The Story Behind Moon Over Alcatraz by Patricia Yager Delagrange

What inspires me to write a book is the single question I always ask myself: how would I feel if it happened to me. The ideas for my books come from my mental meanderings, wondering “what would my emotions be IF?”

Moon Over AlcatrazI have two children, one boy and one girl. I think anyone who has kids knows what it’s like to feel the fear of losing them. This fear is especially prominent during pregnancy. My own experience at forty-two years old and pregnant with my son was without incident. However that’s often not the case with many women, no matter what age. Thus, I explored and dug deep and asked myself how I would feel if I were to carry a baby to term then lose him/her in childbirth.

It was hard to write this book because I hadn’t had such a thing happen to me, thank goodness. But that’s what writing fiction is – writing a story that didn’t necessarily happen to me (which would make it an autobiography), but recounting a story that could happen or happened to someone else, and writing it from my own perspective, in my own voice.

An author can’t be afraid to put into words what your gut and your heart tell you for fear of exposing yourself. I believe a reader appreciates feelings and emotions because it makes them emote, pure and simple, which is the reason they read books.

I have a husband and we’ve been married for twenty-four years. We didn’t lose a child. But I put myself in Brandy’s place and asked myself how I would feel if I lost my baby and my husband wasn’t as supportive as I wanted him to be, if he didn’t say the things I was hoping he’d say to make me feel better. This didn’t happen to me but it could have. So how would I have felt if my husband acted as Weston did?


I submitted Moon Over Alcatraz to Kitty Bullard who runs a small publishing house – Ravenswood Publishing. She liked my work and was good enough to take it on. I was looking for a small publishing house because I’d read that an author has more hands-on help and guidance at a smaller house. I’ve found that to be true with Kitty. If I write her an e-mail asking any question, whether important or just a simple query, she gets back to me within a couple of hours. I already feel like a guppy in an ocean of authors and I don’t want to feel the same with my publisher. And I don’t.


Patricia Yager DelagrangeBorn and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University. She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.

Her latest book is the romantic women’s fiction, Moon Over Alcatraz.

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