It’s time to meet another one of our amazingly talented authors on “Team Orange”! Read on to meet Patty Blount. I approve of her world-saving ideas…do you?
Author Name: Patty Blount
Title of Short Story: Murder is a Job Best Left to Professionals
In 25 words or less tell me what this story is about: A former NASCAR champion deals with his professional jealousy over his much younger rival.
How did you come up with the concept for the story? When the request for “Orange” stories came out, I immediately thought of Home Depot. A few years ago, we’d tried to paint our kitchen a Tuscan orange color but what we got was the Home Depot trademark color. I knew I had to write a story set in or around Home Depot, which became “RenovateIT” in the story and the NASCAR sponsorship made that easy to do.
What prompted you to submit your story to the Orange Karen Anthology? The fabulous Jennifer Gracen is my RWA local chapter mate and through her, I learned all about Karen’s ordeal. Even though I’ve never met Karen IRL, I felt a connection to her through Jen and wanted to help make things a little easier for this amazing survivor.
Tell us one thing about yourself that we wouldn’t know about you from reading your bio: I suffer terribly from self-doubt. Every success I’ve achieved is because I didn’t listen to my inner nag.
What is your favorite “orange” item (it could be a food, an object…sky’s the limit)? Why? Have you ever heard of the chocolate orange? You whack it and then unwrap it and the chocolate is shaped like orange wedges. I am the world’s biggest chocolate addict. The chocolate orange is a big indulgence. I’ve had it maybe three times in my life, but it remains one of my favorites.
If you had to use your favorite “orange” item to save the world, what would you do with it? *laughs* Save the world, one piece of chocolate at a time? I know the effect chocolate has on me. Calming. Soothing. I wonder if we could achieve world peace if we gave everybody on earth a piece of chocolate at the same time?
Who inspires you? Why? Maybe I’m old and jaded but I don’t try to emulate celebrities and sports stars anymore. Instead, I look at real people for inspiration. People like the school teachers who stood in front of a madman’s gun to protect their students. People like the passengers on the fourth flight that never hit its intended target on September 11th, 2001. And people like Karen, who could curl up in a ball and cry about what happened to them, but instead, fight and keep fighting.
“Yo. Harlan Hot Shoe Anderson. I’m a ‘uge fan. ‘uge! The name’s Tony.” The man sticks his cigarette between his lips and holds his hands three feet apart to prove it.
I nod politely and he whips out a cell phone, slings his arm around my other shoulder, and clicks a photo without even askin’ first.
“Hey, yo, Bobby! Check it out, it’s freakin’ Hot Shoe himself. Don’t piss him off now, don’t want him throwin’ a helmet at ya!” the man called Tony shouts into the crowd.
“Come on, Tony, back off. Let the man breathe.” A smaller guy I’m guessin’ to be Bobby steps out of the crowd, slaps a hand on Tony’s chest, pushes him back a foot. I nod my thanks.
“Yo. We came here to see Beau Givens. Is he comin’ or what?” Another ornery voice shouts.
Before I can reply, Dwayne shifts and adjusts his NASCAR cap. “Well, ol’ Beau — he’s around here someplace. Here now, how ‘bout a nice T-shirt?” He reaches into the show car, pulls out a box. “Here, Harlan. Start tossin’ shirts to the crowd.”
“He’s here? Oh, shit!” The man callin’ himself Tony lights up like a swarm of lightnin’ bugs and turns to me. “You ain’t scared, are you, Hot Shoe? Heard you two mixed it up last week after the Nationwide race.”
“No, sir.” I shake my head. “Beau just needs to be reminded to act like he’s got some raisin’ up to be done still, and I reminded him is all.”
Big Tony blinks down at me like I’d spoken in tongues. That’s when Dwayne’s assistant come runnin’ out of the store, eyes buggin’ and pale as a ghost.
Dwayne takes her elbow, leads her away from the crowd. I follow. “What is it, sugar?”
“He’s dead, Dwayne,” she whispers in a shaky tone. “Oh, Lord, he’s dead. They found him in the restroom at the back of the store.”
About the Author
Patty spends her days writing facts and her nights writing contemporary romantic fiction. A coworker once said if Patty were a super-villain, she’d be called The Quibbler. Her costume would be covered in exclamation points. Fueled by a serious chocolate obsession, a love of bad science-fiction movies, and a weird attraction to exclamation points, Patty looks for ways to mix business with pleasure, mining her day job for ideas to use in her fiction.