One of the authors I've enjoyed getting to know via social media and zoom meetings with our mutual publishing company over the last few years is Pamela S Meyers. I've also enjoyed reading her series of books set in Lake Geneva, WI. Her fourth book just released and I'm super excited to see where she took the story (besides WWII). Read on to find out more about her and her beautiful series.
Pam, this is the fourth book in your series, and each is set in a different time period. Did you find you enjoyed researching one time period more than another? Why?
I didn't expect to like the time period of the first book as it was set in 1873 at the time of the Great Chicago Fire, because I'd never written a story set before phones were commonly used and people drove cars, not buggies. But as I got into the story I found I really enjoyed it and enjoyed the challenge of being careful to not use vocabulary that was not in the vernacular of the time. Each time period after that which is about 20 years or so after the previous book had certain challenges and I learned a lot about each one. My favorite, though is Book 4, set in 1942-43 homefront WWII. I loved the forties and the way the U.S. pulled together with a "can-do" spirit.
I don't think I would've even though about vocabulary! Great job on the details.
As you've followed this family through the years, have you included anything from your own family's history in your stories?
Not anything specific. My family didn't move to Lake Geneva until around 1946 so they weren't around even during the time period of the first one. But the unique thing is the town itself didn't change a whole lot from the 1930s going forward until the 1970s. I used the bowling alley for a good part of Rose Harbor. It was the same bowling alley I learned to bowl in and where my dad bowled in a bowling league for years. I pretty much described it as it was. I also bring in some of the real townspeople such as the family who owned the bowling alley back then. Grace, my heroine, although proficient at flying large bomber airplanes was a lousy bowler, as am I. Mac, the hero in the story, teaches her how to throw a hook and she vastly improves. Where was Mac when I needed him? LOL.
Ha! I'm not great at bowling, either.
What made you choose Lake Geneva as your main setting for these stories?
Lake Geneva is my hometown. I was born in Ohio but we moved to L.G. when I was two and I have no memory of ever living in Ohio. The town and area have a rich and interesting history, just ripe for story ideas :-).
I know several of your characters love to boat across the lake. Do you also like to boat and ski and swim?
Having grown up in Lake Geneva where the books are set I spent my growing up years in or on the water as much as I could. My family couldn't afford their own boat but I had friends whose families could and they would take a bunch of us out on the water to water ski quite often. If we weren't doing that we were at the beach swimming and working on our tans.
Sounds like fun!
Any hopes of one more story for this series or do you feel like it's complete now?
Yes, it's been declared that Rose Harbor is the fourth and last book in the series. I knew this going into writing it, and made sure loose ends were tied up by the last page. I went through a period of mourning when I read through it for the final time. It was hard to let go of Mac and Grace, the main characters in the book, but eventually, I managed LOL.
What's up next? I know how exhausting it is to launch a book, but if you're like me, you've already got more stories swirling through your brain. Can you give us any hints of what you might tackle down the road?
Having had a book published each of the last four years, I'm taking a bit of a writing break, but I do have plot points, etc. swirling around in my head, just like you said. I am wanting to write a timeslip story with one storyline set in possibly during homefront Vietnam War and the other set back maybe in the early forties. It's all very loose and fluid at the moment.
Sounds like a story I'd enjoy reading!
When writing, do you prefer music or quiet? Anything you like to snack on when working?
I really need quiet. If there is music it must be instrumental and soft and easy in the background. Anything chocolate fills the bill as for snacking.
I love chocolate, too. And final question: Can you leave us with one fact very few people know about you?
One of my ancestors, George Bancroft, was Secretary of the Navy under President VanBuren and he was one of the founders of the Navel Academy at Annapolis, MD. One of the dorms on that campus, Bancroft Hall, is named for him.
That is fascinating! Thanks so much for joining us today, Pam. I'm sure my readers enjoyed hearing about your stories and hometown as much as I did.
All Grace Bauer has wanted to do since she was a child was to fly airplanes. When the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) organizes for female pilots to ferry new bomber aircraft to stateside military bases, Grace applies. She’s never tires of flying B-17s and other aircraft and dreams of being one of the first females to pilot a commercial airliner after the war.
A life-threatening illness clips her wings, and she finds herself back home in Wisconsin, thinking that God is punishing her for a past sin. Bored, she joins a ladies bowling league and meets Mac McAlister, a widowed school teacher who helps out at the bowling alley on league nights. He offers to help her restore the old family lakeshore estate, Safe Refuge—now called Rose Harbor and lost during the Crash of 1929—back to the family. She’s happy to have a good friend like Mac to help. But despite her efforts to keep their relationship platonic, Grace’s feelings for him grow. Before the relationship can move to the next level, she must tell him her secret, and when he hears it, he’ll want nothing more to do with her. She should end the relationship, but can’t imagine life without him. It is only with God’s blessing that she’ll be free to love Mac. But after what she’s done, she doubts God is willing to forgive her.
Pam has written most of her life, beginning with her first diary at age eight. Her novels,set in and around her hometown of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, include Surprised by Love in Lake Geneva, and Safe Refuge, Shelter Bay, Tranquility Point, and Rose Harbor, books one through four in the Newport of the West series.
Pam resides in northern Illinois with her two rescue cats, only an hour or so away from Lake Geneva where she often is found nosing around for new story ideas. She serves her church as a volunteer in the homebound ministry and as a Life Group leader.
Find her at any of the places below:
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)