Thursday, September 3, 2009

Passionate about Passion Untamed

by Anna Campbell

It's with enormous pleasure that I bring fellow 2006 Golden Heart finalist Pamela Palmer to the lair. That 2006 Golden Heart year was full of really cool people - that's where I met all the Banditas!

Pam is currently on her way to world domination with a string of recent publications to her name and more to come. Whoo-hoo! She's a wonderful writer who manages to combine breathtaking emotion with heart-stopping action. Not an easy mixture! And all with a sizzling touch of magic! How can you resist?

For more information on Pamela Palmer and her books, please visit her website: http://www.pamelapalmer.net/

Welcome back, Pamela! You're one of the most popular guests we’ve ever had so I’m excited to have you returning to the lair to chase cabana boys and drink margaritas…um, no, I really mean talk SERIOUS writing stuff!

So much has happened since you last visited. Firstly, congratulations on the release of the first three instalments in the FERAL WARRIORS series which were a back-to-back release, July, August, September this year. Can you tell us about these books?


Thanks for having me again, Anna and the Banditas! (Doesn’t that sound like a rock band? Or maybe it should be Anna and the Cabana Boys.) Oh, right. SERIOUS writing stuff. Where are the margaritas…? Thanks for the congrats on the launch of my new FERAL WARRIORS series! I’m so excited about writing this series for Avon. These guys are a blast to write – dark, sexy, seriously untamed, and incredibly male. And the covers the Avon art department is doing for them are amazing.

The premise behind the series is that millennia ago the Therian race of shape-shifters and their traditional enemies, the Mage, were forced to mortgage most of their power in order to imprison the High Daemon, Satanan and his horde, and save the Earth. Only one shape-shifter of each of the ancient Therian lines was able to retain the power of his animal. Today, only nine true shape-shifters remain, each one a different animal. These are the Feral Warriors. But ancient evil is once more on the rise and they’re all that stands between the world and destruction.


The most recent FERAL WARRIOR instalment is PASSION UNTAMED, Paenther’s story. Can you tell us about this book? It sounds fabulous!

Thanks, Anna! PASSION UNTAMED is the third book in the series. In it, Paenther, the darkly intense black panther shifter, is captured by a Mage witch for the second time in his life. He barely survived the first time and his hatred for the Mage is terrible. But the witch who’s captured him has done so against her will. Skye is a pure spirit who’s been enslaved by the evil Mage as surely as Paenther has. But true hatred is a difficult thing to overcome.

What’s coming up next for those gorgeous FWs?

The next Feral story comes out in January as part of the BITTEN BY CUPID anthology I’m doing with Lynsay Sands and Jaime Rush. Though the story is the romance of two intriguing, star-crossed immortals, several of the Ferals show up in the tale, and things are revealed that will have a major impact on future books.

Then in July 2010, RAPTURE UNTAMED comes out. This one is Jag’s book. Jag is the Bad Boy of the bunch, the jaguar-shifter who delights in causing trouble and antagonizing the others. Everyone deserves a happily-ever-after, but Jag’s got a long way to go to earn his. He finally finds his match in Olivia, a woman who not only can hold her own against him, but who can see past the mask he shows the world to the good man even he doesn’t know exists deep inside him.

You’ve recently had a Scottish time travel published under the pen name Pamela Montgomerie. Please tell us about SAPPHIRE DREAM, which by the way I read in a single sitting and just loved!

SAPPHIRE DREAM and I go back a long, long way. I wrote it over the course of many years, putting it aside and taking it back out again as I figured out how I wanted to tell the tale – and acquired the skills to do it. It was my third completed manuscript and the first to really come together the way I’d envisioned. I love all my books equally (I can’t play favorites among my book children), but this one holds a very special place in my heart.

SAPPHIRE DREAM is the story of a modern woman, Brenna Cameron, who travels to Scotland looking for answers about her past, only to awaken aboard a seventeenth century pirate ship. Eventually, she learns that she was long ago named in a prophecy and that Hegarty, a wee little Rumplestiltskin-like magical man, has called her through time with the help of a magical sapphire, in order for her to fulfil her destiny. The captain of the ship, Rourke Douglas, knows all too well about that cursed prophecy and wants nothing to do with it, or Brenna. But fate has other plans.
Are there further time travels planned? It’s a genre I always enjoy and it seems to be having a bit of a renaissance at the moment (no pun intended. Well, maybe a wee one).

AMETHYST DESTINY, the sequel to SAPPHIRE DREAM, is slated for release next summer. In this book, Hegarty is at it again, his magical stones causing more mischief and creating more havoc. Hegarty loaned one of the stones, the amethyst, to Talon MacClure when Talon was a lad, and the boy learned to manipulate its magic – as well as anyone can, for the stone has a mind of its own. Now a man, Talon’s become known as the Wizard – a mercenary who will find anything, or steal anything, for a price. He finds the name ironic, for none know he truly possesses magic. But when he requests help from the ring in locating his latest prize, the ring sends him a woman -- a none-too-pleased petite beauty from the future. And the true adventure begins.

Your Esri books for Silhouette Nocturne are still among the most memorable paranormals I’ve ever read. I remember when I was in Washington, I kept getting the creeps when I saw the fountain in Dupont Circle because that’s where the bad guys turn up! Are there further stories planned in that series?

I love that the Dupont Circle fountain made you think of the Esri, Anna! In all, the Esri series will be four books long, though only two have hit the shelves so far, THE DARK GATE and DARK DECEIVER. The third book, Charlie’s book, is written, and I’m working on the final book in the series now. Silhouette plans to schedule the release of the last two books fairly close together, though just when that will be, I don’t know. I’ll post it on my website as soon as I hear!

Your schedule over the last year or so has been spectacular (or terrifying – pick your adjective!). Can you tell us how you juggle all your commitments and manage your writing day?

My schedule has been crazy lately, at least for me. Books due every two to four months. There are certainly writers who write books in 2-4 months on a regular basis, and still have a life outside the writing, but they write faster than I do! I wrote three books last year and, once I finish what I’m working on now, will have written three books and a novella in the first 10 months of this year. But it’s pretty much all I do. It’s what comes of writing for three publishers at once. Fortunately, it’s also what I love to do, so other than feeling rushed a bit at times, it’s no hardship. And I’ve found (don’t tell my editors this) that it’s actually easier to write them faster because the characters and the situations stay crystal clear in my head.

Juggling my commitments is a matter of setting personal (false) deadlines. Case in point is my current situation. My last deadline was May 15th. My next two books are due October 1st and November 1st, respectively. All three to different publishers. If I wrote strictly to deadline, I’d have had four and a half months for the October book and one month for the November. Not good. So I set a deadline for myself to have the October book written and to my two critique partners by August 1st. Which I did. While they read and critiqued it, I dove into the November book. They’ve gotten back to me with some concerns (Jag is proving to be his usual, difficult self), so I’ll set aside the November book for a bit while I revise the October book, then dive back into the November.

Managing my writing day is pretty easy. I get up, exercise, then write on and off for 10-12 hours. I’m really not a fast writer. I just write constantly! Over the years, I’ve experimented with different productivity mindsets. I’ve tried setting daily time goals – I’ll write for x number of hours today. But that didn’t work well, since I could imagine stories in my head for hours without writing a word. I’ve tried setting daily page goals. But that also didn’t work well, at least not by itself. Because left with too much time, I like to explore options. Before I published, I would sometimes write a book three or four times, from scratch, experimenting with different scenarios, sometimes different heroines (I always knew my heroes). What I finally learned to do was set delivery goals. Critique partners are a great tool for this. “I’ll have the first three chapters to you by Friday.” Nothing like a deadline to keep you focused. Nowadays, the promise is more like, “I’ll have the book to you by Friday.”

Now I have a question for you guys. Actually, two questions so answer both or take your pick!

First, if you could shift into any animal you wanted, only when you wanted, what animal would you choose?

Second, if you could travel to any point or place in time, past or future, when and where would it be?


Pamela has very kindly offered two lucky commenters here signed copies of DESIRE UNTAMED, her first Feral Warrior book featuring the gorgeous Lyon. So get commenting, people, and good luck!

117 comments:

limecello said...

Hi Pamela - thanks so much for visiting with us today! And goodness you've got a busy schedule! Thanks for making the time to come chat with us!

Gosh- tough questions! I think I'd like to shift into some sort of large cat. I love the sleekness, power, skill, maybe a tiger, jaguar, I don't know.
I love panda bears too, but I don't think I'd like to be one. (Or, I know I wouldn't like to be. Same with a rabbit.) Although... you know, I might want to be a house pet. A pampered dog. No seriously - sometimes I think certain pets have a better life than I do. Designer clothes, boutique foods, spa visits... (heh that's a new one, right?)

As for time period - also tough. Ancient Rome? Ancient China - one of the "non-barbarian" dynasties... or... Regency England. My stipulation, however, would be that I'd have to be rich in each/any of them. It was no fun to be poor, and if I'm going to have to survive without electricity and other creature comforts... I'd like to have money to buy it otherwise. (Although I don't fancy staying in the Ancient Roman world long - lead pipes just aren't that healthy.)

flchen1 said...

LOL! It's the GR for you, Limecello!

Hm... I'm not sure about the animal--I'm thinking something strong and powerful would be useful--maybe one of those big cats? Tiger? Lion? Leopard? They're so gorgeous and sleek and scarily predatory!

Time travel? Would I be able to get back? I'm not sure I'd care to get stuck in another time, honestly! I'm quite attached to modern conveniences, but I would love to be able to sneak a peek into the future and see how the kids turn out ;) Let me know if you figure out a temporary time travel device! I'd love to give it a whirl!

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Pam - So good to see you again in DC.

Wow! That's an incredible writing schedule - and all your books are wonderful!

Time travel question is easy. I'd just back into my beloved Gilded Age as long as I was one of the wealthy (grin) though with my luck I'd be one of the servants.

Not so sure about the animal. For pure luxary, I'd be a house pet - either dog or cat - as long as I was loved. Otherwise, I think I'd be an eagle. Love the idea of soaring on the wind - though I'm not fond of their diet (grin).

Michelle said...

Hi Anna & Pamela! Thanks for great post! Awesome questions. If I could shift into any animal, I would pick a wolf because i think they are beautiful animals. As for traveling back in time, not very original but I'd want to go to Regency England (the setting for many of my favorite romance books) as a peer of the realm.

Rebekah1974 said...

Hi Pamela. Thats for dropping by. Anna was bragging about your book on facebook and I just had to go get the first one.

At the moment, if I could choose to change into any animal, it would have to be a shadow wolf from LA Banks series.

Usuallly, (and Anna can vouch for this I wouls say dragon or Panther) however after just reading LA Banks books recently I'm kinda in love with the idea of dancing in/with the shadows.

Bek

Keziah Hill said...

A bit unoriginal since every man and his dog or in this case woman and her cat, wants to be a big cat, but I really can't go past a panther. The equivalent of tall, dark and handsome in the cat world.

And my time would be the 1920's in aristocratic England. All those Mitford girls and wild living. And then going to Paris to see Josephine Baker! Couldn't find a pic of JB and a panther but here's one withe a leopard (scroll down).

Keziah Hill said...

Oops! Forgot the link.
http://tinyurl.com/m5b5b5

Blodeuedd said...

Hi Pamela :)

Oh easy, I would travel back to the Middle Ages cos I am obsessed with the clothes and castles.

As for the animal, a snow leopard, just feels like me

mariska said...

Hi Pamela,
love to know about your works coz you are to-me a new Author :)
my answer for shapeshifter ; i'd like to be a Cat. Or a Galapagos turtle. I know it's weird but the turtle can live more than a hundred years old..*g*
as for the time traveling, i think i'm gonna go to Regency England time. The women dress were so pretty.
Mariska

Sharon Archer said...

Love those HOT covers, Pamela and your books sound great!

(Gulp) 10 to 12 hours of writing a day.... Please, please, can you bottle some of your self discipline and sell me some!

As for being a shape shifter... I think I like to be a dolphin. Graceful, sleek and playful.

Great blog, Anna.
:)
Sharon

Kandy Shepherd said...

Phew! I'm too busy fanning myself at the sight of those Feral Warriors to even think about what creature I'd like to shift into!

Kylie S. said...

Thanks, Anna, for a great interview!

I've been drooling over your covers, Pamela, since I first saw them - the cover/art department certainly have done a fantastic job for you.

Animal: peregrine falcon - I've been skydiving once and the rush of "flying", the view, the sense of complete awe and illusion of mastery over the earth and the speed has to be similar to what they experience when they fly (do you know peregrine falcons dive so fast its equivalent to 6g's of force, that's something like 0-200kms/hr in less than 3 seconds - yep, that's Discovery Channel for you :-)

Time travel:I'd do the Dr.Who thing - there are so many civilisations/times I'd love to explore - Medieval, Celtic, Viking, Ancient Egypt/Aztec, 1800's wild west, neolithic, the future - that having the tardis would allow me to go anywhere anytime.

Helen said...

Congrats limcello have fun with him

What a great interview Ladies.
Pamela you are so busy how on earth do you keep going I was tired just reading about it LOL. You must really love your writing which obviously shows in you fantastic books.

If I could be a shapeshifter I think it would be a panther all black and sleek, and if I could travel back in time it would be to Scotland I love a man in a kilt

Have Fun
Helen

Anna Sugden said...

Hi Pam!!! (waving madly!!) Welcome back to the Lair - great to 'see' you!!

I'm in total awe of your discipline and ability (or should that be capability?!) Please send me some of that!!

I'd be another big cat - black panther or a snow leopard. Or one of my spoiled black cats *g*. if I couldn't be a cat, I'd like to be something that lives in warm climates - a dolphin maybe, or a chimp. They're both bright and fun and clever, as well as cute.

Given my obsession with penguins, I should probaby choose one of them - but really, too cooooold! Perhaps my other fave, a kookaburra.

Time travel - unsurprisingly, NOT any time in historical England *g*, except between the two World Wars - what a fab period that was. The Wild West in America would be cool too.

Anna Sugden said...

Ooh - I like Kylie's idea of a Tardis! Or a Back to the Future DeLorean. Complete with sexy time travel companion LOL.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Hi Pam, can't wait to get my hands on your books, they sound awesome. If I had a choice I would like to shift into a cat, not a big cat,there aren't any of those around here, just a very large house cat. I think any cat large or small is a beautiful animal, I think wolves are beautiful too but I am a cat person. As far as time travel I am assuming I can come back to my own time when ready so I would like to go to Regency England, there is where the bulk of the books I read are set. Scotland would work as well, or Ireland.

Nancy said...

Limecello, congrats on taking home the rooster. Keep him busy!

Pamela, welcome back! These books all have fabulous covers, very eye-catching, and both series looks wonderful.

Hectic as your schedule is, you seem to have it under control. I especially admire the "go exercise" part since that's what I tend to shelve first, and I really shouldn't.

As for what animal I'd shift to, that's a hard choice. I love wolves and bears. I wouldn't choose any of the felines because I'm allergic to cats. Maybe a peregrine falcon, if birds count, because they not only fly but fly fast. At a RenFaire falconry demonstration, the falconer had the peregrine fly in from the back because, he said, flying a peregrine falcon on a stage is like flying an F-16 in a hangar.

Nancy said...

As for time travel, that would depend on whether I'd be an observer or a participant. For observation--medieval England at the court of Richard III or Rome during Augustan age or Tintagel, Cornwall, in the Dark Ages. Just who was King Arthur, anyway? Or maybe the 30th century, which is the setting for the comic book I most loved growing up, the Legion of Super-Heroes. And I'd hope it would be a Legion future or a Star Trek future and not a Terminator future (Michael Biehn, the original and still the best Kyle Reese, will be at DragonCon-yay!).

If I have to be a participant for more than a couple of days, I'd pick a more hygienic period, London after the first world war or in the leadup to the second. Or, if I knew the future would be an improvement and not dystopian, I might pick the 23rd century, New York City.

Miranda Neville said...

Hi Pam. Loved seeing you in DC with Ms. Campbell and here you are, hanging out with her again.

I was enjoying your post until I got to your writing schedule and (a) fell on the floor with shock and (b) couldn't get up because I was paralyzed with admiration for your discipline. I now find my task of writing the next book in six months seem like a deadline for wimps.

I've always wanted to be a kitty. Just sit around and eat and sleep and be loved. And although I adore history and the past, I am always very aware of things like lousy plumbing, crude medical practices and halitosis. I'd prefer to see the future. Beam me up, Scotty.

Pamela said...

Hey everyone! I'm back from exercise class and ready to play. It's a little early for margaritas, but since they're cyber margaritas, what the heck. Besides, I'm celebrating. Passion Untamed was #9 on the Borders mass market romance list this week!!

Pamela said...

Lots of you would choose big cats. They are gorgeous, aren't they? And marvelously powerful. But if I could be anything, it would be a bird. A peregrine falcon sounds perfect. I want to fly!

Pamela said...

Limecello, you're so right about a house pet -- a nice pampered spoiled one. Of course, whoever was spoiling you couldn't know you were a shifter. Oh, now doesn't that bring all kinds of possibilities to mind?

Pamela said...

flchen1, I wouldn't want to get stuck in another time, either. A quick visit only, preferably with the time travel button in hand. I'm visualizing a STAPLES 'EASY' button. Or a nice remote control. Click it and you're gone!

Pamela said...

Hey Donna and Anna! Waving back!! It's great to be here, again with the '06 Pack.

Pamela said...

Thanks, Michelle! Wolves are gorgeous, I agree.

Bek, thanks for buying the book! Now you've got me intrigued. I haven't read LA Banks, but the shadows sound fascinating.

Keziah, great picture. The cat looks so calm. Really beautiful, both of them.

Pamela said...

Blodeuedd, the middle ages fascinates me, too. I'd love to go back as an historian, but I'd probably rather go to Scotland. Robert the Bruce and Braveheart. Cool stuff!

Mariska, the turtle is a great idea! Swimming along through the sea with your house on your back. I can't see one of the Feral Warriors that way -- wouldn't be much good for fighting. But for a vacation? I could definitely get into it.

Pamela said...

Sharon, honestly working long hours isn't hard for me, because there's really nothing else I'd rather be doing. And it's a great excuse for NOT doing the things I dislike -- cleaning, cooking, running errands. I'm still stuck with the cooking, but my wonderful husband runs almost all the errands.

Pamela said...

Kandy, I'm laughing. :) Great answer!

Kylie, your post is why I said peregrine falcon instead of just a bird. A FAST bird. Love it! If only!

Pamela said...

Hi Helen! What a wonderful compliment, thank you! And I absolutely agree -- it's hard to beat a man in a kilt.

Pamela said...

Hi Dianna, I'm definitely liking the idea of housecats. You could really do a lot of snooping around the neighborhood like that, couldn't you? That sounds like a great kids' book to me. The kid detective who can shift into a housecat and spy on the neighbors. Has someone already written it or am I just making this up?

Pamela said...

Hey Nancy! Waving, again. I was letting the exercise go when I got too close to deadlines, but I always felt worse when I did. So I make myself go. I've got a wonderful set-up. One of my good friends is an exercise coach and personal trainer who started teaching weight training and cardio classes in her basement about six years ago. There are only about 8 of us in a class, and they're all good friends of mine. She works us HARD, but we socialize and catch up on all the gossip while we're sweating, so it's fun, too. Three days a week, that's how I start my writing day. Sometimes I walk a couple miles on the other days. Sometimes I'm lazy.

As for the time traveling, I remember this question coming up with my friends when I was in middle school. It was one of our favorite 'what ifs'. They all wanted to go back to the old west. I wanted to go to the future. But, like you, the Star Trek future, not the Terminator!

Pamela said...

Miranda, lovely to see you here! Seeing the National Gallery with you and Anna was an unplanned and unexpected pleasure. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Hello, Pamela. Your schedule makes me TIRED !!! I will never again complain about having to get ONE book finished for my CP to read! This series sounds amazing. And I love the sound of Sapphire Dream as well.

Congrats, Lime, on capturing the GR. Is he just living at your house these days?

If I could change into any animal at will I think it would have to be a peregrine falcon. Nothing too ferocious for me, but I would love to be able to fly! And peregrines are fairly fast so I could travel around and visit the Banditas and Buddies and all of my friends. And falcons have a great "eye for detail." I would love to be able to spot the small things that make a difference in life.

Time travel for me would be an easy choice - Regency England, of course! I would have to be the daughter of a duke or at least an earl. I hate housework (as my cluttered house can attest) and I would love to have servants to look after me. I would be a "fair and generous" mistress, but I wouldn't have to wash dishes! Yuck!

Mornings riding on Rotten Row in Hyde Park. Afternoon calls and afternoon tea. Balls and musicales and routs. And a handsome suitor or two wouldn't hurt. I just love the idea of living in a slower, more genteel time.

CrystalGB said...

I would want to shapeshift into a jaguar. If I could travel back in time, I would choose to go to 1950's America.

~Drew said...

Hi Pamela,

Great interview, certainly gives an insight into the life of a romance writer, what a pace you keep!

Wow, what animal, I will admit a predatory, large, sleek cat appeals, but also a bird of prey, a falcon, or eagle perhaps. I would love to be able to fly, as some other have said. A wild mustang also would be interesting, running free across the open plains...Sigh.

And what time period? Victorian. And I would want to be rich, waited on hand and foot, a silver tea tray brought in to me...while I manage my many handsome suitors!

Your Feral Warriors sound utterly appealing,(those covers!!) will be on the lookout for these, cheers~

Anna Campbell said...

Lime, congratulations on one chook! He's back to his lady love in a big way, I see!

Personally, I'm convinced Pamela has my writing elves chained in her cellar. They sure aren't at my place and when I see her amazing productivity I think the facts speak for themselves, don't you? ;-)

Fedora, I think when it comes to time travel, Doctor Who has the idea. You know, swing in, swing out. Mind you, I think I'd like to avoid a few of the monsters he seems to meet! I'd much rather meet Mr. Darcy!

catslady said...

I would like to be a Griffin - half cat, half eagle. Best of both worlds :) And I would like the fantasy of living in medieval times (not the reality lol).

chey said...

I'd shift into a wolf.
I'd go to Winnipeg in the 1950's. It had electricity and running water!

Minna said...

I would choose a wolf. And as for time period, I would choose Finland in the 1800s. But stone age would be interesting too.

chey said...

I'd shift into a wolf.
I'd go to Winnipeg in the 1950's. It had electricity and running water!

Pamela said...

Louisa, I love the idea of a falcon's eye for detail. I could SO use that! I blame it on living too much in my head, but I don't see things. I once sat down in front of the television to wait for my husband to get ready to go out to dinner for our anniversary...and didn't see the roses sitting on top of the t.v.!

Pamela said...

Hey CrystalGB, I'm writing about a jaguar, now! My fourth Feral Warriors book is about Jag, the jaguar-shifter. He's the bad boy of the bunch and he hasn't been behaving for me, either. Not surprising.

Drew, I keep up the pace I do because I have to. All this talk of wild animals really brings up a great analogy. You never know how fast you can run until you've got a dangerous predator chasing you, right? I've got three, hot-breathed, long-fanged deadlines chasing me. Watch me run!

Pamela said...

Hey Anna darling! Your writing elves, eh? Is that what they are?? Truly, though, I'm afraid the only elves around here are pale, dangerous Esri. If I see yours, I'll send them home!

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, I'm with you on the rich thing! I think that's true throughout history. And sadly, I think life as a man was almost always better than life as a woman. Hmm, a sex change if I do the time travel thing? What do you think?

Michelle, I'll meet you at Almack's!

Pamela said...

Catslady, I love the idea of a Griffin! As long as they can fly. Well, mine would definitely fly. Love it!

Chey, you're the second one to mention the 1950's. That really was an ideal time for so many, wasn't it?

Minna, I'd love to know why Finland in particular. Do you have ancestors from there? I have a Scottish ancestor from the early 1800's who I know a lot about. I've often thought I'd love to go back and meet him and his family. I also love the idea of the stone age!

Anna Campbell said...

Bek, the shapeshifter question is really interesting, isn't it? Personally I think I'd like to be an eagle. It would be wonderful to be king of the skies like that, wouldn't it? Although I'm sure you would change into a flying dragon!

Oh, Keziah, now you're talking. At least in the 20s there was the start of modern medicine, women had some rights and the vote, and there was modernish plumbing. And I adore the fashions of the 20s. I just recently saw The Great Gatsby again as part of an art exhibition in Brisbane. What gorgeous clothes they wore then! And I love the music of the era too - classical and popular. I would have hung around the Ballets Russes and been frightfully avant garde, darling!

Anna Campbell said...

Blodeuedd, it's funny I always think of the Middle Ages when I see your name. I think it means 'field of flowers' or something, doesn't it? Do you know? I read a book with a gorgeous Welsh hero when I was in my late teens so I had a bit of a Welsh obsession there for a while. Think it's a beautiful language - and Bryn Terfel always gives me goosebumps when he sings.

Mariska, there's something appealing about taking life that slowly, isn't it? Actually I've changed my mind on the eagle. Looks like too much hard work. I think I want to be a cat too! A very pampered adored house cat!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Miss Sharon! Miss Sharon has been a world traveller lately. We're very lucky to have her here ;-) I know - I get these emails from Pam basically telling me she's written 400 pages in an hour and I start getting palpitations!

Kandy, those are some hot covers, aren't they?

Anna Campbell said...

Kylie, the idea of being such a fantastic acrobat in the air is really appealing, isn't it? Actually I know they're not big and scary, but I think being a swallow would be fun. They're the most amazing birds to watch in the air! Like ballet.

Helen, thanks for saying you enjoyed the interview! Another vote for a panther!

Anna Campbell said...

Anna, I 100% agree penguins are cool (pun intended!). But nah, Antarctica forever? Not for me! I'd quite happily be one of your cats. They even get frequent flyer points!

Dianna, it always fascinates me how people always go for the felines with these questions. I ran a contest on my website a few months ago giving away one of Pam's ARCs and the vast majority of the answers were big cats!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, we have ospreys here where I live and they're absolutely magnificent to watch. They really are like F1-11s! Actually another bird that's wonderful to watch is a gannet. I saw lots of them when I was travelling in Scotland. They dive bomb like the force of doom! Ooh, lucky you with Michael Biehn. I thought he was gorgeous in Terminator!

Miranda, whenever anyone asks if I'd like to live in the Regency, I say h*ll no! Actually I think if you were used to it, a lot of that daily stuff like smells wouldn't actually worry you that much. But the fact that I had no legal rights? No way, Jose!

Anna Campbell said...

Pamela, I love that you keep up with the exercise. Sadly, I'm like Nancy - it's the first thing to go. Here, have a margarita! It's lunchtime over there now. You're allowed to hit the liquor!

Congratulations on the Borders listing! Whoo-hooo! That deserves a dance from a cabana boy or two!

joder said...

Thanks for visiting with us Pamela! The new series sounds great and it's definitely on my wishlist.

For shifting, I would love to be a panther. I'd be sleek, sexy, and speedy (none of the things I am in real life).

And I have a big interest in the mid-1800s time period. I loved the clothes and the closeness families had back then.

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, I think you should email Doctor Who and tell him about the Easy button. Much better than a sonic screwdriver! Someone sent me one as a present and it always makes me giggle!

And I know I've said it before, but give that husband of yours a hug!

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, what a great idea for a kids' book. You should write it! Kinda serious, kinda wondering just WHEN you'd fit in another career as a YA author!

Pamela, I still giggle at that 'educational' visit to the National Gallery checking out all the male rears. And the security guard who told us to be quiet because we were causing a ruckus. Oh, the shame!

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, when you do shapeshift, you'd better zoom down to Oz, my friend!

Crystal, if I went back to the 1950s, I'd want Sophia Loren's figure. She looked fabulous in those dresses!

Anna Campbell said...

Drew, grab a feral warrior! You won't be sorry! ;-)

Catslady, your shapeshifter does have the best of both worlds, doesn't she?

Anna Campbell said...

Chey, we're all very aware of our creature (pun intended!) comforts, aren't we?

Ooh, Minna, you're brave! The Stone Age!!!

Pam, I go through stages of seeing everything and stages of seeing nothing. It's most bizarre and very discombobulating! Laughed at your roses story.

Anna Campbell said...

And now I'm laughing at the fanged deadlines! You go, girl!

EEEEEEEKKKKK! No Esri for me. No sirree. Well, between the pages of a book, they're fine because they're such a great creation. But in real life, scary dudes! And don't pretend you haven't got my elves! They're not writing books for me, they MUST be writing books for you! Elementary, my dear Palmer.

Anna Campbell said...

Joder, another panther? We've got a whole pack of them getting together out of this blog! I hope their panther's on...

Hmm, did that joke work? Nah, I didn't think so either!

Anna Campbell said...

Pamela, given your spectacular publication schedule, have you got any advice for the unpubbed?

~Drew said...

Oooo. I would love some advice for the unpubbed as well! (That's me!)

Cybercliper said...

Hi Pamela - please don't enter me in the giveaway. I'm already the proud owner of all three Passion books and I LOVE THEM...sorry for yelling, but I love this series and can hardly wait for the next one!!!

But I love the question so I'll say a wolf (easier to blend these days) and in 17th century Scotland. ((sigh)) Can you say sexy, shifting, Scott three times real fast :-)

Pamela said...

Hi joder! You have to love a sleek black panther. They're gorgeous, aren't they?

Pamela said...

Anna, I've never seen Dr. Who. I'm going to have to add that one to my 'must see' list.

No, no. No YA's. At least not this year. Although, I do have another idea...

Loved that visit to the National Gallery. Romance writers definitely have a unique way of seeing things. :)

Virginia said...

Congrats limecello!

If I could shift into any animal it would have to some type of large cat. Because the are so quick on there feet, maybe a leopard!

As far as going back in time I think I would like to visit during the Civil War time. Just for a short visit, I wouldn't want to stay there. I like the modern times of today.

Pamela said...

Cybercliper! I'm so glad you're enjoying the books!!

Actually that sexy, shape-shifting Scot has been one of my fears. I'm writing a Scottish time travel series simultaneously with my Feral Warriors series, and the Esri, evil elf series. My biggest fear is getting them mixed up!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi. Pamela and Anna

Add me to the big, sleek cat list,
or would I like to "fly like a
bird?" (That's the title of one of
my favorite hymns.) I like the line
"I want to soar like an eagle!"

I wouldn't mind going back for a
few minutes into what I call my
"running back" days in the '70s!
LOL!

Pat Cochran

Pamela said...

Advice for the unpubbed? I could probably think of something. I'm laughing, because I was an unpubbed for years, as are a lot of authors. There's a belief that 'if you write it, the contracts will come'. Uh, no. The publishers get hundreds, if not thousands, of manuscripts for everyone they publish. Which makes it sound impossible. It's definitely not impossible, but it's not easy, either. The secret? Keep writing, keep learning, and never give up.

It took me a long time to understand this, but it's not simply a matter of writing a book that's as good as what's already out there. Because first of all, how do you know? Writing is an art, totally in the eyes of the beholder. The other way to look at it is this: when was the last time a book moved you so much you felt compelled to contact the author afterward to tell her how much you loved it? There's a huge difference between enjoying a book and loving it to that extreme. And that's pretty much that level of enthusiasm the editor has to feel to buy it from an unknown, untested writer. Not quite, maybe, but darned close.

And before you let that discourage you, remember how many times a friend has recommended a book she was sure you'd love, and you didn't. It's completely and totally subjective. Just because it didn't sing to one editor/agent doesn't mean it won't to another. Or that your next one won't. You simply can't ever give up.

Pamela said...

As for concrete stuff, there are some wonderful books out there, some that helped me tremendously. Jack Bickham's Scene and Structure and Blake Snyder's Save the Cat! are two of the best, IMO. One is particularly good for structuring scenes, the other for structuring novels. I also love Michael Hauge. He doesn't have a book out, but rather a series of taped lectures on DVD about writing screenplays. The one I've found the most helpful is the one on Romantic Comedies. It's full of wonderful character insight.

I could go on and on. Any specific questions?

Pamela said...

Virginia, your Civil War idea intrigues me. I live in Civil War country and have often visited the Manassas Battlefield. Every time I'm there, I imagine what it would have been like. Honestly, though, if I were to visit during that time, it wouldn't be that battlefield! The story of the first Manassas battle is fascinating, though. It was the very first battle of the war and the wealthy from Washington rode their carriages out to watch the spectacle, thinking they were going to watch the silly Confederates running from the field with their tails between their legs. When real war, real death, erupted, it was the spectators fleeing for their lives.

Pamela said...

Pat, the 70's would be interesting! I'm wondering how that would work if you met yourself. Usually that's a no-no, but not always. Has anyone seen or read the Time Traveler's Wife? I loved it. It intrigued me how the characters could meet themselves, and talk to their older/younger selves.

Minna said...

Pamela, I AM a Finn.

Anna Campbell said...

Drew, I love it when Pam talks craft/industry. If you've got any questions, she's one of the best in the business!

Anna Campbell said...

Cyberclipper, I'd love to hear you say that with a lisp! Or perhaps a MacLisp! Great to meet another fan of Pam's writing!

Pam, actually I know I'm Robinson Crusoe here, but I'm not a huge fan of the current Doctor Who series. It's really, REALLY dark! But I grew up on Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee as Doctor Who and just loved them. They were fantastically imaginative stories.

Anna Campbell said...

Virginia, the Civil War? What an interesting choice. I wouldn't want to stay either but it would be fascinating for a visit.

Pat, I'm another child of the 70s. It's been great seeing the 70s-influenced fashion recently. Love those garish patterns!

Anna Campbell said...

Well, when I say child, I'm actually a child of the 60s, but I was a teenager in the 70s.

Pam, that's great advice. What about contests for unpubbed? Do you think they're useful? I know there's a bit of a divided opinion on that.

ddurance said...

I would be a black jaguar if I could shift. As far as time travel goes, I would have to choose medieval England.

Deidre

Anna Campbell said...

Pamela, that Manassas story is full of black humour, isn't it? I remember going out to Jeanne Bandita's recent signing at Boonsboro and seeing signs for Manassas. I always get goose bumps when I'm near a major battlefield. Sort of sad and fascinated at the same time.

Beth said...

Hi, Pam! Welcome back to the lair! It was great to see you in D.C. *g*

I am so excited about your Feral Warriors books! As soon as I meet my self-imposed deadline, I'm going to read all three :-)

Which means I'd better get back to the writing cave asap ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Ddurance, another big cat? We've got a whole menagerie of them shaping up here! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Beth, thanks for poking your nose out of the writing cave to say hello. You're the cat's whiskers!

~Drew said...

Pamela,

Thanks so much. It does seem so daunting, I have finished a 97,000 word historical/paranormal, I am editing it now.
It must take a lot of intestinal fortitude to send your work out there, to lay it all on the line. I will admit, the prospect scares me a little. Will I be able to handle rejection? Yikes!

I will certainly do as you suggest, keep writing. I am. Starting a historical western now, LOL! "Keep learning and never give up" Thank you! I won't!

And if you can share any quick suggestions for writing a good query or synopsis, I would be eternally grateful.

And Anna and all the other authors on this blog, thank you.
You give an unpubbed (I like that word!)like me, some hope!
Cheers~

Anna Campbell said...

Congratulations, Drew, on finishing that book. Think how many people say they're going to write a book and then never do! Yay, you! That's a major achievement.

My best advice (I'm sure Pam has more) is put that puppy under the bed now for six months and write your next story. Then take out the old book and it's amazing what you'll pick up that needs fixing. And you'll also have all the things you learned writing your next story. It's hard to achieve a critical distance on something we've just finished. I find a gap really helps me sort out the men from the boys when it comes to problems in a manuscript ;-) Good luck with your writing.

Pamela said...

Minna, I am SUCH an American. We're all obsessed with our heritage. Well, not all certainly, but I've always been. Finland makes perfect sense, then!

Pamela said...

Anna, if it weren't for the writing contests, I'm not sure I'd be published. It took me nine years from the time I finished my first book until I got The Call. Rejection after rejection after rejection. But I kept finaling in contests. And even when I didn't final, I usually had at least one judge who loved my worked. All that praise from people who didn't know me convinced me I could do it...as long as I didn't give up. Someday I was going to find an editor or agent who felt that way. And I did.

I sold directly from the 2006 Golden Heart. One of my final round judges was Ann Leslie Tuttle, an editor at Silhouette who was looking for books for the new Nocturne line.

All these contests, by the way, are through RWA (Romance Writers of America - www.rwanational.org). FYI, you don't have to be an American to join. It's a fabulous organization for writers at all stages, published and unpublished.

Pamela said...

Deidre, I love the big cats! Of course, my first four Feral Warriors books are about a lion shifter, a tiger shifter, a black panther shifter, and a jaguar shifter. They're not all cats, though. Hawke, Wulfe, Foxx, and Vhyper are there, too.

For those who haven't read the books, the premise is that millennia ago the Therians, the race of might shape-shifters, had to mortgage most of their power to imprison the Daemon Satanan and his horde, leaving only one of each of the ancient shifter lines with the power of his animal. Only nine remain, the Feral Warriors, each of whom shifts into a different animal. And, oh by the way, Satanan is on the rise again.

Pamela said...

Hey Beth! Wonderful to see you. Good luck with that deadline!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hey Pam! So glad to have you here, dear! I'm crawling out of the cave just long enough to wave madly *waving madly* and slither back in. I loved reading all the answers to your questions.

Mine would be:

Snow leopard or Bengal tiger for what I'd shift into.

Time Period:

The US in the 1940's Grins.

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Wait, just realized I could do mythical beasts...wow I get so hidebound (harharhar) when I'm in the cave. I'd do the griffin/gryphon deal for sure. The flying thing. Yep. And the sheer power of them. :>

Pamela said...

Drew, congrats on finishing that book! It is daunting to send it out the first time. And humbling. I read somewhere recently that the single most important trait of any writer is thick skin. If it's not the rejections, it's the critics. You have to tune them out or learn to let them slide right off you. So, expect rejection and if you don't get it, celebrate. If you do, you're in great company! Most published writers have stacks and stacks of rejections hidden away somewhere.

As for query letters and synopses, I'm not sure where to send you. I've taken so many workshops on these through the years, but I don't have anything concrete. If you haven't joined RWA, I highly recommend it. Then join your local chapter and see if they have a library with tapes of workshops or something.

Anna, can you think of any place with examples?

You know who you might contact? Bill Stephens Productions tapes all the RWA National workshops. I think anyone can buy them. www.rwanational.org, click on Conferences, then scroll down the left until you see the info on Conference Recordings and Handouts.

Pamela said...

Hey Jeanne! *waving back madly* Nice to see you out of the cave. :)

Gannon Carr said...

Hi, Pamela! So many great books to add to my out of control TBR pile! :)

I'd love to shift to a wolf. I have a real love for them--such mysterious and majestic animals. If it was a mythical creature, I'd go for the gryphon so I could fly.

As for time travel, I'd have to say Elizabethan England, and of course I'd be filthy rich. It's the only way to go. LOL

Anna Campbell said...

Pam, you're talking to the converted. I think contests are great - and like you, they kept me going through the long, LONG time before I published. But I know they're not for everyone. I know people who have only been starting out and struck particularly savage judges. I know there's the risk of your work being edited into flatness because you take EVERY single judges' comment as gospel. I think there can be risks to them. Mind you, developing a thick skin is one of the benefits of being a contest maven. There is a crueler word than maven but I'm not going to use it ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Jeanne, I can see you in the 40s! That's just right for you! You would have been one blonde bombshell, my friend. Well, you're that now, but something about you and those wise-cracking chicks from that era is a perfect match.

Oh, and Pam, I 100% think RWA is a great organisation for people at any stage of a romance writing career.

Pamela said...

Hi Gannon! Oh, I agree, rich is the only way to go back then. It wouldn't buy you antibiotics, but visiting a peasant's hovel doesn't sound nearly as romantic as a grand house or a castle.

Anna Campbell said...

Drew, not sure about where you'd find query letters. You could just google 'query letters' and I bet you'd get a million hits back. Synopses, however, I can definitely help you with. There's two great examples on the websites of a couple of writers I have enormous respect and admiration for.

Anne Gracie:

http://www.annegracie.com/writing/synopses.htm

Bronwyn Jameson: http://www.bronwynjameson.com/shortsynop.html

http://www.bronwynjameson.com/longsynop.html

Bron is actually my guest on the 7th September so come back and ask her any questions then.

Actually both Anne and Bron's websites are packed full of fantastic information for writers. Check it out!

Anna Campbell said...

Gannon, you would have taken the Elizabethan court by storm! Actually that could be dangerous - Lizzie didn't like too much competition! ;-)

Hey, griffins seem to be taking the world by storm too!

Pamela said...

Anna, you're right, of course. Contests can be a double-edged sword. You can get judges who really don't know what they're doing, who tell you to do it this way because it's the only way, etc. I'm the first to admit I was a lousy judge when I first started. But what I learned to do with the critiques was sit back and look at the big picture. I never entered just one contest, always at least 3 or 4 so I got anywhere from 6-10 critiques. (Some contests give you two judges, some three.) Then I looked at trending. If several people hated my heroine, I knew I had a problem with her. If only one did, I ignored the judge. So when several agreed that I had a problem somewhere, I looked closely at those comments, closely at the suggestions, and I often learned something. Not always. There can be infinite ways to fix something. But the key is, I learned. Slowly, painfully sometimes, but I learned.

Another advantage to contests is that if you final, your entry (usually first chapter and a synopsis) often goes to an acquiring editor for the final round judging. This is how I made my first sale!

Anna Campbell said...

Absolutely, Pam. Well said!

Actually another benefit of contests is it starts to make you think in a 'professional' way. You know, you have to polish your work to submission standard. Well, you do if you want to final! You have to meet deadlines. You have to learn how to present your work in a professional manner. It's also a great way to network. I'm still in touch with a lot of my judges. I got my agent through a contest judge. It's always surprising where things lead.

Miranda Neville said...

I'd like to 100% agree with everything Anna and Pam have said about contests. The feedback can be terrific and even if it isn't, it's important to get reactions from readers who aren't your CP, your sister or your best friend.

As soon as I won a contest and had a full MS request I started getting positive response from agents and that led to my sale.

And listen to what Anna said about staying in touch with judges. I always thanked my judges, even ones who gave me lousy scores and harsh critiques, and I made some good contacts that way. I have now judged several contests and I haven't received a thank you from single contestant. Maybe I suck as a judge, it's entirely possible, but all the same I put in a lot of work and it's nice to get an acknowledgment. I'd also like to get some feedback about how helpful I cam as a judge. As pam said, judges need to learn too.

So, when you enter contest, please thank your judges!

PJ said...

Hi Pamela! Welcome back to the lair. It was lovely meeting you in DC this summer. I've been collecting your books and am looking forward to reading them.

I honestly don't know what animal I'd want to shift into but it would have to be something at the top of the food chain. (grin)

Anna Campbell said...

Miranda, I 100% agree. Aren't we an agreeable lot? Actually I rarely get thank you letters any more either and it's kind of disappointing because you work really hard to give people feedback to help them. And I think that's true of virtually all judges who volunteer their time to judge contests. I always wrote thank you letters, even if the feedback wasn't great. I figured it was someone who took time out from their writing (and everything else in their life) to try and help me. The least I could do was drop them a line of appreciation.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, whatever you shift into, please make sure you can still make those fabulous chocolates! ;-)

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Pamela said...
That sounds like a great kids' book to me. The kid detective who can shift into a housecat and spy on the neighbors. Has someone already written it or am I just making this up?
Sound like you just started on another genre to me. Shape-shifters for young adults.

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, it always fascinates me how people always go for the felines with these questions. I ran a contest on my website a few months ago giving away one of Pam's ARCs and the vast majority of the answers were big cats!

I think Pamela needs to start that YA series, teens that shift to house cats and snoop around the neighborhood, I would read it!
I think the attraction is cats are such sensual creatures. They are so lithe and sleek, except mine of course, they are fat and lazy but I love them anyway.

Pamela said...

Hi, PJ! It was wonderful meeting you in DC, too. Hugs for collecting my books! I hope you enjoy them.

I second Anna's rave. The chocolates were out of this world!

Anna Campbell said...

Dianna, I think there's also that stunning combination of lethal power and beauty in a big cat. I definitely get the fascination! A bit like a good Regency rake, huh? LOL!

Pamela said...

Dianna, careful, don't encourage my muse! She's already out of control. But, oh yeah, she's playing with this one, now, too.

~Drew said...

Thank you ALL so much for the tips, suggestions and links, I really learned a lot here today, and that I want a feral warrior!

Cheers!~

Anna Campbell said...

Pamela, you'll have to put Dianna in the dedication!

Drew, you're most welcome! Thanks for joining in today. And don't forget to come back and see Bron on Monday.

jo robertson said...

Hi, fellow 2006 GH'er! So good to have you visiting again. Your books are so exciting and invigorating. I'm in awe of your writing schedule and deadlines. You're my new hero LOL.

I identify with the panther, long, sleek black pelt. Yum!

Pamela said...

You're welcome, Drew! Best of luck!

Pamela said...

Hi, Jo! *waving* Great to see you! Glad you're enjoying my books. :)

Pamela said...

Thanks for having me, Banditas! It's been fun!!

Becke Davis said...

I'm late, I'm late, and I so wanted to get over here earlier. I love the look of these books -- I've been admiring book 2, which is right at the top of my TBR pile where I can drool over it. Must read these soon!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Becke, always lovely to see you, whatever time you show up! ;-)

Thanks, everyone, for a lovely day in the lair. Don't forget to check back to see who won the signed copies of DESIRE UNTAMED!