Award-winning author, Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, she draws on her experience to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. The Secret of Willow Inn, Willow Falls series book one is a 2020 Selah Award winner. Book three, Starstruck in Willow Falls is a NGCWC Georgia Peach Award winner. She also won a Georgia Peach Award for her short story The Vet and Valentine Day.
Pat and her high-school sweetheart husband of fifty-plus years live in Duluth, Georgia. She is the mother of two and grandmother of four. One precious granddaughter lives with the angels. When she isn’t writing, Pat enjoys jigsaw puzzles, Sudoko, watching movies, riding in her hubby’s Corvette, and spending time with family and friends. Her favorite indulgence? A square of dark chocolate.
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, a finalist for a 2020 Selah award, released January 10, 2019. Book two, The Trouble in Willow Falls, released November 4, 2019. Starstruck in Willow Falls releases February, 2 2021. Pat received NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards for her short story, The Vet and Valentine’s Day, and Starstruck in Willow Falls.
Pat and Tim—her high-school sweetheart and number one fan—continue to celebrate their fifty-plus-year marriage. They 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 Duluth and are members of Gwinnett Church, a Northpoint Ministries campus. Pat is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive and in Voyager Magazine http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-pat-nichols-author-duluth/
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 directed by my characters.
Does anyone read your books while you are in the process of writing? Absolutely. For book one I had two amazing beta readers who provided valuable feedback about plot line and characters. I now have three. 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.