1--What’s the name of your latest release?
HERE FOR YOU
2--What is it about?
A niece is a caregiver for her great aunt who is in the advanced stages of dementia. Months later, Rachel finds herself in need of a caregiver. It’s an emotional journey that tests the faith of family, friends, and even a man of God. I like the steadfastness of Nicholas’ love for Rachel through the uncertainty of her trial.
3--What word best describes your heroine?
One word--wholeness--physically, mentally, spiritually
4--What makes your hero irresistible?
Besides his hot looks, Nicholas is a humble, committed man of God. When he falls for Rachel, his love is fierce, pure, and endearing. He is the epitome of a man who is concerned about his woman’s whole being.
5--Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help?
Family and God. For Rachel, her two sisters and best friend; for Nicholas, his parents and brothers
6--What do you love about the setting of your book?
Nashville is more than the music capital of the USA, it’s filled with historical significance in American history from slavery, the Woolworths sit-ins to the civil rights era. It was fascinating uncovering such a wealth of information that I weaved into my storyline.
7--Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)?
I start with an outline, and usually by chapter seven, the characters take over the story. I’m a scene writer, so I concentrate on the depth of each scene versus a page count.
8--What is an ideal writing day for you?
An ideal writing day is starting early in the morning without interruptions; however, the typical writing day is hours spent with administrative duties--answering emails, tweaking my website, content hunting to include in a monthly newsletter, helping other authors on their projects--before I can write. Presently, I’m also a caregiver for my 70-year-old brother-in-law who is Deaf and mentally challenged. I have to make sure I keep him on a schedule for his meals, exercise, and other personal attention.
9--Do you listen to music while you write, need total silence, or do you have the TV on?
No. I prefer silence to concentrate, which is ironic because I was a TV assignment editor where I had to monitor 13+ police scanners for breaking news. It always amazed my colleagues how I could distinguish anything from the blare of noise to hear shots fired, fatal crash, robbery, house fire, etc., this was on top of managing photographers and reporters to covering stories. Plus, reviewing news tips for validity. You would think with that level of multitasking, I’m not easily distracted. Not so. I don’t want my characters competing for attention.
10--How do you approach research?
With a news background, I enjoy digging deep and uncovering unknown facts. Interviewing professionals on subjects I cover in my books is a must. I’ve learned to balance my information so that my story doesn’t read like a textbook.
11--What is your publishing journey story?
In one word--surprising. I had no idea my voice would attract readers the way it has. If I go back and read one of my stories, I’m always amazed at God’s creativity through me. As an amateur genealogist, I like to cast one of my ancestors in my storyline in their honor. God showed me through my first book that I was on the right track--personally and professionally. I have a series called the Jamieson Legacy. The name really had no significance until I uncovered Jamiesons as slaveholders in my family tree--I had no idea that I had a connection. It was a wow moment.
12--Do you have critique partners/writing groups you want to give a shout-out to?
I would have to say Chandra Sparks Splond has been my developmental editor for many of my 30 books. She has challenged me over the years to write better. I’m still striving toward that goal with each book.
13--What’re the most frustrating things about being an author?
Convincing those in my close circle that writing is a business, not a hobby. Deadlines take time to meet. This has been a cycle throughout my many years of writing. It’s unimaginable to people outside of the profession that a book can’t be written in a week, or a first draft is not ready to go to print.
14--What’s your favorite scent?
15--What movie will you watch no matter what if it’s on TV?
While You Were Sleeping or Adventures in Babysitting
16--Do you like breakfast, lunch, or dinner best?
My breakfast is boring with oatmeal, but if I have access to a breakfast buffet, it’s on! Sometimes, I forget to eat lunch, and I’m a picky eater when it comes to dinner--if it’s too much meat or over the top vegetables, then soup and salad works.
17--What’s one thing you wish you knew more about?
In general--my ancestors’ lives post-slavery.
18--What’s the silliest thing you’ve recently done?
I host Fun Friday on Facebook with another Christian romance author and a marketing guru. We’re a hoot.
19--What can readers expect from you next?
After the September release of Here for You, it will be the final installment in the Family is Forever series. Currently, the book doesn’t have a title. Also, this fall, I’m excited about my indie Christmas story--Christmas Dinner. A lot can happen on Christmas Eve. Restoring family ties, faith in God, and falling in love again are just the beginning of the night of miracles.
20--How can readers reach you:
Family is Forever #2
Life is easier when you have someone to lean on
Rachel Knicely has put her own life on hold for six months to take care of her great-aunt, who has Alzheimer's. Putting her aunt first was an easy decision, but accepting the fact that Aunt Tweet is nearing the end of her battle is just too difficult.
Nicholas Adams has been visiting the sick and comforting those in need for years, but when he meets Rachel and Aunt Tweet, he's surprised that Rachel is the one who needs him most. He's falling for her, too, but Aunt Tweet's worsening condition and Rachel's own devastating news might test his resolve to the breaking point.
Romance Contemporary [Sourcebooks Casablanca, On Sale: February 2, 2021, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9781492687672 / eISBN: 9781492687689]
Pat Simmons is the multi-published author of more than thirty titles, and is a three-time recipient of Emma Rodgers Award for Best Inspirational Romance. She has been a featured speaker and workshop presenter at various venues across the country.
As a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth, Pat is passionate about researching her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She describes the evidence of the gift of the Holy Ghost as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. God is the Author who advances the stories she writes. Pat has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts.
Pat has converted her sofa-strapped, sports fanatic husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, GPS-guided chauffeur, and her administrative assistant who is constantly on probation. They have a son and a daughter.
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