INTERVIEW | Pat Simmons, author of Guilty by Association

INTERVIEW | Pat Simmons, author of Guilty by Association

Pat, describe yourself for our visitors.

I’ve been married to my husband, Kerry, for almost twenty-nine years, and I praise God for a good marriage. I’ve converted my sofa-strapped, sports-fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, and GPS-guided chauffeur. We have a son who is a walking miracle. He is blessed to be alive after a horrific car accident years ago, but God let me know that is my son’s testimony and to let him tell it. Our daughter who attended college on a bowling scholarship recently graduated. She says she feels like making a sign and standing on the streets saying, ‘College student needs corporate job.’ We keep encouraging her that God is the CEO of all jobs.

As far as hobbies, I’m an avid seamstress. I used to sew regularly until I started writing. Now, I sew a few times a year, or if I see an outfit I like, I’ll buy the pattern and duplicate it. I became a storyteller when I tried to get myself out of trouble when I was a little girl. It didn’t fly with my parents. I’m a romantic at heart—movies, books, commercials, Disney cartoons.

The bottom line is I enjoy happy endings. But my passion, in addition to living for Jesus and making sure I’m spiritually spotless for the rapture, is tracking down my ancestors.

I’m a genealogy sleuth. Anyone who loves the Jamieson men have read about some of the tidbits I’ve uncovered from researching old documents.

How do you find time to connect with God?

First thing in the morning is best for me before I get my day started. I try to be steadfast and dedicate at least thirty minutes to one hour for reading my Bible, which could be up to three chapters and take notes.

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

Romans 12:1-2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Whew. That says it all, doesn’t it? If you really think about this, Paul is practically begging us to serve God, then warning us not to be tricked with the cares of this world.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

That’s a two-part question. I have fellow authors who I turn to for advice about anything from editing to marketing. Some of them do not write in my genre, but they would be my favorite authors that would be there for me. As for reading, Henry Louis Gates would probably be my favorite when it comes to the genealogy genre. Since I love romance and I want to keep my mind clean, I enjoy Christian romance by Vanessa Miller, Kendra Norman-Bellamy and others.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

My journey was basically generic. It was a challenge to complete a manuscript as far as staying focused. I had to time myself just to see how long it would take me to complete a manuscript. It was even harder to find an agent than publisher. There are still publishers that will take a manuscript without an agent, but you can’t deviate from the guidelines. It’s a fine line to walk and write. As an aspiring author, I never became accustomed to the rejection letters and emails. When I finally received an email from Joylynn Jossel, I just knew it was another rejection, but to my surprise, she actually liked the story. I wrote five books for Urban Christian.

I got my second and current publisher, Lift Every Voice, by God’s divine plan. I was pitching the Guilty series to another publisher. I had printed too many copies of the proposal. Since I didn’t want to waste my ink and paper, I sent it to my editor, Cynthia Ballenger. Cynthia loved it! I was humbled because they had originally turned down my first manuscript five years ago. It wasn’t my time for the great opportunity they gave me now. Praise God.

Tell us about your current book.

In Guilty by Association, Kevin “Kidd” Jamieson suffers from the “angry black man syndrome”. With an absentee father, the Jamieson name is worthless. Kidd’s anger is seeping out into every area of his life as he carelessly becomes as a roaring lion, seeking whatever and whomever he can devour.

When he receives an invitation from a distant cousin, Parke Jamieson VI, to come to St. Louis, he is hesitant but accepts, almost as a dare. Though he initially bumps heads with Parke, a series of events that involve a dog named Silent Killer, Stacy Adams shoes, and two women who enter his life to calm his raging storm, Kidd makes St. Louis home. One woman is Eva Savoy who becomes his “Eve,” a woman God created out of the underlying goodness in Kidd’s own heart.

Reluctantly, Kidd allows Parke to walk him through generations of his royal African tribe heritage. Overwhelmed by the care and compassion of new friends and family, Kidd struggles to keep up the bad boy attitude. His walls are starting to crumble and he knows he’s going down. Eventually, Kidd learns it’s not his association with the name that identifies him, but the man he becomes that defines him.

What influenced you to write this book?

My heart bleeds for our young men who are rebellious and lashing out, and we as a society, don’t take the interest to find out why. They are wasting their lives away. These talent young men are hurting inside and we need to ask ourselves why and how we reach our angry black men, sons, husbands, brothers. That was my mission when I set out to write Guilty by Association. My character, Kidd Jamieson, is rough around the edges. He is surrounded by people who love him, but two women begin to minister to his emotional hurt—an old woman in the nursing facility would tell stories about slavery and his love interest at his job who shows him the love of Jesus. It’s truly a love story.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

Of course, as the author, I have to pull for the Jamieson men. I chose Kidd because he is the underdog. And Jesus roots for the underdog. I enjoy writing Kidd’s transformation and despite his rough edges, he was a caring and loving son and brother. He had good qualities.

What’s next for you?

Are you kidding? The Jamiesons are keeping me busy. There is also the sequel to Crowning Glory and other single titles that I’m looking forward to getting out this year. It’s important to me to have a diverse portfolio of novels, so that readers can see I can do more than the Jamieson Legacy. In 2012, there will be three books released in the series: Guilty by Association (Jan 2012); The Guilt Trip (June 2012); Free from Guilt (October 2012).

Where can visitors find you online?

It seems like everywhere.

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Tavares at 7:55 am

    Great interview, Ty. And as for Pat, I loved reading more about the author, personally, and can’t wait to get my copy so I can start reading 🙂

    • WVB Editor at 6:42 pm

      Tavares, thank you for stopping by to read the interview and support author Pat Simmons. I know you will enjoy Guilty By Association. Blessings!

    • WVB Editor at 6:44 pm

      Pat, thank you for the opportunity to feature you here on WrittenVoicesBlog.com. Many blessings on the book, Guilty by Association, and the Jamieson Family Legacy series.