Friday, January 20, 2012

Guilty By Association Virtual Book Tour with Pat Simmons

How did you become a writer?
My steps toward publication? First off, I completed my manuscript. I know that sounds like a no brainer, but that is why publishers won’t take a partial from an aspiring author. You have no track records that you can finish the manuscript and meet deadlines. Then I submitted to every agent and publisher I could find an address. That definitely was the wrong approach. I wasn’t clear what genre my manuscript fit. I thought it was a Christian romance, but I didn’t follow the strict romance formula where the woman is the main character and she and the hero meet on the first page. My Jamieson Legacy books are considered women’s fiction with a lot of romance. Why? Because my main characters are the Jamieson men followed by the women who love them.  Next, finding an agent.  After three agents, I finally found a good match. I’m represented by Amanda Luedeke with Chip Macgregor Literary Agency. She is young, knowledgeable and very diverse in the genres she that attracts her. I think I was the first romance author she represented. I guess you can say I made a believer out of her. Guilty by Association is my first novel with Moody/Lift Every Voice Books. But they originally rejected my first novel. The timing wasn’t right, but I’m enjoying my ride now.

Where does your inspiration for your characters come from?
First the Bible because I have to find out the message Jesus wants me to convey. Second, people, place, and things. Anything could kick my imagination into high gear. For example, a woman I worked with years ago was telling about this break-in at an apartment complex. The resident was a former police officer and he had a retired service dog that had lost its vocal cords. The dog could still bite as a burglar found it. Talk about stupid criminals. That’s how Grandma BB had a dog named Silent Killer. His bite is definitely bigger than his bark.

What are you hoping readers take from your book?
In Guilty by Association, I want parents, siblings, spouses and friends of our “angry black men” syndrome to be encouraged.  We give our children, especially boys, the best and yet they reject sound advice, authority and possess a lost spirit. But God can save any man, boy, or girl from whatever spiritual disease that’s ailing them. I want readers to look pass the sagging beltless-pants-wearing young boys and see the worth that God has given them.

If you were to write a book about a controversial topic, what would it be?
LOL. Been there, done that. My first novel, Guilty of Love (which Moody turned down), was about a woman who was pregnant by her college sweetheart. He told her to kill it (his words) and she had to make a decision—her man or her baby. I was careful in presenting the subject matter so not to condemn, but to heal the woman who couldn’t forgive herself for the wrong decision. I also wrote a book about a former female convict because women are the fasting growing population. I wanted to force readers to judge themselves where they would accept a felon into their circle of friends.

Most writers have a process or method for writing their books, what is yours?
I like to imagine the scenarios, dialogue, and features in my head first. I create a sketchy, sketchy outline of scenes that must be included, maybe the scriptures I plan to use and how many characters are necessary to advance the story. If a writer has too many characters, then the readers will always be trying to keep up. However, it isn’t unusual for me to add a character that I hadn’t planned to give my main character a sidekick or a listening ear or someone is an instigator.

What is your favorite genre of books?
Christian romance and genealogy books, especially African-American.

Are you an avid or occasional reader?
Before I became an author, I was an avid, addicted reader. Now, that isn’t possible. I cram writing into every minute that I can. When I meet my deadlines, it isn’t unusual for me to devour five or six books to unwind, then I’ll jump back into my manuscripts.

What are two things you want your readers to know about you?
That I try to give readers the best story I’m capable of writing. I enjoy interacting with fans. Many times their suggestions would spark story ideas. That’s what happened with my first book Guilty of Love. There may be up to twelve books in the Jamieson Legacy because of those emails.

If you could interview one of your favorite authors, who would it be? Why?
Henry Louis Gates because I believe we are on the same mission to track Blacks’ connection back to Africa. Where he relies heavily on research and documentation, I hope to stumble across documents as I research my family tree. I only scratch the surface of the valuable details of our ancestry that are at our fingertips in the Jamieson Legacy Books.

What is or was your dream job?
After graduating college, my dream job and goal was to secure a job in the broadcast industry, which I was able to do, but it wasn’t easy. I worked in television and radio for a total of twenty years. My dream job now would be to become a certified genealogist. The catch is I wouldn’t want to work for anybody else, but myself. Definitely, not a logical career strategy. LOL.

What new projects are you working on?
Now that Guilty by Association is out (January 2012), I just turned in book II: The Guilt Trip (June 2012) and I’m 60 pages into book III: Free from Guilt (October 2012) and yes, I revamped by outline. I hope I can finish that up by mid-February. After that, I’ll work on some eBooks and try to get some single titles ready for publication.

Where can readers find you?
Everywhere.,;, and other places I’m sure I forgot about.

About the Book
The Jamieson Family Legacy series follow the lives of two Jamieson brothers in Boston, Kidd and Ace, and their cousin, Cameron, from St. Louis. The older brother, Kidd, is struggling with anger and resentment issues toward his absentee father who never married his mother. Yet, he had the audacity to demand his illegitimate sons carry his Jamieson name. Ace, on the other hand, is on his collision course to be a chip off the old block when it comes to women. Their highly MIT educated cousin, Cameron Jamieson, is all about saving family from self-destruction. Through genealogy research, Cameron's mission is to show his cousins their worth as the eleventh generation descendants of a royal African tribe and to give them a choice: live with the stereotypical "angry black men" syndrome or to crush any obstacles that try and stop them to become strong successful black men.
There are three books in the Jamieson Legacy series: Guilty by Association (Kidd's story), The Guilt Trip (Ace's story), and Free from Guilt (Cameron's story). Each of the three Jamieson men have to accept that their past and present are in God's hand, and without Him they can't advance to their future blessings. The bonus storyline in Guilty by Association is one that progresses the story of the much-loved character in the previous three book Guilty Series, Grandma BB. This time, she picks up a sidekick Mrs. Valentine.
Guilty by Association is the story of Boston bad boy Kevin "Kidd" Jamieson.  His gripe is with his father who dared to insist that his two illegitimate sons carry his last name.  To add insult to injury, the man never bothered to stick around to provide love and guidance as his boys matured into men.  Kidd's anger overflows into every area of his life. As his animosity festers, Kidd becomes as a roaring lion, seeking whatever and whomever he can devour.  He's as gritty as his cousin in St. Louis, Parke Jamieson VI, is polished. The two strong-willed men clash when Kidd relocates to St. Louis where his cousin assures him it's a land of milk and money in job opportunities. Where is lands a job is far from it. 
Through a series of events that involve Grandma BB, her dog named Silent Killer and her Stacy Adams shoes, Kidd meets two women who recognize his hostile tendencies and immediately begin to administer CPR to his soul. LPN Eva Savoy eventually becomes his "Eve," a woman God created from the underlying goodness hidden in Kidd's own heart.
Reluctantly, Kidd allows Parke to divulge information about their royal family heritage. While everyone's care and compassion begins to smother Kidd, he struggles to keep up the bad boy attitude as his walls start to crumble. Kidd learns it's not his association with the name that identifies him, but the man he becomes that defines him.

About the Author
Pat Simmons is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth. She is passionate about digging up the dirt on her ancestors, then casting them in starring roles in her novels. She has been a genealogy enthusiast since her great-grandmother died at the young age of ninety-seven years old. Pat has won numerous awards for her novels which include: Talk to Me, Grace and Humility and Still Guilty, which was voted the Best Inspirational Romance for 2010. Pat is best known for her Guilty series: Guilty of Love, Not Guilty of Love, and Still Guilty. She is continuing the series through the Jamieson Family Legacy trilogy: Guilty by Association, The Guilt Trip, Free From Guilt. Pat has recently been nominated for the best Christian fiction award by the African American Literary Awards for her latest release, Crowning Glory.  Pat and her husband live in Missouri and have two children. Visit Patricia at:

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Author, Pat Simmons

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