She was drawn to non-fiction as a medium to explore the world and the self. Using first-person, Patti believes the intensity of that point of view creates a strong bond between reader and writer where both are able to share and experience a situation.
“Draw a map of the place you want to go through: a house, a school. Then wander through it in your imagination. You’ll be surprised by how much you can remember,” Patti said.
“People plan out what they’re going to write, they use their analytical brain and it makes the work flat and boring. Write from memory because memory is more creative,” Patti advised.
“New writers should try to include every piece of information they can. Select what matters. Mind of a Thief [her book on the history of the Wiradjuri people] would have been horrid if all the research was included.”
“The country is my heart and soul and Paris is my mind and interests and ideas,” said Patti.
However, Patti’s most important advice to new writers is to not be scared. The process of tackling a full-length book can be overwhelming, so Patti recommends approaching it like a quilt: putting it together piece by piece, and sewing it all together later.