Patricia V. Davis & Harlots Sauce Radio e-magazine
Writing the 'Sauce' of Life
Shifting through submissions of articles and photos, contacting famous, inspiring people for podcast interviews at Harlots' Sauce Radio e-magazine, discovering new writers with great manuscripts to present to her other partners at Harper Davis Publishing, scheduling in speaking engagements at writers conferences and other venues, and still finding time to write her own articles, blogsand books, enjoy her family and friends, as well as keep up with an exercise program, would have seemed like an insurmountable number of tasks to Patricia not too long ago. Instead these days she's motivated to do it all, and do it well and happily. Well...at least, most of the time.
Growing up, Patricia lived with a mother and grandmother who believed the only way for a woman to make her way in life was to get married, and the sooner, the better. If Patricia shared with them her dreams of becoming a teacher and a writer, they, motivated mostly by fear of the unknown, would drum the same refrains into her head: "How are you going to manage to do all that? You're too young to live on your own!" Or, "Why spend money to go to college? Why not find a job, so you can get a nice car, instead?"
Despite their negative attitude, (and even their active sabotage), Patricia did manage to finish college, though it was a struggle, not only financially, but also emotionally. The emotional part came into play because Patricia wanted her parents' approval. Yet, it seemed that everything she endeavored to do in her life, was just not what her family had in mind for her. So in order to please them, she married young, while still trying to finish school. Her "aha" moment came when this early relationship ended quickly in divorce, and she had no job skills to take care of herself. And after being away from home, she had no desire to go back to living with her parents and being exposed to their discouraging mantras. That's when she knew that no matter how hard a struggle it would be for her, whether she achieved her parents' endorsement or not, she was going to accomplish her goals, because her goals were the right ones for her, and the only way to have the life she wanted.
Patricia says, "I wanted to be a teacher, but I also wanted to be a writer. I attended a local community college, because that's all I could afford to pay for on my own, and because my parents said they would disown me if I went away to school. (Yes, really.) I had two part-time jobs to pay all my expenses. My college career was made tougher by all this, but my professors did their best to encourage me."
From then on, any future objective she wanted to achieve, she kept it foremost her mind that: a) it might not be easy b) it might not be quick and c) it most definitely might not meet with the approval of the ones she loved most.
Point 'C' was the greatest challenge for Patricia, because for a while, it seemed that she was destined to 'fall in love' with men who, like her parents, simply did not approve of her life dreams. (It took a number of years for her to figure out that she was getting involved with these men because they subconsciously reminded her of her parents, but... more about that later.) Her second husband, like her parents and her first husband, did not understand Patricia's way of thinking, and also discouraged her goals, putting his desires for their relationship ahead of hers. This was sad, because a marriage should be partnership, not a dictatorship. But even sadder was that Patricia herself went along with this,because placing her wishes after the wishes of those she loved were the circumstances in which she'd grown up, and therefore, what felt 'normal' to her. It took a move overseas to Greece with her second husband for there to be a drastic change in the way Patricia viewed herself and her relationships. The move was something her husband wanted, and naturally, Patricia complied. But once there, everything around her was so different that in order to adjust, she needed to find her own purpose for living there. She had her teaching degree by then, so when an opportunity came up to start her own education service , she did so - over her husband's objections. This one act of defiance, and then discovering that she could head her own corporation, that she could help others, and that others could look to her for decisions and approval, rather than always the other way around, caused Patricia to re-examine everything about what she called the "warring two sides of herself."
Patricia says, "I always thought that to have rewarding relationships, I'd have to sacrifice my career, and to have a rewarding career, I'd have to sacrifice my relationships. And then I met women whose families were supportive of their goals, and that opened another world to me - the possibility that I could have both."
Today, Patricia has sold the business she held in Greece, and is back in the USA. In 2008, to inspire young women to be all they can be, she published her first book about her revelations while living overseas, called Harlot's Sauce: A Memoir of Food, Family, Love, Loss, and Greece. It has ranked in the top five of its category on amazon.com, and was championed by Maria Shriver for its "dedication to education."
Nonetheless, despite being well-received, the business of building a successful writing career is enormously challenging for a new author. It took over two years for Patricia's book to be accepted for publication, and even then, it was by a small, start-up publisher. In addition, the number of books published per year in the USA alone total into the hundreds of thousands. Competition is high, and creating a writer's platform is crucial to spreading the word about one's work. Yet, Patricia's goal is to be a successful, full time writer, and to this end she applies her motto of, "it's not always going to be easy, and it's not always going to be quick." However, she doesn't have to worry about it not meeting the approval of her loved ones anymore - her husband today is very much on board with it. (But...more about that later.) With her family's support and her own determination, she's working towards realizing her goals.
Using the business acumen she acquired while running her education service in Greece, Patricia began building her writer's platform even before she found a literary agent, by creating an online magazine and podcast. Lessons in developing a web presence helped make this magazine popular. Patricia has gotten her brand out there by interviewing celebrities, writing articles, entering contests, speaking at conferences, and more. She also became an excellent marketer by studying who the audience for her particular type of writing might be, and making her work known to them. Patricia became so skilled at this, that her own book publisher approached her and asked if she'd like to be part of their company as a marketer. Patricia agreed, and gave back the advance they'd given her for her book, so that she could be part of the company.
On this Patricia says,"I saw that there had been many changes in the publishing industry. There now exist e-books, online publishers like Scribd, and other new ways of publishing. I'm realistic - it's fewer than one percent of authors who become as successful as JK Rowling, for example, so I thought being part of a publishing company might give me an edge in the industry."
Though Patricia can see how much she's transformed from how she was raised to where she is now, self-doubt is still occasionally an issue for her. It took three tries at marriage before she got it right. But her third husband of nine years is extremely supportive of her career, as are her sons.
Patricia states, "I'm not happy that I failed so often in my personal relationships. But I think that I learned as much from my failures as I did from my successes. I like to call myself a 'Failed Relationship Expert'. I can now see why I made those mistakes, and usually can tell when others are headed the same way. Still, my past can sometimes cause me to have self-doubt, especially with this tough career path I've chosen. Although I wonder if having self-doubt and then overcoming it, is the key to being the most successful at both career and relationships.