winner of my 2013 Favorite Goof Contest!
Take it away, Pam!
1) What were your favorite books growing up? Oh gosh, so many! I have to thank my mother for instilling in me my love of books by encouraging me to read when I was young. I read everything; Nancy Drew Mysteries, all the Lord of the Rings, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, Tom Sawyer, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Charlotte’s Web…there are too many to list all my favorites here, but one series stood out to me: Barbara Van Tuyl’s A Horse Called Bonnie books. Rumor has it they will be released in Kindle soon!
2) Now that you have, let’s say—some life experience, what would you tell your younger self? BUY STOCK IN GOOGLE!!! Oh, I guess that’s what I would say if I could time travel back to my younger self. So I guess if I could send thoughts back to my younger self, it would be “Be less afraid of failure and more afraid of not trying.” And BUY STOCK IN GOOGLE!
3) Describe your typical day. Seriously, it’s totally dull. Being a writer is one of the most unglamorous jobs there is. In fact, I like to joke that when I worked as a receptionist, my day was much more glamorous. I always had a nice manicure, wore nice clothes and makeup, did my hair, and put on my most professional persona to greet my customers during the day. Writing is done in my sweat pants, no makeup, with my hair pulled back in a messy clip just to get it out of my face. I intersperse housecleaning to break up long stints in the chair.
4) Who is your favorite character in your books? I know most writers say this, but my favorite character is always the one I’m currently writing. If I didn’t love them, (heroes and heroines alike) I couldn’t write about them. If I had to pick one favorite, I would say it was Celia Brown from Once Upon a Christmas Carol. I threw so much bad stuff at her, but she still didn’t lose her sanity.
5) What do you do when writer’s block shows up, settles in, and makes itself comfortable? Writer’s block is my constant companion, even when I know my story’s beginning, middle, and end. Because I’m always looking for that element that will make it bigger, better, more. I’m always searching for the WOOHOO moment, the thing that makes a reader hold their breath or shout in excitement. What is a woohoo moment? Here’s an example (and you’ll have to be a Justified fan to get this) Raylan Givens finds himself across a table from Fletcher “The Icepick” Nix, an assassin who toys with his victims by placing a gun on the table between them and giving them until the count of 10 to grab it. When the victim reaches for the gun, Nix stabs the other player in the hand with an ice pick before taking the gun and killing them. We’ve already seen him kill someone this way, so I’m on the edge of my seat holding my breath as Nix counts down across from Raylan. I’m watching this thinking “No, Raylan, don’t do it! He’ll kill you!” But what choice does he have but to try? OMG how will my sexy hero get out of this one? And then, instead of reaching for the gun, Raylan pulls the table cloth toward himself, causing Nix to stab the table with the ice pick, and Raylan grabs the gun and shoots Nix in the shoulder. I threw my hands in the air and shouted WOOHOO! Honestly every time I watch Justified I say to myself, I wish I could write like that. Justified is constantly giving me my WOOHOO moment.
6) Do you find yourself pulling details from “real life” or does your imagination rule the roost? It’s a mixture of both, because I have a wild imagination, but seriously, real life has some crazy shit! It really is true what they say, truth is stranger than fiction.
7) What was the first manuscript you wrote (even if it never saw the light of day)? An 800 page rambling, implausible fantasy about a bounty hunter who seduced her skips, drugged them, and brought them back to the police station unconscious. Needless to say, it was not something that would give Janet Evanovich a run for her money.
8) Have you ever pursued traditional publishing? Or did you go straight for indie publishing? I am what’s known as a Hybrid author. I made my first sales to small presses: Samhain Publishing and The Wild Rose Press as myself, and erotic works to Loose Id, Ellora’s Cave, and Lyrical Press under a pseudonym. There are a lot of benefits to being with an established publisher, and I am fortunate to have had wonderful experiences with all of them. But there are also a lot of benefits to being Indie, too. Ultimately, going it Indie fits perfectly with my personality because I like to be in charge, especially where my own career is concerned. I use the skills from previous jobs to handle much of it myself: I’m an expert in Microsoft Office, I write HTML so I can format my own books, and I spent twelve years as a professional web and graphic designer so I can create my own art. I learned valuable lessons from my publishing houses, one of which the value of quality editing. As an Indie author, I make a promise to my readers that my Indie books are as well edited as my contracted books, if not better. I always start with beta readers, I hire a technical editor and a content editor, and finally, I bribe an eagle-eyed relative to give me a final read before I push the giant red PUBLISH button.
9) What Works In Progress are brewing? Any target dates for publication? This is one of the things I love about being Indie; I can write whatever I want. I’m putting the finishing edits on a dystopian fantasy set in the future in which vampires have come out of the proverbial closet because of a zombie plague that threatens the human race, i.e. their food supply. My heroine is a virus-immune bounty hunter who hates vampires. When she’s hired by the richest man left alive to find his missing kids, she’s forced to work in tandem with a vampire. They get into all kinds of trouble. I loved writing this one because my heroine has some serious snark, and I got to use my potty mouth.
10) How can fans reach you? I have a website that I do keep updated. I can’t say the same about Facebook and Twitter. But I put it all out there on my website and my blog, and I have a newsletter readers can sign up for to get notified when I have a new release. http://www.pamelafryer.com, www.facebook.com/pamelasbooks. Thanks for having me! Like I said earlier, as a writer I just don’t get out as much as I should anymore.