INTERVIEW | Patricia Haley

Patricia, describe yourself for our visitors.

Hello everyone. I’m Patricia Haley, often labeled as one of the faith-based trailblazers. My first book, Nobody’s Perfect, was self published in 1998, sold roughly 20,000 copies, and went on to become an Essence #1 bestseller. Combining modern day struggles, dynamic African American characters, clean fiction, and adding a spiritual twist wasn’t heard of back then. It was such a blessing when Nobody’s Perfect became #1, proving at the time that we could write, publish, and sell entertaining, faith-based novels loaded with real life issues. I’ve tackled various stories and themes since, with each of my books coming back to the central theme of hope and the power of forgiveness.

Besides writing, I’ve used my engineering and business background to work as a project manager leading teams in N. America, Asia, Europe, and Australia. I love my husband, my daughter, my family, my relationship with the Lord, and my membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. With the rest of my time, I manage to relax, watch plenty of movies, hang out with my hubby and daughter, watch basketball and tennis as much as I can squeeze in, and travel a lot. I’m not a vegetarian. However, vegetables are my favorite food group. I vegetables with the exception of brussel sprouts – ugh. I guess the only other thing to mention about me is that writing is my gift, working with finances and math are my passion, and being an encourager is my purpose on earth. That’s pretty much me.

How do you find time to connect with God?

In addition to attending a bible based church, I try to read one chapter from the Bible every morning before getting started with my day. Prayer is something that I can’t survive without, so that’s ongoing – any time, all the time. There are times when I have to spend extra time with the Lord via fasting. I might give up TV, food, or whatever, and use the time to pray, read, meditate, or whatever I feel led to do or not do. Connecting with God is a personal event and everybody has their unique way of making it happen.

Do you have a favorite bible verse and or quote you wish to share?

I have a bunch of favorite bible verses. I always include one at the beginning of each of my books, one that most reflects the heart of the story. For Destined, the scripture is “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” – Psalm 94:19. I love this verse because it basically says that no matter how crazy things become around us, we can always find a place of escape (peace and joy) in the Lord.

Tell us about your current book.

Chosen started the war between brothers for ultimate control of their father’s multimillion-dollar ministry. Destined continues the feud in the captivating second novel from Patricia’s new series, combining family drama, corporate intrigue, faith-based themes, and a dash of romance. The bitter family war between two half brothers kicks into high gear when Don returns from South Africa at the pleading of his mother and former love interest, forcing the Mitchell’s to realize that some battles are destined. This modern-day tale of the biblical kings David and Solomon will keep readers riveted until the stunning conclusion, when the fate of a family rests on their ability to forgive.

What influenced you to write this book?

The inspiration behind my Chosen series came from one of my all time favorite characters in the Bible, King David. He is an imperfect man plagued with family tragedy, personal failures, and constant battles. Yet, he is remembered as someone highly favored by God. That’s because David understood the power of forgiving and forgetting. Once he repented and God forgave him for his shortcomings and poor decisions, David quickly forgave himself and moved on, determined to fulfill God’s purpose in his life, guilt free and not caring about what others thought. I’m equally intrigued by King David’s son Solomon. Although he was born out of an adulterous relationship, God made Solomon the richest and wisest man alive for a reason. As blessed as he was, Solomon managed to squander away his noteworthy position after succumbing to his weakness for lots of women. So it is in Chosen and Destined with Joel, the son of Dave Mitchell.

What valuable lessons do you want readers to learn from your book?

I want the readers to be entertained first. Then, before closing the book, I’d like for them to grasp the message that in spite of challenges and dysfunction, a person’s ability to forgive, to love, to forget the pain of the past, and to exercise a tad bit of diplomacy can get them through any situation, no matter how tragic the circumstances.

What’s next for you?

The third book in my Chosen series is Broken scheduled for 2011. The family battle takes a twist when the estranged daughter returns to stake her claim, disrupting any short lived peace the family has managed to find. I also plan to spend more time with my motivational speaking in 2011.

Where can visitors find you online?

Visitors can find me online at www.patriciahaley.com.

They can also join my Fan page for Author Patricia Haley at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Patricia-Haley-Fan-Page/113087875385064