Rhode Island Authors Showcase – Featuring Pat Mitchell!

The Rhode Island Authors Showcase is back! Each day in November, I’ll be featuring a different RI author. Each post features a giveaway – a book, an anthology, or something else! All you have to do to be eligible for the daily drawing is leave a comment on the blog post. I’ll use a random number generator to pick a winner one week after the blog post (to give you time to catch up).

By commenting on each post, you’re also entered to win our bigger prizes: GRAND PRIZE is a $250 Amazon gift card, BONUS PRIZE is a $100 Amazon gift card, and the CHEER UP YOU WON SOMETHING PRIZE is a $50 Amazon gift card. The big prizes will be chosen, again using a random number generator, on December 7.

PLEASE NOTE: If the author contacts you to let you know you’ve won, you must respond within THREE DAYS or we’ll have to draw another winner.

Pat Mitchell

So happy to welcome my friend Pat Mitchell to the blog! She’s got a new book coming out and I couldn’t be more excited. Get to know my pal:

Do you write under your own name or an alias? I write as Pat Mitchell (changed from ‘Patricia L’ to Pat for the new book)

Where is your hometown? Johnston, Rhode Island

What genre(s) do you write? So far I have written a memoir and a middle grade fiction book. I think I’m going to try YA next! I love expository writing too, so nothing is out of the question at this point.

What have you written? A Girl From the Hill – My Mother’s Journey from Italian Girl to American Woman (2013); Goodbye Pound Cake (2022)

Who are some of your favorite authors?Up to 3 favorite authors – new: David Sedaris, Phillipa Gregory, Lois Lowry

What were your favorite books growing up? The House at Pooh Corner, The Outsiders, Stuart Little

What do you like best about writing? The best part about writing is the feeling when someone reads your work and connects with it. It’s like they are connecting to me and it’s both gratifying and humbling.

What do you find most challenging about writing? Creating the initial story. I feel like once I have the general plot it becomes fun to fill in the pieces. But trying to come up with an interesting idea is difficult.

Where do you draw your inspiration? Usually I deal with feelings I have or have had to deal with in the past, and I build characters around them. There is always some part of me or something that’s important to me at the most at the root of my work.

You’ve just been given the chance to collaborate with Phillipa Gregory. What’s the title going to be? The title of the book would be Blood and Dirt, a historical fiction account of the Irish Famine and Queen Victoria.

Inspired by the memory of her mother to register for this year’s Newport Bridge Run, Rhode Island’s most popular long-distance running race of the year, 14-year-old Michelle Natale envisions herself getting fit, sporting a perfect body, and finally silencing the Hyenas and their boyfriends at Apple Valley Middle School who bully her and call her Pound Cake.

But when Michelle invites her best friend Mandy on the journey from overweight outcasts to beautiful winners, Mandy declines. Instead, she takes a different path to happiness, and the two friends nearly destroy everything that’s most important.

Michelle learns from her relationships with her science-nerd father, her obnoxious big brother, her dreamy new running coach, her mini-me dog, and even Elvis Presley bringing messages from beyond, that true beauty comes from family, friendship, healthy choices, and being happy with who you are.

Pat is offering a copy of her new novel, Goodbye Pound Cake to one lucky winner! To be eligible, just answer this question? Did you (*or do you) have a nickname? Share it if you want to!

It’s #RIAuthor Month – Meet Pat Mitchell

Pat Mitchell photo

The Girl, with her fiance, in 1946

A Girl from the Hill is a tribute to my mother, who grew up on Federal Hill during the Great Depression. The collection of essays depicts her life of as one of laughter and love, as well as its share of suffering and sorrow.

Providence’s Federal Hill neighborhood was, and still is, Rhode Island’s “Little Italy.” Thousands of Italian immigrants, including my grandparents, came to Rhode Island at the turn of the 20th century to begin new, better lives. They struggled to assimilate into American culture, and my mother’s parents, Giovanni and Maria, tried their best to become John and Mary. My mom, their youngest of eight children, was full of joy, and enjoyed much of her childhood despite her mother’s struggle with diabetes.

I began the book merely as a simple exercise, to see if I could actually write a book. Once we got going, once I started listening to my mother’s story, I gained an appreciation for her journey, her losses, and how the absence of her mother left a gaping hole in her young heart that never truly mended.

A Girl from the Hill is a story for mothers and daughters alike, as it speaks of the bonds between us as women, both loving and strained by the inevitable growing pains that daughters naturally experience. I remember how sure I was that I knew so much more than my mother. Now, as a mother myself, I see how my own daughter can run circles around me and my self-righteous confidence, which makes me appreciate my own mother more each day. She was right about so much, and my impatience to grow up and away has now become a yearning to return to my mother and her roots in order to understand critical life lessons.

In addition to my mother’s memories and my realizations, A Girl from the Hill also contains some stories that her mother “made up” and my mother further embellished in order to entertain their children at bedtime, as well as Italian lullabies that have been passed down for generations. And did I mention recipes? Some of our favorite family cookie recipes are also included. My mother’s delicious Christmas cookie trays were legendary, and she whipped up dozens of trays each year both for family and for my dad’s business associates.

Today my mother, 93, still loves to laugh, and says it helps her stay sane as she and my 96-year-old father care for each other. She continues to inspire me with her strength as she stubbornly insists on doing all of her own housework and cooking. To me she is still the little girl with the olive skin and big brown eyes that loved to make her family laugh.

Pat Mitchell author Pat Mitchell received a grade-school punishment and had to write a ten-page essay about appropriate classroom behavior. She enjoyed writing so much that she misbehaved more, hoping to get more writing assignments. A Girl from the Hill is her first book.

GIVEAWAY! The author is offering a copy of her book to one lucky winner. Just comment on this blog post to be eligible. One person will be chosen at random and the author will contact you directly. Contest ends one week from publication of this blog post. US residents only, please.

Meet over 100 local authors on Saturday, December 2! The Fifth Annual RI Authors ExpoThe Fifth Annual RI Authors Expo