I hope you had a nice holiday season and if you are in my neck of the woods, looking forward to some warmer weather!
Brrr…I hate the cold and anything to do with it. We’ve been pretty fortunate here in Maryland this month though with some milder temperatures.
I have a lot of cool stuff going on…
A new website… http://www.lisavproulx.com
A new book out…under my pen name Veronica Moreau. LICK AND A PROMISE~Diary of a Rock Star Groupie is Book One in the Rock Star Series and was released on January 8th.
Check out my website for more info and to sign up for my newsletter to hear about my upcoming contests, givewaways, personal appearances and so much more!
Today I want to introduce you to someone who is a very good online friend of mine.
Matt is the best selling author of the touching and inspiring book about his beautiful daughter Emily
I had the honor of sitting down with him recently and talking to this kind and brilliant man. I think we can learn a lot from his wise words.
He always sends me emails at just the right time that I need inspiration or motivation. His encouraging words make my day! 🙂
A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Matt Patterson is a best-selling and award-winning author, inspirational speaker and communications professional.
Matt has taken a parent’s greatest tragedy – the loss of a child – and has not only turned it into a best seller, but he has turned it into a mission of hope and inspiration.
His first book – My Emily – shares the life and legacy of his first daughter, Emily. She was born with Down syndrome and just two short years later came a diagnosis of leukemia.
Matt takes you on a rollercoaster ride of life, love, laughter and loss. A touching tribute, My Emily has been recognized in the Readers Favorite Book Reviews & Award Contest, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, as well as the National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Aside from being an author, Matt volunteers his time to helping organizations and charities dedicated to assisting families with special needs children and little ones battling pediatric cancers.
He is quickly becoming a much sought-after speaker and welcomes the opportunity to share his powerful message to business and health care organizations, corporations, colleges, churches and youth groups.
Delivering a story few men will ever share, Matt’s powerful message will resonate and engage any audience – no matter how big or small. His genuine and authentic delivery connects with a wide range of audiences.
Nearly 25 years ago I became a father for the first time. It was a pretty big deal. Bubble gum cigars were ready to be handed out. Was it going to be a boy or a girl? Like I said – a pretty big deal. The birth of any couple’s first child is one of those moments that stay with us for the rest of our lives. For us, it was just a little more than that.
When our first child – a daughter – was born, of course there was reason to celebrate. Phone calls made and those yellow bubble gum cigars handed out. The next morning, we received what many would perceive as horrific news. My Emily wasn’t born perfect – or so one might think.
She was born with Down Syndrome and many would jump to the immediate conclusion that she would have very little hope for a life with any significance. Two years later came the devastating diagnosis of leukemia. What little hope remaining turned to no hope whatsoever – or so one might think.
This little book tells the remarkable story of how the life of one little girl, with all its perceived “imperfections,” had great meaning. One little girl’s loving nature and courage touched the hearts of everyone she met. She also taught them – including myself – how to value our own lives – even with our many “imperfections.”
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Actually, I think it was after dipping my toes in many waters. My background is in broadcast/print journalism, as well as corporate marketing. I really do believe it was while I was covering the courts and crime beat for a small Upper Michigan newspaper that I might want to give this a shot. I really enjoyed writing a weekly column. More often than not, my two little girls and their escapades were my material. I enjoyed sharing the wit and wonder of my girls.
What type of genre do you write in?
It appears I’m destined to write in the non-fiction and memoir genre. I’m not complaining by any means. I marvel at those who can write fiction. My writing, however; is very much aimed at my life experience and perhaps, how I might be able to help the reader. I don’t try to complicate things too much, I write as if we’re sitting across from each other and having lunch, coffee or a Diet Coke.
What inspires you to write in this genre?
I consider myself a reasonably sensitive fella and I’ve been through some tough life experiences that many others have traveled. As silly as it may sound, I truly just want to help others.
Where to you get your ideas for your writing?
Plain and simple – my life. It’s a great release for me to share some of my life experiences – to be open, honest and hopefully, even a little humorous.
Who are your favorite authors and why?
Mitch Albom is my absolute favorite author. He tells a story as if you’re right there with him. He can make you laugh. He can surely make your eyes tear up. And more often than not, you walk away with an inspired look at life. I actually try to pattern my writing after his. Oh, what I’d give to have 15 minutes with this man.
In your opinion, what key parts of a story make it great?
Let’s see. I have to say the elements that attract me and I try to include in my work are ones of ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things. When someone’s heartache can touch and teach simultaneously. Stories of the human spirit educating and inspiring us all at the same time. That’s what draws me to a story.
What activities do you do for inspiration?
I love music. I’m one who loves to find meaningful lyrics in songs. I also love to watch inspirational movies – Rudy is my absolute favorite. I also enjoy reading an inspirational biography. Last, but not least, before I open my laptop – I take a moment to just pause, close my eyes, gather my thoughts, listen to the quiet (if that makes sense) and pray.
Has your work won any awards?
I’ve been very fortunate to have My Emily named as a finalist in three writing contests this summer -the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the National Indie Excellence Book Awards, as well as the Readers Favorite Book Reviews and Award Contest.
What advice would you give to others who are interested in pursuing a career in writing?
I’d have to say first and foremost is to start keeping a journal.
Secondly, surround yourself with other writers who encourage and can offer constructive criticism.
Last but not least, do not let one single soul tell you that you can’t do this. Eliminate negative influences.
What is the title of your upcoming/newly released novel, and where can we find it?
I released My Emily late last year. Perhaps the best way to find the copy or version that best suits the reader is at the My Emily website – www.my-emily.com or my personal website – http://mattpatterson.me
What is the best way for your fans to contact you?
I absolutely love meeting people and making new friends! Here are some of the best ways to track me down.
What is your ultimate goal/dream concerning your writing?
I think once you get a review or email from someone that’s on the other side of the country or globe for that matter and they tell you your book touched them – well, mission accomplished. I am in the process of building a speaking platform to take my story on the road to share with others. If anyone is interested in having me speak to their group – please find the speaking tabs on either my personal or My Emily websites.
I also asked Matt some questions just for fun…I think you will enjoy his answers! 🙂
If you could spend a day with anyone, living or dead, real or fictitious, who would it be and why?
My daughter, Emily. Why? Well, you’ll have to read My Emily to find out!
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
One of my very last summer jobs, moving furniture. Growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, where it’s 95 degrees with 95 percent humidity, nothing else has to be said. Hot. Muggy. Sweaty.
What is your favorite type of music?
Wow, this is a mixed bag here. Anything from Classical, Blues, Jazz, 80’s rock to Christian Contemporary and even some (very, very little) Country. Favorite artists are: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, U2, Robbie Seay Band and The Mavericks.
What is your favorite TV program?
As silly as it may sound and given what I write – Seinfeld. I believe that’s where I get a lot of my self-deprecating humor from!
What is your favorite food?
Maryland steamed crabs or cheeseburger sub from Captain Harvey’s in Baltimore! Toss on extra grilled onions and hot pepper relish!
Five words that describe yourself…
Grateful, Humble, Sensitive, Thankful, Humorous
What are your current writing projects?
I’m in the middle of another non-fiction work that will deal with grief and men. Hope to have it done sometime in September.
What are you currently reading?
Although I get stuck in a rut of not reading because I’m writing – I am trying to finish these two: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Platform! by Michael Hyatt.
Author of Amazon Best-Seller – My Emily
– Finalist – 2012 National Indie Excellence Book Awards
– Finalist – 2012 Readers Favorite Book Awards
– Finalist – 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards
WHERE TO FIND “MY EMILY”
and many other sites…
“If you read this book, it’s likely you will cry. I bawled. But, mostly I
celebrated the love of a daddy for his first born daughter. I especially love
the way the Pattersons saw their daughter as perfect. She was Emily and that was enough.”
“Emily’s story is a gift to readers because it will make you consider and
appreciate your own life and run to HUG the people you share it with, be it
children, parents, partners, friends or pets… Every page is proof that there
are so many good and warm hearts in the world and that love is genuinely…endless and priceless.”
“This is a book to be read and re-read. Your joy and exuberance of discovering Emily and your pure love for her are a testament to God’s love for his children. Thank you for sharing your story!”
To read more reviews (these are just excerpts from a few) go to Amazon.com
Matt, thank you so much for joining me today. I wish you every success for your books and your speaking engagements.
Thank you too for your friendship which I cherish!
Your book, “My Emily” has taught us that love is not only unconditional, it is forever.
If you enjoyed Matt’s interview and would like to be interviewed or would like to interview me, you may contact me at:
Or on my website
As always, thank you for your continued love and support!
“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.