Today’s guest on Inheritance Books is Patricia Marie Budd. Hi Patricia. Have a seat on the sofa. Would you like a biscuit? Tea? Coffee? While I’m doing that, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a high school English teacher by trade. How I wound up teaching is quite funny. Back in my early twenties when I was living in Toronto studying mime I loaned a friend $100.00. Sadly she was never able to pay me back. Her partner at the time was an astrologer so in lieu of the money I was offered a class in astrology and a chart reading. I knew I’d never see the money so I took the class and chart reading. According to my chart I was destined to be both a writer and a teacher. The writer part made sense as I had already written my first play and had it produced in the Rhubarb Festival in Toronto but the teacher part seemed a bit weird. Still, I figured, why not, I’m not making any money as a mime so I applied for Education at the University of Regina.
When the English department learned of my having produced a play they convinced me to study to become an English teacher. Feeling cocky from my recent (albeit brief) success in theatre I agreed. And then I took an English class. Why hadn’t I remembered having had to drop out of English 200 because I was failing miserably? My counselor warned me that if I didn’t improve my spelling and grammar ‘yesterday’ they were pulling me from the Program. That is when I learned the real meaning of hard work. I am pleased to say I succeed and have been teaching high school English since the fall of 1991.
I never did have any real success in theatre, just marginal recognition. My third play received honorable mention in the 2001 Alberta Playwriting Network’s competition but it never saw the light of stage. It was shortly thereafter that writing novels became my passion. My first novel, A New Dawn Rising came out in 2006, Hell Hounds of High School came out in 2011. Hadrian’s Lover was released in 2013 and Hadrian’s Rage will be out May 3 of this year.
That is quite a weird way into the teaching profession, but what a great story!
Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
When I was a little girl I used to read a book belonging to my mother titled Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette: A Guide to Gracious Living. I know my mother read it and had incorporated some of its advice into her life, especially the sections on “Dress and Manners” and “Home Entertaining”. My mother was an extremely beautiful woman and when she dressed for a social night out she was absolutely stunning. I remember she had this beautiful green dress she kept in her closet. She had worn it in her youth and I secretly told myself my mother had been wearing that dress when my father had fallen in love with her. She also threw the most amazing parties. She dressed my siblings and I in our Sunday best to serve her guests. I loved serving dainties to her guests; it always made me feel so grown up. Though it has been decades since I’ve opened this book it sits on my bookshelf and I always think fondly of my mother when I see it.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
I wouldn’t leave just one book. I would leave the entire series. The first book I recall sparking my love of literature was Laura Ingalls-Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods. I could smell Pa’s pipe and feel his rough beard against my cheek. One time when my uncle tickled me with his beard I pretended I was little Laura Ingalls. I read the entire series from beginning to end and then I read it again. I even picked it up later in life when I found the set at a used bookstore. Even in my forties I loved the story of this little girl and her life in the woods, on the banks of Plum Creek, on the prairie, in the town, during the harsh winter, being a young teacher, falling in love and becoming the mother of her own children. I most especially loved her telling her fiancé that she would not say the word ‘obey’ in their wedding vows. I smiled and was proud of Laura Ingalls. This series turned me into an avid reader.
I haven’t read any of the books, but I used to watch the TV series as a child (and loved it)! You’ve prompted me to go look for the books now. Thank you for sharing your favourite books with us, Patricia. All the best with your own books.