Random Acts of Publicity - Donna Alice Patton

Today, for Random Acts of Publicity Week, I'm talking about a close friend and one of my beta readers, Donna Alice Patton. Donna and I connected on one of the critique groups I run, and I do mean connected. She was right there with suggestions on my work that made it better. Her humor when I made a dumb mistake brought laughter. A few years ago, we both attended SpringMingle, a writer's conference, in Atlanta together. There, our friendship blossomed to where we're in constant contact through a variety of methods but mostly texting through tough stuff.

We suffered through innumerable rejections of our work, sometimes bewailing the fact no one would ever give us a contract. Then it happened. Donna was the first to make the breakthrough. I must confess to the tiniest bit of jealously, but then happiness became my prime emotion. If only one of us would be blessed, Donna was the one to be at the front of the line. Why?

She is one of the busiest people I've ever met. Many people tell me I put them to shame with the amount of time I spend on my writing, and at the time, homeschooling my now teenager. It did seem hard, and the validation I was pushing through obstacles in the way of my path to publication were nice. However, after Donna and I really got to know each other, I began to feel a bit lazy.

Her activities are enough to make the most dedicated job-aholic cringe. She cans fruits and vegetables she grows at her home. Each summer, she plans and works at a girls camp through her church. Her family can always count on her to help with their homeschooled children, or to prepare a family meal on a moment's notice. She stumbled after losing her dad, but then came back and managed to keep up with her many writing projects in addition to everything else while her mother's health had her running back and forth to medical care an hour and a half from her home. More and more, I used her as an example of how to delegate time, but never responsibilities. I thought I was responsible before, but her example showed me how to take on even more.

Once her contracts – yes, she got two instead of one to begin with – were in place, she began the editing process. Through her, I learned a lot of things and wasn't surprised when my own editing process began. Her lighthearted texts about one tiny thing or another often brought laughter after I enrolled my son in middle school and was at a loss as to how to rearrange my schedule to meet those demands. Each round of editing brought more gripes, and even more advice. Soon, her books were in print, and I was the proud owner of both, with personalized sentiments above her autograph. I treasure those books to this day.

Donna specializes in middle grade books with a touch of her faith in each one. She's not ashamed to her faith, and goes far in bringing that to children in a world turned upside down. The first, The Gift of Summer Snow is a delightful mystery involved country fair flowers disappearing from their gardens, with the exhibition and judging not far off. She weaves the mystery in a way the reader is never lost, and by the end, shows how an enemy can become a friend. The Gift of Summer Snow is the first in a series titled A Tale from the Garden of Mysteries.

Her second book, I had the delight of helping her edit, The Search for the Madonna. Donna did a massive amount of research of the Depression years, and wove another mystery about a young girl who struggles to survive with her twin sister and parents. The twins are left behind at an aunt's house while the parents work elsewhere fulfilling a promise. The reader not only lives through the tough times of the Great Depression, they also have a look into the chores of so long ago, including making pickles and picking strawberries. But there's one thing drawing Maggie away from the daily working of a farm on the verge of foreclosure – a missing treasure that will pull the family out of their dreary day-to-day existence and give them desperately needed money – a missing family heirloom, the priceless Bradenburg Madonna.

Donna again weaves her magic, allowing the reader to see the clues and search with Maggie as the story unfolds. There are moments when all seems lost, but then the mystery is solved and you are left wanting more. And more you shall get, The Search for the Madonna is also the first in a series, American Saints in Progress. The second story, short titled Maze is just as good, and hopefully will soon be available for sale.

She also writes non-fiction articles about famous people and their contribution to America. Donna also has an anthology featuring her work. Flashlight Memories is about how each contributor was introduced to reading. There isn't any better way for a child to learn about the delights within the covers of a book than to learn how so many authors learned to love reading.

Donna's work is available on Amazon. You can view all her books on her Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Donna-Alice-Patton/e/B003ZMEDB2/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346766741&sr=1-2-ent.

If you want to know more about my good friend, Donna Alice Patton, visit her website at: http://www.donnaalicepatton.com/. It's been absolutely wonderful profiling her during this week of random publicity.

Tomorrow, we're having a party for Random Acts of Publicity Week. Come on by and find out what six friends and I are doing on our current projects!


Penny's Tales said…
Great post Kathi and your friend Donna sounds like a "work horse" and a wonderful person. Her books also sound great.
I admire folks who actually can and jar their food. When we moved into the middle of nowhere my hubby said that I could do that with vegies we grow. I asked, "Do you know me?"

Good luck Donna and congrats on your successes!

Penny Estelle
KC Sprayberry said…
I can our pears, if my hubby and teen bring them in on time. This year, they ripened a month early. And bring me a mess of cucumbers, and we'll have nice, crispy pickles. Those never last long. My men love them too much. Thanks for the compliment, Penny.
Unknown said…
Aw, Kathi, you are a sweetie! You forgot to mention how much YOU helped me! Couldn't have written any of those books without your input, witty remarks and just in time texts! Am so happy with are both on the published side of the road now! Am counting the days until I can hold YOUR book in my hand.
KC Sprayberry said…
Thanks, Donna. And a special thanks for letting me do this for you.
Patty Kyrlach said…
Great post about Donna Patton, one of my favorite writers--and one of the nicest people I know. :-) You really captured her personality and the scope of her writing.
Sharon A. Lavy said…
I enjoyed reading about Donna Alice. Thanks for sharing.

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