CP Patrick is a dare-devil, a dreamer, a doer, a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a woman that you need to know. She exudes confidence, power, love and womanhood! I met her through her Instagram and immediately knew that this was a woman I wanted to know and be by, in order that her amazingness might rub off on me. After liking all her posts for about a year, I finally decided to reach out to her! Read on to learn more about the spectacular creation that is Author CP Patrick.
- Tell us about your life before becoming a full-time writer?
Before I became a full-time writer, my life was crazy! I worked as a Policy Advisor for the US Department of Energy. Our office was tasked with some of the White House’s top priorities, so it was intense. I would work my full-time job, come home in the evening, and do what I call the family time-dinner-nighttime shuffle. Once everyone was in bed, I would go into my office and write until 2am. Crazy! And not very healthy.
- Quitting your job had to be frightening! What were some liberating parts of it, and what were some hard parts?
Quitting my full-time job was indeed scary because I had worked in the energy sector for the past ten years. Energy policy was very familiar, whereas writing was this new venture. I had so much to learn, especially as an indie author. But I just felt like it was exactly what I supposed to be doing—writing fiction and fantasy about the African diaspora. I had never been happier, so I decided to take the leap. The most liberating part was Waking up and realizing that I had done it. I was following my heart and doing something that I was passionate about, something that gave me so much joy. I kind of felt like a rock star. 🙂 The hardest part was the first two weeks after I left my job—there was no automatic paycheck. It was real. Lol
- What was the breaking point? What made you finally choose your passion over everything else?
Well, the breaking point sort of had this momentum. I published The Truth About Awiti in March 2015. Then it made Amazon’s Best Sellers List in April. By May I had an agent. And throughout there were book clubs and speaking engagements, and with every event I just felt more and more certain this was my destiny. And I was tired. I was really tired working full time and writing. I knew I couldn’t keep going at the same hectic pace. If had to choose one, I knew it would definitely be writing. When I spoke with my husband about it, he actually said, “I knew this was coming.” And then he encouraged me to go for it (because he’s so wonderful. I’m very blessed to have such a supportive spouse).
- What made you so passionate about African-American history, and how in the world did you decide you wanted to mix that with fantasy in your debut novel?
It’s funny because while I have a JD, I also have a BA and MA in African and African-American Studies. Not many people know that because of my career in law and policy. But I have always been passionate about the history and people of the African diaspora. I actually discovered the premise for The Truth About Awiti in graduate school. It was the first time I heard the theory of the spirits of slaves being embodied in the winds of hurricanes. Because I love fiction, fantasy, and folklore, that theory always stuck with me. I decided to write The Truth About Awiti as part of National Novel Writing Month 2014. And here we are!
- Take us through a day in your life. How does it start? What’s in between, and how do you finish your song of the day?
I live the life of a creative—there is no schedule! Just kidding. The mornings and evenings are pretty much the same. I try and wake up before my husband and daughter to have a little “me” time. So that’s 5:30am–6:00am. I recently started the devotional Thirty-One Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer by Jenn Sprinkle and Kelly Rucker. It’s wonderful. Then it’s time for breakfast and getting my family out the door by 7am. Between 7am–4pm, anything goes—social media, photo shoots, responding to emails, marketing, taking a much-needed nap, meetings/discussions with other authors, and of course, writing and editing. It’s amazing how quickly the time flies by. 4pm–9pm is devoted to dinner, family time, and occasionally, a deadline or two. Then at 9pm I catch up on anything I needed to respond to between 4pm and 9pm. I try really hard to get in bed by 10, but some days it just doesn’t happen. But I can always take a nap the next day if I need to. I’m big on naps. 😉
- Who has been your biggest inspiration in life?
I know it sounds cliché, but my mother. She’s so cute, funny, and amazing. I could just eat her up with a spoon! And elderly women in general. I don’t know how they did it back in the day! With less resources and what not. I remember complaining to my mother one night about how tired I was, and she said, “Umph! Your generation has it so much easier. You don’t even have to cut your own lettuce!” Of course, I went and looked in our refrigerator, and we had bagged salad. I couldn’t stop laughing.
- What has been your biggest struggle in life, and how has it made you who you are today?
I think my biggest struggle has been discovering God’s purpose for my life. I think we hear His voice early on but then something happens where we are discouraged or afraid to pursue the thing He’s placed in us to do. Then, when we finally step into it, it’s this crazy and exciting rollercoaster of blessings and opportunities. Even the disappointments are exciting because you know they are part of His plan. It’s not a coincidence that I have a strong educational background in African and African-American Studies. This was His purpose all along, but perhaps I had to go through the painful and difficult times to understand and appreciate my calling. I’ve finally found it! Writing fiction and fantasy interwoven with the African diaspora experience was placed on my heart a long time ago. And it’s just like in The Alchemist— when you truly want something with all your heart, all the world conspires to help you achieve it.
- What is your advice to all our #GIRLBOSS readers?
My advice for girl bosses is stop thinking so much about what can go wrong. Instead, focus on what can go right. Phenomenal women have blazed a path to greatness so follow their lead. And don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.