There, Rednecks called Catholics “Fish Eaters.”
Every week, they placed rotten fish in the hands of the Mother Mary statue in front of the school. Patricia remembers the nuns having them put the decaying fish in the trash and washing Mary’s hands until they were spotless.
Every basketball and football game had the opposing teams screaming, “Beat the damn fish eaters.”
Mary, her mother, on the other hand, was from New York City. She witnessed the treatment of people based on the color of their skin, which appalled her. She also witnessed the discrimination of the Martello family as they migrated to Ellis Island from Italy; this was a daily practice.
The authenticity in Patricia’s writing stems from her experiences. One of these resonances was her turbulent time in the South, where she encountered the Southern Jim Crow laws.
On Marine Corps bases, African Americans shopped at the Post Exchange, ate in the same enlisted and Officer’s clubs, plus swam in the same pools as Patricia.
As a child, her Mom took her to Sears and Roebuck, Inc. in downtown Charleston. For the first time, Patricia saw a “Colored Only” sign above the bathrooms and water fountains. It had a profound effect on her. She witnessed the ugliness of segregation; from bathrooms and buses to beaches and more, there was a stark divide regarding race which had a major influence on Patricia.
Walking downtown meant that the African American would step off the sidewalk to let the White person pass, summing up the stark divide that was in the city at that era.
Patricia pitied the treatment of Black people that she witnessed in the 1960s. You can see how she channels this through her writing in the book.
Later on in her life, Patricia graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in Journalism and from the University of Southern Mississippi with a master’s degree in Broadcast Journalism.
Additionally, she studied abroad at the University of Tampere in Finland and the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Monterrey, Mexico. Patricia’s writing career kicked off at Charleston Evening Post, covering Moscow and Saint Petersburg, Russia. She wrote for the Post across Europe with stories from Tallinn, Estonia, Helsinki, Finland, Copenhagen, Denmark, and more.
Patricia has always been an incredibly perceptive and insightful individual, inspiring audiences with her work. During college, Patricia joined WNOK-TV, Columbia, SC, and began her endeavors in broadcasting. Her television career saw her switching from WDCA-TV, Washington DC, to KBHK-TV, San Francisco.
While on the West Coast, she helped a fledgling new movement called “Mothers Against Drunk Driving” MADD. She got their first television public service announcements on the air in San Francisco. Soon after, she contacted stations across the country, asking them to run the PSAs.
Since our founding, we’ve served as a lifeline for thousands of victims and survivors and drunk driving fatalities have been cut in half — but we refuse to stop there. Together, we can end this 100% preventable crime.
In terms of her accolades, Patricia has won numerous Addy Awards for her talents in commercial writing while being a resolute supporter of American Women in Radio and Television.
And now, she invites her readers on an exhilarating journey through the eyes of Vanessa in her book Deceptive Calm.
The book encapsulates Patricia’s plight through her life with Vanessa, a stunning light-skinned beauty raised in a Southern Black orphanage, who assumes the identity of a dead White baby. Her charmed life abruptly ends after the birth of her first child when his diagnosis is Sickle Cell disease. Discovering that the woman he married is Black, as is his toddler son, Vanessa’s ruthless husband plots their murders.
Immerse yourself in the pages of a heart-racing masterpiece, acclaimed as one of fiction’s most pulse-pounding thrillers.