Pat, describe yourself for our visitors.
I’m Pat Simmons, an award-winning and bestselling author of the Guilty series: Guilty of Love, Not Guilty of Love, Still Guilty, plus Talk to Me, and Crowning Glory. I consider myself an amateur genealogy sleuth. I love to uncover information on my ancestors that bring them to life. I enjoy sewing. As a matter-of-fact, I just finished a wardrobe for an upcoming convention. I mentioned to my mother-in-law that the Easy Vogue pattern was the hardest “easy’ one I’ve ever used. LOL
How do you find time to connect with God?
I used to read my Bible every night before bed time. Now, God has me dedicating a half hour in the morning to him and I meditate on the scriptures throughout the day.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
That is a long answer. It depends on the genre. In non-fiction, I enjoy biographies and family genealogy books; the Dummies books on How-to are great. I can’t get enough of Christian romance. That’s why I decided to write them.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
In one word: HARD. After a few years of rejection letters, I was about to give up. A friend of mine told me about the Urban Christian line, and I thought, why not? What’s one more rejection? To surprise, the executive editor, Joylynn Jossel, loved Guilty of Love and its characters: Parke Jamieson VI, Cheney, Grandma BB, Kami and others. One thing I will never forget is the day before Guilty of Love was supposed to hit the bookshelves; I received a rejection letter from another publication. What irony. That incident opened my eyes to the diversity of editor’s opinions. It was only at that point did I not take it personally.
Tell us about your current book?
I love Crowning Glory. I believe it is my best book ever. I hope that it will really minister to hurting women. I call it a modern day Cinderella story. I love romance, remember? Here’s a short synopsis: Cinderella had a prince; Karyn Wallace has a King.
While Karyn served four years in prison for an unthinkable crime, she embraced salvation through the Crowns for Christ out reach ministry. After her release, Karyn stays strong and confident, despite the stigma society places on ex-offenders. Since Christ strengthens the underdog, Karyn refuses to sway from the scripture, “He who the Son has set free is free indeed.”
Levi Tolliver, for the most part, is a practicing Christian. His only contradiction is he doesn’t believe in turning the other cheek. He believes there is a price to pay for every sin committed. If Levi can search his heart to accept that Karyn’s debt was paid in full, a treasure awaits him.
Award-winning author Pat Simmons delivers another powerful tale and reminds readers of the permanency of redemption.
How did you come up with ideas for this book?
It was one of those “what-if” moments. I created a situation where a victim of crime and an ex-convict crossed paths. Their issues are real and so are their emotions. I did my research, and I hope I give the reader something to think about. If I knew everything about a person, I probably wouldn’t like her. If another person knew everything about me, the same may hold true. An ex-convict’s life is an open book, so how do we treat our sisters (who by the way are the fastest growing prison population) when they are released? The challenge for us is to look beyond their faults and see their needs.
Did you have a favorite character?
Yes, I loved all of them, but it is my secondary character, Jesetta Hutchens or Jet, who pulled at my heart strings. If so, why? I could feel her pain as I wrote the story.
How did you end up as a publicist the RT Booklovers Convention?
Actually, fellow author and friend, Lisa Watson, and I have spearheaded the publicity department since 2005. I worked in television news for ten years, so I had the contacts and the inside scoop on how to book people for shows and stories. Lisa backed me up and our efforts have been a success ever since.
What is your favorite thing about attending the RT Booklovers Convention?
For me, the free books, the encouragement from bestselling authors and the enthusiasm from fans.
How is the RT Booklovers Convention beneficial for aspiring authors, writers, readers?
With more than 125 workshops, aspiring authors will get a better understanding of what’s right and wrong with their manuscripts, they can have one-on-one face time with editors and agents, and at the end of the day, relax at the nightly parties.
What’s next for you?
Working on my upcoming e-books, hopefully to be completed by May 1st.
Where can visitors find you online?
Visit www.patsimmons.net. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.