Monday, November 12, 2007
FEATURED AUTHOR: Pat Simmons
EDITOR NOTE: It is always nice to introduce you to someone I know. A fellow St. Louisian is even better. Pat has a great since of humor and is someone you can ask a favor and she's right there. I'm excited to see her career taking off and I look forward to seeing more of her books in print. Please meet Pat Simmons.
Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Professionally, I'm a news writer and assignment editor for a TV station in the Midwest. I consider myself an amateur genealogist who loves to find the missing links in the family. I've been baptized in Jesus' name for about 28 years and had the wonderful experience of being filled with the Holy Ghost and hearing myself speak in unknown tongues. I've been married for more than twenty years and have two in college.
As a writer, I'm learning the business, and this is a whole new world for me.
Tell us about your current book?
Guilty of Love is part comedy, relationship, and genealogy, but its all inspirational from a Christian viewpoint. Every person is guilty of love when it comes to spouses, children, siblings, etc., we have a habit of overlooking their discretion. Cheney Reynolds is trying to restore her life after making a bad decision. Parke Jamieson VI is a direct descendant of a Royal African tribe and arrogant doesn't begin to describe him, but eventually he becomes Cheney's prince. Then there is Mrs. Beatrice Tilley Beacon aka Grandma BB--the neighborhood terror to the dance-a-thon queen--and she's an eighty-year old something widow. Cheney's close friend, Imani, is definitely not what readers think she is, and Hallison and Malcolm. Readers are screaming for a sequel.
What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
I had hoped someone would re-evaluate their walk with God and allow God to release their guilt. And from the emails I've received, that is happening.
What inspired this story?
Obedience to God. At first, I was hesitate about the subject matter, but then I realized if I wrote 10 books, none would be successful until I penned the one God told me to do.
How long did it take from first word to sale?
About 3 years.
What were some of the steps along the journey?
Editing, revising, editing, submitting, hoping, refusing to give up after numerous rejection letters, and rejoicing. Definitely networking!
What have you learned throughout the process of writing, pitching - and now, promoting - a novel?
For me, there isn't a part of the process that is easy. Learning the "art" of storytelling instead of writing. I put myself right in the middle of a scene so that I can feel and see what I want the readers to feel.
Although I have several years in the media, including as a publicist, it's different when it's your own book. I'm tweaking my next novel; I'm on the phone setting up radio/TV interviews, newspaper write-ups, etc.; and contacting book stores for signings--and that was discouraging because many of the Borders and even Barnes & Noble didn't have my book on the shelf because it was "Multicultural" and the district or regional office didn't think there was the clientele. That was a surprise to me and the their practice still frustrates me. It's extremely hard for one person to do it all, but somebody has to do it.
Any exciting things happening before or during the time period while the book is releasing? A lot of media publicity before and a the beginning.
Setting up a website and building a potential reader/fan base.
How much marketing do you do? What have you found that particularly works well for you?
I do a LOT of marketing from postcard mailings to doing radio/TV interviews, to networking, etc. Every week I try to do something publicly from Girls Night Out to book setups at salons, YMCA, schools, etc.
What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?
I wish I had two finished novels completed before signing a book contract.
The pressure to finished a second book is unbelievable when writers have all the time in the world perfecting the first one.
I wish I hadn't expected people to support me--friends, family, church, etc. I was surprised after 2 months, many hadn't purchased the book.Then God spoke to me and let me know that the sales of my books wasn't about me, but about HIM. And that my success is NOT based on anyone's support, but His Will in my life. That Word from God changed my perspective about my secondary role as an author.
Have at least $500 available prior to the advancement to start putting things in motion.
What do you do to make time for yourself?
I try and sew about one hour each morning so when I do my signings I look nice.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
- I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.
I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.
I’m available for:
Online promotion coaching
Contact me at:firstname.lastname@example.org