While interviewing Pat Henry, I was reminded to never confuse an obstacle for an excuse. During the pandemic, her responsibilities of serving as a full-time payroll professional, wife, mother, and adjusting to an ever-changing world were justifiable reasons to hold her back from accomplishing her entrepreneurial goals. When we connected in December of 2020, she opened up to me about her aspirations of releasing three books in one year. Fast forward to the present we are here to discuss her amazing accomplishment of publishing three children’s books in 7 months.
Ross: When did you first get the idea to write a book?
Pat: Writing a book was a thought in the back of my mind since I was young. In 2019 I decided to put in the work.
Ross: What sparked you to take action?
Pat: I started reading self-help books and taking workshops to combat the fear of my fast-approaching empty nest.
Ross: What were the biggest challenges with completing your book?
Pat: Being a wife, a mother, having a full-time job, and trying to see the world all at once present some unique challenges.
Ross: When and how do you find time to write with so much to balance?
Pat: I have a legal pad on my desk and a notepad on my phone. I jot down ideas whenever I get inspiration. I have been known to steal any bit of time I can find (a 3hr road trip while my husband drives). My new process is scheduling an hour a day to sit with my ideas.
Ross: What advice do you have to other writers who are balancing so much and trying to write a book?
Pat: Prioritize writing. Get up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later to write for 30 days.
Ross: How has releasing a book impacted your career?
Pat: It has made the idea of retiring early attainable and more appealing.
Ross: It’s intriguing that you say it makes retirement more appealing. Could you provide more insight on that sentiment?
Pat: Most of us know that the expected retirement age is now well into the 70’s. I now have a vision of retirement before 55 with a goal of writing 2-3 books a year at my leisure.
Ross: What is your profession aside from writing?
Pat: I am a Payroll Professional for an IT company.
Ross: What advice would you give to someone trying to publish their first book?
Pat: Pull the trigger. There will always be things to research and learn. Don't let those things delay you any longer.
Ross: Which books inspired you to become an author?
Pat: My recent inspiration would have been Please baby please by Spike Lee. The English/Spanish version was free in a box of Cheerios.
Ross: What do you have planned next for your literary career?
Pat: My next step is to publish the full Twin Adventures series while finishing the YA novel that I started.
Ross: What inspired you to utilize twins as your main characters?
Pat: I wanted to cover the play/imagination perspective from a girl’s and a boy’s point of view at four without having two versions of the books.
Ross: What are the main takeaways you want readers to have from your book?
Pat: I want kids to tap back into their imaginations and for parents to allow that level of creativity to flourish.