Welcome Author Pat Simmons to my blog today. Thanks for joining me today.
Tell us all about yourself.
- I am a published author with more than thirty titles. I am a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching my ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in my novels, in the hope of tracking down any distant relatives who might happen to pick up my books.
- I am a three-time recipient of the Romance Slam Jam Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. I describe the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. I believe God is the Author who advances the stories I write.
- I hold a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. I have worked in various positions in radio, television, and print media for more than twenty years. I have overseen the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions for fourteen years.
What do you do when you are not writing?
- Genealogy research
- Watching movies with my husband
Do you have a day job?
- Sometimes, I accept temp assignments where I can write on the job.
- Recently, I became a personal shopper. That is an interesting assignment, but it helps pay for book promotions.
- Otherwise, I’ve been a full-time author for about 8 years.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
- I wrote a short story in 2004 and it was published in an anthology with Parry Brown and Lisa Watson.
- I started writing in 2000 while I was a radio talk host. I had interviewed such great authors like Francis Ray, Brenda Jackson, Travis Hunter and others. I thought I could do it too. It wasn’t easy. That novel was finished in about 2003 with the original title of Delirious, then I changed it to Hope Chest and finally, when Whitaker House Publishers picked up the story in 2013, I had pitched the title as A Strike at Love. They changed it to No Easy Catch. It took ten years for my very first novel to be published because it wasn’t developed, edited and polished. The first novel I finished and had edited was Guilty of Love, book 1 of my popular Jamieson Legacy series, and the defunct Urban Christian Publishers offered me my first contract.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
- It was a no-brainer for me. As a Christian, I couldn’t write about sin—-fornication, back biting, and profanity. I wanted to give readers a romantic story they could read on Saturday night and not feel guilty about what they read on Sunday in church. My mission is to inspire Christians who want to live a godly life but may be struggling with issues.
Where do you get your ideas?
- People, news, research, a nudge from God about topics, anywhere and everywhere there is conflict.
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
- I don’t believe in that term. If my characters aren’t in my head talking, it’s no point sitting at a computer. As an author, my writing begins before I’m at my computer. Mentally, I’m waking up my characters while I’m driving, eating, or doing other activities.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
- Because I write so much, I depend on an outline to keep me on track with ideas, using the Scrivener program. However, when I’m struggling with a scene, I’ll just write another scene or chapter to stay on schedule then go back and fill in the gaps.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way
- There are so many authors and books that have inspired me. It’s hard to pick one. I’m drawn to biographies, family history, and Christian romances, so I would have to pick authors from those genres.
Either growing up or as an adult?
- I don’t think anyone can write romance without reading one of Brenda Jackson’s earlier books. The Madaris men are legendary.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first
- The main challenge was finding an editor or agent that believed in my work. After so many rejection letters, I stopped believing in myself. If it wasn’t for a close friend who kept saying, “What did God day?” I might have given up 30+ books ago. I became complacent to rejection letters that when I finally got an offer from Joylynn Jossel for Guilty of Love, I thought it was another rejection letter. The day the book hit the shelves, I received another rejection letter from another editor. What I learned from that experience is if an editor doesn’t feel your story, then that’s not the right publishing house to work with.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
- I had a developmental editor who I still use today, but I wished I had used a copy and line editor before submitting to a publisher.
How do you market your work?
- That is an hour-long discussion
- Announce it through my monthly newsletter eblasts
- Post on social media
- Run contest
- Occasionally purchase ads
What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
- Working with book clubs to help get the word out
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
- No, God has opened doors for me to be traditionally published and indie. Both of my favorite books were traditionally published: Crowning Glory (Urban Christian/Generations Quest Press) and In Defense of Love (Whitaker House/Generations Quest Press)
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
- The Guilty Generation was released mid-October. It is the 9th book in the Jamieson Legacy series. I had plan to write it as a short story to introduce characters in upcoming books, but God spoke to me and let me know He had a message for the readers. It turned out to be a full-length novel. The stage is set for the guilty parties, and Kami Jamieson is in the spotlight… or hot seat. With many generations gathered in one place, there are bound to be some surprises. Before the night is over, the elders will become the students, eager to learn about the challenges the thirteenth generation of a royal African tribe face. It’s going to take more than a board game or family lore to survive temptations. It’s a spiritual warfare that can only be won through fasting and prayer.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
- I have a news background, so I’m conditioned to search beyond the headlines, so I always think there is more to the story. I believe the storyline in all 30+ novels are based on real events or situation that I have fictionalized. For me as a Christian author, my stories are inspired by God and I like to think my stories are updated parables.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
- Salvation scenes are always my favorite in my books, so the tent service where God restores Kami Jamieson’s faith and love for Christ is one of my memorable scenes.
How did you come up with the title?
- I’m laughing because this had to be one of my hardest books to title. It was to be a special edition of a Jamieson story, so I toyed with Game Night, but it was too many titles, then I thought about Special Night—it still didn’t work. When God gave me The Guilty Generation, it was perfect and true to the storyline.
What project are you working on now?
- I just finished the re-writes on MY ROCK. I indie published the book, but Sourcebooks picked it up and will re-work it. Shortly, I plan to write my 2018 Christmas novella, Christmas Dinner. I can’t wait to see how God weaves this parable.
Will you have a new book coming out soon?
- Yes, no later than December 1st, right in time for the Christmas season.
Readers can find out more about me by visiting www.patsimmons.net and signing up for my monthly newsletter.