There are people in your life who speak to your heart and leave a lasting impression. Patricia Sands is that kind of person. I met her years ago and she’s been a solid source of friendship, mentorship and support ever since! If you haven’t read her books yet, you’re in for a treat.

I had the rare privilege of catching up with Patricia recently in Florida at a conference (usually she’s over in France teasing all of us with her photos). 

A little background on Patricia…

Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else.  An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France, for her annual visit.

With a focus on her love of the south of France, women’s issues and ageing, her stories celebrate the feminine spirit and the power of friendship. Encouraging women of all ages to stare down the fear factor and embrace change, Patricia has heard from readers (men too!) ages 20 to 83.

Celebrating the rewarding friendships and bonds women share, her stories examine the challenges life often throws in our paths. Location features prominently in all of her novels.

Her philosophy is that it’s never too late to begin something new, to seize each day and be a possibilitarian! As the saying goes, just do it!


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Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.

Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.


Say you have a secret stash of treats around the house. Where would it be and what would you hide?

No question…and I know you can relate, Steena! Chocolate…of any kind!!!  But, when I’m writing,  I’m partial to Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut Milk Chocolate Bar. I hide it…shhhh…in the salad crisper in the fridge. When The Adorables (my youngest grandchildren) visit, they know which cupboard the other treats are in. They would NEVER look where the vegetables are…and neither would my husband! (this is such a smart idea…unfortunately my daughters eat their veggies so this wouldn’t work for me.)

What would be the perfect food and drink pairing for your book?

With a south of France setting in most of Drawing Lessons, a puissant Bandol red wine or lightly chilled Provençal rosé would be ready to pour. For munching, we’d have a wooden platter of charcuterie with an assortment of sliced meat including sausage, ham, and pâté, accompanied by cheese, pickles and olives. All served with freshly toasted baguette rubbed with olive oil and garlic. Let’s add little pots of tangy mustard and sweet chutney. Bon appétit!

Do you collect anything?

I lived in the country for 15 years and had free-range chickens that I loved. They would peck around the garden beside me as I worked in it. They actually have big personalities! Since I’ve been back in the city for many years, I have a collection of chickens of all sizes. I keep trying to stop buying them but often I just can’t resist!

What’s one word your friends would use to describe you?

Optimistic. I tend to look on the bright side of life and believe things will always work out. After being widowed when I was much younger (and now happily remarried for over 20 years), I know that we should make the best of every single day. Be a possibilitarian!

Tell us one secret behind the writing of your latest book:

Okay, here you go! I do mention this in the acknowledgements at the end of Drawing Lessons. My husband came up with this title. I was struggling with the name of the story and when I sent four choices to my editor at Lake Union, I included his suggestion. Guess what? They loved it! Now he says I need to share royalties with him! And you know what? With pleasure!





How about a chance to win a copy of Patricia’s novel, DRAWING LESSONS??  Let’s make this as easy as possible…

What is your secret passion?  Something creative deep within you…
Post your response below in the comments and be automatically entered to win!

Contest is only open to residents of the United States and Canada.