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Member Profile: Patricia Watts

1 Mar 2024 6:36 PM | Andrea Glass (Administrator)

MEMBER PROFILE: Patricia Watts


Patricia Watts worked as a journalist for more than 20 years for newspapers in Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska. Following her news career, she worked as a paralegal and then spent 10 years investigating discrimination cases for the Alaska Human Rights Commission. 

Her novels include: Paper Targets (2022, Atmosphere Press), Ghost Light (2020, Bowhead Press) and The Big Empty (2018, SoHo Press) co-written with Stan Jones, The Frayer (2017, Golden Antelope Press), and Watchdogs (SheWrites Press, 2013). 

She moved to San Diego in 2017 after many wonderful visits there and after 30 years in Alaska. Currently, she’s working on short stories and also works as a freelance proofreader and editor. She earned her B.A. in journalism at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California, and her degree in paralegal studies from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She has two children and seven grandchildren.

What aspect of writing and/or editing are you involved in?

I’m a published author of five novels and a freelance proofreader and editor.

What first attracted you to writing/editing?

 I’ve always had a love of the written word from the time I learned to read, and writing has always been my preferred way to express myself. From the time I was a teenager, I wanted to write a novel. After a career in journalism, I finally started my fiction-writing career in my 60s.

How long have you been writing/editing?

I wrote my first “book” when I was 14, and my first novel was published in 2013.

As a writer, what kind of books do you write? Any published? How about short stories?

 I write novels (literary fiction, suspense, mystery), short stories, and essays, and dabble in poetry.

Paper Targets (Atmosphere Press) is literary fiction.

The Frayer (Golden Antelope Press) is suspense noir.

The Big Empty (SoHo Crime/SoHo Press) and Ghost Light (Bowhead Press) are crime mysteries.

Watchdogs (SheWrites Press) is a steamy thriller-women’s fiction.

As an editor, what kind of clients do you work?

I proofread manuscripts for Atmosphere Press as an independent contractor and have worked on nonfiction and fiction that runs the gamut of genres from fantasy and erotica to mystery and children’s books.

What are you working on now either writing or editing?

I’m writing a short story called Sunflower Season, with a theme of how a single decision in the past to stand or not stand by a friend can impact a lifetime. This month, I proofread a novel and a nonfiction manuscript and average two of these projects monthly.

How long have you been a member of SDWEG and why did you join?

I was a member for about two years prior to the COVID shutdowns. I recently rejoined to connect with local writers, to share my writing and my writing experience, to become a better writer, and to promote my editing/proofreading skills.

What benefits have you gained as a member?

I see that SDWEG has added opportunities for writers to share their experience such as the blog posts, and I believe there’s also a way to promote editing skills for hire through the guild, which I had read about some months ago. I would like to write for the blog at some point and get involved with the newsletter and upcoming anthologies. My impression is that SDWEG is more inclusive than some other local writers groups I’ve tried.

What’s something unique or special about you that you’d like others to know?

I’ve lived and worked in a lot of different places which gives me a rich background for sense of place in my books. I have a talent for writing dialogue. I’m adamant about giving a voice to older women (in my books, they have sex lives and a mix of emotions and opinions and can be hilarious). I’ve proved to myself that it’s never too late to follow a dream when I had my first book published at 62.

What request might you have of other members? (joint venture promotions, launch team, referrals, reviews, advance readers…)

I would welcome the opportunity to provide reviews for others and to receive reviews from others, explore joint-venture promotions, receive referrals for editing/proofreading projects, and be part of a critique group.

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