We are so pleased to have as our guest today Kathy Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queen’s Book Clubs and author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life. Kathy has managed to tie together her passion for books and good hair in a most inventive way: a combination hair salon/book store named Beauty and the Book that is the happenin’ spot in East Texas.
DB: What do you love about big hair and books?
KP: They are the perfect marriage as they both compliment each other so much. The big hair came about when my book club, the Pulpwood Queens, was asked to be on Good Morning America to kick off their Read This! Book Club with Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson. We were asked since we were from Texas if we would have big hair. I don’t know, if you were asked to have big hair to be on Good Morning America, why not? the Pulpwood Queens don’t take ourselves very seriously but we are very serious about the books that we read. We’re big on hair and big on books and what do most people do when they are waiting in the beauty shop? They read. I have always talked about books after I figured out how a client wanted their hair done. Don’t you share stories with others when you go to the salon? Hmmm…Just makes good sense to me.
DB: Why do you think book clubs are becoming popular again?
KP: Because we no longer have the time that our mothers had for bridge club or having coffee with the neighbor over the fence. We are women who work. Book clubs are a legitimate way to have license to play. After all we are promoting reading and literacy, right? We get a night out with our girlfriends to talk about a good book, share our lives and maybe have a glass of wine, too. Women need conversation. With our lives busier than ever, having a career, raising families, and all of our community activities, it is no wonder that book clubs are springing up faster than dandelions! Besides, reading and sharing a good book is fun!
DB: You’ve been a reader for a long time—how does it feel to be on the other side of the book fence as an author?
KP: Strange, I’m not sure if the shoe fits but I’m walking the walk and talking the talk. I have a new respect for authors, too. I never really thought that I could ever attain the status of published author, but I have. I also will tell those reading this that writing and publishing a book is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It took me six long years to write my story but it has been well worth it. The rewards have been great—from readers, complete strangers send me these amazing emails. I have always considered myself a reader. Writing is something I did, too, but for myself. I was too scared to even admit I wrote anything, but now that that door has opened, look out, world, here I come!
DB: One thing that came through for me while reading your book is how passionate you are about books and how much fun reading can be. With so many books on the shelves how do you decide what to add to your-to-be-read pile?
KP: I have no problem choosing books to be read as I am sent so many. I look at them all but I usually can tell within the first page or two, sometimes the first sentence, if it is a book I will love reading. I get a special thrill from discovering undiscovered authors, their books, and helping them get discovered in big ways. I cannot take claim for the success of Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood or The Glass Castle or Eat, Pray, Love, but I can tell you I selected them when we read them before Oprah or the Today Show or Good Morning America or the New York Times.
Now let me tell you about The Chicken Dance by Jacques Couvillon. Because even though this is a YA book, the Pulpwood Queens and I were given this book while on book tour and we read the entire book aloud in between bookstore shops. We laughed our heads off and I kept telling everybody they should read this book. In fact, everybody should read all of our Pulpwood Queen Book Club selections, as each and every one of them is a treasure. That is exactly why I insisted all my books I have selected since inception be included in my book. The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life is a one-stop shop for readers and for those who are searching for their purpose in life. I have found that reading is the road you need to take to get you there.
DB: What’s your favorite recipe in the book?
KP: The Pulpwood Queen’s Married with Children Driving a Damn Mini-Van because I made that drink up after a day where I could not make anybody happy. This drink ended up making my whole family happy, including me. (Special note: I was the only one that had the alcohol in the drink, though; the kiddos just had the ice cream!)
DB: If there was one thing you would like to say to our readers what would it be?
KP: I would say that writing my book brought me full circle. I told my story of my life in books as best as I could remember it. In doing so, I found myself and what I truly believed in, so I will ask all of you reading this to do two things.
First, write down the books that spoke to you in such a way that your life was changed. There need be no specific number. Then look at your list. You will find out more about yourself than you ever dreamed.
Second, I would like to say that we are all born with a talent and a gift. It may not be hairdressing, it may be something as simple and beautiful as taking care of children, a home, or giving yourself to others by serving them. Never let anyone tell you that the thing you love to do does not have importance. To serve others is the highest honor. Do what you love and love what you do. We are all born with a purpose and a story. You may have many stories so you need to write them down because if you do not tell your story there will be a library lost to your family and friends. Pay it forward and help others who have fallen behind you. Lift them up.
Last, never let others take away your dreams. You only live life once so make it a wonderful life!
Tiara Wearing, Beauty and Book Sharing,
Kathy L. Patrick
Founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club and author of The Pulpwood Queens’ Tiara Wearing, Book Sharing Guide to Life (Grand Central Publishing, now available)