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 www.pamelapalmer.net.
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!