Author Pat G’Orge-Walker has learned laughter really does the heart good. She recently spoke with Magic City Momma about her book, Holy Mayhem, which was recently released as a mass market paperback.
Tell me about your book, Holy Mayhem.
Two church-ladies-turned-sleuths are sure to raise more than a little hell. They’ve been laid off, they’re broke, and their faith is really being tried. But dedicated Mount Kneel Down Baptist Church members Patience Kash and Joy Karry figure now is the perfect time to pursue their other true calling—becoming private detectives. And if that means putting up with their cousin Porky’s delusions while hilariously interfering with their famous detective godson Percy’s investigations, it’s still a heaven-sent opportunity…until it’s not.
Why did you decide to write it?
I’ve been a deaconess for a few years and my license gives me entrée into hospitals, jails and other areas where religious personnel are welcomed. I wondered what would happen if that privilege was misused. What could possibly go wrong if it were used to snoop?
Why did you decide to write funny Christian fiction?
I’m a PK (preacher’s kid). Both parents were preachers and pastor. My mother was Pentecostal. My father was Baptist. It was too much comedy to ignore. I also wanted to show in a humorous way that Christians cannot claim to love God whom they’ve never seen, and be mean and spiteful toward their fellow man.
Tell me about your publishing journey.
After leaving the recording industry, I was a bit lost. A good friend of mine who wrote the novel Soul Food suggested I publish one of my funny stories based upon my standup monologues titled, Sister Betty. I eventually published a short 22-page booklet titled, Sister Betty! God’s Calling You! After using what I’d learned from my years in record promotion, I caught the attention of Kensington Publishing. I was offered a major contract in 2000 and credited with creating a new genre of fiction: Christian comedy.
Since joining the Kensington family, I’ve become a national as well as Essence bestselling author. I’ve had many successful book club meetings, conferences, etc. I’ve also won many awards including twice for Best Comedy (AALBC), 2001 Innovative Writer Gold Pen, Lifetime Achievement (EDC creations) and several others. I’ve also received numerous citations including one from the New York State Senate.
What advice do you have for women grieving the death of a spouse or loved one?
I wish I had some sage advice to offer. Death is so personal, and there is no one-size-fits-all journey. I can only suggest take as long as one needs and let no one dictate how long it should be. It’s been almost three years for me. My husband died in my arms. Some days it seems like it just happened and other days I struggle to accept that it did.
What is the biggest lesson you want readers to learn from your stories and your life?
I would want readers to know that no one is perfect and we all sin differently. I want the reader to understand that each of us claiming Christ is a walking, breathing testimony and kingdom representative. I would mostly want the reader to learn God promised to be with the believer during struggles and to soon deliver that believer from them. Just hang on.
What advice do you have for women who juggle raising a family with pursuing their dreams?
That’s a great question. I have no great answer. In my case, God gave me a vision and supplied the provisions. It was not easy for me. During the time I spent on both sides of the recording industry; as an artist and in promotion and marketing stole a lot of my time from my family. But God gave me a praying husband who was an awesome partner, father and one who always supported. For women who have to juggle careers and family, I would hope they’d have a great support system in place. If you don’t have that it will be difficult and a decision must be made as to what one is willing to sacrifice. Having regrets can become a burden and lead to inner turmoil. Prayer, for me, was and is crucial. Like any good juggler, planning and execution takes life skills.
What’s next for Pat G’Orge Walker?
I’m currently working on another Sister Betty novel. I’m about three years late. I’ve returned to performing and speaking. It hasn’t been easy trying to find comedy in grief. I take it one day at a time and I’m finding that God is wiping my tears, giving back my joy and I’m able to again make folks laugh.