Thursday, January 19, 2012

GUEST BLOGGER PAT SIMMONS (and Giveaway!!!)

Julie, here, and I met today's wonderful guest through a mutual friend, Cheryl Wyatt, because it turned out that Pat and I are Christian authors who both live in St. Louis, and Cheryl thought we should connect. Well, Cheryl was right because it turned out to be a match made in Heaven (pun intended). Pat has been a huge blessing to me, so today I wanted to return the favor and bless her with exposure to some of the best blog reader friends on the Web -- Seeker friends!

When I first read Pat's post below and learned about some of the spiritual "coincidences" she experienced, there was no question she has an anointing on her to write her current series. But when I realized the subject matter of her blog included facts from her genealogy that trace back to pre-Civil War slavery, my heart skipped a beat. Call it coincidence if you want, but when I realized I'd inadvertently scheduled Pat's post for today -- the same week as Martin Luther King's holiday -- I felt it was more anointed than coincidental. So please join me in welcoming our very special guest today, Pat Simmons, a truly "anointed" addition to Martin Luther King week.

My name is Pat Simmons. I’m a Christian fiction author of six published novels with two more scheduled to be released this year.

I’m so happy to share the testimony about my first book deal. Guilty of Love was actually the third novel I wrote, but the first one that was published. The amazing thing is I didn’t want to write the story because of the subject matter: abortion. After I gave it some thought, I realized that I could write ten novels and none of them would be successful until I wrote the one God told me to. Let me tell what Jesus did. That book broke sales records for the imprint that year. It also established my writing career. The Guilty series now called the Jamieson Legacy will probably go to seventeen books. Look at Jesus. What would have happened if I didn’t say, yes, Lord?

Prior to starting that book, I became interested in my family’s genealogy. I decided to incorporate some of my family names into the stories in hopes of tracking now-distant relatives who might pick up the book and recognize names.

I chose "Charlotte" for my main character’s mother. Charlotte was my maternal grandmother and my maternal great-great grandmother. Then on to the last name. I needed something that had a distinguished ring. Somehow "Jamieson" stuck, thus creating Parke K. Jamieson VI. He and his brothers became the strong, successful and confident men who were the tenth generation descendants of a royal African tribe.

My maternal grandmother’s last name was Wilkerson. I located Charlotte Wilkerson along with her two sons: William (my great grandfather b. 1866) and his brother Samuel (b. 1868), on the 1880 census. I hit a wall when I went back to the 1870 census. I couldn’t locate them. I turned to other genealogy enthusiasts to help in the hunt for Charlotte Wilkerson and her two sons who would have been four and two. It’s amazing how savvy some of these sleuths are. A few days later, they came back with information that made me hold my breath.

It appears that Charlotte’s last name was actually Jamieson. Eerie, huh? I had no idea I was giving my character the exact FIRST and LAST name after an ancestor.

Since 1870 was the first year blacks were counted as free, I searched the 1860 slaveholders’ schedules. Sure enough, Robert Jamieson was the slaveholder over my great-great grandmother. In his household, there was a guest and teacher in the academy, John Wilkerson (my white great-grandfather).

So for six years, the Guilty series has captivated black and white readers alike with its positive strong black family and historical facts that are weaved into contemporary storylines. This month under a new publisher, the Guilty series presents The Jamieson Legacy.

My encouragement to every aspiring author is to listen to Jesus when you get that first offer. It may not be the publishing house or advancement you want, but we never know how God will cause a seed to grow, once we’ve planted a story.

SYNOPSIS: Guilty by Association is a Christian fiction meant to entertain, educate and fascinate readers with true historical facts like Sinner’s Hotel in Maryland where Africans were auctioned, The Good Ship Jesus that transported Africans to the Americas, or the 1860 Mississippi Morbidity Book where slaves who didn’t bear their slaveholder’s last name were given "Negro" to be buried.

In Book I: Guilty by Association, Boston bad boy Kevin “Kidd” Jamieson suffers from the “angry man” syndrome. It’s plagued him since childhood when his phantom father never married his mother, but was arrogant enough to insist his two sons carry his name. What’s in a name? As far as Kidd is concerned, it’s worthless. Kidd’s resentment is tangible, and the bitterness plays out in every area of his life where he carelessly leaves a trail of destruction. Things change after distant cousin, Parke Jamieson VI, tracks Kidd down while researching the Jamieson family tree. The two strong-willed cousins bump heads within minutes after meeting. Kidd is about to get a history lesson whether he wants it or not; a love lesson from coworker Eva Savoy whose remedy for his condition is accepting his bloodline with Jesus; and a nursing home resident, Mrs. +Valentine, who rattles off facts about the 1800s as if she lived in them. Suddenly, Kidd’s outnumbered. Leave it up to the three strategically placed Christians, and Kidd’s going down. And when he gets up from his knees, Kidd will be a changed man of God.

BIOGRAPHY:

Pat Simmons has been married to Kerry for almost twenty-nine years. She praises God for a good marriage. Pat has converted her sofa-strapped, sports-fanatical husband into an amateur travel agent, untrained bodyguard, and GPS-guided chauffeur.

Pat Simmons describes her Christian walk as an amazing, unforgettable, life-altering experience. She is a baptized believer who is always willing to share her testimonies about God’s goodness. She believes God is the true Author who advances her stories.

Pat has a B.S. in mass communications from Emerson College in Boston, MA. She has worked in various media positions in radio, television, and print for more than twenty years. Currently, she oversees the media publicity for the annual RT Booklovers Conventions. She has been a guest on several media outlets, including radio, television, newspapers, and blog radio.

She is the award-winning author of Talk to Me, ranked #14 of Top Books in 2008 that Changed Lives by Black Pearls Magazine; she also received the Katherine D. Jones Award for Grace and Humility from the Romance Slam Jam committee in 2008. Pat is best known for her Guilty series: Guilty of Love, Not Guilty of Love, and Still Guilty, which was voted the Best Inspirational Romance for 2010 by the RSJ committee. Her 2011 release, Crowning Glory, was voted the Best Inspirational of the year. Fans are giving her January release, Guilty by Association, five stars.

PAT'S WEBSITE ... CHECK IT OUT!!

http://www.patsimmons.net/

GIVEAWAY:

Pat has graciously agreed to give away her latest book (with the INCREDIBLY hunky cover!!) to one lucky commenter, so please leave a comment for Pat along with your e-mail in a spam-free manner (i.e. janedoe(at)freebook(dot)com). GOOD LUCK!

86 comments:

Linda said...

Wow--what a powerful book. Since I read Roots (didn't watch the tv series), I've been interested in the issue of slavery for years. I grieved over Roots for over two weeks, and it lead to my reading many books about it. I would hope I'd have been one of those that would have helped work the underground railroad.

Please enter me.

desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

Thanks, Julie, for introducing a wonderful author!

KC Frantzen and May the K9 Spy said...

This is so interesting - thank you for sharing your journey!

Yes - please enter me! may at maythek9spy dot com

Cindy W. said...

Isn't God awesome! I think it's so neat how God brought you to writing that first (third) book. It's obvious you've been called!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W

countrybear52[at]yahoo[dot]com

MaryC said...

What an amazing story. Your book sounds fascinating. Tha is for visiting today and thanks Julie for bringing Pat here.

Glynna Kaye said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Pat! I'm definitely going to look for these books as I find stories with history and geneology woven into them fascinating. My sister has done a lot of research on our ancestry--it really brings the past alive, doesn't it? Makes you realize those aren't merely names on paper, but they were REAL flesh-and-blood people living lives of love and hardship -- people with hopes and dreams, laughter and tears -- people without whom WE wouldn't exist.

Walt Mussell said...

Pat, welcome to Seekerville. Have any long lost relatives actually noticed their names yet?

CaraG said...

Eerie, yes. I had goosebumps by the time I finished reading about the naming of your character.

The glimpse of the journey that led to your writing of the Jameison Legacy series is also inspiring. It makes me want to know more. Is there a longer story out there somewhere?

Your name has been added to my have-to-read list. I'll be looking for your books.

Thank you for today's post.

gilliach(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sandra Leesmith said...

Welcome to Seekerville Pat and thanks for taking the time to join us.

Loved your testimony and as Cindy said, "Isn't God awesome?"

I'm curious about Walt's question. Have they?

Thanks again for sharing.

Jeanne T said...

Pat, I so enjoyed reading your post today. My father instilled in me love for genealogy. Now, if only I actually had time to search more. He's uncovered some fun stories though.

Hearing how your stories came about is beautiful, especially the naming of your characters. Your books sound like they'll be good reads. I'll need to add you to my list of authors I want to read.

I'll be curious to hear if any of your relatives have contacted you too. :)

I'd be interested in entering you into the drawing.
wetalk2biz(at)q(lowercase Q)(dot)com

Elizabeth B. said...

You are a very accomplished lady! Emerson! Several books under your belt and a resume to die for!

As a historical writer, I found your inspiration and depth of your research fascinating.

As a proud mother of five children, three of which were awarded the coveted Dr. Martin Luther King Arts and Sciences Medallion from Coretta King, Governor Cuomo, and Harry Belafonte.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

I love how God wove your family and your fictional family together in such a bold way. Nothing like those signs that God's hand really is on what we do IF we look to Jesus and seek His will with all our heart. Thank you for that reminder.

And here I was, just thinking I should go to the RT Convention this year. Hmmmm.

Blessings, Pat! Definitely want in on the giveaway. Oh, are your books in Kindle format? I have this feeling you are about to be glommed.

Peace, Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MORNING, ALL!! And a HUGE thanks to my special guest, Pat Simmons, for joining us today!!

Brought some of my favorites for breakfast, so dive in to cinnamon peach blintzes, chocolate chip banana bread, peach cobbler, Western omelets, peach pie and rashers of maple-cured bacon. Oh, and cinnamon/peach/cheese Kringle!! Notice a theme?? Peach is my FAVORITE!!

With cinnamon hazelnut coffee and assorted teas as well.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

LINDA ... Pat will be by later today, but I am ashamed to admit that I never read the book by Alex Haley or watched Roots on TV, which I know was a blockbuster miniseries back in the day (1979). Of course, EVERYBODY talked about it back then, but I didn't watch a lot of television then or now, so I missed it.

Like you, Linda, the "Underground Railroad" fascinates me, though, so it sounds like I need to put Roots on my DVD list!!

Thanks for your sweet comment, my friend, and GOOD LUCK!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

HEY KC, thanks for coming by to welcome Pat to Seekerville. When I read Pat's blog, I was pretty amazed at the sheer coincidence that obviously is anything but. Good luck, sweetie!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, CINDY, YES!!! GOD IS AWESOME, no doubt about that! And I agree that Pat was "called" to write her books because she has an incredible ministry both in the Black community and the White. Here's to a win!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

You're welcome, MARY C, it was my absolute pleasure! And talk about "pleasure" ... meeting Pat in person is certainly that -- a WONDERFUL gal with a heart on fire for Jesus. Good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

GLYNNA SAID: "My sister has done a lot of research on our ancestry--it really brings the past alive, doesn't it?"

It certainly does, Glynna, and I have to say that the little tidbits that I have used in my novels given to me from my 93-year-old aunt are some of the most fun details I've included in my books.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

WALT!!! GREAT QUESTION!! Pat will be by later on today to answer it for you. Meanwhile, good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Oh, CARA, me too!! I got chills when I read Pat's blog the first time, so I'm glad you did too! Here's to a win, my friend.

Hugs,
Julie

Sherri Shackelford said...

What an amazing journey from a gorgeous lady! Please come back and update us as your genealogy research expands.

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, SANDRA, thanks for coming by, darlin'!! Always smile a little bit more when I see a fellow Seeker drop by. Pat will be by later to answer Walt's (and yours) question, so stay tuned ...

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JEANNE T ... there's just something about the past that draws, isn't there?? I guess that's why I am a historical writer because I LOVE dabbling in other eras!! In fact, I have a number of good friends writing books that are based on their own heritage, be it a story about their great grandmother or just old love letters that sparked a plot, I LOVE reading novels like that!

Good luck in the contest, sweetie.

Hugs,
Julie

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Pat! Thank you for your post! Your books and journey to publication are fascinating! I love history and used family names in my first two books but the fact your fictional name for your character turned out to be factual gives me goosebumps.
God is using and blessing you.

Julie, thanks for bringing Pat today and for the fabulous breakfast!

Janet

Cara Lynn James said...

Pat, welcome to Seekerville! Your books sound wonderful. I love historicals and I'm really fascinated by geneology. I wish I could know some of my ancestors in person instead of just reading about them.

Julie Lessman said...

ELIZABETH B SAID: "As a proud mother of five children, three of which were awarded the coveted Dr. Martin Luther King Arts and Sciences Medallion from Coretta King, Governor Cuomo, and Harry Belafonte."

HOLY COW, Elizabeth, talk about being "proud"!! WOW, you've got some pretty impressive kiddos there, girl, so SUPER CONGRATS!! Talk about exciting for you!!

Good luck in the contest, and here's to a win!!

Hugs,
Julie

Christina said...

Pat, I love those Godcidences. It seems like you had at least one major one with the naming of your characters.

I love the concept of your series and can't wait until I get my hands on them.

I've been digging into my ancestry for a few years and found many shocking and interesting things.


Christina

christinainspirationals at gmail dot com

Julie Lessman said...

JULIE H. S. ... You know, I've heard so many good things about the RT Convention that I have always wanted to go and one of these days I will. Heck, maybe Pat and I can drive (or fly) together! May just have to add it to my travel list ...

And here's a question for you, Julie. I always know you by your sign-off "peace," and was curious if you had older siblings that were part of the Hippie movement because that was THE signature back then. Of course, YOU can't be that old, but maybe older sisters and brothers?? It's nice to have a nice, clean sign-off, which is why I like "hugs," because I am a pretty affectionate person, but signing off as "love" seems a little over the top, so "hugs" fits me and is short and sweet ... uh, unlike me and my writing ... :)

Thanks for your comment, Julie, and good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

SHERRI!!! I totally agree -- Pat IS gorgeous ... inside and out!!

Thanks for coming by and here's to a win!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JANET!!! Just finishing up An Inconvenient Match and absolutely LOVE it, which is no surprise -- LOVE all of your books, darlin'.

But I have to admit, it's a wee bit unsettling to see my name (Lessman) plastered throughout since you named the poor family after me!! But it's fun to see it in there, no matter the jolts.

Pat, Janet is another one of the Seekers and writes historical romance for LIH.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, CARA, getting an early start, eh, girlfriend?? Thanks for stopping by.

Pat, Cara is another Seeker who writes wonderful historical romance about the glorious Gilded Age with fun stories set amid the lavish summer homes of the elite at the turn of the century. WHICH, after being so poor in Janet's book, I'm hoping Cara will name a rich family after me ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CHRISTINA!!! :) ... Godcidences!! Love that word because it is SO very fitting!!

And "shocking" things?? Ooooooo, hope you are going to use them in a future story, girl, because shock is VERY interesting in a book, especially if it's true historical facts.

As a young girl, I remember being SO mesmerized by a movie based on a real shocking story that was spilled all over the headlines. It was called The Girl on the Red Velvet Swing, and it was a love triangle between famous architect Stanford White, showgirl Evelyn Nesbit and a young millionaire named Harry K. Thaw. Shocking ... but SOOO interesting because it was true!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

MALDIVES HONEYMOON ... what a VERY interesting addy!! Sounds like it refers to a very happy marriage, I hope!! :)

Thanks for coming by and good luck in the contest!

Hugs,
Julie

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Pat, I love how you mixed genealogy with writing. What a great pairing!

Thank you so much for being in Seekerville today! What a delight to have another St. Louis gal on board.

I loved visiting your fair city and would love to bring my hubby back to watch a ball game or two. Eat at Caleco's. I loved that place!

I'm leaving fresh Danish. Shh... No carb, no calorie Danish, obviously FAKE.

Sigh... ;)

And hey, that hunk of a husband makes a GREAT BODYGUARD, Pat! I laughed when I saw that on your website. Wonderful!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Elizabeth, that rocks! Wow. Dagnabbit, girl, you've been quiet about those accomplishments all this time????

Proud of you. And those wonderful kids.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Christina, isn't that the truth?

I used a very sad old family story as the basis for "Waiting Out the Storm" In fiction, I was able to fix things. In real life, they went horribly wrong.

I love fixing old wrongs.

Christina said...

Ruthy,

In more recent history, my great great grandfather, was a promising politician. His father had been a sheriff and his mother was the first female sheriff in Michigan and then again in Oklahoma several years later.

Anyway, there are several stories circulating about what really happened. Much of the evidence had been lost and the investigation had to be redone which brought the public conclusion that gg had taken a young woman to a cabin (this young woman was later portrayed as an upstanding Christian who would never step out on her husband-a judge). They say gg passed out drunk. The cabin caught fire. That fire was sooo hot it melted everything, and I mean everything, even liquified the glass so it dripped like rain. The only thing that wasn't destroyed was a tiny item that happened to be left in the burned victim's hand. A key chain. That is how they identified him. The family story, and one I suspect has more truth to it, given the heat of the fire, is there was a poker game- local sheriff, mayor and several other city officials were in attendance.

Whatever the case, he left behind a large number of children. His wife, a lighthouse keeper, had to sit back while churches posted articles in the paper to discuss her husband's sins. I have some of those articles, it's no wonder my great grandmother was the mess she was. It's odd how parts of my family is still suffering the consequences of that night.

It's a story I'd love to write, I just haven't figured out how to write a happy ending to it.

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY!!! I love Caleco's too, darlin', and did you know you can buy their salad dressing in the stores?? At least in the Midwest, so if you want a bottle, let me know, okay?

Pat, Ruthy is one of our most "outspoken" Seekers, so you may want to tread lightly ... ;)

And, RUTHY, THANK YOU for mentioning Pat's website because I was being completely delinquent in failing to post it, but it's all fixed now, thanks to you!!

And you said: "I love fixing old wrongs."

I'd agree with you on that except for the fact that my once perfectly straight teeth (a la braces!!) have begun to shift, leaving a gap in my smile that makes me feel a wee bit like Lauren Hutton without the beauty!! This is ONE "old wrong" I'm not real thrilled to "fix" since it's going to cost me to the tune of $3 to $4,000.00 kahunas!! YIKES!! I'm all for vanity, but at that price??? Oy.

Hugs,
Julie

Donna said...

Pat thank you for sharing with us today! What a fascinating path God has put before you!

The Synopsis of Guilty by Association was so engrossing, I would love to win it.
lostie815(at)hotmail(dot)com

Julie Lessman said...

HOLY COW, CHRISTINA -- YOU GOTTA WRITE THAT STORY, DARLIN'!!! That is one of the most interesting family stories I've ever heard, and you know what? You don't have to end it with everyone dying in the fire. That's where fiction comes in handy, then you just post a little blurb at the end, talking about how this was based on a real story that ended differently.

GO FOR IT, GIRL!!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

DONNA SAID: "The Synopsis of Guilty by Association was so engrossing ..."

I TOTALLY agree, Donna. In fact, that synopsis hooked me right in ... uh, along with the beefsteak on the front cover. Hubba, hubba!

Hugs,
Julie

Christina said...

Julie, one of my cps writes awesome crime fiction set in the 40s-50s, this would have been earlier, but I think it would be fun to do. What's interesting is the judge, mayor and sheriff all arrived on the scene before the firetrucks.

I'd probably have to wait until my grandmother passed away to even attempt publishing it, she's still real sensitive over the issue.

Jan Drexler said...

Julie, thank you so much for introducing us to Pat!

Pat, your books sound fascinating - of course, I love historical fiction and family stories. There's a bit of mystery solving that goes on when you're tracing family history, isn't there? I'm looking forward to reading the whole Jamieson Legacy series - even if it goes farther than the seventeen books you project!

Please enter me in the drawing!
jandrex(at)juno(dot)com

Christina said...

Pat, awesome website! I have a question for you. I've been in the romance writing world for a few years now and one of the things drilled in my head from the beginning was 'true stories don't make the best'. I think I even remember being told not to use my genealogy as a launching pad for my stories.

But they are so rich! So I wonder why can't we use them.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Wow, Pat this is fascinating history. And this month is black history month. Good timing for a bit of education for us cave dwellers.

Welcome to Seekerville btw!!!

Jan Drexler said...

Christina, I'd never heard that!

I wouldn't have ANY story ideas if I didn't use family stories for a launching pad...

PatriciaW said...

Hi Pat! No need to include me in the giveaway, I've already got and read a copy of Guilty By Association. The genealogy info is fascinating, particularly the references to being the umpteenth great-grand-something of such-and-such African king. I'd love to trace my roots. Congratulations on your newest release.

Carol Moncado said...

What an amazing story!!!!!

/waving from a couple hours SW on I44/

I've done some research into my family but not nearly that in depth. I do know I had one gggrandfather on each side of the Civil War and the Confederate ran off twice - once he went home, once he surrendered to the Union, said he'd been forced into service, spent three years in prison camps in Illinois then joined the Union Army and went west [not sure what year it was...]

On the other side of the family...

[like that segue? ;)]

FIL is doing MUCH better. Most of his vision is back and he was able to walk by himself with the aid of a walker. He should be leavingin HI tomorrow night and getting back to the Midwest late Saturday afternoon. Tests yesterday showed no bleeding or holes in his heart.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers! They are much appreciated!

I would LOVE to be entered in this drawing! /runs to Amazon wishlist just in case/

Stephanie Queen Ludwig said...

Fun post, Pat! I love how sometimes real stories are better than fiction, so we have to include them!

I'm working on a story about my great-grandmother. My family found out a few years ago that my great-grandfather is NOT the father of my grandmother, so we've been left with all sorts of questions, including who the mysterious man is that fathered her, whose blood is now in my family. We have a single photograph of him, but haven't found a name yet.

I'd love to read your book!

Joanne Sher said...

I am absolutely and completely fascinated with your background - AND these books! Please please PLEASE enter me in the giveaway - and THANK YOU Julie for bringing Pat to our attention!

joanne(at)joannesher(dot)com

Carol Moncado said...

Okay - so which order do we read the books in?

Mary Connealy said...

Hi Pat! Welcome to Seekerville. God bless you for tackling tough subject, led by God.
The book sounds fantastic and I love the research sources you've found.

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Linda,
I mention the Underground Railroad in the second book, The Guilt Trip. Roots was hard to digest, but thank God for Christians.

Mary Connealy said...

Just to make it easy.
Here is a link to buy Guilt by Association on Amazon.

Guilt By Association

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Carol, glad that your FIL is doing better!

Pat and Christina, I've had to shelve a few stories while relatives aged out. Some things aren't worth hurting people for.

When I was in Nashville, I met a lovely woman. Her son wrote Miranda Lambert's hit song "The House that Built Me" and she was telling me that he wrote another song, a beautiful song, about her life as an orphan, but she won't let him sell it because it would hurt people. Her words to me were: "I've moved beyond, it's in the past, why hurt people over what's over and done?"

What a great mindset from this Christian lady at a craft sale in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. I know God put her in my path (and my incessant need to talk did the rest).

Our stories link past to present even if we use other names. Happiness, holiness and horror, they make us who we are and then we temper with a firm dash of the Holy Spirit.

So I use old stories, faces, names all the time. But now I can fix things to work out the way they maybe should have 100, 50, 25 years ago.

And if that helps one little person feel they can pull themselves up and out, then it's all worth it, right?

OUTSPOKEN?????

ME????????? ;)

And you're really getting braces? Invisi-Line, right???? Oh my stars, I think you're adorable the way you are. But that's what happens when we love people. We don't even notice the flaws.

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Cindy,
I had no idea what I was getting into, but I praise God that there is healing and no one can point fingers because fast forward 50 years and we can make a difference.
The past is the past.

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Amen Glynna!
When I found my 97 year old great grandmother on the census, who I knew for 40 years, I blinked when I located her at a 8 year old child. Silly me, I thought, oh, Grandma really was a kid. LOL

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Hey Walt,
No distant relatives have noticed their names as of yet. However, through my genealogy research and contacting them, they have shown up at my book signing and then tell friends they know a famous author. LOL. Who?

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Cara,
I did a TV interview and when I finished telling the same story, the crew had chills too, and they knew from when I worked at the station.
If you go to my website, and click on genealogy, it will take you to my blog. talkgenealogy.blospot.com. You can see what I have found so far and feel free to leave comments about your family. I salivate when I hear other people's discoveries!

Also, as for relatives contacting me, in the book I'm working on now (October 2012), I will introduce the Jemison Mansion in Alabama. I learned from a little old white lady in Mississippi, who is helping me that slaveholder Robert Jamison(Jamieson) was a great nephew--or something like that to Robert Jemison. He was one of the largest slaverholders in Alabama. It is possible through him that my great-great grandmother Charlotte Jamison was brought from South Carolina to Alabama and finally to Mississippi. I believe she was with her mother. But it wasn't uncommon for children to be sold separately.

Sandra,
God is awesome. When I think about how He had a plan for my writing career, it blows me away. One day, while sitting in my kitchen, God spoke to me in literary terms: "Everything that happens in your life advances your story." Wow. As you can see, I have never forgotten that.

Elizabeth,
YAY, YAY. Our children are our future. They can make it a better place.

Julie,
Don't feel bad about not watching Roots. I haven't seen it to the end. My husband and other Blacks I know can't watch it. It makes them too angry about the treatment of human being. As a Christian writer, I have to share this testimony.
I was working on my second book and I wrote a Black character who was not heavy into his family history. He explained to my character Hallison that once he opened a book and saw a picture on a black man lynched and a crowd of Whites, including children, looking at the decease, not in horror, but as entertainment. My character was so outraged that he wanted to retailate. But God gave me this, so I gave it to my character to say: "I died on a tree, I hung there on a cross. Where is the outrage for My death?" That was powerful. I thought I would get a lot of grief from my Black readers because it could be viewed as a dismiss of what happened in the early 1900s after slavery. I did not get one letter. As Christians, we need to direct our anger toward the devil and that's it.
Christina,
The drunken sheriff. truth is stranger than fiction. We can't make stuff up. LOLLLLL.
Patricia, thank you for pickign up a copy. All of you have no idea how encouraged I am to keep digging and writing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God gave me what to say in the next

Julie Lessman said...

CHRISTINA ... Uh, I totally understand about your grandmother possibly getting upset because my sister has been after me to write the story of my family (a VERY dysfunctional family of 13 with more than a few skeletons in the closets!!), but as a "Calgon, take me away" type of romance author, my family story just doesn't fit the type of books I have a passion for. Which is a good thing because I would definitely ruffle a few feathers!! I'll wait till some of the family are too old to remember before I tackle it ... :)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Hey, Teenster, I thought the same thing!! But I found out that although both January and February are referred to as Black History Month, it's actually in February, which is why I didn't mention it.

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

JAN SAID: "I wouldn't have ANY story ideas if I didn't use family stories for a launching pad..."

OH, AMEN TO THAT, JAN!! At least as far as my family stories from my marriage ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

CAROL!!! Soooo glad your FIL is on the mend ... slow, but sure!!


STEPHANIE!! Whew ... talk about a skeleton in the closet -- VERY interesting!!


Thanks, MARE, for leaving the Amazon link for Pat's book!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

PAT SAID: "But God gave me this, so I gave it to my character to say: "I died on a tree, I hung there on a cross. Where is the outrage for My death?"

Oh, Pat, WOW, that is POWERFUL, girl!! Nailed me between the eyes, girlfriend, which you seem to be able to do VERY well!!

Hugs,
Julie

Linnette R Mullin said...

Welcome, Pat! I'm a fellow Missourian with tons of family in St. Louis (though I'm currently located in SC). Interesting, I know. :D

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post and would love to read your book. Please count me in: lr dot mullin at live dot com.

This is encouraging to me since I've written a book I feel God wants to use to help others. It is romance, but the theme of the series is about abused women over-coming their present and/or past - finding their true love (Jesus) and a great guy, too. As you know, it's so very hard for a new author to break in. But all in God's time, right?

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Linnette,
As an aspiring author, it doesn't take a much to get disencouraged. How many times are we ready when God gets ready to bless us? He will speak to us and we can't hear him.
Jesus is just making room for ya.

Jessica Nelson said...

Oooh, I love Bad Boys! And how freaky about then names. Thanks for sharing such a great story. :-)

Interesting fact I just learned was that Florida used to be owned by the spanish and slaves would escape to down here where they were able to be free, own property, etc. I had no clue about that.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Julie,

I am the oldest sibling and missed participating in protests because I was in elementary school and only protested by wearing a MAXI skirt one day. Got sent home for inappropriately dressing like a hippie. A MAXI not a mini skirt mind you.

I started using "peace" because I needed the reminder in my own life to seek it. There were two quotes that distill "peace" down for me:

Philippians 4:6-7 "...do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

and

"PEACE. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in a the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart." -unknown.

Sorry to break in the thread!

Peace, Julie

Nancy Kimball said...

Pat, welcome to Seekerville! That is crazy how you named your character before you knew it was an ancestor. Love those Godincidences.
Your advice is very timely and please enter me in the drawing.

nancykimball at hotmail dotcom

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Nancy,
God has really given me a testimony hasn't he? I hope every author of this blog will have one of those moments with God in their writing, because it sure was an encouragement to me.

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Jessica,
Your comment on Florida:
sting fact I just learned was that Florida used to be owned by the spanish and slaves would escape to down here where they were able to be free, own property, etc. I had no clue about that.

It's amazing how much we don't know about our neighbors, state, and country, but the fun and sometimes sad part is finding out. I wonder what's the story behind enslaved people and Blacks in every state? Hmmmm...I feel a series coming. LOL.
Thanks Jessica for the comment.
Pat

Debra E. Marvin said...

Pat, what a story! I'm glad Julie brought you here to share your "guilty" series.

I've decided to enter the Genesis this year and so I now have to keep my mouth shut about some details, but oh I'd love to tell you about a tie-in to your story.

Will we see you in Dallas? (I say we in the most hopeful way, because it's up to God if I get there myself)

I'm going to go check out your website and all those books. Wow!

LaShaunda said...

Hi Pat,

You know it is always nice to learn more about you and your writing. You’ve inspired me to find out more about my family. This summer we created a family tree and I wished my mother was there to see it. We as a family have decided to learn more about our history.

I’m a history buff and love historicals. I watched Roots as a kid and read the books. I tell my children we have to know our history so we can go forward and do better. I rented Roots from Netflix and we watched it together.

I’m looking forward to reading your new book.

May the Lord bless you with a best seller.

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

Debra,
I hope you will share your testimony. I would love to hear it.
So far, my travel this year is limited, still busy, but limited compared to previous years. I will only be in Dallas at the end of June. I'll miss the next ACFW convention.

LaShaunda,
You are an author's best, best friend with all that you do for us.
God really blessed me when Moody picked up my guilties series because of the genealogy. It's a bit challenging, because research takes years and I only have weeks and months, but I try to weave tidbits into the story where readers can find it for themselves.
God bless with your family tree. For others who are wondering where to start from the comfort of your home. Here are some links:
www.rootsweb.com--check out social security death records; www.familysearch.org; and heritagequestonline from your public library.

Myra Johnson said...

Pat, it's such a pleasure to have you in Seekerville today and read your inspiring post. Thanks for bringing her, Julie!

I keep hoping one of these days I'll find the time to dig deeper into my family's genealogy. A cousin has already done quite a bit and from time to time will share something new she discovered.

I also have a VERY hard time watching movies or TV shows that depict any kind of prejudice--slavery, Nazism, ageism, whatever--because I just get SO ANGRY. I pray for the day when we'll see others only through the eyes of Jesus.

Julie Lessman said...

JULIE!!! A MAXI -- a protest??? Gosh, I don't remember the maxi's as much as the minis ... had TONS of those, complete with platform heels (70's).

Thanks for the explanation on your sig, and that Phil. Scripture is one of my very favorites. I always ask God for "peace in the midst of a storm" when I pray for peace, like He did for His disciples in the boat.

Hugs and Peace,
Julie

Cathy Shouse said...

Pat,

This is a fascinating post. I do feel God's touch on so many aspects of my writing career as it progresses. That is what gives me hope in uncertainty.

I haven't had anything like the name situation you mention. I can think of at least three specific times when I was not going to do something and felt a definite "call" to do it.

With my nonfiction history book, I had come up with every reason why someone else should write it. (And these were very legitimate reasons, namely, I know nothing about history). It was a great project, just not for me, I concluded. My "Esther" moment came with the realization that not only should I should write it but perhaps my previous experiences had made me ideally suited for the task.

Thanks for sharing and for the reminder of the direct influence of God on our careers.

Would love to win your book!

cathy underscore shouse at yahoo

Virginia said...

I'm totally late getting in hree today!

These look soooo goood. And Pat, I think you're so wise to realize that God was asking you to write His words. So amny times I've thought, 'well, that's nice but it will never sell'. Hm. It's not about the selling, it's about the writing!

Virginia said...

Who's getting braces? Pat? She's beautiful!!!

Missy Tippens said...

Pat, welcome!! I've had a crazy day and just now got a minute to stop by. I'll go read all the comments now and try to catch up.

Thanks for sharing your story!! So amazing. It's been a blessing to read it.

Julie Lessman said...

RUTHY SAID: "And you're really getting braces? Invisi-Line, right???? Oh my stars, I think you're adorable the way you are. But that's what happens when we love people. We don't even notice the flaws."

I'm not sure yet if it's worth the expense, but yes, they were pushing Invisiline. I have to think and pray about it. After all, Keith married me BEFORE I got the braces, crooked teeth and all, so either the man's blind or likes me just the way I am. :)

Hugs,
Julie

marybelle said...

I would love to read GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION. It looks amazing.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Edwina said...

Pat,
How amazing - the way God orchestrated the names of the characters in your series! I would love to read your latest!

edwina(at)edwinacowgill(dot)com

by Pegg Thomas said...

Another person who loves genealogy here! Sounds like a great read. Thanks for entering me.
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

authorkathyeberly said...

It's so great to see Pat here at Seekerville! I too share a love of geneology. Your book sounds great, too!
authorkathyeberly(at)gmail(dot)com

Cecelia said...

Hi, Pat! Nice to "see" you again! We met at an ACFW conference! What an awesome post. Makes me think about my sister - she did geneaology (sp?) searches for both sides of our family. Found some amazing information! I hope you have a blessed week!
~Cecelia Dowdy~

Christian Author Pat Simmons said...

To all the wonderful friends I have made here in one day. My cup runneth over with all your comments and encouragement. I look forward to hearing your testimonies one day of how God bless you in your writing career.
Keep praying and praising Him!
Pat