Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Pat Simmons

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Title: Love by Delivery

Genre: African American/Christian Romance

Synopsis: Senior Accounts Manager Dominique Hayes has it all—money, a car and a condo. Well, almost. She’s starting to believe love has passed her by.
One thing for sure, she can’t hurry God, so she continues to wait while losing hope that a special Godly man will ever make his appearance.
Package Courier Ashton Taylor knows a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. The only thing standing in his way of finding the right woman is his long work hours. Or maybe, not.

A chance meeting changes everything. When love finally comes knocking, will Dominique open the door and accept Ashton’s special delivery?

Pat Simmons, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Celebrity Pat Simmons. Pat is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in her novels. Welcome to my blog, Pat.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book? 

PS: For Christian inspiration

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

PS: Anyway and everywhere—church, strangers, news, movies, and real life situations. There are no limits when it comes to listening for God’s direction.

CH: Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

PS: That depends. As a Christian author, it is important for me to defer to the Lord for the message in a story. Case in point, I have readers waiting and I was eagerly ready to pen book nine in the Guilty series when I realized that I had no spiritual message for the readers. Concerned, I prayed and asked God what should I do? That had never happened before in all my works. The Lord Jesus had me resurrect an outline from 2011. He told me it was time to tell the story and He had a message in it for someone, so that is my current project. As for other plots, I have a news background, so I like to write stories that are issue-driven.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

PS: No. I want my stories to hit home with readers. I want to be sensitive to people who are hurting. That’s real life.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

PS: Yes, I had a conversation with a young woman who asked why do all my characters have to be well-off, especially the men. She asked, “What about the plain everyday guy?” First, I chuckled, because I thought some of my characters were down to earth heroes. Also, I entered the industry at a time when Arabesque/BET had the market cornered for Black romances. One requirement to write for them was the hero had to be almost wealthy to create the fantasy escape for their readers. Although, I never wrote for them, I followed their lead.

CH:  Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

PS: Always, sometimes the research will create scenes in the story that I might not have ever thought about before. Digging deeper is part of my personality to a fault sometimes. I got it honestly with a degree in broadcast journalism. I call them field trips when I have to go interview someone or go on location. I did so much research for The Acquittal that took place in Ghana, Africa that I felt I lived there.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your Christian romance writing style?

PS: I would like to think as Christian authors, there would be more similarity than differences between us. That’s not always the case. I don’t have sex scenes, use profanity, and have a woman or child violated. I believe in using scriptures rather than paraphrasing a quote. If people don’t read their Bibles, and my work is their only exposure to scriptures, it’s important for me to be accurate and list the references where they can go and study for themselves. I also like my Christian characters to be consistent. In other words, my writing mission statement is Jude 1:24. God can keep anyone from falling into sin. He gives us warning signs. There are Christians who are sincere with their walk with Christ and those are the type of people I like to feature in my stories.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

PS: My favorite is Grandma BB who is a hoot in my Guilty series/Jamieson Legacy. The woman writes her own scenes. I wouldn’t say some characters are hard to write, rather my focus is on convincing the reader that a dislikeable character can be redeemed and are worthy of a second chance. I liked Karyn Wallace in Crowning Glory (My favorite book). I have to be true to their past, but show their baby steps to salvation: Jet (Restore My Soul series); Landon Thomas (Redeeming Heart); Michael Bishop (The Keepsake)

CH: What inspired you to write an inspiration book for others to read?  

PS: I thought, emphasis on ‘thought,’ it was because I wanted a clean and inspirational romance to read free of sex/profanity/infidelity. But God had other plans after a couple of years into my writing. The Lord Jesus let me know I had a writing ministry to help hurting people by giving Him the glory.

CH: As a Christian writer, is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

PS: Absolutely, Jude 1:24: Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy… 

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

PS: From outline to release, a novel takes about four months and for a novella, six weeks to two months.

CH: You’ve been writing for ten years and you have published over thirty books. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

PS: I’m so happy to share the testimony about my first book deal. Guilty of Love was actually the third novel I wrote, but the first one that was published. The amazing thing is I didn’t want to write the story because of the subject matter: abortion. After I gave it some thought, I realized that I could write ten novels and none of them would be successful until I wrote the one God told me to. Let me tell you what Jesus did. That book broke sales records for the imprint that year. It also established my writing career. The Guilty series now called the Jamieson Legacy will probably go to twelve books. Look at Jesus. What would have happened if I didn’t say, yes Lord?

Prior to starting that book, I became interested in my family’s genealogy. I decided to incorporate some of my family names for characters in the stories in hopes of tracking now distant relatives who might pick up the book and recognize names.

I chose Charlotte for my main character’s mother. Charlotte was my maternal grandmother and my maternal great-great grandmother. Then on to the last name. I needed something that had a distinguished ring. Somehow Jamiesons stuck, thus creating Parke K. Jamieson VI. He and his brothers became the strong, successful and confident black men who were the tenth generation descendants of a royal African tribe.

Okay, back to my family history. My maternal grandmother’s last name was Wilkerson. I located Charlotte Wilkerson along with her two sons: William (my great-grandfather b. 1866) and his brother Samuel (b. 1868), on the 1880 census. I hit a wall when I went back to the 1870 census. I couldn’t locate them. I turned to other genealogy enthusiasts to help in the hunt for Charlotte Wilkerson and her two sons who would have been four and two. It’s amazing how savvy some of these sleuths are. A few days later, they came back with information that made me hold my breath.

It appears that Charlotte’s last name was actually Jamieson. Eerie, huh?  I had no idea I was giving my character the exact FIRST and LAST name of an ancestor.

Since 1870, was the first year blacks were counted as free, I searched the 1860 slaveholders’ schedule. Sure enough, Robert Jamieson was the slaveholder over my great-great-grandmother. In his household, there was a guest and teacher in the academy, John Wilkerson (my white great-grandfather).  The Guilty series renamed the Jamieson Legacy has captivated black and white readers alike with its positive strong black family and historical facts that are weaved into contemporary storylines. Currently, the series is eight books strong with plans for four more to complete the series.

Throughout my publishing career, I have learned that I work for the Lord, and any recognition is God’s.

CH: Can you tell my audience about some of your series?

PS: Restore My Soul Series: Wounded spirits, troubled pasts, and a God who can restore souls for His glory. (John 8:36) “He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” Karyn Wallace has issues with forgiving herself. Jet Hutchens refuses to forgive others. And the man of God who stands between them, Minister Rossi Tolliver, knows the power of prayer and deliverance.

Love at the Crossroads Series: When relationships are tested, love covers a multitude of faults and conquers all for Candace Clark, who has to start over after the death of her husband. She will learn faith and fear aren’t friends; Solae Wyatt’s inability to have children has been a deal breaker when it comes to relationships. Will Hershel Kavnaugh let her walk away?; Next, it’s going to take Desi’ forgiveness, and Michael’s repentance, and redemption to give their marriage a second chance after infidelity; In hindsight, unwed mother Halcyone Holland admits that God didn’t handpick the father of her children. Yet, that doesn’t stop God from sending her the man who has been standing on the sidelines for a long time; Finally, Monica thought she knew what she wanted in a man until she suffers health challenges, then God sends her what she needs most, a praying man.

The Andersen Brothers Series: There is nothing sexier than a man who loves God and family. Christian kicks off the holiday series by showing how he celebrates Christ’s birth, resurrection, and the biggest of all, Father’s Day to a single mother; It takes a pure heart to capture God’s attention, and David is looking for that one woman who can pull at his heartstrings; Nathan finds a kindred spirit in Noelle who has a heart for the helpless, hungry, and homeless. Together they try to make a difference during Christmas.

The Jamieson Legacy Series: If you love history? You won’t be disappointed as American Black history and genealogy are weaved into the romances. The series tackles cultural issues with godly intervention, whether it’s abortion, single parenting, or our angry youth. The Jamieson men are tenth and eleventh generation descendants of a royal African tribe. They carry strength and determination in their DNA when it comes to family ties. The only ones who can penetrate their armor are strong-willed women that God puts in their paths.

The Carmen Sister Series: Sisters who pray together, stay together, and Stacy, Shari, Shae, and Sabrece (Brecee) hold one another accountable when it comes to dating God’s way. Shae has to choose between her career and true love; Shari has to believe God when He sends her a man with a tormented past; and Brecee has to be convinced of a match made in heaven when it doesn’t make sense on paper.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

PS: Great reviews are this being a sweet inspirational romance. I have faithful fans, but I’m always looking for new readers and that’s where reviews come in. In addition to a great back blurb, only a reader can sway another reader to give my book a try.

CH: Most reader/fans can hardly wait. So, what is your next writing project?

PS: I’m working on book one of a new series called THE CAREGIVERS. I’m still tweaking the title, so amazingly, I don’t have one to share, yet. Also, I’m not sure if this story will be a novella (35,000 words), or a novel (65,000 words). The most important thing about this story is that I get God’s message out.

CH: How to Find Pat Simmons:

CH:  Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

PS: There may be some of my older titles in book stores, but all are sold online and some are available in libraries.

CH: Any closing remarks?

PS: Cheryl, Thank you for the invitation to share my story, and God bless you.

CH: Thank you so much, Pat Simmons, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Pat Simmons and Cheryl Holloway..

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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