Today, please welcome author Pat Simmons. Her latest book, Love by Delivery, was released in February. She is currently finishing up her novella, Late Summer Love, which should be out by the end of summer.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My Name is Pat Simmons. I’ve been a wife for 34 years and a mother of a son and daughter. I graduated from a great college in Boston, and eventually worked in my field of broadcast journalism for over twenty years. I started in radio and was truly blessed with an opportunity to transition into television news for ten years. Because of my media experience, I head the publicity team for the RT Booklovers Conventions. In my free time, when I’m not writing, which seems like all the time, I enjoy sewing, tracing my family roots, reading, and watching romance movies.
What or who inspired you to start writing?
It was my play mother, the late Lorna Robnett. She had faith in me that I could do anything, especially after she heard me weave a story to a houseful of guests.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I received an email from a reader about my first book. That’s when it kicked in that I really was an author. That was 10 years ago.
How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?
I think each story has a little bit of Pat Simmons’ personality in them, or my alter ego, like Grandma BB or Sandra Nicholson in the Jamieson Legacy series. Grandma BB is the seventy something smart talking childless widow who says what she wants, when she wants. On the other end is sweet and sanctified Sandra Nicholson, who finally found love in her early sixties and married him. She was the epitome of an uncompromised Christian woman. The Confession won the Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance in 2016, so I was happy readers fell in love with Sandra and Raimond’s story. My news background has sparked many a plots in my stories. It’s my curiosity about a subject that has created great storylines, like Guilty by Association. Kidd Jamieson wasn’t fond of carrying his absentee father’s last night, but thanks to my genealogy search, I was able to write his story when I uncovered documents that showed pages of enslaved African Americans who were buried without last names.
Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?
Actually, I’m sitting on the second edits of a completed novel, Mystery of Love, because I’m trying to finish Late Summer Love before summer is over. I’ll close out the year with my annual Christmas novellas, Prayers Answered by Christmas, which is a sequel to Couple by Christmas. I’m looking forward to writing it.
Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Yes, I’ve been writing full-time for about nine years. When I run short on cash, I’ll work a temp assignment, but my steady income is from my monthly royalties, mainly from eBooks. Since I’m a Christian author, I begin my day with prayer time, I study my Bible, hoping God will give me a message to incorporate in a scene, or a personal word of encouragement for me. After that, I try to start writing my ten a.m., and many times will write until midnight. I do take breaks for chores, eating, and a movie with my husband, but I spend a lot of my time doing administrative tasks: reading and sending emails, looking for blog content, newsletter content, monitoring my social media accounts, looking for stock photos for book covers, and most importantly, staying on my writing schedule to meet my releases. I think every author is always in search of promotional opportunities, me included.
What is the best thing about being a writer?
I want to say I’m in control of my income, but it’s God who supplies my needs, especially when I’m on the road and can’t write, or my funds get low. The worst? People don’t think I work—that writing isn’t a job, and therefore, I have to tell me people I’ll call them back or let it go to voicemail, then I forget to check voicemail. The other thing is some people think I can write a book in a month or less—I wish.
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
Since I release three to four books a year, I appreciate outlining them. I didn’t at first. When I did, I would go off the outline anyway, usually by chapter 7. But even now, God gives me fresh scenes every morning and I say, “Thank you, Lord that is a good one.”
Please tell us about your current release.
My recent book, Love by Delivery, was released in February. Since then, I’ve completed a full length novel entitled Mystery of Love that is waiting for me to do the second round of edits until I finished Late Summer Love.
What inspired you to write Late Summer Love?
It’s a sequel. Readers wanted Paige Blake to find happiness.
How did you come up with the title?
I got the idea last year while I attended my husband’s family reunion. The plot was perfect for Paige’s story, so I had planned to name it Summer Reunion, but a fellow friend had a release called Winter Reunion, so I changed it to Summer Love, but when my first round of re-writes for Mystery of Love worked me over, I knew my novella wasn’t going to hit a May or June release. I told my husband the story had to come out before the end of summer because it was called Summer Love. He joked, “It’s going to be a late summer love.” I thought about it, and tweaked the title and gave him the credit.
Did you base any of your characters on real people?
Of course. They are a mixture of physical characteristics, personalities and mannerisms. My best friend says she can hear our voices in my characters’ conversations.
Which of your characters is your favorite?
My hero: Blake Cross. It’s easy on the eyes and has a good heart.
If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?
This is book 2 of the Perfect Chance at Love series. I have to come up with another scenario for my main character’s cousin. I don’t have anything yet. I’m sure it will come to me.
If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
All my characters have too many issues for me to jump into their shoes. LOL. They all have happy endings, but their journeys aren’t easy. I’ll pass.
Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?
I have a home office that faces the front. I can write and be nosy—a great combination for an author.
Do you have an all time favorite book?
That I read—The Warmth of the Other Sun; That I’ve written—Crowning Glory.What book are you reading right now? I won’t read until I finish a project, then I’ll read three and four books to detach from my characters. I have a TBR pile.
If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?
I’m around a lot of authors—indie and New York Times bestselling authors like Sylvia Day, Charlene Harris, Brenda Jackson, and Francine Rivers. So I count it a privilege to mingle with these ladies and others at the yearly RT Booklovers Convention
Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.
I do have bouts of shyness, but nobody believes it—seriously!
Could a chance meeting during two family reunions be God playing matchmaker? Paige Blake recently witnessed her best friend marry. Now, Paige is struggling to tame the pity party stirring within her heart, questioning whether God had forgotten about a husband for her. After twelve years of serving his country, Blake Cross is ready for civilian life. He soon learns there is another battle he must fight. When he meets Paige on an elevator, he’s drawn to her. There’s one slight complication to win her heart. Blake has to surrender to the Lord’s will in his life first.
About the Author
Pat is the multi-published author of more than thirty titles, and is a three-time recipient of Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.
As a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth, Pat is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. God is the Author who advances the stories she writes.
Currently, overseeing the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions, Pat has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Pat has converted her sofa-strapped, sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and her administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter.
You can find out more about Pat and her books on her website.