About Pat Nelson

Nelson self-published her first book, You . . . the Credit Union Member, while she was still in her 20's and had two toddlers.  "There were lots of late nights," she said. "I cleaned my house and wrote while the family slept. I enjoyed the quiet time."

That was long before it was popular to self-publish, but Nelson thought, Why not? "I knew how to target my market," she said.  A year after she published the book, she had gone through the initial order of 10,000 copies.  "The orders poured in from every state as well as some foreign countries, and soon all the books had been sold. "If there's one thing I'm sorry about regarding my first book," she said, "it's that I didn't reprint it.  I'd still be selling You . . . the Credit Union Member today.  I continued to receive orders 10 years after I ran out of books.  I should have updated and reprinted the book, but I was young and afraid of success, and I didn't have the support of a writing network like I have today. Publishing my first book was a lot like riding a roller coaster; I loved the thrill but was relieved to walk away when the ride was over." Fear of success blocks many writers, but even though it stopped Nelson from reprinting her first book many years ago, it didn't stop her from writing.  She continued to write in her position as the first credit union marketing director in her county.  She became one of three National Credit Union Ambassadors for CUNA, the Credit Union National Association, in a pilot program to more effectively share national marketing programs with state leagues and local chapters, and was cited for being its most effective Ambassador.

Following her credit union career, writing was still a big part of Nelson's life as she marketed her restaurant and later the retail and wholesale businesses that she operated with her husband, Bob.  They no longer operate retail stores, but they distribute snow sleds and winter hats and gloves through their website, www.BigDealsWholelsale.net.

In 2004, she returned to her hometown for a visit and left there determined to write a book about the tuberculosis sanatorium where her parents met and the community made up of the sanatorium's progressive lady doctor, the patients and the employees.  She has returned to her childhood home on several research trips, gathering the information that will bring memories of the sanatorium era back to life when she completes her book Open Window.

 Nelson's story Indian Summer appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause.  Her story Blind Sighted was the top-scoring story for a Chicken Soup title that the publisher canceled before publication.  The story was again scheduled for a Chicken Soup book but that title, too, was canceled before publication.  The story sat, unpublished, for several years.  During that time, Nelson continued to write.  She began to write a column for The Daily News/South County News and those columns also appear at www.lewisriver.com.  She also volunteered at her granddaughter's school to inspire the young writers.

Not Your Mother's Book . . . On Being a ParentThen, early in 2012, things changed.  Dahlynn and Ken McKowen, owners of Publishing Syndicate, contacted Nelson and asked her to co-create a book in their new anthology series Not Your Mother's Book.  They had plans to publish 30 or more books in the humorous, daring anthology of true stories.  Nelson's first co-creation Not Your Mothers Book . . . On Being a Parent was released September 10, 2013, as the fifth book in the NYMB series.  Her second NYMB book, On Working for a Living, will be released November, 2014. She is accepting stories for her third NYMB book, On Being a Grandparent. And that story, Blind Sighted, that just missed being published?  Nelson revised it slightly and it appeared in the first book of the NYMB series, On Being a Woman.  

Today, she writes a monthly column Windows On Woodland for The Valley Bugler. She also proofreads books in the NYMB series, and proofread Stand Up, a new anthology co-created by the McKowen's and John Schlimm, as well as another of Publishing Syndicate's releases, The Cow Pie Chronicles,  by Portland, OR author James Butler. She is a freelance editor for others when time allows.  "This is proof," she says, "that a writer should keep working and never feel defeated."

Nelson is a member of Willamette Writers Association; Cedar Creek Writers, Amboy, WA;WordFest, Longview, WA and the online writing group My 500 Words.  She presents workshops: Writing for Anthologies and Finding Your Story. Contact Nelson at Storystorm.US@comcast.net to schedule workshops, readings and other writing-related events.

 Pat Nelson is a proud grandma of four, and she encourages her grandchildren to write.  Two of her granddaughters have submitted stories to Publishing Syndicate's anthology series for young people, OMG! My Reality!  She is married and considers her husband, Bob, her most helpful critic.