Monday, October 26, 2015

Welcome Harlequin Love Inspired Author Patricia Davids!

Patricia Davids is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 25 Inspiration and Amish romance novels. Her book, A Home for Hannah, won the Romantic Times Review's Choice Award for Best Love Inspired Novel of 2012. She was a finalist in both the Review's Choice Awards and the National Reader's Choice Awards in 2011. In Nov. of 2013 her trilogy, Christmas Bride of Amish County landed her on the USA Today bestsellers list. She has sold over 2,000,000 books world-wide since her first novel appeared in stores in 2006.

Born and raised in central Kansas, Patricia has found a way to combine her Midwest values and sense of humor into emotionally rich stories that deal with contemporary subjects. Her Amish novels have become increasingly popular with readers who are looking for books with a bit of nostalgia, a sweet romance, and a measure of faith in our turbulent world. Patricia currently resides with her family and her dogs in Wichita, Kansas.

Amish midwife Anne Stoltzfus is used to late-night visitors—but she's shocked to find reclusive bachelor Joseph Lapp on her doorstep with a baby in his arms. Their neighborly quarrels are pushed aside when Joseph explains that his sister has left her daughter in his care—and Joseph needs Anne to be her nanny.

Soon they're bonding over baby Leah, and the love they feel for her is healing them both. When Joseph makes an offer of marriage, Anne's painful past resurfaces and she's unsure of what to do. But taking a chance could mean love—and family—are waiting just across the fence.


Jan Schliesman: How often do you Get Lost In A Story?
Patricia Davids: I'm a little ashamed to admit that I don't read for pleasure the way I used to. I have four books out in 2015. That kind of schedule doesn't leave me much time to read for more than research. Don't feel sorry for me. I love research. I can spend hours reading about topics like dairy goats and pumpkins as I did for my new release, The Amish Midwife. Before I became a writer, it was nothing for me to read three books or more a week. I was an AVID reader. I do miss those days and when my schedule permits, I'm going to become a reader again.

Jan: Like many authors, writing was your second career. What did all of those rejected stories teach you? If you could do it differently, would you go back and change anything?
Patricia: You're right. My first career was as a neonatal nurse. I loved it, but I had dreamed about writing a novel from the time I was in high school. Rejection letters taught me that persistence pays off. It was my intent to make each and every editor who rejected me sorry for passing on such talent. It also taught me that ice cream soothes many wounds.

Jan:  What is your definition of romance?
Patricia: Really? Couldn't you ask me what is the meaning of life instead?
Romance is so many different things to different people. Its meaning has changed for me over the years, as well. Once it was a pulse-pounding rush that made me want to die if he didn't kiss me. The only place I felt complete was in his arms. Later, it was as simple as a shared glance across a crowded room. When our eyes met, we both smiled. Always. It was seeing the love spring into his eyes when he caught sight of me. That was romance, baby.

Jan: This year marked your 25th release with Harlequin. Congratulations! All of your stories have been through the Love Inspired imprint. How did you stumble upon your niche?
Patricia: Rejections drove me to it. No kidding.

Before that story, I have to share a secret. Not all of my books have been Love Inspired. I have another identity. I published a contemporary cowboy story for Harlequin's Superromance line under the pen name of Hope Navarre called A Ranch for His Family. Because it wasn't inspirational, my editor suggested I use a different name. I was okay with that because when I first dreamed of writing, I wanted to be Hope Navarre, Romance Author. It has such a cool ring to it. And, I grew up on a farm between Hope and Navarre Kansas.

Okay. Back to how my rejections drove me to the inspirational market.
I love my heroes. My heroines are okay women, but I love my heroes. In the early days of my career, many of my rejection letters said my hero was just "too nice a guy." I can't help it. I like nice guys. However, they weren't popular or selling in the secular market. They were looking for alpha heroes.

I belong to a writing group called the Wichita Area Romance Authors and at one of their meetings, I heard author Deborah Raney talk about the growing inspirational market. It was truly a lightbulb over the head moment. I knew I needed to send my stories to where they liked nice guys. I revised my third completed manuscript and my agent sent it out to a number of inspirational publishing houses. I quickly got a boat load of rejections because I didn't understand what elements an inspirational story needed. However, Joan Marlow Golan, (a brilliant former editor for Harlequin) saw something she liked in my voice. Her letter to me was one paragraph about what a great writer I was and three pages of suggested revisions. It was painful, but I made those changes and BOOM, I was a published author. My first book came out in 2006.  

My switch to Amish romance came because my editor Emily Rodmell saw how popular Amish fiction was becoming back in 2009 and asked me to develop a series for Love Inspired. That series ended up being 13 books and one novella. The genre remains very popular with readers. If as a reader you're turned off by inspirational fiction because you feel it is preachy, try one of mine. I don't preach. Yes, the faith element is an integral part of the story but only because the CHARACTERS live that way. The REAL STORY IS THE ROMANCE. 

Jan: What snacks always occupy your writing space?
Patricia: That's easy. Coffee, coffee, more coffee, almonds, black licorice and at rare times, dark chocolate. Oh, and coffee.

Jan: What does a typical writing day look like for you? Any rituals you following while writing a book? 
Patricia: My divorced daughter and her two children live with me along with two dogs. No day is typical. I do like to write late at night. 10 pm until 2 am are my most productive times, but when I'm a week past my deadline, I have been known to write for 48 hours straight with only a few 30 minute naps. Honest. I love that kind of from-the-gut writing. I do my best work then.

Jan:  What’s the best writing advice you’ve received?  What would you share with new authors?
Patricia: My dear friend Roxann Delaney once told me I had to understand my character's deep internal motivation. If the character is driven by that motivation, makes decisions based on the motivation, then they become a believable character.
If you want to be a writer, always remember that publishing is a small world. Be professional. An editor who once rejected me is now Executive Editor for Love Inspired, the line I write for. She is delighted at my success and her reason for rejecting me was never personal.  

Jan: If you could live anywhere but Kansas, where would you go?  
Patricia: The coast of Maine in a heartbeat. Peaks Island to be exact. I love it there.

Jan: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Patricia: Spare time? You're talking to someone who puts out three to four books a year. Who has spare time?
I cook, I clean, I do yard work, I play with the dogs and when the itch can't be ignored, I grab my pole and go fishing. Or, I go to Maine, or Montana, or somewhere else I enjoy visiting.

Patricia’s GOTTA ANSWER: Black Walnut, hands down. Don't feed me anything else unless it is vanilla on a slice of hot cherry pie. (Okay, you could twist my arm and make me eat any Haagen-Dazs flavor and I would still be your friend for life.)


Coming up next: Patricia's second book in her Amish Bachelors series, An Amish Noel, will be out on Dec 1st. 

HUGE THANKS to Patricia for a wonderful interview! As an added bonus, Patricia is giving away TWO copies of her latest release, The Amish Midwife!
Click below for your chance to WIN!
Patricia has a question for today's readers:

In recent years, the inspirational market has been flooded with Amish romances. As a reader, what do you feel makes a "good" Amish romance?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Great having you here on the blog today, Patricia!

    1. Thanks Jan, It was great to be invited.

  2. A good Amish romance - I like the sweetness, but I would like to see more passion,

    1. I'm with you, Tammy, but my publisher is very strict about keeping it sweet. If I ever self-pub, I might kick it up a notch.

  3. I am always looking for books to share their HEAs with me... enjoy seeing different cultures, locations, etc. in books.

    1. I enjoy seeing different ways of life, too. That's why I enjoy traveling.