Hello Pat how are you!
1. Tell us, what led you to write “Somebody’s Sinning In My Bed”? I was led to write my current title “Somebody’s Sinning In My Bed” as a result of my curiosity. I’d often read St. John 8: 3-11 and wondered if the woman was caught in the very act of adultery then what happened to the man? The church folks dragged her from the bed and were about to stone her when Jesus came along and turned things around. However, the man’s name nor his involvement were ever addressed. So I wanted to explore hypocrisy, forgiveness and self-worth as a platform for discussion.
2. What genre is it? It is Inspirational
3. What is “Somebody’s Sinning In My Bed” about? A pastor and First Lady learn the hard lessons of playing with God with different outcomes brought about by their acceptance of responsibility and forgiveness. That’s my uppity answer On the real side, pastor and first lady played one time too many with God and He set His house in order. God used the punishment of a reprobated mind, a murder and ultimately shining daylight on some church folks while still forgiving, reshaping and using them for His glory and purpose.
4. Are any of the characters you or someone you know? I believe there’s a little bit of the writer involved when we write fiction. However, yes, there was one or two characters in this book that were based upon someone I know.
5. Introduce us to your characters and what do you like most about them? Hmmm… Reverend Grayson Young. Narcissistic, he is the extremely handsome and talented young pastor of a Brooklyn, NY mega church. He is what I call a church puppetmaster. I didn’t really like him. He represented the unidentified man who got away with adultery in the Bible.
Chyna Young. She is the wife and First Lady. Seemingly she has it going on. She’s beautiful and adored but at home sexually and emotionally abused by her husband Grayson. If there is one thing I truly liked about Chyna was her ability to go through the steps God set in order for her to return to a place where He could use her. Even though God gives new mercies, and new graces daily, she was truly repentant and it was almost as though God had to work overtime to convince her that He’d forgiven her. Some folks dismiss the idea that sometimes we must be reshaped to be used.
Of course, there’s my favorites: Janelle; she’s Chyna’s older sister. She’s a rebel and when it came to a sense of decorum, Janelle had none. I loved her feisty spirit even when she faced cancer. And finally, there’s old Deacon Pillar. I didn’t set out to make the old wizen fella a favorite with the readers but he certainly stepped up to the plate in this story. His habit of saying what needed to be said, doing what needed to be done even when he shouldn’t have said it or have done it and his own brand of serving God made him priceless. He’s based upon two deacons I know and I love them both.
6. You have another book coming out also, Don’t Blame the Devil, let’s chat about that
7. What were the easiest and the hardest parts to write? Because I was battling cancer during this story I found the humor the easiest part; I needed and wanted to laugh so much during this time, and the relationship between mother and son the hardest.
8. Has writing Don’t Blame the Devil given you any AHHH HAAA moments? There definitely a few. Because I’d been separated from my mother from the age of nine to nineteen I had a chance to see her side of the situation when I wrote Delilah’s situation. It was my biggest AHHH HAAA moment. Then there was a few with Deacon Pillar. For all his boasting and thinking he had a relationship with God that couldn’t be challenged…. Well folks will have to read the book to have those AHHH HAAA moments… but I promise the reader, they will have them.
9. Has a fan, ever realized a point in your book, that you failed to realize? All the time.
10. Has your journey been what you expected? Not even close.
11. How many books have you written? I self published two books. For Kensington I’ve written seven and I’ve contributed to two anthologies.
12. Not calling any of your babies ugly, but which was your favorite? Somewhat Saved is my all time favorite.
13. As a writer, what has been your epiphany? I must say that my epiphany came about when I started writing for a major publisher. I learned quickly that it was no different than the music business… it’s a business and it’s called a business because that’s how it is set up. Once a writer accepts that then I believe they won’t be so thin skinned or buy into “I’m the greatest author because my publishing company told me so and other myths.”
14. Have you ever written anything that left a bad taste in your mouth? I haven’t done so thus far… although there was a scene with Grayson Young that came close.
15. What else do you have brewing? In addition to the upcoming release of Don’t Blame the Devil in September 2010, in July I will be honored by the AA Geneological Society for the creation of Sister Betty and my other literary works. I will also later in the year celebrate thirty-five years of writing and performing Sister Betty.
16. Who are some of your favorite authors? Well, there are so many. However, those who know me will tell you that I’m a huge fan of Jacquelin Thomas. There’s also Tracy Price Thompson, Angela Benson, James Patterson and Vanessa Davis Griggs… those are just a sample.
17. Why do you write? I write because I must. It’s akin to being constantly pregnant… ya gotta push that baby out!!!!
18. What makes your book stand out and entice a reader pick it up? I believe that it’s different for each reader. However, I’ve been told that it’s been everything from the covers to the synopsis. I’d love to think it was because my name was attached to it but I won’t
19. Where do you get ideas? Where you receive motivation? The church and observations of life laced with my own experiences.
20. What do you do while writing? Music etc? My writing environment depends on what I’m writing. For instance when I’m writing Sister Betty stories it’s best that I have music… sometimes those chURch folks will make me crazy if I don’t have a counter balance. For the most part I like to write in quietness where I can hear my characters and how God wants me to portray them. That is very important to me.
21. When you finished writing Don’t Blame the Devil-? How did you celebrate? I celebrated by going to a neurologist.. I’d gotten a pinched nerve in my neck from sitting and writing for hours. Thank the Lord I’m better now but it scared me.
22. Which of your books was the most difficult to write? I believe Cruisin’ On Desperation was the most difficult. There were so many strong women in the story and each vied to tell their part. I won’t be doing that again.
23. Which of your books has bought the most responses from readers? All of the Sister Betty books brings a ton of emails, letters, etc. However, when I tried something different such as Somebody’s Sinning… some didn’t know what to think. There was still the humor and the message but I’d gotten right up in the reader’s face with this one…
24. Do you read you? No. Once I finish with copy edits I move on. It’s probably why sometimes I forget a character’s name, etc.
25. Thus far what has been your greatest reward? For me there’s been many but to have God place into what I call my unworthy hands the gift of Sister Betty is just amazing. He’s done everything from allowing me to create a new genre of literature to winning awards for my comedy performance and writing. Yet on another note, when I receive letters from those who are suffering and they tell me how one of my books brought them through…well that’s just too amazing for me, but I accept it and thank God for it.
26. What are a few things you’ve done to promote your work? One of the most effective things I’ve done to promote is to create the Sister Betty One Woman comedy show. I’ve received awards and traveled extensively performing which cross promotes the books. I’ve also cross promoted with other authors as well as used Simply Read promo materials… was that too shameless of me?
27. Who are your mentors? I’ve several. One of my first ones (although it was only a two-three minute conversation) is Dr. Maya Angelo. Another mentor is my third grade teacher, Ms. Bobbi Madison-Mackey (Williamston, SC) and Dr. Rosie Milligan (Milligan Books in California).
28. What advice do you have for aspiring authors? The publishing industry has changed since I’ve started. However, some things don’t change. My advice to aspiring authors in addition to prayer is to know your craft, limit your circle of friends and follow your own voice. Don’t try to be anyone but you.
29. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In five years I would like to see myself possibly putting out a book every 3-4 years apart. I love that about J. California Cooper. When you hear she has a new book coming you start to salivate.
30. What do you want people to know about you? I want people to know that I LOVE the Lord. I’m also a very accessible person. What you see is what you get. I’m also a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother.
31. What are your future plans? My future plans are under wraps at the moment. I hope to be able to share some good news in the forseeable future. Any new books? I have the sequel to “Somebody’s Sinning in My Bed” coming out in September 2010. It is called, “Don’t Blame the Devil.” Upcoming book signings? I have several book signing/performances coming up. My whereabouts can be found on my website. www.patgorgewalker.com Other literary events I will be at the Capital Bookfest in Largo, Maryland. There’s also the Harlem Bookfair on Long Island. I will be limiting some signings this summer as I finish up the Sister Betty Christmas novel. The working title is “The Last Noel.”
32.If you could have been a co-author, with any writer living or dead who would it be? I would love to co-author with Zora Neal Hurston, JJ Murray, Andrea Michelle Bowen and Bernice McFadden.
32. What has been your greatest challenge? Trying to marry family and career is a big challenge. Some days are just better than others but it keeps me in prayer.
33. What do you do for fun? Fun? What’s that I love going to plays and concerts. Some days fun for me is just being quiet and doing nothing.
**Other than the Bible
1. One book that changed your life: “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelo was a definite life changer for me. It showed me I wasn’t as strange as I’d been portrayed by some family members.
2. One book that you've read more than once: “Their Eyes were Watching God.” I could read it over and over.
3. One book you'd want on a deserted island… The Coldest Winter… was and is an awesome book.
4. One book that made you laugh: “Grandmothers, Inc.” by L. Barnett Evans & C. V Rhodes.
5. One book that made you cry: I make it a practice not to read sad stories if I can help it. Right now I can’t think of one that’s made me cry with the exception of perhaps a sad scene or two in “Sugar.” I didn’t cry but I sure could’ve tear up and whupped some butt.
6. One book that you wish had been written: “Sugar” by Bernice McFadden
8. One book that you are currently reading: Game Change by John Heilemann, Mark Halperin.
9. One book that you've been meaning to read: Samson by Jacquelin Thomas
10. One book you've been meaning to finish:
11. One guilty pleasure: Karaoke
12. What’s your theme song? “Victory” by Ty Tribbett
What is your Book and Contact information?
I do not have a literary agent. I can be contacted through Kensington Books/Selena James @ 212-407-1500 or EDC Creations (Ella Curry) firstname.lastname@example.org. When all else fails I can also be reached through my attorney Christopher R. Whent, 212-679-8710. For those who wish to have a Sister Betty performance or for motivational speaking please call 516-502-6405.
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