t been able to locate it yet.

4.      (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I often visit book stores and why?

(Tricia) I worked for several years as an Assistant Manager and bookseller in a Waldenbooks store in the local mall in my area. As most avid readers know, Waldenbooks and their sister company, Borders, went out of business a few years ago. They’re both greatly missed! Especially in my area. There are no other bookstores in our county. The nearest one is nearly an hour away. I try to make monthly trips so I can spend a few hours in Barnes and Noble to just experience that bookstore feeling. I love to be surrounded by books! It’s the greatest feeling to gaze among the shelves searching for that next great read! I call it book therapy.

(Lynda) The loss of so many book stores has saddened many readers, me included. I'm happy to say that the libraries in our area are thriving so people still have a place to sit surrounded by books, 

5.      (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Do I have a favorite color, movie, ice cream flavor, and drink?

(Tricia) My favorite color is blue. My favorite ice cream flavor is mocha with chocolate chips (this tastes heavenly over a warm brownie with chocolate syrup or hot fudge drizzled on top!). My favorite drink is green tea. This is what I call my writing drink. Sometimes I just need to get in the writing mode and sipping a cup of hot green tea somehow helps me get in the mood to write. I’ve saved the favorite movie question for last because it’s the most difficult. I have several favorite movies, so I’ll only include a few here. Indiana Jones (all except that last one!), The Lord of the Rings, The Mummy, Gone With the Wind, The Princess Bride, French Kiss, Persuasion, Emma, It’s a Wonderful Life (I still cry every single time I watch it!), Beauty and the Beast, and Finding Nemo.

6.      (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, If I had a second chance to start my writing career from the beginning, what would I change?

(Tricia) I wouldn’t doubt myself. For years, I wrote and wrote, but I didn’t have much confidence that my writing was any good even with the amount of praise I received from others. Well, I guess, I still have doubts, most writers probably do, especially when their inner critic is ranting in their ear. And I know it is part of growing as a writer, but I wish I wouldn’t have stopped sending in submissions to publishers and agents for so long. I had decided for a time that I would just write for myself because I didn’t think my writing was good enough for publication. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I really started trying to get published again. My children gave me the motivation to show both them and myself that dreams can come true. On my eldest son’s 3rd birthday, I received my first contract from The Wild Rose Press!

7.      (Lynda Asks:) IF I WERE YOU AND WROTE BOOKS, Would I prefer to have a kitten, puppy, bird, or stuffed animal?

(Tricia) I’ve already told you about my cats and I do love them dearly, but I also had two dogs when I was a kid who were my best friends. I love all animals, but I’ve discovered that I’m definitely a dog person. I’d love to have a puppy in my life again. My dogs were always there for me when I needed them. A friend to listen to when I had bad days and also someone to play with when I was happy. Cats are very different! My cats will only let me cuddle them when they allow me. At times, I think they only tolerate me in the house because I’m the one who feeds them and cleans their litter box!

To learn more about Tricia and her work visit:


  1. What a fascinating background you have, Tricia. I wonder if you'll ever use the Pennsylvania Dutch (what a misnomer!) in your writing, or even your family going back to the 1300s! Wow.

  2. good interview. we can all relate to the self-doubts and even as we grow and gain experience and confidence, they reappear at times. not always bad if you don't just succumb to them.

  3. Great interview. My son is currently learning Russian in high school. (We live in Alaska.) My hubby is originally from the same area as you are and although I can't hear it, some people tell him he has the PA Dutch accent. :)

  4. Great interview. Much of my mother's family lived in PA and I still have a fascination with it. You make me want to go back and visit!