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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Traveling a Road with Love, Faith and Guts - Aspiring Author, Writer, Blogger, Singer Pat Garcia Shares Her Story

Today, I broke from the normal, to share a story of  an aspiring writer's story.  Maybe, if you have made it into the publishing world, you have forgotten the journey.  Maybe, is you are still dreaming of getting there, this story will inspire you to hang on to your dreams and not to give up on yourself or your work.  Today, is the story of Pat Garcia. 
Tell us about yourself and your journey.

Born in Blythe, Georgia, to Moses and Elizabeth Ealy Pierce, I am Patricia Anne Pierce-Garcia Schaack, Pen Name, Pat Garcia. I was raised in Keysville, Georgia, which was the home of my father.  There, we lived in a house, which burned down some years ago. 

My father and mother moved us to Augusta, Georgia when I was five years old in a small suburb called Terrace Manor. It was here that I began to stretch my imagination and began to write, even before I knew how to spell the words. 

I started school at the age of five and will never forget my first day of school.  My parents had bought me a brown paper school tablet that they had hoped would last me for a couple of weeks.  However, I was so impressed with my first day of school and that I would learn how to write that I sat next to my mother as she was attending to my baby sister and began to write a story, which took every sheet of paper I had. My mother was upset at the waste of paper, but I was so happy that I had written my first story.  No one could understand it, but I did, and I cornered everyone  and made them listen to my story.

At the age of eight, I decided to start my own newspaper for Terrace Manor. At that time, I wanted to be the first black publication for our area. I wrote every article by hand and completed about five copies to sell.  Surprisingly, the adult people around us bought it and smile at my ingenuity, but my father thought differently.  One of the neighbors had bragged about how creative I was and showed him the paper.  That evening my bottom was sore from the whipping I had received.  That ended my newspaper, but not my dream.

My dream of writing was often deferred by circumstances and other people's opinions. It took me years to finally let the stories, the articles, and the books that have been brooding in me over years began to live and breathe in my life. 

Two people unknowingly helped me release those desires within me. The first person is Melinda Pierce, one of my sisters. Five years ago, when we were visiting Augusta, Georgia, she asked me why I had never written a book. I remember looking at her strangely, wanting to know her reason for asking me such a question. She answered me by saying, "I always thought you were going to be a writer.  You have always had a love for words and have always read like a starving woman in need of bread and water. I just wanted to know why you never wrote your book."  Her keen insight at that time was a heavenly knock on my door from above, and I will be forever grateful for that.

The second person is an old school friend whom my husband and I visited on our last trip to the United States in 2010.  He lives in Atlanta, Georgia and we were very fortunate to spend five days and four nights with them.  Again, I was confronted with the question of writing, but this time, Walter, my old school friend, was not so charming and courteous when he asked the question.  He came out and asked me very plainly when was I going to bring out my first book because it was about time. I looked at him and said I would start very soon.  That was three years ago and since then I have written the first novel, and it is sitting by a publisher in the United Kingdom, waiting on a yes or no, and I am hoping that it will be yes.  Not only that, I am hoping that I will win my first literary prize for this book because it is in a contest.  Outside of that, I have a short story that has been accepted by a Canadian Online Publisher and will be released soon. 

There are many firsts in my life.  I was the first Afro-American to graduate from the George P. Butler High School in 1967.  We were two Afro-Americans in the Senior Class. My name came first and so, I was the first.

I graduated from Augusta College, now Augusta State University, in the summer of 1972.  It took me a long time to become disciplined so that I could make it through this university, but I did.

Soon afterwards, I left Augusta, heading to Ft. Leonard wood, Missouri, where my first husband was stationed.

There are a lot of other firsts in my life, which could fill a book, events such as my entering into the United States Army. I was the first female in our entire family that became a soldier.  There I finally learned how to discipline myself and strive for higher goals. I was stationed in California, before I volunteered to come to Germany.

I have seen and been in about 32 of the states within the U. S. and have also been in some small parts of Canada, and I have traveled throughout Europe and have gotten to know countries like France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Austria, Switzerland,  Belgium, Holland and many more.

 I was privileged to be in Germany in 1989 and actually saw the Wall separating Berlin come down. That was an exciting event in the life of all Germans and for me as an American to see that really happen was a miracle.

Other than writing, I have begun to build up a foundation in the music scene. I sing and travel to jazz clubs, auditoriums and churches throughout Europe with my band and give concerts.  My repertoire is mixed and so our audience is composed of all ages and that is a wonderful thing.

Writing and singing are my heart and I look forward to sharing my heart with the people who hear me sing and who read my books.

What is it that you wish to achieve in your writing?

I write fiction and non-fiction.
In the area of non-fiction, I started writing professionally for Wikipedia U.K., in the United Kingdom, which has now been taken over by Overblog Europe.

I have approximately eighty articles, which were published at Wikipedia U.K.  After they were taken over by Overblog, I became an Overblog writer, in October of last year, under their pay per click system and have geared the blog to Health and Fitness topics.  You may find some of my Overblog articles at under my pen name, Pat Garcia, and the title of the blog is Garcia's Views on Body, Soul and Spirit, and visits to my page and clicking on the like button is much appreciated.  
I write under a pen name because at the time that I first started singing in Europe I was still using my first husband's name. His last name was Garcia and I liked it so I had it legally put into my passport and went on stage as Pat Garcia. That name has stuck and so I write under that name also.

During the Iraq War, I started my first official blog, The blog went out to a company of soldiers who were stationed in Iraq and Egypt, and it also went to several people who live in the Augusta, Georgia.  The blog actually got started through one of the members of the First Baptist Church of Keysville, Georgia, who is now also a Pastor, Barbara Campbell.  She lives in Keysville, Georgia with her husband, William Campbell.  I had been sending her and some others an inspirational word every week per email and she asked me if she could pass the email on to her son who was stationed in Iraq.  From that one request, I reached a company of soldiers in Iraq and one in Egypt for an entire year.  It was beautiful to wake up every morning knowing that I had to meet a deadline for my article to go out on Monday morning. I received post from the soldiers saying they looked forward to their Monday morning word from my inspirational blog.  The title of the blog is Wind, Rain, Winding Roads & Sunshine, the By-Ways of Life and can be found at

About three years ago, I decided to start another blog, which actually went live last year and is still in development.  It is called Quiet Times and can be found on my website  Quiet Times is a blog over the excerpts in my journal.  I have been maintaining a journal for years and want to pass along the wisdom that I have gained from the experiences that I have written in my journal. 

Four months ago, I started my two WordPress Blogs.  They are also unique in that one deals with Apple Products for Beginners.  I am an Apple Fan, but unfortunately find that most people shy away from Apple products, because of having to learn how to use the equipment.  So, I started a blog named Garcia Talks about the How To's of the iPhone, iPad, MacBook and Other Apple Products for the Non-Technical user. You may find that blog at:

The second blog is my baby blog and I love it, because it talks about women whose acts were unknown but yet they were champions. So I have started a blog named Walk On and I am writing a series called The Champions That Walked Among us.

You may find this series at:

At the end of April this year, I started writing as feature contributor for 24Savvy which is own by Brandbuilding Communications in New York City.  The owner is Valerie Donati McIntyre.  I write one to two articles per month under my pen name, Pat Garcia. My articles are featured at

I had the pleasure of having my first literary article published by the American Diversity Report on the April 2nd this year.  It is a pleasure to work for Ms. Deborah Levine, and I look forward to writing for her again.  You may find my article, Returning to the Old Southern Landmarks at:


Writing fiction has taken some time to grow in me, but the characters for my series have been living inside of me since 1993.  Whereas with non-fiction, I was writing speeches and different papers since I was a child, with fiction I started out by reading.  I am a voracious reader and had the opportunity in my senior year to have an English teacher who introduced me to the world of mystery. My first book, she gave me. It was a reward for babysitting for her and the title was The Detective by Roderick Thorpe.  I love that book. Thorpe drew me into his world quickly.  Afterwards, I discovered, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, Daphne DuMaurier, Georgette Heyer, Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers and I have read every book they wrote.

Attending Augusta College, now Augusta State University, my favorite English professor was Dr. Martha Fivash, who left the university and went into law.  I lost track of her, in 1978 or 1979. She was my lawyer for my divorce. She introduced me to the world of the Bronte Sisters, Edna Saint Vincent Millay and The Ballard of the Harp Weaver, which I learned by memory and George Elliot, Charles Dickens and the poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, T.S. Elliot, E.E. Cummings and many of the poets of England such as Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Tennyson, Lord Bryan and many more.

My genre in fiction is inspirational, multicultural romantic suspense.  I am a romantic at heart and have always dreamed of writing the types of books, which not only have the element of romance, but also suspense and the main characters are people who believe in God.  It has taken me two year, three months and twenty-four days to write my first book in a series named The Mansion.  The first book is sitting at the publisher because I submitted it into a writing contest in England and I hope that I win. If so, the first book will be on its way.  There are seven books in this series.  These were the characters that were born in me and carried under my breast since 1993.

The titles of the books in The Mansion series are:

Book 1 – A Time To Love

Book 2 – Daniel The Beloved

Book 3 – A Time Of Peace

Book 4 – Everything Must Change

Book 5 – More Than Conquerors

Book 6 – You'll Never Walk Alone

Book 7 – Going Home

I love the people I write about. They talk to me and usually guide me through the dialogue. It is amazing for me because they become so real.  I had a group of twenty readers read my first book that I entered into the novel writing contest and each person could relate to the book and identify with it. In fact, many had an aha effect!

So, yes I love my characters and enjoy working with them.

I also have a short story that will soon be published by a Canadian Publisher, Alexandra Brown, on her Online Publishing Site, Romantic Shorts.  I have the accepted, but the day of publication is not yet known.

Last year, I participated in the NaMoWri Novel week but did not complete it. I will participate in it again this year and try to write another novel within a month. The one that I started last year, I am in the middle of completing. 

My rhythm for writing is crazy.  I am an early morning person, so I am usually up around five or five-thirty AM. I am in my office around six-thirty and after my meditation of 45 minutes to an hour, where I write in my journal, read my Bible and communicate with God, I start writing.  I write about three to four hours and then do my office paperwork and take a two hour break at five PM.  At nine I am back in my office and I work until until one AM and then go to bed.  I usually sleep four hours per night. That I must have if I want to function properly.   

There are times though when I write the whole night through.  I catch about two hours of sleep, because the characters are talking to me and they yearn to come out. I don't push them away. So I sit at my computer and I write until everything that is within me is out. That could last a day or two and naturally I am totally wiped out afterwards, but to read what I have written is so fulfilling because it is at times like those that words are written that have Spirit in them.  Those are the kind of books that I want to write.

I have four projects going on at the moment. 
  1. I would like to enter a novel into the American Writer's Award
  2. I want to get the first chapter of my online novel up and going on my website.  I haven't done it yet because I am thinking about opening up a separate book website or emerging it with new blog website that deals entirely with fiction.  I am still looking into it.
  3. I am preparing another article to submit to American Diversity Report.
  4. And I am getting ready to submit articles to two or three magazines that I would love to work for.
  5. My calendar is blocked for the month of November for the NaMoWri month. 
  6. I have four books outside of the series that I have started and they are not finished because I am not in the third rewrite and editing of Daniel The Beloved, which is the second book in The Mansion series.

If anyone were to tell me they wanted to be a writer, I would tell them to start reading and start writing.  It has been very helpful that I love to read and that I love to read most genres.  I enjoy reading nonfiction and consider it relaxing to take the time and relax with a book, for example about Einstein's theory of relativity or some theory in physics.  I enjoy reading the classics, or reading about church history.  Most of all, I enjoy reading the Bible and I read it the first thing in the morning, every day because it is life for me. 

The second thing I would recommend any writer is to find your own voice.  I didn't start writing until I found my voice. Finding your voice and writing with your own voice is what attracts others to your writing. 

Finally, I would recommend that they find out what is the best place for them to write.  I am a person who needs absolute peace and quiet when I write.  I don't even want to hear a kettle boiling unless I am taking a break.  Therefore, my schedule often is out of whack because the quietest time of the day in my home is at night and I let the night tempt me into staying up and writing until the sun has risen high in the sky.  There are very few people who understand the need that a writer has for quietness.  I have learned not to try and explain it to them, just go away and find a place where I am alone and can write in peace without any interruptions. 

When I am not writing, I am singing. I sing professionally and I love it.  The heart has a right and left ventricle.  So is it with me, one half of my heart belongs to writing and the other half to music.  They take second and third place in my life, with my faith in God having first place. Everything follows.

My Made It moments have just begun. 

Feature writer for 24Savvy, first literary article published at American Diversity Report, feature blogger for Wikipedia U.K. that is now taken over by Overblog are only small steps. My hope is to see my first novel and my first short story published very soon. 

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