Q’s and A’s
What inspired you to become an author? In 2005 I retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career with Avon Products, Inc. For the next eight years my husband and I finished decorating our home and checked off every item on our travel bucket list. Then in 2014 a young woman, who had drifted in and out of our family’s lives for more than twenty years, tragically passed into eternity. As a cathartic exercise I began writing a story loosely based on her life. By the time I finished, I knew God had placed my feet on a new path. So, I came out of retirement, studied writing, attended conferences, and wrote another book. In the meantime an idea for a series took root and blossomed. In 2017 I officially became a published author with the release of my debut novel The Secret of Willow Inn. I’m loving my second career and plan to continue writing new books as long as my fingers are able to type.
What is you writing routine and your process? My husband and I are early risers, so I write in the morning. My goal is to write five chapters a week. Late morning and early afternoon I focus on marketing and connecting with readers. As far as my process goes, I’m both a plotter and a panster. Which means before I begin a new book, I create a basic chapter outline on an excel spreadsheet highlighing key plot points, twists, and turns. Then I let the charaters take me where they want to go.
Are you traditionally or Indie published? Both. I was blessed to have a contract with Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolina’s (later merged with Iron Stream Media) for the first three books in the Willow Falls series. Then with encouragment from author friends, I stepped out in faith and became an independently published author. Armchair press is the name of my little publishing company, and I’m the only author. Why that name? Because I write in a recliner with my laptop balanced on a lap desk.
How long does it take you to write a book? My first and second manuscripts each took a little more than a year to finish. The first because I was a novice and the second because I was deep into the learning curve. Now I can finish a 70,000 word book in four months. My goal is to publish a new series every year.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t writing? First, I love spending time with our family and friends. Tim and I are active members of a corvette club and I belong to a local women’s organization. For fun I tackle jigsaw puzzles, play sudoku, and of course read. To relax we watch movies and football, and I go all out to decorate the inside of our home for Christmas.
Award-winning author, Pat Nichols is proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Nine years after retiring from a twenty-seven-year corporate career with an international beauty company, her love for writing resurfaced and prompted her to launch career number two as a novelist. Now she draws on her experience to write stories with tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs. The Secret of Willow Inn is a 2020 Selah Award winner. Starstruck in Willow Falls is a NGCWC Georgia Peach Award winner. Her short story The Vet and Valentine Day also won a NGCWC Georgia Peach Award.
Pat is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive, in Southern Writer’s Magazine, and in Voyager Magazine http://voyageatl.com/interview/meet-pat-nichols-author-duluth/
Pat was born in Illinois and grew up in Orlando. She and her high-school-sweetheart husband of fifty-plus years have called the Atlanta area home since the eighties. She is the mother of two and grandmother of four. One precious granddaughter lives with the angels. She volunteers in guest services for Gwinnett Church, a Northpoint Ministries campus.