Since I minored in religious studies/psychology at Penn State, and majored in journalism, this author was particularly interesting to me. I am impressed by her level of success, and the number of books she has published.
As you can imagine, I had a list of questions for her!
The last few years have witnessed a meteoric rise in the popularity of Christian fiction. Christian author Patricia Haley recently spoke with Noir’s Judy Thomas about the challenges and rewards of writing for a genre that is exploding in popularity, and how she stays inspired.
It has been said that people teach what they have to learn. Christian Fiction author Patricia Haley puts a new spin on this concept by penning what she “wanted to read, and couldn’t find.”
“There is such a void in the area of modern day fiction, that’s void of profanity and sex,” she explained when I talked with her recently, “but has an entertaining message, and gives God glory.[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”When I look back now,” she said of her writing, “I know it was the leading of the Lord.” [/pullquote]
“Apparently, it was what others wanted to read as well. When Haley self-published her first novel in 1998, Nobody’s Perfect, it sold nearly 20,000 copies. Since her debut on the literary scene six years ago, she has had two additional books published by BET Books, No Regrets and Blind Faith, and contributed to a Christian Fiction anthology entitled Blessed Assurance.
In speaking with Haley, it’s clear her convictions are not confined to the page. Although contemporary African-American Christian fiction is a relatively new genre, she said she never doubted the outcome of her faith-based writings, and is “grateful to God” for her good fortune. “When I look back now,” she said of her writing, “I know it was the leading of the Lord.”
When she is not expressing her truth through Christian fiction, Haley works as a project manager. She is also an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In a telephone interview in February, I asked her about her craft and its challenges and rewards.
N!: Has your technical background in engineering contributed to your literary success?
PH: I’m a very methodical person. The technical background enables me to have structure in my writing.
N!: Your first book was self-published. How difficult was it to have the second one published?
PH: The first one did extremely well. The book came out in July. By December, we had sold over 10,000 copies. You start to pick up the attention of publishers and agents. We got a call from the William Morris Agency, which is phenomenal. Back in 1998, self-publishing still wasn’t a big thing. It was your entree into the market, and enabled you to get some exposure. That agent then went out and started looking for publishers for my next book.
N!: Who were some of your favorite authors growing up?
PH: My favorite author was Maya Angelou. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings was a monumental book for me. [It spoke of] a young African-American character close to my age that I could identify with.
N!: Did you ever meet her?
PH: Yes, it wasn’t even on the writing circuit. I was getting ready to go out of a turnstile (in a hotel in Atlanta.) She’s very friendly.
N!: Do the proceeds from your books go to religious organizations? What particular causes do you support the most?
PH: I’m a tither, I give back to the Lord through the church. I support the New Covenant Church in Trooper, PA, and Dominion Christian Center in Rockford, IL. Read more…
Reprinted with permission from noir!