Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Things that Go Bump in the Night with Pamela Palmer

by Anna Campbell

Pam Palmer is one of life's good guys - even if she does write the most deliciously evil bad guys around. I'm delighted to welcome her to the lair today. I met Pam when we were both Golden Heart finalists in 2006 and I'm so excited about her recent incredible success, especially as she's going to be another Avon lady.

You can find out more about Pamela and her dark, sensual worlds of magic, mayhem and mystery at her website

Pamela, I KNOW life has been enormously exciting for you lately. Can you give us an update on the amazing things that have happened?

LOL, Anna. Absolutely. But first, thanks for inviting me to the lair. Big hugs to you and all the other Packer-turned-Banditas (my ‘06 GH sisters). I sold my first book in 2006 in a one book sale to Silhouette Nocturne eleven years after I made the commitment to try to get published. Last year, 2007, I sold eight more…to three different publishers! I know exactly how the ugly duckling felt when he first emerged as a swan and everyone called him beautiful. “You talking to ME?” In addition to selling the remaining three books in the Esri series to Silhouette Nocturne, I sold the first three books in a contemporary dark paranormal shape-shifter series to Avon, and the first two books in a Scottish historical time travel series to Berkley.

Wow. Congratulations! You must feel like you’ve been whisked away into another world. Speaking of another world, I absolutely adored your first Esri book THE DARK GATE. It was the perfect mixture of white-knuckle suspense and breathless sensual tension. Your next Esri book comes out from Silhouette Nocturne in June. Can you tell us about DARK DECEIVER?

Thanks for the fabulous plug! : ) At the end of THE DARK GATE, the humans feared the Esri would return. They were right. In DARK DECEIVER, dangerous immortal Kaderil the Dark arrives in D.C. on a deadly mission---infiltrate and destroy the band of humans fighting the Esri invasion. Hiding his true identity, he charms sweet but klutzy Autumn McGinn into helping him penetrate the enemy ranks, never suspecting she’s destined to become the greatest threat to his mission, his life... and his heart. (This is straight from my website, can you tell?)

We love call stories here in the lair, Pam. Can you share yours with us?

Sure! I love to hear call stories, as well. THE DARK GATE finaled in the Golden Heart in 2006 under the title MIDNIGHT FIRE. (A title I changed immediately after entering the GH in the fall of 2005.) On 31st May, 2006,Ann Leslie Tuttle called to tell me she wanted to buy MIDNIGHT FIRE for Silhouette Nocturne. Talk about confused! I’d never heard of Nocturne (the first Nocturnes weren’t released until five months later), I’d never submitted to them, nor to Ann Leslie. And I hadn’t called the manuscript MIDNIGHT FIRE for months. But I’d used the title for the Golden Heart, and suddenly everything snapped into place. A month before, I’d been notified by RWA National that one of my GH judges had requested the complete of my manuscript. It wasn’t hard to figure out Ann Leslie was that judge. I still didn’t know what Nocturne was and she had to explain it to me. As I’d been taught to do in numerous RWA workshops, I jotted down the information, thanked her profusely, told her I’d get back to her with an answer in a day or two, and then called and left messages with the three agents who were currently reviewing the manuscript. While I waited, stomach-churning, to hear back from them, I called my family and friends. It was a surreal moment. I didn’t feel any different than I had an hour before, yet everything had changed.

What draws you toward the paranormal? Why do think this genre is so enormously popular right now?

Two great questions! I’ve always been drawn to the paranormal in one way or another. When I was five, my favorite book was about dinosaurs. Yes, I know, that’s science rather than fiction, but you can’t get much ‘bigger-than-life’. It wasn’t much of a stretch from imagining dinosaurs roaming the earth to imagining aliens, vampires, elves, etc. I’m not sure why, but the paranormal fires my imagination like nothing else. I love seeing (and putting) ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances, then watching as they discover they’re not so ordinary after all. One of the reasons I think paranormal romance is so popular is that it takes one of the elements I’ve always loved about historicals (that delicious imbalance of physical power between the sexes) and brings it into our world. In modern society, power comes from job title, money, military rank, etc. In ancient times, power was much more about physical strength. There’s something incredibly sexy about a physically powerful, dangerous male who finds himself unable to be anything but tender with the woman he loves. A sexy doctor is fun, sure, but given the choice, I’ll take a powerful, bare-chested, shape-shifter any day.

What are you working on? Can you give us a sneak peek at what’s coming up next?

Speaking of powerful, bare-chested shape-shifters… I’m currently revising the first book in my Ferals Warriors series for Avon. The hero, Lion, abducts a woman who thinks she’s human, but is actually the only one who can save their immortal race. And, yes of course, Lion possesses the ability to shift into the king of beasts. While I’m revising Lion’s book, I’ve been plotting the next two in the series --- Tiger’s and Panther’s books. I’m enjoying the heck out of these bad boys.

Your schedule over the next few months makes my hair curl. Can you give us some insight into your working day? Also any tips on time management?

Schedule? What schedule? I work, sleep, work, sleep, work, with a few meals thrown in. Okay, it’s not that bad, but it’s close. I force myself to take a couple days off each week (usually Tuesdays and Saturdays) to spend some time with the family, run errands, update my website, and attack my to-do lists. I don’t know if I’ll want to keep up this pace indefinitely, but I’ve waited too long for a viable writing career not to put everything I have into it now that I have the chance. The good news is, there’s really nothing I’d rather be doing than writing. As hard as it is sometimes, I LOVE this job. Seriously, though, my writing day is pretty simple. I get everyone off to work/school, then exercise. I don’t start writing until about 10. I’ll take frequent short breaks throughout the day to check e-mail, fold laundry, fix dinner, etc., but I rarely leave the house, and I usually don’t quit until 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. As for time management tips, I’d have to say the first thing is to understand yourself. Know your priorities, figure out when you do your best work, etc. My brain doesn’t wake up until about 10:00 a.m., so exercising first works better for me. As does separating my writing days from my other-stuff days since I’m a lousy multi-tasker.

Pam, I know how hard you’ve worked for all your success. It took you over 11 years to sell (and then you did it with a vengeance – LOL!). Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Absolutely. My best two pieces of advice are 1) write, and 2) don’t give up. When I first started writing, I had no idea what a huge role luck plays in the publishing process. It’s not enough to write a great book. Then again, what IS a ‘great book’? Writing is an art and like any work of art, the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. All you have to do to understand this is ask three friends to loan you their favorite books. I guarantee you won’t love them all. You may not like any of them. So finding that editor who loves your writing at the exact moment she’s looking for the kind of book you’ve written is tough. I liken it to getting all cherries with the pull of a slot machine lever. (I don’t think slot machines have levers any more, but you get the point). Getting all cherries is hard, but it’s not impossible. And the more times you pull that lever, the more likely you’ll succeed. Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep submitting. Perseverance is probably the single most important attribute of the successful, published author. Because without it, all the talent in the world might never get the chance to matter.

Do you have a question for our commenters, Pam?

I’m betting a lot of you disagreed with that comment I made above, about loving the imbalance of physical power between the sexes. So here’s my question: Are you more drawn to books where the hero is dangerous (potentially even to the heroine, though of course he’d never actually hurt her), or to other kinds of romances instead? And the follow-up question: Do you prefer to read historicals, contemporaries, or paranormals?

Pamela has very kindly offered not one but TWO prizes of both her Silhouette Nocturnes. Believe me, once you read THE DARK GATE, you'll go straight onto DARK DECEIVER. You'll be hooked. Good luck!


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Pat Cochran said...

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Where's everyone? (No response!)

Guess I'll just say good-night!
Or is that good morning??

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, I think you might be going to bed with a rooster. Hmm, that sounds a bit strange but you know what I mean! Congratulations!

Eva S said...

Congrats Pat and good morning!

Christine Wells said...

Pam, great to have you in the lair! Thanks to you and Anna for bringing us a great interview.

As I think I said to you privately, Pam, the mind absolutely boggles at the workload you've taken on but it sounds like you're definitely up to the challenge! Congratulations on your magnificent successes.

As for paranormal vs historical vs contemporary, I tend to stick mainly with historicals, but I'll read some paranormal and quite a bit of contemp, depending on my mood. Sometimes I find the dominating alpha male a little over the top, it depends how he's handled. But you're right, that seems to be the attraction of the paranormal and the historical--bringing a powerful man to his knees;)

A question for you--do you write one book at a time or several?

Congrats, Pat! Come back and chat when you've had your sleep, won't you?

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Pat.

Hi Pam,
I do love a dark hero. There's just something sexy about a dangerous man and you don't know how far he will take things. I'm a huge romantic suspense and paranormal fan. I've only been reading paranormals for about two years, but it's become a favorite. I will always read historicals because they were my introduction to romance.

Eva S said...

Hi Pam,
I love my heroes to be dangerous, dark alpha males, and shapeshifters, vampires or Highlanders. No ordinary guys for me and I seldom read contemporaries. As for paranormal or historical, I really can't choose...I read in periods, for some weeks only historicals but when I find a new paranormal I'll read them for a while...

Your Ferral Warriors sounds something worth waiting for, I love shapeshifters and it will be great to meet big "cats", they are so rare. The only one I can remember is Kathryne Kennedy's lion, a great book.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Pam!!
BIG THANX to Foanna for inviting you!

I LURVED The Dark Gate, read it on a plane trip and could NOT put it down. Can't wait for Dark Deceiver!

I think I'd be petrified if I had 8 looming deadlines. GOOD question, Mme D-W. Do you write more than one book at a time? And what about the research? Do you do it beforehand or as you go along?

Oh, and to paraphrase Fo, I'm a sub-genre tart. I read anything and everything, as long as it's an intriguing story that catches my interest.


jo robertson said...

Hi, Pam, welcome to the Lair. It's great to see a fellow 06 Golden Heart compadre! Super interview, Anna.

I love the sound of your Feral Warriors series, Pam, especially. Which one(s) have you written so far? I can't imagine the schedule you must have to keep up for the next year or so, but how exciting after your long wait.

Can you tell us something about your historical time travel series?

jo robertson said...

Oops, forgot to congratulate Pat on capturing the rooster.

And to answer your question, Pam, I really enjoy heroes who are potential danger for the heroine. Especially if the danger arises from his duty to whatever cause he follows.

Nothing like the conflict of duty and love.

jo robertson said...

And also, I wanted to ask how it feels writing for three different houses? I think I'd find that more distracting than the eight books!

Annie West said...

Hi Pam,

Terrific interview. I'm in absolute awe of you surviving your writing schedule this year. Best of luck! And, of course, congratulations on all your acceptances. It's great to see perseverence paying off in a big way for you.

I tend to like a hero with an edge, that hint of danger about him that will unsettle and in some ways threaten the heroine (without actual harm).

Best of luck with your stories. I'm looking forward to dipping into one very soon.


Anna Campbell said...

Christine, it IS mind-boggling what Pam's taken on, isn't it? Just goes to show that when you're hot, you're hot. Mind you, the Ugly Duckling comment got me thinking of Danny Kaye going, "A Swan? Go awn!!!" One of my favorite childhood records was DK telling Hans Andersen fairy stories.

Jane, I read a variety of genres too. Basically if it's a good story, I'm there.

Pam, who do you like to read? Is there anyone who has influenced your writing?

Anna Campbell said...

Another question, Pam - do you work with a critique partner? Actually given your productivity, perhaps you work with a shift of three or four of them! Did you always want to write paranormals?

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Eva. Seriously get a hold of Pam's Esri books for Nocturne. The first one was fantastic - I seriously couldn't put it down - and I'm so looking forward to the next one. I think Dark Gate's got one of the most genuinely scary villains I've ever read in a romance novel and the sexual tension between the hero and heroine sizzles. Just your cup of tea!

Have you read Nalini Singh's psi/changeling books? She has big cat shapeshifters and they're great stories.

Anna Campbell said...

Cindy, I'm interested to hear Pam's answers to your questions!

Pam, have you ever had the yen to write straight historicals? And like Jo, I'd love to hear more about the time travels.

Annie, lovely to see you here! Thanks for popping by!

Margay said...

I kind of like the dark and dangerous type, too - in my reading - as long as he means no real harm to the heroine. There's the allure for the reader of wanting to be the one - via the heroine - who breaks through the heroe's tough exterior and unleashes the truly caring and gentle persona within. It's a great fantasy. As for my reading preferences, I used to be a straight-up historical girl, but then I started coming across some contemporaries that were pretty good and, after participating in a contest recently, I was introduced to stories with paranormal elements. So, I'm broadening my reading horizons, but my first love is still historicals.

Helen said...

Congrats on the GR Pat have fun with him

Ladies great interview and congratulations on your books Pam they sound fantastic.
I have just finished reading Caressed By Ice by Nalini Singh were the hero could have been dangerous to the heroine and I loved that book so yes if it is written well. I love a book were the hero is really strong but caring as well.
I do have a preference for historicals they are my all time favourites I have only just started reading paranormals and have only read 3 but I loved them. So I am hoping to add some more to my TBR pile and I am will be looking for yours.
Thanks Guys
Have Fun

Minna said...

I like both alpha males and geeks in the books I read. And I like most paranormal and fantasy books.

Eurovision 2007 Semifinal - Vampires are Alive - Dj Bobo

Maureen said...

Hi Pam,
Congratulations on your great success. I like all kinds of stories and heroes. I do like the tough hero that people are intimidated by. He is great to have around when you need action.

Caren Crane said...

Pat, congrats on nabbing the Golden Rooster!

Pam, welcome to the Lair! I love your call story. I have been awed by your landslide of sales in the past two years, especially in three distinct markets. Wow!

I agree with you COMPLETELY about perseverance. That is the most useful tool in the writer's toolbox. I've seen very talented writers give up writing altogether because it took too long. It makes me crazy!

As to heroes, I like mine a little dangerous - or at least unpredictable. Not that I always write them that way, but I like it when other people do. *g* I tend to write more down-home, stand-up guys who like plain talk and plain dealing.

Also, I read across all subgenres. BUT, I adore historicals and admit they are my first love. Thank you, Barbara Cartland. *g*

Pam, of the three subgenres you write, which is your favorite?

Diana Cosby said...

Congratulations on your much deserved success! This is ultra exciting. I love it when fabulous things happen to fabulous people.
I totally enjoyed The Dark Gate and can't wait to read Dark Deceiver! You're scedule is i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e. I know that not only will you pull it off, but offer amazing stories. I wish you every success! *Hugs*

Diana Cosby

Pamela Palmer said...

Good morning everyone and congrats to Pat on winning the rooster!

PJ said...

Hi Pam! Welcome to the lair. Wow, you are one busy lady. Eight sales in one year is phenomenal!

I like well written heroes of various types but I do admit a weakness for that touch of danger from an on-the-edge alpha. Actually, I just finished a book with a totally over-the-edge alpha hero and as someone said yesterday, he really cranked my engine!

I read all types of books. Those Scottish historical time travels combine two of my favorite things; time travel and men in kilts. When will we start to see these books?

PJ said...

Pat, congrats on winning the GR! Have fun with him. He's quite the character. :)

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Jane! Well said. Those dark heroes are so unpredictable, aren't they? What I love about them is they can get by with things few modern men can. The alpha male at his primal best. I started out reading historical romances, too, and still love them!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Eva! Oh, I am SO with you when it comes to heroes. I love them dark, though I do love a strong cop or SEAL hero, too. I'm so glad you love shape-shifters. I'm having a blast with these Feral Warriors, though I'm never quite sure what they're going to do. Dark, dangerous, and unpredictable. Definitely a handful!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Aunt Cindy!! Love seeing you here and I love that you lurved The Dark Gate. :)
The great thing about doing contemporary paranormals is there's not a lot of research needed. I live in the D.C. area where both my Esri series for Nocturne and my Feral Warriors series are set. Mostly they just require a good imagination. Now, the time travels are another matter. Scottish historicals. I've about convinced my husband that another research trip to Scotland is in order. The problem is, I can't figure out when I'd go! Trips like that take time to plan, time to take, and time to recover from the jet lag. And time is at a premium in my life right now.

CrystalGB said...

Hi Pam. Great interview. I read historical, paranormal and contemporary equally. I love them all. I do like a hero that a sense of danger about him.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Jo! I love being here with all of you! I've only written one of the Feral Warriors books so far, Lyon's book, and am currently working on revisions for it. It's due out summer of 2009, but my editor emailed a couple days ago to tell me it's already going to cover conference. Avon's fast on these things! We're bouncing around titles. If anyone has any suggestions for titles for shape-shifter romances, I'd love to hear them! ANYTHING to get my brain jump-started.
I try not to think about my schedule. As Anna reminded me a couple weeks ago, just take it book by book. The good news is, I tend to be way too calm. I love a good stress-induced adrenaline rush, weirdly enough, but it's hard for me to get. Even with a revision due in a few weeks, another book due in September, and three due next year, I'm perfectly calm. Working 10-12 hours a day, but calm. In a week or two, the panic over the revision should set in, finally, and I'll get that adrenaline rush I love.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Jo, as for your second question, thanks for asking about my time travels! They're Scottish historicals with a magical slant in addition to the time travel. I started writing the first one, Sapphire Dream, nine or ten years ago, but my story-telling skills were still ripening and I set it aside until I figured out to tell the story. When I finally finished it, it won the Golden Heart in 2005. What I love about this story is that it's not a typical time travel. The heroine gets pulled back in time from the present, but the hero, a dark, dashing Scots pirate captain, knows precisely who she is and wants nothing to do with her...or the prophecy that drew her back. Of all the stories I've written, it's still my favorite. It's not a light book, but it's not nearly as dark as my contemporary paranormals. My agent calls it a Romancing the Stone type book and I think that's a wonderful description. Oh, and the most important thing -- it's being published under the name Pamela Montgomerie. The other downside to having three publishers -- it's too hard for them to try to schedule my releases around one another so they all asked me to take a second name. My contemporary dark paranormals for Avon and Nocturne I'm writing as Pamela Palmer, but for the time travels I'm Pamela Montgomerie.

Pamela Palmer said...

Jo, about writing for three different houses. LOL. I'm still too early in the process to know completely, but it's promising to be confusing! All three have entirely different guidelines for copyedits and turning in manuscript revisions. And I live in fear of mixing up my contract dates. Did I mention I'm seriously lacking the gene for organization? I'd better find that gene, and fast!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Annie! It's wonderful to chat with you. Thanks for the congrats. As for surviving this schedule, that's yet to be seen. LOL. I do love a challenge, thank goodness.

Christie Kelley said...

Hi Pam! Great to see you here. I don't mind if the hero is alpha and physically strong as long as he doesn't intentionally hurt the heroine. As far as what I read...everything you mentioned. I just finished a fabulous contemporary and now I'm looking forward to a good paranormal.

terrio said...

Congrats Pat on the GR. Looks like you snuck in when no one was around.

I am exhausted just reading about what you do, Pamela. Wow! I hope you're taking your vitamins.

I'll be honest and say I don't read paranormal. I can do witch stuff and the psychic kind of stuff but no shapeshifing for me, sorry. Just not my cuppa. Though with their popularity, I don't think they need me anyway. *g*

The over the top heroes, I call them Uber-Alpha, get on my nerves. I don't mind stubborn and strong, but the light beta center has to be there somewhere. I mostly read historicals and contemps and only write contemp.

Caren - we need to hang out sometime. I write heroes just like how you described yours!

terrio said...

Totally forgot to say I love your analogy of getting published to hitting the jackpot in the slots. That's so true. And that call story is great. To sell to someone you didn't even know had your work, talk about meant to be.

Do you plan out your series start to finish before you start or do you just let it come as you write? Plotter, pantser or a little of both?

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Anna! Thanks for inviting me here, dear heart. Who do I like to read? Besides Anna Campbell?? (No joke intended. I LOVE Anna Campbell books.) I'm reading a LOT of dark paranormal these days. No surprise, probably. I adore J.R. Ward, Nalini Singh, Kresley Cole, Jennifer St. Giles, and my fellow Nocturne author, Lori Devoti. Oh, and though her books aren't entirely romances, I love Keri Arthur and can't wait to get her latest. The two authors who've probaby influenced me the most are another two of my favorites, Suzanne Brockmann and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. These ladies create the most incredible characters. They literally leap off the page. And, really, all my favorite authors create amazing, believable characters, which is a huge reason why I love them.

Authorness said...

Congratulations on becoming an Avon lady, Pamela! What an amazing success story.

I read a lot of contemporary YA novels, but I've just started reading a JR Ward. Looking forward to reading your paranormals.

Great interview, Anna.

:) Vanessa

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Anna, I do indeed work with a critique partner, the incredibly talented Laurin Wittig. We've been working together since shortly after we took a research trip to Scotland together in 1998. Laurin wrote a series of Scottish historicals for Berkley and is currently working on a fabulous historical dark paranormal series. We tend to do big picture critiques these days. I may send her the first quarter or half of the book I'm working on if I feel I need an opinion, or wait until the book's done. We each bring different strengths to the writing process. She makes sure I haven't let the story overshadow the romance and I do the opposite with her. We joke that we each possess one half of the same brain. Part of the reason we're so in sync is that we've been studying the craft together for years. Taking all the same classes (by Alicia Rasley, Michael Hauge, Margie Lawson, etc., etc.) and reading the same books. We share an understanding and a lingo that allows us to short-hand our comments. If she tells me "watch Mt. McKinley" or "you're doing it again", I know exactly what she's talking about. A good critique partner is like a good marriage partner. You often have to date around to find the right one, but once you do, life is so much brighter. Or, in the case of c.p.s, maybe 'clearer' is the right word?

Pamela Palmer said...

Have I ever had the yen to write straight historicals? Actually, yes. Or, at least, I did write one and worked on several others back in the late 90's and early 2000's, while the paranormal romance market was in its deep sleep. I have a huge thing for Scotland (Scottish ancestors and all that), so I wrote Scottish historicals, of course. The Islesman's Bride did well on the contest circuit and finaled in the Golden Heart in 2004. But my first love has always been the paranormals and as soon as the paranormal market revived, I was right back there. With my time travels, I get to combine the two!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Margay! I'm glad you're testing the paranormal waters. They're definitely not for everyone, as much as I love them. I agree with you completely on the hero meaning no real harm to the heroine. I remember some of the early historical romances I read, Rosemary Rogers', for instance, where I wasn't always sure that was the case. Not that he meant the heroine harm, exactly, but that line sometimes got kind of blurred. Or maybe I was just young and naive and it seemed that way to me at the time.

Gannon Carr said...

Hi Pam!

Congrats on your success. Sounds like you'll stay very busy!

I have a weakness for a dark, dangerous hero, I must admit. Just something about an alpha....

As far as subgenres, I pretty much read them all. Historicals and paranormals are my current faves. Like PJ, I love a time travel with a hot Highlander!

Pamela Palmer said...

My answer to Margay brings up a question for you all. Have you ever gone back and tried to read any of your old romance favorites? Was it still as good as you remember? I tried doing this awhile back and it was a disaster. My old Nora Roberts and Elizabeth Lowell favs are still great, but some of the earlier authors I'd Kind of the same reaction as when I got my hands on the Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles last year. Some things are so much better left in the past.

Pamela Palmer said...

Helen, I LOVE Nalini Singh. One of the best things about selling to Berkley was getting on the Berkley authors loop and being welcomed by Nalini. LOL. Serious fan girl moment.
Thanks for looking for my books, Helen! I hope you enjoy them.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Minna,
I haven't read many books with heroes I'd classify as geeks, though I did read one by Susan Sizemore (I think!) several years ago that I loved. I wish I could remember the title, but it was a time travel where the geek hero suffered from amnesia and, thrust into the rough world of the past, totally stepped up to the need to be an alpha hero. Does anyone know the name of the book I'm talking about?
Love that you read paranormal and fantasy, Minna. I'd love to know who some of your favorite authors are!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Maureen! Thanks for the congratulations and, oh yes, those alpha types are wonderful to have around when you need them, aren't they? Don't you wonder where they are in real life sometimes? Probably behind the cop badges and firemen uniforms. probably why those heroes are so popular in contemporaries. Right. Definitely need some more coffee.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Caren! Thanks for the welcome. :) Perseverence is the key, isn't it? I know a lady, a retired kindergarten teacher, who lovingly wrote and illustrated a children's book, sent it out to a publisher, received a rejection, and promptly tossed the book into the trash. It breaks my heart to think about it, but I suspect she didn't realize rejection is the name of the game in this business. Once you come to terms with it (hard though that is sometimes), the whole business becomes so much easier. Because rejection comes at every stage, whether in the form of bad reviews, revision letters that want a whole lot more than 'revision', or flat out rejection of the next project.

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Hi Pamela... you're books sound intriguing. I lurve the paranormal... especially the beastly men.

I just discovered the nocturne line... okay I admit it, I never wanted to start buying into it, for fear of it becoming an addiction (I said this about Ellora's Cave about two years ago, it took one book for my downfall and creaking bookshelves)... if you ever saw my tbr pile you'd understand my original reluctance---I'm doomed and it started with Lori Devoti and Rhyannon Byrd.

Are you a complete plotter?

Any advice to someone desperate to sell in paranormal, but in a subgenre not many are interested in? (I'm a para/historical writer--shapeshifters)I might have to wait for the market to shift back to dark paras lol :)
Do you think your lucky break was finaling in the GH? Did you have any clue you would become a rock star overnight?

I can't wait to get me some of those books! I'm off to order some from Chapters :) Shhh... don't tell my hubby...

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Pam!!! *waving madly* I'm with all my pals here, I LURVED The Dark Gate. Really powerful, so I'm thrilled that the next one's on it's way.

Have to say that there's no one more deserving than you of such fabulous success. You and Trish, you paid your dues, that's for sure! :> And I know you'll do fabulously with your deadlines too, as you say, it's a GREAT job! So much better than the "old bossman" routine, isn't it? But my "new boss" (me) is sometimes a much harder taskmaster. ha!

I love everything from straight action fiction to RS, Rparanormals, fantasy, sci-fi, to nonfiction. I love research. I'm delcioiusly envious of the trip to Scotland, but had to LOL about the time issue on planning/doing/going and jet lag!

Wonderful to have you with us Pam, and great interview, as always, Anna dear. Congrats on the GR, Pat!!

doglady said...

Great interview Pam and Anna C! Just reading it made me tired! You are a dynamo, Pam.

Sleeping with a rooster, Pat? Maybe we should have a don't ask, don't tell policy in the Lair.

I am in awe of your work load, Pam. (This from another Pam who now feels like a slacker!) Eight books in one year? EEEEK!

I have to agree I think it would be hard to write for three houses at one time. Which house is easiest to write for, and which is hardest? Is it difficult to wrap your head around the requirements of three different houses?

I love a dark hero. In fact, my favorites are stories where you aren't sure if he is the villain or the hero until well into the book.

I primarily read historicals. There are a handful of contemporary writers I read. However, I do read a lot of paranormals. Historical paranormals are like candy for this reader.

What trends do you think might show up in the paranormal genre in the near future?

MsHellion said...

Hello!! Awesome interview! Wonderful to meet you, Pam. :)

First question: Yes, I prefer dangerous heroes to most anything, but the degree of danger varies. I like dangerous-to-the-virtue kinds of rakes, that sort of thing. I love danger...though maybe more danger for my peace of mind, my heart, my soul rather than my physical well-being. I don't care a lot for heroes who get shot at all the time and we're always running for our lives. *LOL* (I'm not a good runner.)

My dangerous hero MUST have a sense of humor...and he must be willing to save the kittens from the burning building.

Second question: All three. I do seem to be reading more contemporary lately (lots of wonderful single titles out there!), but historicals are what I cut my teeth on and I adore...and who doesn't love a great paranormal? Knight of a Trillion Stars and Rejar? The Dark Hunter series? Oh, yeah...paranormal rocks.

Pamela Palmer said...

Oh, Caren, as for your question on which of my three series is my favorite...I'd have to say whichever one I'm working on at the moment, believe it or not. I almost said 'whichever one I'm NOT working on', but that's really not the case. I've written three of the four books in the Esri series for Nocturne, now, and the series itself has a definite ending. That last book, which is contracted, but not written, is the climax to the story and I can't wait to dig in. But that's the last of my deadlines, so I won't be getting into it for a bit. My Feral Warriors are front and center right now and I adore those bad boys. I'm really excited about this series. But I love Scotland and my time travels, too, and have a really fun story cooking in my head for the second one. So there you have it. A perfectly non answer. :)

Tiffany Kenzie said...

and let me clarify the market swinging to dark paras... I meant, dark para historicals... goes to show I should reread before posting on a blog :)

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Diana, dear friend! Thanks SO much for stopping by and thanks for the congrats on my success. Right back atcha! (Diana Cosby rights fabulous Scottish historicals for Zebra! His Captive is out now.) Thanks for all the kind words and hugs to you, too.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi PJ! Thanks for welcome. And, yes, you've got to love a good engine-cranking hero. What book was this??
My first Scottish time travel, Saphhire Dream, is scheduled for an August 2009 release from Berkley Sensation. The second one will probably be a year later, or so, which is a good thing since I haven't written it yet! (It's not due until next April. Thankfully.)

jo robertson said...

Ooh, Pam, the Scottish time travel sounds delicious, just my cup of tea! When does that one come out?

Ask Tawny about organizing skills. She'd probably have you color code everything -- different colored file folders for each house!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi crystalgb! Thanks for posting! I read all three genres, too, though I read a lot more paranormals. I've gone in phases, though. When I was in school, I discovered historical romance then, when I was working full time in a day job, I read mostly contemporary category (Harlequin/Silhouettes). I wanted a story I could read in a night or two. Now, I tend to read my favorite historical and contemporary authors, and everythng paranormal I can get my hands on.

jo robertson said...

After such high praise for your Esri series, I'll definitely add them to my TBA book.

After this series, are you planning any more books for Nocturne?

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Christie! Thanks, it's great to be here! So what was that fabulous contemporary you just finished??

jo robertson said...

Mshellion, I just loved the way you phrased your answer -- "My dangerous hero MUST have a sense of humor...and he must be willing to save the kittens from the burning building."

It's all about saving the kittens, isn't it? The hero can be gruff and tough and angry as long as there's a layer of humor and a level of tenderness.

Esri Rose said...

Okay, this is kind of freaking me out. The Esri series? The Esri invasion? Where exactly did you come up with this term, hmmmm?

That said, your author photo is one of the cutest I've ever seen. Be my friend.

As for your question, I confess to liking helpful, supportive males in fiction as in life. Even my villains pretend to be civilized. "Can't we all just get along?" they say, right before they do something terrible. Although I write contemporary paranormal romance, I read mostly historical authors, but I think that's because there seem to be more long-termers in that sub-genre, so I know which ones I like. Come to think of it, most of my contemporary-romance reading is now in the paranormal field. That didn't used to be the case.

Pat, you might want to take a lint brush to the GR, to get the cat fur and glitter off. Congrats!

Esri Rose said...

Pamela: Oh, and HUGE congrats on the eight books in a year. Authors should get some kind of medal when they achieve that.

Esri Rose said...

MsHellion: Dangerous to virtue and sanity/peace of mind. YES. I like that. I write that. I like it when compatible people are thrown together in weird, dangerous circumstances. Something external makes it seem impossible for them to be together, but they overcome the obstacles through their combined talents and love.

Nathalie said...

I have never actually read a Nocturne in my life! Maybe because I am not a fan of paranormals in general.

I usually prefer Historical Romances, maybe because you just can escape in some fantasy world for a few hours!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi terrio! I agree, those shape-shifting and vampire heroes can be an acquired taste. Especially if you enjoy your heroes not quite so over-the-top. Though I do love uber-alphas, the heroes of my Esri series for Nocturne are primarily humans and more along the classic-alpha line. (The hero of the latest book, Dark Deceiver, is decidedly not human and might fall more into the uber category. At least at first.)
And, LOL, I am taking my vitamins and I almost never skip my exercise class. If the body's not healthy, the brain slows, and if my brain slows, I'm sunk.
Good question about whether or not I plot the entire series ahead of time! The answer is a resounding...'not entirely'. With my series, like each of my books, I like to set up the world and characters, set the action in motion, then see what happens. If my villains and heroes are living and breathing, with strong goals and motivations, the conflict will come. Which makes me sound like a pantser, when I'm really not. I'm more of a hybrid. Before I start a book I need to know not only the characters, but the ending, the major turning points, the characters' journeys, and what, in general, the book's about. Then I write a fast, crummy first draft (an exploratory draft) which usually tells me tons, including how NOT to tell the story. Only then do I really get a handle on the story and write it for real.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Vanessa! Thanks for the congrats. I still get those chill moments when I think about writing for Avon. The first true romance I ever read was Laurie McBain's Moonstruck Madness, published by Avon. Blows me away.
You'll love J.R. Ward!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi gannon carr! Thanks for posting and for the congrats. I'm so glad you like time travels. :) There haven't been a lot of them out there lately, but they definitely seem to be making a comeback. I think they're the last of the paranormal subgenres to make a reappearance. I suppose if you wait long enough, everything comes back around. Not only do I love writing them, but I love reading them!

Lily said...

Congrats on being a new Avon Lady :)

I also remember Moonstruck Madness as my first romance novel, that I loved!

I have been telling myself that I should try those Nocturnes... they do have great covers! I just am not sure if I like shape-shifters as I usually enjoy a traditional contemporary the best!

terrio said...

An exploratory first draft. Oh, that's a good idea. Now, how do you shut that annoying internal editor up long enough to do that? LOL!

Esri Rose said...

Terrio: I know. I'm so bad about that, which for a plotter, is stupid. Just write a crappy draft to get the plot straight. You hear it so often from really successful authors (like Pam!), so must flip that mental switch.

Pam, I think your routine sounds very sensible. That writing until 10PM is kind of sucky, but maybe that won't be necessary someday.

sarah said...

Not to be a negative Nelly, but are you worried that the paranormal market might becoming over saturated or that it is just gaining more steam?

Nancy said...

Pat--congratulations on the rooster!

Welcome to the lair, Pam! You and Anna produced a great interview. In a very short time, you've gone from unpublished to being practically a whole publishing line all by yourself, with all these projects on tap. I can believe that's a little strange! Congratulations on that fabulous achievement. You seem to have a great sense of humor about it.

Historicals, paranormals, or contemporaries? Yes. *g* I read them all. I do tend to read more historicals and paranormals, though, possibly because of the "not here and now" nature of both. I read more paranormals now than I used to because the fantasy elements are stronger. Before, I think the credo among most houses was "the paranormal elements must be such that you can strip them out without affecting the romance." I heard an editor say that at a conference. As a longtime fantasy reader, I found the idea of extraneous paranormal elements pointless. If they're just window dressing, make it a contemporary and call it done. I love the way you've integrated them into your story line.

I'm with Christine--alpha males are enjoyable, to a point.

The Scottish time travel sounds great!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Pam, another fabulous Berkley Babe -

Wonderful interview, Anna & Pam. I am in awe of your writing discipline and your fingers in many pots.

I think we must be sisters of the heart. I love historicals and paranormals. I thought I liked historicals for the clothes *g* (or lack of them), but perhaps it is due to the power struggle. The man who seems to hold all the cards and the woman who uses her intelligence to even the scales.

Paranormals, I love as well for the creative freedom. There are few restrictions as the author gets to make the rules. No matter how different and strange the characters are, falling in love still feels the same *g* (thank heaven).

Congrats on scoring the rooster, Pat.

Lise said...

Your discussion is really wonderful, Pam, as well as really inspiring. As for your questions:

I'm an old feminist from way back (well, the 70's) but I have to admit that I simply adore big, physically powerful, dangerous men. The kind that could be very bad - if they chose - but of course they never do! (Choosing instead to use their powers for good, esp. when it comes to their heroine!). Big, bold, bad boys, is what I like to call my favorite heros. The equalizer are the smart, tough heroines that are being written now, as opposed to the fairly fragile flowers of femininity that were popular in early romances.

As for my preferances? I adore historicals and I can't get enough paranormals BUT I prefer my paranormals to be contemporary or in a fantasy setting rather than historical paranormals. Maybe I just haven't found the right one to change my mind!

Congrats on all your amazing success and for sharing your enthusiasm and suggestions.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Tiffany! I'm so glad you've found the Nocturne line! There's no such thing as a bad book addiction (creaking shelves notwithstanding). I adore Lori Devoti's hellhounds and I've got all Rhyannon's books, but haven't had time to start them. I've heard wonderful things about them, though!
I do have some advice on breaking in (other than 'don't give up', which is really the main thing). One of the things I had to learn to do was write BIG. It's important to all writers, but critical to paranormal. Let me try to explain. In theater, every action has to be larger than normal so it can be seen at a distance, right? A small shake of the head gets lost. Try thinking of the elements of your story the same way. Larger than life, over-the-top, in every way. For a perfect example, you don't have to go any further than J.R. Ward. (Start with Dark Lover). Her hero in Dark Lover is a vampire with a bad attitude, ramped up to 6th gear. From Ward's book: "Wrath was six feet, six inches of pure terror dressed in leather....With a face that was both aristocratic and brutal, he looked like the king he was by birthright and the soldier he'd become by destiny. And that wave of menace rolling ahead of him was one hell of a calling card." J.R. Ward is nothing short of brilliant. Her heroes don't just have internal conflicts, these guys are TORTURED. But the heroines have to dig deep beneath the attitude and menace to find the soft, loving cores buried inside. Looking for conflict? How about end of the race? Or better yet, end of the world. When it comes to turning points, don't let the story merely change. Flip it on its ear. BIG, BIG, BIG. IMO, that's how to get the editors' attention in this market.
Finaling in the GH definitely gave a boost to my career, mainly because it gave me credibility early in my career. I finaled five times, the first two times in 1998 and 1999 with my first book. So, though I did ultimately sell through the GH, it wasn't until my fifth try at it.
A rock star, huh? Big hugs for that. And, no, as big as my dreams were sometimes, I never imagined selling eight books my second year of publication. It still boggles my mind.

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Five GH finals! Good lord!

And think big! I sure hope I'm thinking big with my bad boys, I've tortured them and given them a woman to match their alphaness in spirit.

And would you believe I'm a para-tramp? I read them all! JR Ward/Keri Arthur/Laurell K. Hamilton/Kim Harrison/Patricia Briggs/Every dark para romance writer... Para is my favourite genre (fantasy/horror/fiction/YA/romance/erotica), and it started back in my teens with cult writer Poppy Z. Brite...
I'm all about the paranormal.

Here's to adding more to the creaking shelves... lol! Thanks for the most thorough answer. :)

Beth said...

Welcome to the lair, Pam! Congrats on all your hard earned success *g*
Your books sound so awesome - must head off to Amazon as soon as possible :-)

As far as heroes go, I love Mshellion's view: Dangerous to the heroine's peace of mind AND a sense of humor is a must *g* And I do love my heroes to be a bit tortured - emotionally, not necessarily physically :-)

Minna said...

Well, Vicki Lewis Thompson has written quite a few books about nerds as heroes, and not all of them have the word "nerd" in the title. And in the Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts there is a geek as a hero. And then there's this book, Just for Fun, about a REAL geek, Linus Torvals. It's actually interesting to read as long as you can bear with all that nerdy talk about computers. And it was really sweet what he said about meeting his wife.

Some of my favorite authors... Well, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, David Eddings, Kate Lyon, Christine Feehan and Karen Whiddon come first to my mind.

The book you mentioned sounds interesting! My TBB and TBR (to-be-traded -can't afford to buy everything!) lists keep getting longer.

Pat Cochran said...

Hello to all and thanks for all the
congratulations! It's been a busy
morning and I'm just now able to get to the computer! BTW, Honey says he's never been called a rooster before! Also, the GR seemed quite amused as he watched
me buzzing about this morning!!

Please let me join in welcoming Miss Pamela today! I've enjoyed
the interview (Thanks, Anna!) and will enter into the discussion
as soon as my brain catches up
with my buzzing-about self!!

Pat Cochran

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Jeanne!! The duchesse, eh? LOL, you're going to have to tell me about that one. After that 4 1/2 TOP PICK in RT, I'm calling you Queen, m'dear.
Thanks for the kind words. It did take me a long time to get here, but I learned enough lessons along the way that I THINK I know what I'm doing now. Sometimes. Maybe.

Cassondra said...

Hi Pam!

So wonderful to have a Packer sister in the lair!

To your question...Yes, I do like powerful heroes--physically powerful--and I think the difference in physical power between the male and female is an awful lot of what I use to build the tension in my books.

That said, I don't like jerk heroes--I have a hard time with those--spoiled rotten jerks don't turn my crank, no matter how their biceps ripple. I think it's the potential to be dangerous that is the turn on for me. Power that's restrained.

I think it's what a lot of us like in real life too--knowing he could, but he never would. In fiction I can leave that never would door cracked open just a bit longer--that's part of the suspense I guess.

But you know, I don't necessarily consider physical power to be the same as "alpha." I think we use that term to cover a lot of territory these days, and it really varies with context. For me "alpha" is more of a mindset and maybe a behavior pattern.

Just the descripton of your heroes tells me I'll LOVE them. That tension you create with the difference in physical power is impossible for me to ignore. Gets me every time. I think you've nailed something a lot of us probably feel, but I've never seen it stated so succinctly--that your bringing characters from other worlds recreates that gap. Maybe that's the appeal of the bad boy in contemporary fiction too--they're usually not weaklings.

But I'll say, your schedule--and the need to get your creativity to cooperate--makes me tired just thinking about it.

Okay I think I'll take a vitamin now....

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Pam! Don't feel like a slacker. In the eleven years before I sold my first book I only finished four. And though I sold eight in one year, I'm actually writing them over three. So it's not THAT bad. (I keep telling myself.) I'm not sure if there's going to be any difference in difficulty in writing for the three houses. I adore all three of my editors, which is huge. I do think the Scottish historicals might be the toughest to write, simply because of the research involved but, mmm, I do love Scotland and Scottish heroes.
As for paranormal trends? I wish I knew! Every creature I've ever thought of is currently being done, and a lot I haven't. Demons, Atlanteans, hell hounds, aliens. You name it. If you can think of something new, go for it! The market's ripe for anything just now.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey there, MsHellion! It's wonderful to meet you, too. I love that you love paranormals. And your hero having to be willing to save the kittens is absolutley true. That's one of the things I love about these over-the-top alpha males. When it comes right down to it, they may be your worst nightmare on the outside, but they're all kitten-savers deep inside.

Esri Rose said...

Pamela: I visited your site and see you have three different terms: Ezrie, Esri, and Esria. Esri is my real first name and my real last name starts with A, so Esria is my logon for a few sites, including YouTube. Does 'Esri' stand for something in your book universe? How did you come up with it?

How do they assign seats at RWA's Literacy Signing, I wonder? We could conceivably be sitting next to each other. Is there something I should wear? Armor? Knife fingernails?

I'm not sure how I feel about being immortalized as an evil super race. Might get me to the head of the buffet line, I suppose.

Pamela Palmer said...

"and let me clarify the market swinging to dark paras... I meant, dark para historicals... goes to show I should reread before posting on a blog :)"

LOL, Tiffany. I actually caught the historical part. My response was meant for either contemporary or historical paranormals. I think it's true for both, though, like anything, it's all a matter of opinion.

Pamela Palmer said...

"After this series, are you planning any more books for Nocturne?"
Good question, Jo! Honestly, I have no idea what's going to happen with my career. I've got my feet on three different paths, which is about as tricky as it sounds. As much as I love to look ahead, I've decided I'm just going to write the books I have under contract, then see where it all goes.

peggy said...

i want my heros to be dangerous.
and i read historical

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Esri! Some of my Esri are good. Really. Though you'd never know it by the first book. I have no idea where I came up with the name, but it was long before we finaled in the GH together. If I'd known you when I was searching for a name, it never would have been yours! Thanks for the congrats. :) A medal would be fun, but the contracts themselves can't be beat.

Esri Rose said...

Aw, c'mon! You realize we're sitting on a potential publicity goldmine!

Pamela Palmer first bumped into Esri Rose at the 2003 Golden Heart awards, when Rose accidentally trod on Palmer's toe, breaking it in three places as she ran to intercept an editor. At the 2006 Awards, Esri snatched the karaoke mike out of Pamela's hand and smacked her on the head with it, saying, "That's not how you sing Memories!"

How do you kill an Esri, anyway? I'm okay with suction-cup arrows and rubber grenades, but I draw the line at flamethrowers.

Esri Rose said...

Did you find much difference between the three different publishing contracts? Did you have a lit lawyer look over them? I don't know if this was answered already, but were you agented for some or all of the sales?

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Nathalie! Paranormals aren't for everyone. I've always loved historicals, too, but my imagination takes flight with the paranormals in an entirely different way. They excite me. And not just those uber-alpha heroes!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Lily! Thanks for the congrats on being an Avon lady. The Nocturnes cover all types of paranormal situations and they're all basically contemporaries. Not that I'm pushing you to try one...well, not pushing TOO hard. In my first book for Nocturne, The Dark Gate, the hero and heroine are both human, struggling to figure out who the villain is and how to stop him. But the villain can do things no human should be able to do. What I like about the story is that it's set in our world and the hero/heroine believe in the supernatural about as much as we do. Until they just don't have a choice any longer.
Okay, I'm pushing, but gently. :)

Pamela Palmer said...

"An exploratory first draft. Oh, that's a good idea. Now, how do you shut that annoying internal editor up long enough to do that? LOL!"
Hey terrio, it's not easy at first. Just keep reminding yourself that this isn't the real story. It's a trial run. No one's ever going to see it. If your internal editor tries to get involved, send her away. She'll get to play with the next draft, but not this one. Now, you may well wind up keeping most or all of that trial run, but don't tell her that!

Pamela Palmer said...

"Pam, I think your routine sounds very sensible. That writing until 10PM is kind of sucky, but maybe that won't be necessary someday."
Hey Esri, my energy and alertness levels actually rise throughout the day, so evenings tend to be my best writing time. There's very little on t.v. I watch (LOST and Grey's Anatomy), so I don't feel I'm missing anything. And at this point, after waiting so long, I'm willing to do ANYTHING for this career.

terrio said...

Trickery huh? I could probably do that. Starting with leaving the chocolates in another room. That should distract her for a while.

It is getting easier. Sticking with it is really the answer, isn't it? It's like that old diet and exercise thing. Simple yet hard to grasp.

Virginia said...

Hi Pam, nice to see you here. I like to read both types of romance. I like to read a few with the dark hero and then I also like to read the sweet type of romance. I guess I just love to read. Historical is my favorite read.

Pamela Palmer said...

"Not to be a negative Nelly, but are you worried that the paranormal market might becoming over saturated or that it is just gaining more steam?"
Hi Sarah! Good question. Since I started writing just as the paranormal market was crashing in the mid 90's, I often wonder what the future will bring. But this market is very different from the last. Not only are the readers embracing it, but so are the publishers. And the books are mirroring the movie and t.v. industries as well, both of which are full of paranormal entries. Any market can get saturated, but I suspect the worst that will happen with the paranormals is that sales will eventually level off, as historicals have done. And that leveling off may be at an extremely strong level. I don't think they'll ever go away again. The market for them is just too strong and the fans too wonderfully loyal.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Nancy!! Thanks for the welcome. I think you're so right about the fantasy elements of paranormals being far more integral to the stories these days than they used to be. I hadn't thought about it quite that way. Fifteen years ago, though the romance publishers were publishing some paranormals, but they were kind of afraid of them. "Yes, dear, paranormal, but not TOO paranormal." Now they're saying, "Bring it on!" Any idea why the sea change? I really have no clue, but I'm delighted it's changed. And I'm with you -- if you can strip out the paranormal and not affect the romance and/or story, what's the point?

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Donna, you Berkley Babe! I think we're definitely sisters of the heart. LOL, didn't we try to pick the same chair at that PAN workshop in Dallas? Too funny. You bring up a good point. Strong, dark alpha males are great, but they've got to be paired with a woman who, in some way, is equally strong. Or can at least reach right into the heart of him.

Gillian Layne said...

I'm a huge fan of one of your fellow Nocturne authors, Bonnie Vanak, so I'm looking forward to your books! :)

Huge congratulations on the hard won success. What a great career journey so far! I understand the question about "are paranormals over-saturated?" but I don't think that's worth worrying about when writing. I think sticking with what you're passionate about will give you your best chance at publication, regardless of the market.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Lise! Thanks so much for your kind comments.
"The equalizer are the smart, tough heroines that are being written now, as opposed to the fairly fragile flowers of femininity that were popular in early romances."
Yes, exactly! It's so much harder to find a true imbalance of power between the hero and heroine with today's smart, tough ladies. But make the hero a vamp or shifter and you've got it made.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Tiffany, a para-tramp, eh? I love it! I mentioned Ward and Arthur, but Laurell K. Hamilton is another of my faves, though I have to admit to loving her earlier, more plot-heavy books better.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey there, Beth! Thanks for the welcome and the congrats!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Minna, I read Nora Roberts' Three Sisters trilogy and loved that hero! He was the perfect professor-type. Hard to get his attention, but once you have out!

Pamela Palmer said...

"Please let me join in welcoming Miss Pamela today!"
Thanks, Pat! I hope you've been enjoying that rooster. :)

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Cassondra! Thanks for the welcome. I love you guys.
Your thoughts are so well stated! I especially like: "I think it's the potential to be dangerous that is the turn on for me. Power that's restrained." That really hits the nail on the head. A true hero wouldn't abuse his power. Unless he thought he had to, for some reason, but never to harm the heroine. But that potential for danger is hugely exciting when she doesn't know him well enough to know if it's going to stay restrained. Michael Hauge (a wonderful screenwriting teacher) talks about a character's essence versus his identity. His identity being not only the facade he shows the world, but the one he believes to be true. His essence is who he really is, deep inside. In my favorite romances, even though the hero's acting like he's dangerous and everything outwardly tells the heroine he's dangerous, she's able to see his essence, see the goodness that maybe even he doesn't know he possesses. It'll take her awhile to trust her instincts, of course. And he'll have to prove it to her. But on some level, her gut tells her to trust him from the start.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Esri!
I think I'm going to owe you for using your name, even if it wasn't intentional! Thanks for checking out my site. As for the names, the Esri are the most powerful race in the land of Esria. The Stone of Ezrie sat in the Smithsonian until the Esri, Baleris, discovered the one gate never sealed between the years centuries ago. In that case, "Ezrie" was simply the ancient human spelling of an artifact over 1500 years old. A bit confusing, but there you have it.
The RWA Literacy signing is by the first letter of the last name. Armor? Not against me, babe. I love my Esri, characters and friends, alike. :)

Cassondra said...

Pam I love the Hauge workshops. I'm watching one on DVD now and getting a bunch of good stuff from it. The thing is, you can watch that kind of thing over and over and each time you're at a different place, and you get a whole new take on it.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Peggy! When I saw you like dangerous heroes and historicals, I immediately thought medievals, or maybe westerns. But as someone pointed out (and I've read too many posts now to remember who made this observation), 'dangerous' is very much in the eyes of the beholder. To a virgin during her first season, a Regency rake is about as dangerous as they come, for he could utterly destroy her.

Cassondra said...

Pam I have another question. I ask it of a lot of our guests, but I'm always interested in the different answers. In particular, with your new and very heavy writing schedule, how do you both maintain and guard your "muse"--your creativity--your inner voice or whatever you call where your stories come from?

I was just talking with Jeanne about this via email yesterday. The busier we get, the louder the outside world becomes, the more difficult it is for me to maintain my connection with that voice--the story voice.

How do you do it? Do you have a routine you've set? A special place you write? A sign on the door that says "DEATH TO ALL WHO ENTER HERE?" How do you keep your stories flowing at the pace necessary to keep up with the new and more demanding level of deadlines?

Pamela Palmer said...

Esri, you're cracking me up!
"How do you kill an Esri, anyway? I'm okay with suction-cup arrows and rubber grenades, but I draw the line at flamethrowers."
Ha, I'm going to make you read the book, luv. But I will tell you, it requires magic. And, believe me, if I had any of that, my days would be 48 hours long. Hmm...and I'd probably be able to fly.
As for your question re: the contracts, I got an agent the moment I sold. Okay, the next day, anyway. She handles the contracts, thank goodness.

Pat Cochran said...

I zipped through the comments, so I
am not certain if you already touched
on this subject: how do you keep
the varied stories from intertwining
about each other? Also do the
different publishers have different
specifications you have to meet and
how do you keep them straight?

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Margay, you stick with historicals, my friend! LOL. Hmm, slight self-interest there, perhaps?

Hey, Helen, cool you enjoyed Caressed by Ice. You were introduced to Nalini's stuff here in the lair, weren't you? And I hope you stick with historicals too! Snork! Pam's stuff has a similar level of emotional punch to Nalini's so I think you'd enjoy the Dark books too.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey terrio,
"Sticking with it is really the answer, isn't it? It's like that old diet and exercise thing. Simple yet hard to grasp."
Yes, like anything I think, it's a matter of practice. But I have to be honest. My internal editor is lazy. If I tell her I don't need her yet, she takes off. But I have friends who've had trouble with theirs and have had to learn to shout them down and kick them out. Whatever it takes. I like the idea of chocolate!

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Minna! Isn't Eurovision fun? Actually I have a soft spot for a geek hero too. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has some wonderful examples as secondary heroes in her books and they're always such great stories.

Hi Maureen! Yeah, a tough guy can be great too, can't he? Actually I think I'll go back to my good story well told criterion. I like ALL heroes ;-)

Posh, Barbara Cartland has a lot to answer for with my historical addiction too. All those emotionally remote dukes who could be melted by the right pair of radiant blue eyes!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Virginia! What do they say? Variety is the spice of life? That's the wonderful thing about the breadth of the current romance market. Whatever you're in the mood for, you can find. And if your TBR pile is as large as mine, probably within reach.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Diana! Lovely to see you here! Congratulations on all your success too. I've heard so much buzz about your book! Yes, it's wonderful when great things happen to great people, isn't it? I knew when I read The Dark Gate that I was in the presence of a major new talent. Lovely to see that NY agrees with me!

PJ, laughing at 'cranking your engine'. What a fantastic phrase! What was the book? I love a great alpha! It's one of the reasons I read Harlequin Presents!

Pam, I have a feeling long trips won't be on the schedule for a little while! I think you need a clone, gal!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Gillian! I just had breakfast with Bonnie a couple weeks ago at the RT convention in Pittsburgh. She's a sweetie.
Thanks for the congrats! And I agree 100% about writing what you're passionate about. Sometimes it just takes an incredible amount of patience for the market to catch up.

Anna Campbell said...

Crystal, I've noticed a lot of people take my buffet approach to romance. A little bit of this delicious morsel and a little bit of that delicious morsel. Oh, all right - to be honest, when I'm at a buffet, I tend to pig out. But I do sample lots of what's available! ;-)

OK, it's confirmed. Pam is an alien with superpowers! Calm? You're amazing, PP!!!

Love Pamela Montgomerie - what a great Scots name! The Scottish time travel sounds wonderful. I love a good time travel. One of my favorites in Linda Howard's Son of the Morning. That is such a great book.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Cassondra, I agree. Michael Hauge's a genius, isn't he? Every time I start another book, I pull out the notes I made while watching his DVD about writing Love Stories. I need to watch it again, because like you say, I get something new from it every time.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, the way you're going, you'll soon be able to employ an assistant (and a hairdresser and makeup artist!). Clearly stardom is beckoning. Then the assistant can watch your back in terms of organisational stuff. Hmm, can I apply for the job? I rather like the idea of getting first dibs at your upcoming works!

Christie, it's great to have Pam in the lair, isn't it?

Terri, I hear you on what you think is your cup of tea. Occasionally, though, I get surprised out of my prejudices. I didn't read vampires (ugh, they're DEAD!) until I picked up the first J.R. Ward. Wow. Kathryn Smith does great historical vampires too. I honestly think if a story is good enough, it can convince you.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, mwah right back at ya! Thanks for mentioning me in such stellar company. Actually I agree with you about characters being the heart of a really great book. Thanks for joining us in the lair. Ain't you a popular gal? I nearly died when I got out of bed this morning to find 109 comments waiting for me!!!

Vanessa, thanks so much for popping by. I thought you'd enjoy Pam's interview - and isn't it a marvellous story of persistence and talent paying off in the end? Wow!

Pamela Palmer said...

"how do you both maintain and guard your "muse"--your creativity--your inner voice or whatever you call where your stories come from?"

Oh, great question, Cassondra. I'm actually finding my muse to be strengthening, kind of like a muscle being well exercised. I've also learned over the years that I MUST keep the well filled. What that means for me is finding time to read (even if it's only an hour a night), watching some t.v., and when I'm in plotting mode, watching tons and tons of movies. Have I mentioned I LOVE this job? How many jobs require you to watch more t.v. and movies and read more novels? Everything I read or watch gives me ideas and I write them down when they come. Character ideas, plot ideas, whatever. Then when I'm plotting, I'll go through my idea files and often find some gem I can use. Everyone has their own ways of filling the wells. Some people I know swear they have to go somewhere quiet (a park or museum). Travel can do it, too, especially to the location where your book's set. I've been to Scotland twice and found it incredibly inspiring both times.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, what an interesting description of the wonderful relationship you have with Lauren. By the way, her books sound fab too. I know exactly what you mean about the relationship becoming rather marriage-like. I work really close with Annie West - and these days, it's mainly big picture stuff too. We'll swap a partial and then the whole manuscript. Sadly deadlines tend to stop us fiddling much otherwise although we occasionally send each other a scene that isn't working.

Hey, interesting you mention Michael Hauge. He's touring Australia and I'm going to see him tomorrow. Really looking forward to that. Hey, with Annie, who's then coming up to visit me for a few days. It will be a wild time on the Sunshine Coast this weekend! The champagne corks will be flying out and hitting the parrots, you mark my words!

Diana Cosby said...

Pamela Palmer wrote: We're bouncing around titles. If anyone has any suggestions for titles for shape-shifter romances, I'd love to hear them! ANYTHING to get my brain jump-started.

Hi Pam, I love love love coming up with titles. Here's a couple that I hope ignites your title muse:
Dark Possession
Dark Dreams
Dark Desire
Dark Intrigue
Dark Captivation

Shadows of Desire
Shadowed Heart
Tempting Fate
Beyond Temptation
Possession of One
Alternate Possession
Alternate Passion
Alternate Ego
In Another League
Inevidable Seduction
Seductive Recourse

:) Okay, I'll stop. Hope something helps.

Diana Cosby

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, I hope one day the historicals see the light of day. I love me a good Scottish historical. Can't beat a man in a kilt. Well, you can, but he's likely to beat you back!

By the way, meant to add to the last post that Margie Lawson is the keynote speaker at our Aussie conference this year. I'm really looking forward to hearing her too!

Gannon, sounds like both of us are looking forward to Pam's time travels hitting the shelves. Thanks for visiting us!

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, as I said earlier, I was a huge Dame Barbara fan when I was a teenager. Couldn't get enough of those breathless heroines who seemed to talk in nothing...but...ellipsis. And the steely eyed dukes who fell in love with them. Tried to revisit them a few years ago and found it all just a little too mannered for how my tastes have developed. I'll always be grateful to BC, though - she taught me an awful lot of history!

Pam, I love the sound of that geek book. Hope someone can recognize it and give us the title. Actually I love it when a geek hero is really an alpha with super brains! There's a great old Anne Stuart where the hero is a genius who works out how to become invisible.

Pamela Palmer said...

"Do you have a routine you've set? A special place you write?"
Cassondra, I do have a routine, actually. I get the family off and exercise, then settle down to write about 10:00. For the rest of the day (my writing days), I'm in and out of the chair all day, but when I'm out it's usually to do some mindless task while I ponder the next scene. And I have no special place I write. The best thing I ever did was buy a laptop. As soon as my mind starts wandering, I pick up my laptop and move. To the sofa, the kitchen table, the back deck, even the stairs or the floor. Change of location/scenery usually does the trick. The other thing I've learned is that music keeps the chatty part of my mind busy, quieting that destracting inner voice that starts wondering what I should fix for dinner or whether I ever called Mom back. So I almost always write to music, but instrumentals only. High energy instrumentals. Jesse Cook, Keiko Matsui, Amon Tobin. Audio adrenaline.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, I think one of the advantages of a long time in the wilderness before you sell is that it does toughen you up, even if only a little bit. I'm still a wimp but at least I know that rejection is really part of the game. And sometimes a rejection is just an invitation to do better!

Tiffany, I think Pam's books would be right up your alley. It's terrible about the TBR addiction, isn't it? I'm seriously thinking that I might take a week away somewhere after I get this current book in and just READ. I did that a few years ago and it was the best holiday!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi again, Pat! Great questions. How do I keep the stories from intertwining? For the most part, I don't have a lot of trouble since I'm generally only writing one at a time. But there are times when I'll come up with a plot point and realize I did almost the same thing in one of the books from the other series. But I'm sure that kind of thing happens with all writers, whether they're writing for different houses or books for the same house.
As for the different publishers having different specs, the Nocturnes are a little shorter, and my characters can't use bad words like they can in the single titles, but otherwise, I've found very little difference.

Helen said...

Pam I love the shape shifter books that I have read and am very much looking forward to yours when they come out I have yet to read a vampire paranormal they some how don't appeal to me but I am sure I will try one soon.

And yes Anna I won the first Nalini Singh book here at the Bandits and I have the four of them now I have read the first 3 in the series and loved everyone of them and the 4th one is on the shelf waiting for me to pick it up it is calling me. Historicals will always be my favourites though.

Have Fun

Minna said...

Ok, now I just can't resist:
Eurovision 2007 Semi-Final Latvia

ESC 1996 * 11 Estonia * Kaelakee Hääl *

Kirka: Hengaillaan

Lordi- Eurovision 2006

Our guys made it to the finals:
Teräsbetoni - Missä miehet ratsastaa - Eurovision 2008

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, so glad you enjoyed the interview! My problem was keeping my questions down. It could have been book length, seriously!

Hiya Other Pam! Actually, yeah, Pam P, I'd be interested to know where you think the genre is headed too.

Hellion, love your description of your preferred hero being the type to rescue the kittens. Actually I think I like a hero capable of change. I don't mind if he's wrong at the start but I want him to be at least 'less' wrong at the end! It's the character arc that works for me. If he's a bullying pig at the start and a bullying pig at the end, he just doesn't work for me.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, choosing a favorite story really is like being asked to pick a favorite child, isn't it? Too tough!

Tiffany, we'll forgive you if you go out and buy us some more booze. Supplies in the lair are getting mighty low!

Ooh, Pam, love your follow-up comment on Hellion's kitten line. Such a lovely definition of a great hero!

Anna Campbell said...

Esri, must say I think of you every time Pam mentions the Esri. I think of an army of you in another dimension ready to invade the world and make us all laugh with your great sense of humor. Hmm, not a bad picture at all, really! Glad to hear you looked after the rooster. Kinda.

Nathalie, please stick to your historical addiction. But there's some amazing writers in the paranormal field right now.

Pam, it's amazing what you discover in a first draft, isn't it? I'm at that stage right now! I'm less of a plotter than you are although I generally know where my story's heading and the main problems for my hero and heroine and I have a few major scenes in place, although that often changes when the story writes out as the hero and heroine often develop completely differently to the way I originally saw them.

Pamela Palmer said...

"OK, it's confirmed. Pam is an alien with superpowers! Calm? You're amazing, PP!!!"
LOL, Anna, I WISH I had superpowers. Being calm definitely comes in handy, but sometimes I need a good panic and it's not always there as soon as I'd like it to be. I've got a book due to one of my editors in four and a half weeks. I figure the panic will arrive in about two weeks, though I could really use it now.

Wendy said...

Hi, Pamela! I do like heroes who are dangerous but I also like the ones that aren't, it all depends on the book.

And I'm a huge fan of contemporaries. :)

Great post!!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Pam, Moonstruck Madness! The highwaywoman with amnesia. He's such a brute in that story! Wow, they don't write books like that any more!

Lily, another MM graduate. I read Laurie M after I'd discovered Kathleen Woodiwiss and Rosemary Rogers. Strong meat for a sweet little Aussie teenage gal!

Terri, as the certified owner of an annoying internal editor, the only way to shut her up is just keep writing. I don't even re-read what I wrote yesterday any more. I just keep ploughing ahead until I get to those magical words 'chocolate biscuit'... Um, NO, 'the end'!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

more booze in the lair? lol! That could be dangerous.

Do I look like a bootleggin' gal? Wait, don't answer that.

And can I say: Pooh on Chapters...They don't have the first book in this set...

Off to check Amazon :)

And Diana Cosby has some great suggestions for titles. I usually use the name of someone in the book for my titles. Or something really unoriginal for my werewolves... full moon, midnight lover... sad but true. :)

Minna said...

Herreys - Diggiloo Diggiley

Finland 1977 - Lapponia - Monica Aspelund

Cliff Richard - Congratulations (United Kingdom ESC 1968)

Anna Campbell said...

Esri, I suspect Pam's books are a bit like chocolate. Hmm, why is my mind suddenly on chocolate. It's way too early in the morning! You know, the more you have, the more you want!

Sarah, what an interesting question. I'd love Pam's take on it. My feeling is as long as great books are out there, people will keep buying them.

Nancy, Pam gave us some great interview answers, didn't she?

Pamela Palmer said...

"I didn't read vampires (ugh, they're DEAD!) until I picked up the first J.R. Ward. Wow."

But the key is, they're fabulously drawn characters. They may be dead (and actually, Ward's vampires aren't -- but you know that), but they're more alive that 90% of the fictional characters out there. (Wow, that might have actually been deep, if it had made any sense.) You know what I mean! I can fall in love with any hero, any character, if he/she is well enough drawn.

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, I think you've put your finger on something really important on that imbalance of power thing. It's the fact that he should hold all the cards but the power of love means he doesn't. That scenario works for me every time!

Lise, interesting your take on feminism and romance. I tend to figure my fascination for strong men grows out of my feminism. I love the idea of a strong man meeting a strong heroine who makes him reconsider everything! Try Kathryn Smith's historical paranormals. I think they're great. And they're set at the turn of the 20th century so they have some cute touches of things like railways and early cars and telephones.

Pamela Palmer said...

Anna, love, I was going to ask for first dibs on being YOUR assistant! Though with my organizational skills, you wouldn't want me. Trust me. "I know it's here, somewhere!"

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, what fantastic advice to Tiffany. And congratulations on your GH success. What a validation of your talent, even when it did take you a long time to sell

Do you have any hints for people wanting to conquer the GH the way you did?

Pamela Palmer said...

Jealous, jealous about you seeing Michael Hauge tomorrow, Anna! Enjoy your cork-popping with Annie!

Anna Campbell said...

Hiya Beth! You'll love Pam's books!

Minna, I've heard such good things about VLT's Nerd books. I'll have to grab one. Oh, no, another addition to the TBR pile!

Pat, we know you've got your hands full with the chook! He's a naughty boy, isn't he?

Wasn't it fantastic that Jeanne got a top pick for her debut? That is SOOO cool! Come on, Mr. Postman! Where is that latest Amazon order??!!!

Pamela Palmer said...

Ooh, Diana, GREAT title ideas. Thanks!!

Anna Campbell said...

Cassondra, what an interesting take on the alpha. I must say I agree with you. He's the leader of the pack, however he achieves it. And generally, it's not bullying. Bullies bully because they CAN'T control any other way.

Peggy, great to see another historical fan here!

Esri, you crack me up!!!

Nathalie, I'm pushing. These books are great. READ THEM!!!! Bwahahahahahaha!

terrio said...

Oh, I forgot about the titles thing. Since you said he's a Lion (right one?), I was thinking something with the word Pride in it. Just an idea.

Anna - chocolate bisquit? *snort*

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, that should have been Lily getting pushed. Sorry, Nathalie. What's a couple of bruises between friends? ;-)

Terri, Pam's advice about the internal editor is fantastic!

Pam, one of the many things I admire about you is the way you're keeping your eye on the prize with all this. You've dreamed about this all your life and you're going to work really hard and make sure you turn this amazing opportunity into a success. Yay, you!

Pamela Palmer said...

Anna, that Scottish historical of mine is under the bed and staying there. It was a WONDERFUL learning project, albeit accidentally. I finally understood turning points after writing that book...because it didn't have any. I learned a host of other things the same way. If I ever sold it, the first thing I'd have to do is rewrite it. Not going there unless I find myself in need of still another career, which I really, really hope doesn't happen any time soon.

Minna said...


Eurovision 2007 Semifinal - Belarus : Work your magic

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Helen,
I'm so glad you like shape-shifter books! I can't say enough about Nalini Singh. Her first book, Slave to Sensation, blew me away. It was one of the most totally satisfying reads I've had in a long, long time. The world is original and intriguing, the characters wonderful, and the plot flawless. A real keeper.

Minna said...

Maggie Shayne has some wonderful vampire books, too.

Anna Campbell said...

Virgina, yay to another historical fan!

Gillian, I think you're right about writing what you're passionate about and letting the market look after itself to a certain extent.

Pam, I'll have to read the Three Sisters trilogy. I loved Nora's Chesapeake Bay Quartet.

Pam, definitely a Regency rake was dangerous! That's one of the things I love about writing in that period.

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Nalini's book blew me away too... I usually have a 'no sci-fi' elements rule... but I am addicted to her series!

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, leading on from Cassondra's great question about guarding the muse, do you have a particular way of refilling the well?

Pamela Palmer said...

My stories almost always end up a bit differntly than I originally planned. Those pesky characters develop minds of their own. And invariably, when I try to get them to do what my plot calls for, they'll stand there staring at me with that 'you've got to be kidding' gleam in their eyes and I know the story's become their now, and I'm just along for the ride.

Shari C said...

I love paranormal stories and the more sexy and dangerous the hero is the better. I love it when the male is dominant and macho until some heroine comes along and knocks him for a loop. I have had the pleasure of reading so many wonderful paranormal books by terrific authors.
Thank you for the interview.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Wendy! Thanks for popping in. I think you just said it all. "It all depends on the book." I couldn't agree more.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, I'm a Virgo. I love to angst over tiny details. It saves me angsting over BIG ones! So my internal editor can be very noisy and very pushy and very demanding. I had to teach myself that I needed to write a whole book for this career to be viable, not just go over and over a first chapter until I was happy with it - which really never happened. It was a good lesson!

Diana, can I talk to you when I need a new title? Those were fantastic!

Diana Cosby said...

Blogger Pamela Palmer said...

Ooh, Diana, GREAT title ideas. Thanks!!

~Hey, my pleasure. Hope something helps. Anytime you need any title ideas, please don't hesitate to ask. As I said, I love coming up with them. Great blog today.

Diana Cosby

Diana Cosby said...

Anna Campbell said...

Diana, can I talk to you when I need a new title? Those were fantastic!

*Blush* Absolutly. Glad you liked them.

Diana Cosby

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, you stick with historicals! But you're allowed an occasional detour for a great paranormal like Pam's. ;-)

Hey, Minna, cool on Finland making th Eurovision finals!

Wendy, thanks for visiting the lair. Glad you enjoyed our interview!

Tiffany, off to the bottle shop with you! No excuses! Actually I need a title for my first drafts. If I don't have a title, I haven't worked out what the story is about. Sounds crazy, but it's true.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, you put it so much better than I could! By the way, I love that excerpt introducing Wrath. Sorry, too early for me - forgot where the extra 'h' went in that one. It's such an example of writing BIG! And I dare anyone not to continue with the story then. I was hooked on page one!

Snorking, Pam, on the idea of the two of us fighting over who gets to be whose assistant! Perhaps we could just share a cabana boy with an accounting degree?

Anna Campbell said...

Can you tell I'm excited about Annie's visit? She hasn't been to my new house yet so I'm dying to show her my new environment. Sadly, this used to be a quiet neighbourhood until her visit!

Ooh, Terri, think we might be the victims of cross-cultural communication problems. We call cookies biscuits here. Every so often I revert to Australianese ;-)

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Anna... not crazy at all. That's why I tend to stick with character names... for my first book it was Lupiscoeur, until draft one was done--then I had someone name to book for me. I still call that particular series, my Lupiscoeur boys whenever I talk about them.

My book now is Jinan... cause for the life of me, I can't come up with a title--maybe because I'm not much a plotter? So Who knows what words will round it up best until you've finished?

I'm very particular about characters names, sometimes it takes me days of researching various ones--the names are usually rife with many meanings which directly reflect my characters. But I can't work without a title (of some sort) either. Only the contemp para's I've written have cheesy cliché titles. :) Not that they are cheesy cliché words... lol

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, Maggie has a wonderful Viking time travel that I think might have been the story to establish the genre. Very early anyway. But it's great!

Pam, I love that moment where the characters give me that 'no way, Jose' look. It means they're alive and I can leave the story in their capable hands!

Shari, so glad you enjoyed the interview. Pam has been an ideal guest - although she may need her hands massaged after all that typing!

Suzanne Welsh said...

Hey Pam! Glad to have you in the lair today!! We were all thrilled when we heard about the 8 books this year. OMG 8!!

I'm not a big paranormal fan, (okay, unless you include Sherrilyn, JR Ward and my CP's lighter Kilt paranomormals), but I did like Dark Gate. Your shape shifters might be ones I'll like, too, as it's that whole powerful man/beast thing.

Which leads me to your question. I prefer my men a little on the dangerous side, whether their feral or just plain brawny.

Anna Campbell said...

Tiffany, I hear you on names. I've got the character when I've got the name. Sadly I was talked out of calling the hero of Untouched Titus. Went for Matthew because all these people told me everybody would hate Titus as a name for a hero. But in my heart, he's still Titus!

Phew, at last I've caught up. Tiffany, where's that booze? It's become a medical requirement!

Tiffany Kenzie said...

LOL! What kinda booze is your pref? I have some wonderful red--What? I have the week off, I can have a drink, or a bottle on a Wed. I don't have much aside from wine though...and no Aussie :( just South African and a nice organic Cali...

I would have liked Titus... it was all about the man in the end, not the name... even if they are one in the same.

Minna said...

Anna, I loved that Viking book!

Minna said...

Wasn't there a TV series called Titus?

Esri Rose said...

Pamela, Anna, whoever: Oh, I'm getting all The Esri books, never fear.

I just blogged about this. Subject line: I'm an evil super race! I put a plug in for your contest, Pamela. Loved the excerpt. I just giggle and giggle at seeing my name sprinkled across the page.

Pamela Palmer said...

Anna, hints for people wanting to conquer the GH? Nah, unfortunately. It takes as much luck to final in the GH as it does to sell. So much depends on your judges. I've heard people say, "It was wonderful! I couldn't quit thinking about that entry. I gave it a 7." A 7 out of 9? Really? For a manuscript you love? I entered my first manuscript three times and finaled the second two, but Islesman's Bride I entered three times and only finaled once. My last two I finaled with first try, but I wound up selling both of them, so there may be some correlation. Or just a convergence of luck.

Pat Cochran said...

I've tried so hard, but with Anna's
mentioning chocolate several times
and the GR's encouragement, I've
given way! We are sitting here,
surrounded by Dove wrappers, opening another package of my most favorite brand! Chocolate, I love chocolate!! And Rooster, you are no help at all, but we all love you anyway!

Pat Cochran

Tiffany Kenzie said...

Pour Canadiennes looking for the first... Chapters says Temporarily unavailable, but Amazon does have The Dark Gate!

Oh, wait... it says one left in stock... LOL!

Cherie J said...

Pamela, thank you for guestblogging. I just wanted you to know I finished reading The Dark Gate last night and loved it. Now I need to read Dark Deceiver to see what happens next. You captured my interest from the very beginning and then held it throughout the entire story.

As for what I prefer to read, paranormal and fantasy are my two top favorite genres. I have no problem with a physical imbalance between the hero and heroine. I do usually prefer the hero be stronger than the heroine but I have read books where the heroine is more powerful and not had a problem with that either. Just depends on how well it is incorporated into the plot.

Trish Milburn said...

Hey, Pam! Great to have you here today. Like you, it took me 11 years to sell, and I would just second your advice to those still looking for that first sale. Keep working, and believe it will happen.

HUGE congrats on all of your success. You've worked hard enough and long enough for it and deserve to enjoy it to its fullest.

Anna Campbell said...

Tiffany, I like Matthew as a name - which is why I settled on it after trying every single man's name under the sun on Titus (my brain kept saying, "But his name's TITUS!"). It's a little more generic than perhaps I would have chosen but I could certainly live with it.

Tiffany, what a classy chick you are, asking what KIND of booze? Does it matter? Snork! Actually the Cali sounds rather nice...

Minna, was there a TV series called Titus? I've never heard of it. I got it from reading the Lindsay Davies books set in ancient Rome. The whole classical association thing was really appropriate for the Regency. But people kept telling me (this was before I was published. I think now I'd stick to my guns and let the editor make the decision) that readers would think "tight-arse" or "tittus". My feeling is Titus isn't THAT unusual as a name!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Esri, evil super race cross-promotion? I love it!

Actually, Pam, I think the GH is LUCK. I only entered that one year because I had two manuscripts polished (please refer comments about Hitler-like internal editor). Then both of them finalled. I'd sold within a month of finalling so it was my only chance. How lucky was that?

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi terrio! Pride is a great word. I'll add it to the list. Thanks!

Minna said...

Yeah, there was:

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, laughed at my evil chocolate ways getting to you. Lucky rooster! He loves that stuff! Although he gets a bit uncomfortable eating Dove. Don't you have anything NOT named after a bird? It's only 7:20am here so I'm holding out till morning tea. I think...

Perhaps Pam could write a book about an evil Esri with a chocolate obsession he wants to share with the world. Now that really is evil!

Tiffany, go get 'em, gal!!!

Esri Rose said...

Anna: I'm telling you, she needs a blog feature called, "Ask an Evil Esri."

I went back and scanned, but I am totally not getting the chocolate reference. Have I been posting in my sleep again?

flchen1 said...

Hi, Pam--amazing interview! Thanks for spending the day here in the Lair! Your plate's overflowing--I'm amazed at how you juggle it all. Can I safely assume that you write pretty quickly? :)

I haven't read too many paranormals yet, mainly because I tend to prefer stuff light and not scary. I know that some paranormals fit that, but I can't always tell, so I just tend to avoid them. Now I know I'm missing a good thing though!!

Congrats on the GR, Pat! Mmm... chocolate!

Esri Rose said...

I see. Anna is just fixated. I feel your pain.

Anna Campbell said...

Cherie, isn't The Dark Gate a great read? Thanks for dropping around to let us know you enjoyed it.

Trish, isn't Pam's story of persistence leading to success so inspiring? I'm so glad she visited the lair today and shared it with us.

Minna, just checked out the Wikipedia link. How interesting!

If you saw my hips, you would agree that chocolate is the sauce of all evil, Good Esri. Hmm, not sure about the good Esri thing...

Anna Campbell said...

Fedora, sometimes one has to walk on the dark side. It's like chocolate...

Hmm, that evil chocolate Esri seems to have taken over my mind.

I'd subscribe to a blog called Ask an Evil Esri!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Shari! I love meeting another paranormal fan. I have so many favorite authors and so many I haven't found the time to read. If you get a minute, I'd love to know who your favorites are. And I agree, there's no moment in a book quite like the one when the macho hero looks at the heroine and realizes he's in deep trouble.

Pamela Palmer said...

Anna, a cabana boy with an accounting degree? I can barely quit laughing long enough to type!

Cassondra said...

Esri (not the Evil Superrace)said:

I see. Anna is just fixated. I feel your pain.

Esri, get used to it. Anna is ALWAYS fixated on chocolate. But I'm one to talk aren't I? Yesterday I was fixated on Oded. Today y'all have me craving chocolate bisquits.

Cassondra said...

pamela said:

Anna, a cabana boy with an accounting degree? I can barely quit laughing long enough to type!

Pam our lair cabana boys are multi-talented. And if they can't do the job, we have a few gladiators hanging out in the back room. Christine sometimes loans us her Sven for massages, but she's been very stingy with Sven of late.

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Suzanne! I'm having a blast in the Lair today. And, yes, I definitely include JR Ward and Sherrilyn Kenyon as paranormal. We're easing you over to the dark side, m'dear, you just may not realize it yet.

Pamela Palmer said...

Esri, you've got to send me the link to that blog! Oh, man, we need to do some cross-promotion. I don't have a blog, but I do have a website. Oh, yes, the wheels are starting to spin. "Meet a real Esri." Send me your email, will you, please? I love it!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi Cherie! I love that you just finished The Dark Gate...and liked it. :) Thanks so much for reading it!

Pamela Palmer said...

Hey Trish! It's wonderful to see you here, just as it was wonderful to see you in Pittsburgh. And I'm so proud of you and all your success! Eleven years seems like forever, doesn't it? Yet, in hindsight, I wouldn't do it any other way. I know SO much more about writing and story telling than I did even three or four years ago.

Pat Cochran said...

Dear Anna, I'll switch the GR over to Russell Stover. Honey has a new package of sugar-free chocolates,
but we won't mention anything about
"sugar-free." I will continue on with the D-o-v-e!

Pat Cochran

Pamela Palmer said...

Hi flchen1! Thanks for the kind words on the interview. You know, I don't think I write quickly, rarely more than 2-3 pages an hour, which is not fast. But I make up for it in the sheer hours I put into it. And while I'd love to nudge you toward one of my books, my contemps are probably going to be too dark. Most people consider The Dark Gate a pretty scary read. My time travels might be more to your taste. The heroine of Sapphire Dream (coming out from Berkley in 2009) has a mouth on her. She even makes ME laugh, which is kind of sad, when you think about it.

Pamela Palmer said...

Cabana boys, gladiators, Sven? Oh, I'm going to have to spend MUCH more time in the lair. Though maybe not quite as much as today. :)

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