Pat Nichols shares about things in her newest novel that came from real life

Pat Nichols is visiting Jubilee Writer once again. She has a new release in her Willow Falls Series The Trouble in Willow Falls releases this week. I think you’ll enjoy hearing how many little things from her life ended up in her novels. In years past I often wondered if writers wove snippets from their lives into their novels. When I retired from the corporate world and launched career number two as an author, details from my life somehow slipped into my stories. For example, Emily Hayes stirs vanilla creamer and honey into her coffee. I add the creamer and our daughter the honey. Rack of lamb is one of Rachel Streetman’s favorite dishes. Mine too. Although I don’t have a clue how to prepare it. In The Trouble in Willow Falls, which released November 11, Rachel orders lobster bisque and Dover sole; two of my favorite menu finds.

In The Secret of Willow Inn Emily picks up a dark-red pillow embellishing the gold bedspread in her parent’s room. An apt description of our bed—with five red pillows. Emily also mentions her mother loving books about the south, especially Eugenia Price’s novels. Who was my mother’s favorite author? You guessed it; Eugenia Price. Francine Rivers, who’s one of my favorite Christian writers, is also mentioned.

What about pets? Over the years black Labradors were part of our family. Emily’s dog Cody is a golden lab. Another golden finds its way into The Trouble in Willow Falls. My sister prefers cats, so Mittens shows up in Willow Falls book three, scheduled for release in February 2021.

Emily’s mother loved to decorate for Christmas, with lots of trees. The tradition continues at Willow Inn. Sadie’s favorite? A peacock tree. I have eleven decorated trees in my house, most of them tabletop and two only eighteen inches high. The tall tree in our living room is peacock themed, so is the fireplace mantle.

Because writers tend to write what they know, I imagine a lot of books provide glimpses into their personal worlds. Unless they write murder mysteries. So far, no dead bodies have shown up in Willow Falls. Although there is mystery and who knows what might happen in book four, which is my current work in progress, or book five.


Retired from a twenty-seven-year corporate career, Pat Nichols draws on her experience in seven different management positions working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life to create stories about women facing tension-laced challenges and heart-warming triumphs in the pursuit of their dreams. Pat received a 2018 NGCWC Georgia Peach Awards for her short story, The Vet and Valentine’s Day, and a 2019 NGCWC Georgia Peach Award for Willow Falls series book three. She received the 2017 CRWNA Woman of the Year Award and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Word Weavers International. She has been featured on WATC Television Atlanta Alive and in Voyager Magazine

The Trouble in Willow Falls and The Secret of Willow Inn are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas:


How many of you who write novels have added things to your story world from real life?







Pat Nichols Turned to Novel Writing after Retirement

Today I welcome Pat Nichols to Jubilee Writer, she and I have a lot in common. We share a publisher and are both members of Word Weavers and ACFW. And …well, I’ll let her tell her very interesting story. Pat

Eight years ago, my husband and I completed our retirement-travel bucket list, prompting the question, “What’s next”. Having spent twenty-five years in the corporate world, I was accustomed to meeting deadlines and accomplishing goals. It might sound crazy, but I kind of missed the fast pace. Not enough to get back in the rat race, mind you. But enough to consider starting a second career. One I believe God prompted me to pursue. Writing novels.

While I cut my teeth on two, not-ready-for-primetime manuscripts based on real people, three fictional characters began to form in my mind. Strangers with different backgrounds. Emily, from a small southern town, and Rachel, an Atlanta native. And Sadie, a convicted felon returning to the scene of her crime. They eventually found their way into my third manuscript.

From the beginning I’d planned to create an ongoing saga with a small town functioning as a key character. Thus, I researched everything I could find about series, finished book one, and began writing the sequel. Late in 2017 I was blessed with a contract from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Months into the editing process readers chose The Secret of Willow Inn as the title. It will be available on Amazon presale in late September or early October and released January, 2019. Earlier this year, I received a second contract for book two in the series, scheduled for release January, 2020. I’m currently working on book three and plan to continue the series until it comes to a logical conclusion sometime in the distant future.

I first realized a calling to write in the eighties during a three-year assignment as a public relations manager. Creating articles and stories for newspapers gave birth to my passion. Many years and numerous assignments passed before the opportunity to tap into my creativity resurfaced. Now with my computer sitting on a lap desk, I write five days a week from a recliner in my living room. The thrill of deadlines and goals mingled with the flexibility of retirement.

In addition to my friends in the North Georgia ACFW chapter and my Word Weavers group, my wonderful husband of fifty plus years is my best support. Although he doesn’t read novels, he listens to my draft, catches errors, and provides excellent feedback.

A friend recently asked how long I planned to continue writing. The answer? Until God takes me home or I wake up one morning and totally forget where I left my computer. I’m counting on the first happening before the second.

I feel the same way, Pat. Thanks for sharing your encouraging story.

Here’s Pat Nichol’s bio:

Pat Nichols launched career number two as a novelist, proving it’s never too late to follow your dreams. Drawing on years of corporate experience working with hundreds of amazing women from all walks of life, she creates stories about women who face challenges in the pursuit of their dreams. She lives in an Atlanta suburb with her husband of fifty plus years, is the mother of two, and grandmother of three. She is grateful for God’s blessings and unfailing love through all of life’s peaks and valleys.

Visit her on social media:






Back Cover Copy of The Secret of Willow Inn:

Two women fighting for their dreams, one who’s long lost hers, are united by tragedy and a long-held secret.

Pregnant with her first child, Emily Hayes is eager to help her mother finish transforming an estate into the Willow Inn and write a novel about Willow Falls’ colorful history. A tragic event threatens her parents’ plans to refurbish an abandoned hotel and transform the obscure Georgia setting into a tourist destination.

Sadie Lyles left Willow Falls a murderer who’d killed the town hero. She returns as a despised felon and seeks solace in the town’s café. Emily struggles to unite the close-knit community and becomes Sadie’s biggest advocate. She strives to uncover the truth about the crime and save her town from dying.

To appease her father, Rachel, a VP in his Atlanta real-estate-development firm, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences. After meeting charming, flirtatious Charlie Bricker, manager for Willow Falls’ future vineyard, she vows to break free from her father’s control.

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