Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Talking with Kathy Louise Patrick of the Pulpwood Queens!

Who is more hilarious than Kathy Louise Patrick, the founder of the Pulpwood Queens and the owner of the only bookstore/hair salon in the world and a great blog? Writers and readers need people like Kathy, whose passion for books and authors is legendary and whose wild sense of humor makes reading a cause of celebration and fun. Thanks for letting me ask you all these questions, Kathy! (And check out the bookshop in the photo! I dare you to tell me you aren't dying to go there!)

Your bio is fabulous: you're a hilariously funny red-headed book selling hair stylist, who looks like she is in her twenties, has a franchise of Hair Salon/Book Stores in all the major cities of the world, runs the largest "meeting and discussing" book club in the universe, and you star on your own television show called "Beauty and the Book" that Oprah has deemed the best thing to watch on her NEW network. How did all this come about?

First all, regarding question #1, all of your statements are fact except the last part. That was a fantasy or what I call "faction", ( fact combined with a mighty wallop of fantasy fiction), of me starring in my own television show that Oprah has deemed the best thing to watch on her NEW network. The way I figure it, if I can visualize something actually happening, perhaps through hard work and determination it will. I mean I have been featured in Time, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Oprah, and Good Morning America. It seems to be working. Whose with me on this?

No seriously, my book club began with six complete strangers that has now grown to 277 Pulpwood Queen and Timber Guys Chapters nationwide and in ten foreign countries. Again, if you can visualize it, through hard work and determination your dreams can be accomplished. For those who don't believe a word of what I have said, read my book, "The Pulpwood Queens' Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life"! It's all in there and the book is memoir, so you know what that means. It's my memories! Singing "That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"

So tell the truth, do you ever want to change the authors' hairstyles? And do they let you?

Do I ever? I mean any serious author has been holed up in some garret with a comfy, snaggly, snuggily bathrobe for months, perhaps years, my word. Their hair is a mess! Skin care? I don't think so! And talk about getting back to their roots? Someone say, "Color!" Wa la, the magical and artistic hands of Kathy L. Patrick!

Do they let me work my magic! Do they ever! One New Orleans author after her makeover declared after her cut, color and new do, "Good Lord, I look like I could be my own daughter". Her husband later declared that he didn't care how much it cost, she was to road trip to Jefferson for all her future hair care needs. They don't call me "Hairdresser to the Authors" for nothing. See March/April 2000 issue of Oxford American Magazine, feature titled "Hairdresser to the Authors" by Carol Dawson, photographs by Patricia Richards!

Tell me about The Pulpwood Queens Guide to Reading and Writing For a Higher Purpose?

"The Pulpwood Queens' Guide to Reading and Writing for a Higher Purpose' is the working title for my next book. I found myself when I wrote my own story of my reading life. I also found that by reading books amazing connections and insights can be made. Stories can be life-changing. One book in particular changed my life, "Same Kind of Different as Me". I ended up spending a year working with the homeless at a local shelter helping them write their stories. You see reading can change your life for the better, but writing can too! I went into the project thinking how wonderful I was to be helping them but you know what I found out? That their gifts to me far surpassed anything I ever gave to them. I am still in awe of the experience.

But on second thought, I may go against all sound advice and write something I have been dying to tell, my stories with all the authors. Or then again finish that darn novel I have been working on most of my life called "EUREKA!" As always, I have a lot to say and a lot to write!

Your Girlfriend weekends are legendary. You've just celebrated your 10th anniversary, so how are you ever going to outdo yourself for your 11th?

Fire baton twirl! Oh wait, we have done that! Well first of all, I tweak and change up my event each year! Last year we had an author "Moveable Feast" where the authors actually prepared the meal and served it! This year we are doing it again but this time, I am having some of the authors perform a play. Kind of Author/Moveable Feast/Dinner Theatre! It should be a hoot! Can you imagine the surprise of all the dinner guests as Pat Conroy served them Sweet Tea. And authors, Jamie Ford and Ad Hudler obviously had waited some tables before as they carried tray after tray high above their heads. Though Mary Kay Andrews was quite a trooper as she had never waited a table before and about had a Calamity Jane moment as she careened by me with a tray of dishes. Ah, the reader's life, dee-vine!

I am also adding a panel that will be spouses or partners of authors so we can get the real scoop of some of our favorite authors! At the end they will bring up their significant other! And I also had a little birdy tell me that New York Times Bestselling Author, Pat Conroy would be back! That alone will make the event SELL OUT AGAIN! You have been notified so call 903-665-7520 for your V.I.P. Pulpwood Queen or Timber Guy Package TODAY! We accept all major credit cards, checks, and even CASH! Shameless but sincere self-promotion!

I love it that you throw out the rules for chapters of your bookclub. You also do road trips to author events and have even taken groups to Europe. What else do you think many other bookclubs miss--and should be doing--when they set up their clubs?

Think outside of the box! Change up your book club meetings! I try to tailor each author event to a special place. Coming up next, actress, author, Kathy Kinney, (Mimi Bobeck) of Drew Carey Show fame and author, Cindy Ratzlaff are coming to promote their NEW book, "Queen of Your Own Life". I decided to have my Pulpwood Queens host the Queenly event at this fantabulous NEW 50's diner, Glory Dayz. Better yet, weather permitting, it will be outside in their retro wine and beer garden! We will really roll out the leopard and hot pink carpet. I am even making for this event a gigantic PINK Tiara Cake with Texas own Blue Bell ice cream for dessert!

Last time author, Charles Martin was here for "Where the River Ends" I booked a boat to take us down the river. Charles read aloud as we cruised down Big Cypress Bayou! Move over Nicholas Sparks as Charles had us all in the palm of his hand after that event! I passed out the publisher provided promo Kleenixes! I could have booked a fleet of boats if we were to do it again, it was that successful!

It's a little harder to be creative but the pay-off! I started 7 more book clubs in the last two weeks. Now that is in places like Blytheville, Arkansas, Golden, Colorado, Carollton, Georgia, to Anchorage, Alaska! We put the BIG TIME FUN in book club!

I already mentioned my next book projects so my next burning project right now is The Great Pulpwood Queen Purse Release held every spring. I urge all chapters to gather their slightly used handbags and purses and tag them, "FREE TO THE FINDER!" Placed inside each purse is a great read and enclosed the following letter:

To the Finder of this Purse!

You have found a real treasure! First of all, a book to show the true purpose of our Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Clubs, to promote reading and literacy! Second, a purse with our compliments, as we want the world to know that our book club is all about reading and having Big Time Fun! Please enjoy then pay it forward, pass it on!

Tiara wearing and Book sharing,

The Pulpwood Queens of ?, (whatever their chapter title might be)

Talk about SPRING INTO READING! And we got the idea from a book by Michael Lee West, so all good comes from reading great reads!

What question should I have asked that I didn't?

The Barbara Walters question, you know, the one that makes all her guests cry. "When you die, Kathy, how would you like to be remembered?"

Kathy: "As a good Mother and second, that her life was devoted to following her passions of Beauty and the Book".

I might also add, (if I wasn't going to be cremated and my ashes thrown to the wind on my grandparents, Mudd & Dirt's, old homeplace that we called "Outhome" outside of my hometown of Eureka, Kansas, Greenwood County), that my gravestone be carved "She tried". That pretty much sums it all up for me because I surely did.

And mark your calendar for January 13 - 17, 2011, our 11th Anniversary Girlfriend Weekend. The theme, "Tiara Wearing and Story Sharing", you see it's all about the story!


Gina Sorell said...

Oh I want to go!!

Wow, KLP sounds so hilarious and fabulous!!

I would love to go to her bookstore/hair salon!! And yes, Oprah...give this lady her own show :)

Thanks for another great interview Caroline. Always a pleasure to meet more fabulous writers!

Book Club Cheerleader said...


Kathy is such a wonderful character--I am a HUGE fan! And her book clubs are all about fun and literacy. You can't get much better than that. My book club had such a wonderful time at her Girlfriend's Weekend last year--we're STILL recovering! Great interview, Caroline. Thank you!