Inspired by Elvis to write, that’s what I tell people when I'm asked how a woman with no formal schooling can suddenly become an author. My “Elvis story”- all admirers have one- is not unusual. In fact, I would be willing to bet it is similar to millions of Elvis fan around the world.
I was only nine years old, and just days away from turning ten, when Elvis Presley passed away so untimely. For me it was a turning point in my life. I had just become interested in Elvis the year before, 1976, when he came to my home town. His pending concert evoked an excitement like I’d never seen before. People were lined up for days to get tickets. Seats were hard to come by, and as it turned out my parents couldn't secure space for all us to attend. When the big night came, sadly I was sent to a babysitter. I will never forgot my mother’s words of comfort that night.
"Don't worry he'll be back," she said. Sadly, that never happened. Just eight months later, I was watching my first funeral procession on live TV, learning at a young age not to take tomorrow for granted. Today might be all we have.
That missed moment haunted me. And when I should have been outside riding my bicycle, I was inside reading as many books on Elvis Presley as I could get my hands on. I was desperate to discover what I had missed. Soon reading led me to writing. I began to live out all my fantasies through my own imagination, including that missed concert. I realised quickly how easily words could transport me to exotic times and romantic places. All I had to do was conjure it up and I could go anywhere.
Fascinated with the possibilities, I read the classics at a young age. Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and F. Scott Fitzgerald to name a few, but I was never more awed by the power of fiction until I stumbled upon Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the wind". Her fantasy of galant gentlemen, and their swooning - or in Scarlett O'hara's case, quietly plotting- women thrilled me! It was then that I fell in love with the "romance" of writing.
I longed to be a writer, yet I knew it required patience and a desire to beat the publishing odds. But at seventeen, I had no time for such things. Life was calling my name. I zoomed through high school and raced into the fast lane of life. Hired by a major airline, I traveled and experienced life at it's fullest. The world was mine. Eventually I married, and settled down. I was happy, but the need to write lingered. Another missed opportunity.
Eight years ago, I decided to follow my dream. I put pen to paper and ironically reverted back to where it all started, with Elvis Presley. I wrote leisurely and only when inspired. I'd heard the saying, "Write what you know". And thanks to those summers spent reading, I felt I knew Elvis Presley. At least i knew what was important. I'd learn enough to know the true heart of the man, not the media's mumbo-jumbo. I felt I could create a story unique in the world of Elvis Fiction. Thanks to Elvis, I became a writer!
Eternal Flame was released in the summer of 2007 to warm reviews from Elvis fans around the world. It has been sold in more than eight countries, and I’m pleased to say that it continues to sell to this day. Each year, I donate 100% of my profits to a charity of my choosing, in Elvis' name. It's my way of giving back to a legacy that helped me rediscover my hearts truest desire. It's through my writing that i've gained a wonderful following of readers and many new friends. It's by God's grace and blessings that I am as happy as I am today. Writing was the missing link in my life.
It's not often that one can go back. Life rarely rewinds. But if it does, let me encourage you to reach out and grasp it. Give your dream a try. You may surprise yourself. Better yet, God may surprise you!
Birth Place: Portland, OR USA
Accomplishments: By the grace of God, and the kindness of strangers, I have a small following. I will be forever grateful! A story teller is truly lost without his or her readers! Thank you all!
Eternal Flame by Patricia Garber In Eternal Flame, author Patricia Garber puts her own touch to the Elvis
mystique, interweaving it with the elements of love, dreams, and choices as she spins an unforgettable romantic tale. Driven by compelling characters, a whimsical premise, and a plot of a thousand surprises, Eternal Flame stands as the momentous debut offering of a talented and imaginative storyteller.
... Amazon.comEternal Flame
Dream Angel- Heaven Waits by Patricia Garber Standing over the grave of Memphis Tennessee's most famous resident, Elvis Presley, in the conclusion of Eternal Flame (Xlibris, Corp, 2007), Samantha Lynn Bennett sheds one last tear. She'd wanted to be strong, and trust God to mend her broken heart. But the healing power of time was not her friend. Samantha lacked patience. She loved her gaurdian angel as she loved no other man and she'd waited ... Amazon.com