Canadian Politeness by Patricia Johns

I’m delighted to have fellow Canadian and Love Inspired author, Patricia Johns, here this week with a special guest post.

Patricia Johns

Patricia Johns writes from Alberta, Canada where the winters are long and cold–a perfect recipe for writing! She lives with one husband, one child, and two birds. She writes for both Harlequin Love Inspired and Harlequin American Romance.


Take it away, Patricia!


Thank you, Sandra.

Have you ever noticed that every country seems to have something that they’re known for. Mexico has their food. Germany has their chocolate. America has baseball and apple pie. Canada has politeness.

We’re famous for it.

If you were to come across a Canadian in his or her natural habitat and you stepped on his foot, he’d apologize to you.

“Oh, excuse me! I’m sorry. Didn’t see you there.” And that is from the person who was trampled!

Our public debates are rather sheepish, too. No one likes being too aggressive.

Every once in a long while there is a political demonstration where about fourteen people with placards wander in uncomfortable circles, observed by even more uncomfortable passers-by. We aren’t comfortable with angry statements. We’re much more comfortable saying something like, “I’m pretty sure I’m right, but I’m happy to sit down and talk this out, because I think a meaningful dialogue would help us find a good middle ground.” That doesn’t really fit on a placard. Nor work as a slogan. I’m not even convinced that it helps anything get done!

Mostly, people just get cold and tired and wander off to get a coffee.

As a Canadian, I’m hesitant to “just come out with it,” and I’ve had to learn how to think more “American” in my writing. For example, I’ll write a scene where my hero and heroine are having an argument, finally saying all the things they really think. My heroine will glare at the hero and say, “Frankly, I don’t see myself marrying a man who could do that.”

To me, that’s a strong statement. There is so much between the lines that remains politely unsaid, but it’s still there, right?

Sandra: absolutely.

My editors disagree! More than once I’ve gotten a note that reads: “Just SAY IT!! They can’t dance around this!”

And I think, “I thought she did say it…”

I’ve gotten much better at saying things straight–at least in my writing. And never fear, the editors don’t let my over-politeness past their desks. It gets corrected pronto.

But if you ever meet a Canadian in his natural habitat, go ahead and step on his foot to see what happens! If the Canadian responds with an apology, but gives you a rather arched look and goes a tiny bit pale… there might be some subtext there. 😉

LOL, Patricia. Thanks for sharing.

Patricia has a new release this month:

firefighter's promise cover


When the baby he rescued seven years ago returns—with his widowed adoptive mom—Deputy Fire Chief Matt Bailey can’t turn them away. Desperate to escape the reminders of his failure in the line of duty, Matt is close to leaving town. But one look at Rachel Carter and her son, Christopher, has him second-guessing his plans. Rachel is a mom in need of a hero for her son. But as much as she wants the two to bond, she’s determined to keep her distance from Matt. After losing her husband on the job, she promised never to love another fireman. Yet somehow she finds herself drawn to the one man she should avoid.

I have to admit she had me at “firefighter.” 😀 

If you’d like to connect further with Patricia, you can find her at:


Your Turn: What do you think about Patricia’s take on Canadian politeness? Has that been your experience?

Meet New Love Inspired Author Patricia Johns


This year the Love Inspired has welcomed two new Canadian authors to our family.

Both had releases this past summer, which I missed, because I was eyeball deep in meeting deadlines, and enjoying my new grandbaby. (Have you noticed that I mention him every chance I get? 😉 )

So with apologies for my tardiness, I’m delighted to introduce you to the first, Patricia Johns, who hails from Northern Alberta, where some of those rumors that we live in igloos might just originate! 

Patricia_JohnsWhile Patty is new to Love Inspired, she is not new to publishing. In fact she already has 13 books out, in various genres, with small presses under her maiden name Patty Froese.

And no, Johns is not her married name. Her married name is Patty Nithemuka, but since that’s unpronounceable, she chose the pen name of Patricia Johns, because her hubby’s first name is John.

Her debut Love Inspired contemporary, HIS UNEXPECTED FAMILY, released in July 2013.

I invited her to answer a few questions so we could get to know her better…


First, tell us a little about yourself.

As you said, I’m a Canadian living in Alberta, Canada. And yes, the winters are long and cold, but that suits me just fine since I write full time and can stay on the right side of the window. Not all of Canada is as cold as our neck of woods, for the record. I’ve been writing seriously since I graduated from my BA in English Literature. I horrified my parents by quitting my sensible full-time job and taking a part time gig that paid just enough to rent a small room and eat on the cheap. It paid off, because I wrote my first published novel in that little, leaky room, and never looked back.

I’ve written in other genres from Ancient Christian historical to kids books, but Harlequin has always been my goal. I’m thrilled to have my first romance out!

Tell us how you got The Call.

I got The Call on my birthday. I was getting over a nasty flu, so I sounded miserable, but I was over the moon to be offered a contract! My little boy was tugging on me for attention, my fever was soaring, and I was perfectly thrilled.

What’s the single biggest thing in your writing life you can point to as contributing to getting The Call?

I learned early on to keep trying and trying, and if I hadn’t stuck to it, editing and re-editing, even completely rewriting the story, I wouldn’t have finally gotten that contract. It all comes down to being willing to do whatever it takes.

So true. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started on your writing journey?

It’s actually a matter of what I’m glad I didn’t know back then. I’m glad I didn’t know exactly how much work it would be to get here, because I might have just crumpled in despair. It was worth it, though. I love the novel writing process, so it’s been a lot of fun along the way.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I’d love to connect on Facebook. Come by and find me at You can also find me on my blog at

What are you working on now? Is there another LI book on the horizon?

There IS another book on the horizon. I’ve been offered a contract for a cowboy romance with Love Inspired. (I don’t know a release date yet.) Come by my blog to stay posted! As for what I’m working on now… more Love Inspired novel ideas, of course!

That’s awesome! Congratulations, Patricia. And thank you for being today’s guest.

Blog readers, as Love Inspired fans know, the books go out of print very quickly and then are only available used or as Ebooks. Thankfully, despite my tardiness in inviting Patricia to my blog, His Unexpected Family is still available in paperback from online retailers.

Here’s the back cover blurb to whet your appetite: 😉

When a baby is dropped into her life without warning, Emily Shaw is overjoyed. It’s a bit odd that her distant cousin named single Emily as guardian, but she’s thrilled all the same. She never thought she’d get to be a mom. Another unexpected blessing is that baby Cora arrives in the arms of police chief Greg Taylor. Despite all three of them instantly bonding, Greg has promised himself he’ll never be a father. And now Emily’s smooth-talking relative is challenging her right to raise Cora. Will Emily have to make an impossible decision between the child she already loves and the man who loves her?

I hope all of you have a fabulous week. I’m looking forward to my daughter returning this weekend after 3 months in Australia!

Oh, oh, oh and…  winnercelebrate

There’s still a couple of days left to enter my international giveaway for a bunch of different books, including advanced copies and the option to gift your prize to a friend. Click here:  ENTER GIVEAWAY

Your Turn: Any questions for Patty?

P.S. Just in case you missed my FB announcements or notices around the blogosphere this past week… next Sunday, I will be emailing all my newsletter subscribers an exclusive Christmas romance mini-novella. If you’d like to receive it, please subscribe by clicking here: