Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat Nichols draws on her experience in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life to create stories about women facing challenges in the pursuit of their dreams. Her debut novel, The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls series book one, was released January, 2019. Book two in the series is scheduled for release January, 2020. Pat received a 2018 NGCWC Georgia Peach Award for her short story, The Vet and Valentine’s Day and the 2017 CRW Woman of the Year Award. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International.
Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow you dreams.
During her twenty-seven-year career with an international beauty company, Pat held seven management positions. In her role as public relations manager she participated in television, radio, and newspaper interviews. Nine years after retiring, her love for writing resurfaced and prompted her to launch career number two as a novelist.
Her goal to become a serious writer led her to study the craft. She combines what she learned with her corporate experience working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, to create stories about women who face challenges in the pursuit of their dreams.
Three years after Pat first typed the words “Chapter One”, she signed a contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, Guiding Light imprint, for book one in the Willow Falls series. The Secret of Willow Inn released January 10, 2019. Book two in the series releases January, 2020. Book three is her current work in progress.
Pat and Tim—her high-school sweetheart and number one fan—continue to celebrate their fifty-plus-year marriage. They lead a small group, volunteer for church guest services, participate in two social organizations, and spend time with family and friends.
Pat was born in Illinois and grew up in Orlando before Disney arrived. She has called Georgia home since the eighties. She and Tim live in an Atlanta suburb and are members of Gwinnett Church, a Northpoint Ministries campus. Pat is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International.
Q’s and A’s
What inspired you to create a series? Inspired by Jan Karon’s Mitford’s and Ane Mulligan’s Chapel Springs series, I wanted to create captivating characters readers could follow beyond one book. My mother’s love for Eugenia Price’s trilogies also helped me understand how readers are intrigued by ongoing stories.
Why did you use a real city and a fictional town in your story? I chose to have Rachel live in Atlanta so I could write about real places I’d visited. When it came to Emily, I wanted to create a hometown I could conform to the story. To create a visual reference, I drew a map of Willow Falls on a poster board and referred to it when writing descriptions.
Did you know the end before you wrote The Secret of Willow Inn? Yes, however the journey from the first to the last chapter was dictated by my characters.
Does anyone read your books while you are in the process of writing? Absolutely. For books one and two I had two amazing beta readers who provided valuable feedback about plotline and characters. For book three, I added a third beta reader who had not read the first two books in the series. As an added bonus my wonderful husband listens to each chapter during the writing process and helps me flesh out my male character’s voices.
How long does it take you to write a book? My first and second manuscripts, neither are published, each took a little more than a year to write. I finished The Secret of Willow Inn in twelve months. Books two and three each took about nine months to write.