A Perfect 10 with Patrick Roland

This week, I have the pleasure of featuring Author Patrick Roland for this edition of A Perfect 10.

Please enjoy this week’s installment of A Perfect 10

If you want to check out past interviews, you can find them in the following links:

A.C. FlorySteve BoseleyKayla MattMae ClairJill SammutDeanna KahlerDawn Reno LangleyJohn HowellElaine CouglerJan SikesNancy BellNick DavisKathleen LopezSusan ThatcherCharles YallowitzArmand RosamiliaTracey PaganaAnna DobrittKaren OberlaenderDeby FredericksTeri PolenDarlene FosterRobert Rayner, C.C. NaughtonSherry RentshlerLinda BradleyLuna St. ClairJoan HallStaci TroiloAllan HudsonRobert EggletonPaul Scott BatesP.C. Zick, Joy Lennick

Also, if you are an author and you want to be part of this feature, I still have a few slots open for 2017. You can email me at don@donmassenzio.com

Author PhotoDoes writing energize or exhaust you?

I think it’s a little of both. I think the idea of it sometimes is exhausting, but then once you’ve done it and you have a finished product – something you are really proud of – that’s very energizing. That’s been my experience lately.

Do you ever write under a pseudonym? If not have you considered it? Why or why not?

I don’t and considering what I admit to doing in my book – I go there! – I don’t think I ever would. To me, it takes away the authenticity of what I am trying to do by telling my story. My hope in doing this is really to help the next person who is going through something similar, but if I am not honest about who I am, why would they even connect to me? This whole exercise is about human connection. This is me stripping the walls of fear and shame I built around myself and saying “this is who I am. I got through this and you can too.”

Does a big ego help or hurt writers? Why or why not?

I think ultimately it hurts. I don’t know why anyone would be interested in reading something by someone who wasn’t humble. That doesn’t seem attainable to me. The thing about me is that I’m a very regular guy. Maybe I’ve gotten through some extraordinary circumstances, but there’s nothing about me that makes me any better or any more than anyone else. That’s why I wanted to do this – I wanted people to know it’s possible to move through pain into power. Because it really is. But it would be useless to me if I didn’t try to help the next person.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

I haven’t even made any money yet but when I do, I’ll let you know. 😉

What does writing success look like to you? Have you achieved it?

Well there are a number of different ways you could define “success,” and I suppose the most would do so based on popularity or riches, but regardless of whether or not I ever become the next literary sensation, I do feel like a success because I realized a dream. I did something pretty amazing I always wanted to do that was very supported by my community and the people in my life. Even more, this whole process changed me as a person. I’m not even the same guy I was before I wrote this book. I was able to take all this awful stuff that once broke me, find acceptance in all of it and turn it in to this artistic work that is pretty beautiful. So, that does feel like a success.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? What sources do you use?

Well this particular book was my life. So I guess I spent about 40 years researching it. Every single thing happened. It’s all true. All the pain. All the heartache. All the eventual growth. All the eventual sparkle. The experience, strength and hope is all real.

How do you select the names of your characters? Have you ever regretted choosing a particular name? Why?

With the exception of one chapter, “Wrecking Ball,” all of the names of the people in my book are real. I changed that one because my publisher felt one of the other drug addicts was portrayed negatively so we didn’t want to harm anyone. I also never used my partner’s real name because he wasn’t out so there is no way to identify him. Nor did I identify anyone in his family. I didn’t want to give them any reason to come after me further.

What is the hardest type of scene to write?

The stuff with my mother was the hardest. We had a very toxic relationship during the time period of this particular narrative. Still, she is my mother so I didn’t want to destroy her. She was way worse in earlier drafts of the book and I still went in pretty hard. I had to be honest about our relationship though because this is the person that I had the most conflict with during this time that ultimately does the thing that saves me from myself so there had to be some juxtaposition there. Because we did not get along then.

If you could have dinner with four people, living or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?

1-dinnerWell, my first choice is obviously going to be Pack (my deceased partner) because I would pick him over and over again every time. I don’t even know what if ask him because I imagine I’d be really overwhelmed to see him again.

2-dinnerThen I pick my best friend Megan because they never got to meet and that makes me really sad.

3-dinnerMy next selection is Whitney Houston because she has always been my favorite singer and I was supposed to meet her once but she was, um, “busy.” (You can draw your own conclusions on what she was doing there).


Then I would pick Oprah because she could make me a literary superstar, right? Maybe we’d all get a car!

What platform has brought you the most success in marketing your books?

Me. This book is very personal and I’ve had the most success when I directly interact with people who are interested in it. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible, so I answer questions like these! I hope your readers have gotten a taste of what my sparkle is like and I hope they know how much they sparkle, too!

Find Patrick’s Book:

Cover Design Other formatWebsite: http://unpackedsparkle.com/

Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/Unpacked-Sparkle-Story-Grief-Recovery/dp/1944826319

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Unpacked-Sparkle-Story-Grief-Recovery-ebook/dp/B01M5IVU5G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496607233&sr=8-1&keywords=Unpacked+Sparkle

Connect with Patrick:

Twitter: @Unpackedsparkle

Facebook (both the below)




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