I'm also hosting our monthly "Ask a Wench" feature, and this month the question we're responding to is: "Do you have any particular subjects or themes you often return to in your novels?"
Pat here: I do not set out to write themes, but if a reviewer asks me for the theme of my newest release, after some consideration, I’ll almost always say it’s a search for justice. And yes, I include the fight against prejudice under that heading, because that’s always a huge part of my books. Usually, it’s women seeking fair treatment.
In my Magic series, I give this a fantasy spin by making my women psychic—so rather than being treated badly just for their sex, they’re treated badly because they’re weird, which covers a lot of territory, including being female.
My men are almost always seeking justice for someone or something. I usually have a mystery/action element requiring a villain to be brought to justice, whether that person is a lawyer who defrauds, a contractor who cheats, or a killer to be caught. But in my latest series, there’s an underlying element of economic injustice, because that’s so much on my mind with the news these days. A writer’s mind is a sponge—it’s difficult for us to avoid absorbing the real world!
Nicola here: My timeslip novels tend to be inspired by “lost” figures from history, usually women who were so often a footnote in a male-dominated narrative or whose stories have been told in a particular way. I like shining a different light on them. A good example is Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, whose story I wrote in House of Shadows.