Hello, all. Today, I have Pamela S. Meyers visiting. I have read a couple of her books now, and can vouch that you're in for a treat if you check them out. She's a fellow Mantle Rock Publishing sister author, and has graciously offered to do a giveaway to one of the readers who comments on this post. So, read to the end to find out how to win!
In the meantime, let's chat with Pam.
Pam, can you tell us a little bit about how you got started as an author? What makes you want to write?
I’ve always liked to write things down. I asked for a diary at age eight. So, I guess you can say I started journaling at that early age. I was an avid reader growing up. My mom loved to read novels and she infused that same love of the written story in me. I didn’t do well when I first went to college, but returned to college twenty years later by enrolling in an adult program at a local college where they gave credit for life experiences. I had to do a lot of writing in that curriculum and also took upper level elective writing courses. My professor said I could get paid for my writing and over time, the dream to write stories developed. I joined American Christian Fiction Writers in its infancy when there were only about 100 members (it’s now several thousand strong) and it is through the writing workshops and crit groups there that I was able to hone my skills.
Wow! That's an amazing story about going back to school. I'm very impressed.
You have two different kinds of books published -- contemporary and historical. I just finished reading two of your contemporary ones and very much enjoyed them, but I have to ask. How does a girl from WI and Chicago know so much about rodeos and the San Antonio area? :-)
I became good friends with a guy from Texas a number of years ago and he used to rodeo. He took me to my first rodeo and I loved it. I was stunned to learn that some of the bull riders were from Wisconsin. It turns out there are quite a few rodeos that take place in the summer in my home state, but there were never any near me at that time. My friend and I used to attend a rodeo every Labor Day weekend and that is the setting for Second Chance Love. The sequel to that book is about two supporting characters from “Second Chance” and is set on a ranch near San Antonio. I’ve been to Texas quite a few times but never to San Antonio. I did a lot of research on the area on the internet, plus asked questions of my Texas friends. For instance, I had no idea that homes in that area generally don’t have basements because of the type of soil. In my first draft I had my hero Jace refer to the house he was building as having a basement. I was set straight about that by one of my crit partners who lives in Texas! LOL
Ha! Yes. Texas definitely has a different kind of soil than some of the northern states.
Can you tell us a little more about your Lake Geneva series? Where did you get the idea for it?
I grew up in Lake Geneva which is a small town set on one of the most beautiful lakes in Wisconsin, Geneva Lake. I’d already set a 1933 historical in Lake Geneva that was part of the “Love Finds You” series. That book was my first historical. The Lake Geneva area is very rich in history. The lakeshore has been populated since the 1870s with beautiful mansions and estates thanks to the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The wealthy people of Chicago needed a place for their families after their homes were destroyed and they bought property on the shoreline and built beautiful huge homes there. Soon other well-to-do people came and bought property and built beautiful mansions. Some have either been torn down or burned down, but quite a few of them remain along with more modern ones. Excursion boats circle the lake and describe the homes, some of which were owned (or are) by people whose names you would recognize such as Wrigley or Schwinn. New people to the area know little about the lake’s history and I decided to write a series based on a fictional family who loses everything in the fire and moves north to Lake Geneva. Each book in the series occurs 20 years after the previous one. Book 1, Safe Refuge, starts out with the Chicago Fire. I’m working on the third book now, which is at the time of World War 1.
That sounds really interesting.
Which do you prefer to write? Contemporary or historical? And why?
It’s hard to say. When I’m writing historical I love doing it, especially because it’s set in my hometown and surrounding area. I’ve learned a ton about the area’s history I didn’t know even though I grew up there. Yet writing historical requires a lot of time to research and I can’t write the stories as fast as I can with contemporary stories. Once Book 4 of the series is written, I hope to go back and do some contemporary stories. I loved writing cozy mysteries and I’m thinking of getting back into doing that.
I totally agree about the research. I think that's why I like to write contemporary, too.
I know you love cats, and your two are super cute. Do you ever include cats in your novels because of your own?
I did in my first novel, Thyme for Love, which is a cozy mystery,, but I haven’t brought pets into my stories much since then. Maybe I will in the one I’m working on now.
I had the pleasure of visiting Chicago about eight years ago and loved it. Will you base any of your future novels in the city where you live? Why or why not?
Probably not unless it’s like I did in Second Chance Love where it started in the city but quickly moved to a small town in southern Illinois. I actually live in a Chicago suburb and not in the city itself. I’m kind of becoming known as one of the Lake Geneva authors and I will aim to set my future stories in that area. It doesn’t mean my characters can’t go into Chicago for a day or weekend. In fact, in Shelter Bay, which takes place in 1893, my characters take the train into Chicago and attend the Columbian Exposition which was the World’s Fair of that year. I devote an entire chapter to that day trip and had a lot of fun researching it.
Sounds like fun. Okay, one last question to finish us up today. Can you share with us something interesting that very few people know about you?
I know my closest friends know this already, but in the course of a year’s time I lived in the Midwest the East Coast and the West Coast. After living in Milwaukee, I moved to New York City because my fiancé was working and attending school there. Unfortunately, the relationship soured after I arrived. I stayed through the winter, living with three other women in an apartment on the Upper East Side, then moved with my parents to the Los Angeles area where my dad had just taken a new job. I didn’t live with them once I was settled. My dad’s job didn’t work out and they returned to the Midwest after a couple of years, but I stayed in L.A. for about seven years before transferring to the Chicago suburbs. I’ve lived here ever since.
It’s been fun visiting with you today Amy! Thanks for having me.
Isn't Pam fun? Her stories are, too. If you'd like to be entered to win a copy of either Safe Refuge or Shelter Bay, leave us a comment below letting us know if you've ever been to a rodeo or not (I have, but it's been a while). And to find out more about Pam and her newest book, keep reading.
Adventure girl, Maureen Quinn, isn’t yet sure of her life’s direction, but she knows she isn’t cut out to be a bookkeeper for the town’s undertaker. Wearing her new bloomers, she suffers a bicycle accident in the middle of downtown and her long-time crush, Preston Stevens, comes to her rescue. It isn’t long before they become inseparable and she’s sure he’s the man God has for her.
Unlike his older brothers, who are shackled to desk jobs at their father’s financial services company, Preston yearns to see the world. What better person to do that with than Maureen? But, after being expelled from Yale, because of a prank that brought embarrassment to the family, his dad has issued an ultimatum: Enlist in the military or join his brothers in the family business. He signs up with the U.S. Life Saving Service, a division of the Coast Guard, reasoning the time spent on the shores of Lake Michigan, keeping people safe, is far better than being stuck in a landlocked encampment. After his two-year stint, he intends to live out his dream of world travel before settling in Lake Geneva. But it isn’t long before life-altering events occur affecting both his and Maureen’s lives forever.
Pam has written most of her life, beginning with her first diary at age eight. Her novels include Thyme For Love, Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, Second Chance Love, Whatever is True, and Safe Refuge, Book One in the Newport of the West Series.
Pam resides in northern Illinois with her two rescue cats. She’s an hour or so away from her home town of Lake Geneva, the setting for the series, where she can be found researching and nosing for new story ideas.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2kqP5CC
Link to purchase from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JOtnSI
This is a place for me to tell you about what I'm writing, talk about the process or where some of my ideas came from, or even have other authors come in and talk about their books.
Authors I Love to Read (in no particular order)