Phyllis Clark Nichols grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.
Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis Clark Nichols brings creativity and compelling storytelling. Her character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.
Now here’s Phyllis Clark Nichols:
How grateful I am to Linda for inviting me to share this blog today and to connect with you. I have such tremendous respect for her and her writing that this is quite an honor. So, thank you, Linda.
As a life-long reader, I have always found it intriguing to discover why writers write what they do. I’ve been asked that question myself on many occasions. My answer is simple. I write stories to tell the Truth.
Stories by Phyllis Clark Nichols
Realizing that many readers enjoy the escape that a good book brings, I want to provide a safe place where readers feel comfortable and a time with characters who are not that different from the folks around them. But on occasion, I do like to take them to some places where they might not have been before and introduce them to some characters who are differently-abled. My character-driven stories always include a bit of romance, humor, mystery, and food. After all I’m Southern, and food is important, and so are those stories told as we put our feet under the same table at mealtime.
Looking back over my writing, I have discovered a theme—people surviving life’s hardships because God is present.
Family Portrait Series
In my Family Portrait Series set in Kentucky, I write in the voice of ten-year Kate whose family is learning to live after the death of Kate’s mother. Kate has learned the value of family traditions, and as Mama taught her—the importance of faith, family, and forever. Although grief is a theme, the books are not sad. They are filled with hope and joy and life lessons that Kate learns from the memories of her mother, from Granny Grace, and from the mysterious Mr. Josh. The Christmas Portrait and The Birthday Portrait tell the Harding family’s story of love, faith, and healing from loss. I have plans for two more books in this series in the next couple of years.
The Rockwater Suite
Set in Georgia and Kentucky, The Rockwater Suite is a series telling the story of Caroline Carlyle, a gifted pianist whose life took a sudden turn with the death of her fiancé six weeks before their wedding. In her crisis of faith when she can no longer hear the “Music,” Caroline stays close to people who do hear the music. Slowly as new characters enter her story, her life purpose is renewed, and her music and joy return. Again, you’ll find romance, mystery, hope, and humor.
Return of the Song
This story introduces you to Caroline and her family and friends and to Roderick Adair, the Kentucky gentleman who causes her heart strings to resonate again. Phyllis is offering a signed copy of Return of the Song as a giveaway to someone who joins our chat.
Freedom of the Song
In this story you learn much more about Bella, the gifted musical savant, as the relationship grows between Roderick and Caroline.
Ransom of the Song will be released in April, and the fourth book in the series (which I’m keeping secret) will be out in November in time for a special Christmas “event.”
My bookshelves are filled with Christmas books and Christmas music. It is my absolute favorite time of the year. So, if you want a good Christmas read, you might check out Christmas at Grey Sage, endorsed by Debbie Macomber, or Silent Days, Holy Night. They’re both tender stories that have that resounding theme I’ve been telling you about—that theme of a faith that sustains us through life’s hardships.
Dark Days Brightened by The Light
On a more personal note, my husband was diagnosed with a very serious cancer in September 2018 and began “industrial-strength” chemotherapy before the removal of his kidney on December 31, 2018. What a way to end that year!
With treatment and a much more difficult recovery than we expected, we were advised by doctors to basically hibernate for seven months. We only went to doctors’ appointments, and I made a weekly trip to the grocery store. It was a quiet time of solitude where we were alone. Oh how we missed our extended family and friends and our church! They called and wrote and kept us encouraged with their words. But I can tell you, in our solitude, we experienced Immanuel. God was truly with us providing the peace of His presence.
And on the darkest days, we could always find things throughout each day for which to be grateful. We expressed our gratitude out loud all throughout the day to our Father who cared for us. His presence brought us peace, and our expressions of gratitude brought us joy. I’m happy and grateful to say after one year, my beloved is cancer-free and healthy again.
Highlands of Guatemala: God Is Here
I recall a scene, a real one, from one of our mission trips to the Highlands of Guatemala to work in an orphanage in a remote area. Four Cappucine nuns cared for about thirty young girls. It was an incredibly beautiful morning. We had delivered the medical team to a one-room clinic in the middle of a cornfield. And our teaching team had arrived at the orphanage. We gathered the girls in the open courtyard for a morning of our version of Vacation Bible School.
God Is Here
We started our day with robust singing that echoed through those cinder block hallways to the heavens above. All of a sudden, Sister Grettel came running from the laundry where she was working. She slammed on brakes just as she reached me and raised her hands high in the air. She raised her cherubic face to the sky. With a big smile she said, “God is here.” Then she ran back to the laundry room, her habit flying in the wind.
Truth in Stories
That’s the story, my friends, and that’s the Truth I write about. The characters may change. The setting may change, but the Truth remains. No matter our circumstances, God is present. I write to tell that Truth.
I hope you’ll visit my website, www.phyllisclarknichols.com to learn more about my books and to read my blogs.
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Lord, please bless each word Phyllis writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake