Interview with Author Elle Andrews Patt
Welcome, Elle. Tell us, what inspired you to launch / join the Alvarium Experiment?
M.J. Carlson introduced me to Ken Pelham and their joint enthusiasm for the project as they explained it made me really interested in the details of the premise. The very thoughtful and thorough details of both the Prometheus character specifications and business plan that Ken and Charles Cornell had drawn up inspired me to jump up and down yelling, “I’m in, if you’ll have me! Pick me!”
What are some of the benefits and challenges of writing “into” an existing framework for Prometheus as a character? How did that shape your creative process for your story? Is it different from your usual writing process?
I love a structure challenge when writing story. The Prometheus specs gave me just one character out of my control, which provides just enough boundaries to make writing the story a puzzle challenge. How do I fit this particular character with these particular traits into a story completely my own? I also chose to write within the historical boundaries of a real life mystery because I’m a structure masochist that way. The benefit of having such boundaries is that it allows the time you would’ve spent world-building to be spent instead on strengthening the smaller details of your story through research and craft and concentrate on putting your reader right there in the story.
In this case, Prometheus inspired me to try a version of the Roanoke story I’ve been wanting to write for years. In Prometheus, I had a great ‘outsider’ viewpoint to exploit to give a wider perspective than I might have otherwise managed. It also let me share the historical events while being respective of the real people involved and the fact that we don’t really know their personal motivations for their actions. I let Prometheus become the scope through which we view the events. I also wanted a more visceral point of view. The real person I chose for that second viewpoint became Manteo once I discovered he was one of two people who were present for the entire history of the colonization of Roanoke, involved in all the major events that led to its demise, and that he had no voice in the historical record. I also liked that as a Native American he knew both sides of the occupation, since he also took the initiative to learn English, travel to London, and learn about the English vision for America. It seemed to me that Prometheus would be drawn to observe such a man.
The process for this story was quite a bit different from my current process, but very similar to writing fanfic, which I did quite a bit of when I was sharpening my writing skills after a long hiatus (and still do on occasion!). My personal life at the time of writing this story was very difficult and harkened back to the years of writing in fifteen minute bursts when my kids were little. It was nice to have the set framework, which freed me up to write the details.
Tell me more about your other work(s).
I have a tendency towards realism with a fantasy or science fiction based intrusion, so the Prometheus concept was right up my alley. My award-winning short fiction has appeared in on-line magazines such as the Saw Palm, The Rag, and Solarcide, as well as themed anthologies. I have completed a paranormal murder mystery and am currently working on its sequel and a literary novella set on Beech Mountain.
‘Manteo’ follows the historical events of the second English colonization of Roanoke through the viewpoint of Manteo and Prometheus up until the departure from Roanoke of Governor John White. After his leave taking, the story becomes pure speculation and allows Prometheus compassionate action, a consequence of his constantly developing humanity. It gave me a chance to write my take on why the colonists abandoned Roanoke and when, with a direction for their future provided by current real-life investigation.
Like many Americans, I’ve been completed fascinated by the mystery of the lost colony since I learned about it in history class. I wrote a novel-length fanfic for the show ‘Bones’ several years ago that revolved around the possession of Virginia Dare’s remains. My research taught me a lot about the Lumbee tribe in North Carolina. I had intended to write about Virginia Dare as a character for the Prometheus story, placing her among the ancestors of the Lumbee, but then I found Manteo and couldn’t resist writing the historical realty of Roanoke in the framework of the Prometheus project.
What are your writing plans for 2015? What does the new year hold in store for you?
In 2015, I hope to publish Billie Mae, my paranormal murder mystery as well as continue to sell my shorter work. I will be completing both the sequel to Billie Mae and a literary novella set on Beech Mountain called The Year Of The Bear.
How can readers find out more about your work?
Please visit me at www.elleandrewspatt.com to read my short fiction and samples of my novels. You can also follow me on Twitter: @LandrewsPatt and/or Facebook: Elle Andrews Patt
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Elle Andrews Patt is a married mother of two unschooled kids now thriving in high school and at university. She is an eclectic and has worked as a certified veterinary technician, event manager, and co-owner of a pizza restaurant, large equestrian boarding, show, and breeding farm, and telecommunications company. Her award-winning speculative and literary short fiction has appeared in markets such as The Rag, Solarcide, and SawPalm, as well as anthologies. She is currently seeking representation for her paranormal murder mystery, Billie Mae, and completing a literary novella. ‘Manteo’, a short story within The Prometheus Saga collection is her first self-publication and a product of her association with The Alvarium Experiment. To read her short fiction and samples of her novel, please visit elleandrewspatt.com Facebook: Elle Andrews Patt, The Prometheus Saga, The Alvarium Experiment Twitter: @LAndrewsPatt
The Prometheus Saga is the premier project of the Alvarium Experiment, a consortium of accomplished and award-winning authors.
The Saga spans the range of the existence of Homo sapiens. The stories do not need to be read in any particular order; each story is an entry point into the overall story.
The Prometheus Saga stories & authors are:
“The Pisces Affair” by Daco Auffenorde. CIA operative Jordan Jakes meets Prometheus when the Secretary of State becomes the target of a terrorist attack at a head-of-state dinner in Dubai. Visit Daco at www.authordaco.com.
“On Both Sides” by Bria Burton. When a mysterious woman vanishes during the American Revolution, young Robby Freeman searches for answers from a cryptic sharpshooter who deserted Washington’s Continental Army. Visit Bria at www.briaburton.com.
“Ever After” by M.J. Carlson. Two mysterious women convey the same Cinderella story to Giambattista Basile in 1594 and Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1811. How different cultures retell this story reveals humanity’s soul to those who listen. Visit M.J. at www.mjcarlson.com.
“The Blurred Man” by Bard Constantine. FBI agent Dylan Plumm’s investigation of a mill explosion puts her on the trail of the Blurred Man, a mysterious individual who may have been on Earth for centuries. Visit Bard at bardofdarkness.wix.com/bardconstantine.
“Crystal Night” by Charles A. Cornell. Berlin, 1938. On the eve of one of history’s darkest moments, a Swedish bartender working in Nazi Germany accidentally uncovers a woman’s hidden past. Can he avoid becoming an accomplice as the Holocaust accelerates? Visit Charles at www.charlesacornell.com.
“The Strange Case of Lord Byron’s Lover” by Parker Francis. Writing in her journal, Mary Shelley recounts a series of perplexing events during her visit with Lord Byron—a visit that resulted in the creation of her famous Frankenstein novel, but also uncovered a remarkable mystery. Visit Parker at www.parkerfrancis.com.
“Strangers on a Plane” by Kay Kendall. In 1969 during a flight across North America, a young mother traveling with her infant meets an elderly woman who displays unusual powers. But when a catastrophe threatens, are those powers strong enough to avert disaster? This short story folds into Kay’s mystery series featuring the young woman, amateur sleuth Austin Starr. Visit Kay at www.kaykendallauthor.com.
“East of the Sun” by Jade Kerrion. Through a mysterious map depicting far-flung lands, a Chinese sailor in 1424 and a Portuguese cartographer in 1519 share a vision of an Earth far greater than the reality they know. Visit Jade at www.jadekerrion.com.
“Manteo” by Elle Andrews Patt. In 1587, Croatan native Manteo returns from London to Roanoke Island, Virginia. Can he reconcile his strong loyalty to the untamed land and people of his home with his desire for the benefits the colonizing English bring with them before one of them destroys the other? Visit Elle at www.elleandrewspatt.com.
“First World War” by Ken Pelham. 40,000 BC: As the last remaining species of hominid, Homo sapiens and Homo neanderthalensis, fight a desperate battle for ownership of the future, the outcasts of both sides find themselves caught in middle. Visit Ken at www.kenpelham.com.
“Lilith” by Antonio Simon, Jr. In this retelling of the Adam & Eve story, a hermit’s life is turned upside-down by the arrival of a mysterious woman in his camp. As the story of their portentous meeting carries forward through the millennia, only time will tell if Lilith is a heroine, a victim, or a monster. Visit Antonio at www.DarkwaterSyndicate.com.
“Fifteen Dollars’ Guilt” by Antonio Simon, Jr. 1881: After a close brush with death in a steamship disaster, Prometheus encounters another survivor who gripes about how aimless his life has become. Prometheus helps him find his calling, inadvertently setting in motion the assassination of President Garfield. Visit Antonio at www.DarkwaterSyndicate.com.
Visit the website to view all of the stories: The Prometheus Saga