Patrice D. Howard: Author on the Rise

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 16:33 Written by  Brittany Rodgers

Patrice D. Howard is a writer, professor, and mentor in her local community, and with her debut novel What Happens in My House, she is tackling the taboo subjects that plague families everywhere.


As a professor of literature and a high school English teacher, Howard has been invited to many discussion panels that take a hard look and realistic approach in creating dialogue about the issues addressed in her novel, like generational incest, sexual and mental abuse. For more than a decade, the Detroit native has worked with inner-city youth and victims of abuse in teaching practical life skills. A graduate of Oakland University in Michigan, Patrice has a Master of Arts degree in secondary education and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She resides in Michigan with her husband and two children.

GlossMagazineOnline (GMO): What sparked your interest in writing?

Patrice D. Howard: It’s cathartic. Writing is an outlet for me. When I’m writing, I can be myself. I can say what it is I feel or think without judgments. One of my favorite quotes from my novel is, “I write because the pages simply listen.”

GMO: How did you come up with the idea for your book?

PH: As a mentor and educator for more than 10 years, I’ve heard the stories of so many children who’ve dealt with incest and sexual abuse. I knew it was a topic that I wanted to address because I feel that we need to do more to protect those who can’t protect themselves.

GMO: What are some of life topics that are mentioned in the book?

PH: Generational incest, sexual abuse, mental abuse and that “don’t ask, don’t tell” philosophy regarding secrets in the African American community.

GMO: Have any of the events in your book happened in reality? p2

PH: I’ve had some personal experience with some of the issues addressed in the novel that I can relate to.

GMO: Can you give us a synopsis of What Happens in My House?

PH: The character Noelle learns of her teenage sister’s pregnancy and during a search for the child’s paternity, she discovers more than the usual teenage adolescent behavior. She unlocks a painful history of incest, sexual abuse and much more that has been hidden for so long in the image of this perfect ‘God fearing’ family.

GMO: What can readers expect from reading the book? What is the tone of it?

PH: The book takes you through a journey of a good family who’s fighting a generational curse that they are no match for alone. The reader will see the love and support that this family has for each other, as well as experience their pain and fears. The reader will feel all kinds of emotions like love, hurt, anger, sadness but ultimately leave with hope.

GMO: Who are some of your favorite authors and books?

PH: I still love the classics, partly because I teach African American and American Literature. Glory Fields by Walter Dean Myers, How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents by Julia Alvarez, Lost by Patricia McCormick.

GMO: Do you have any other books coming soon or are you working on another one?

PH: If you read the reader’s guide of What Happens in My House, I allude to the sequel and what to expect in the next book.


Learn more about author Patrice D. Howard at What Happens in My House can be purchased on Howard’s website or online from Authorhouse, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Brittany Rodgers

Brittany Rodgers

Brittany Rodgers is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She has written for a variety of publications, including The Chicago Tribune and Chicago Defender newspaper. She also is a blogger and enjoys social media.

Brittany can be contacted at


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