Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Author Spotlight on Pam Hillman

Today, I'm delighted to welcome Debut Author Pam Hillman. Pam is an award-winning author and writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age.
Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. 
Pam lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.  
You can find Pam on Seekerville and catch up with Pam on her personal blog and website













   About the Book:
    When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.
     
    Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.



 Read the prologue and first chapter:

Buy Stealing Jake at any of these fine retailers:
Amazon:

Barnes & Noble link:

Christian Book Distributers link:


Pam’s hosting a giveaway… and it’s a KINDLE giveaway!!!! Go to:



And now for our interview! Welcome Pam! Thanks so much for sharing your journey with me today.
I understand part of your journey was entering many contests. Many of those you won! Congratulations! How did you decide which contests you wanted to enter?

Christy, I am the queen of contests. I thought I had a post in Seekerville outlining how to decide on contests, but I can’t find it. But there are lots of good posts there detailing which contests to enter, and about once a month we have a list of writing contests listed on Friday. And the comments section is a huge goldfield just waiting to be mined! A quick answer to your question is that most authors just starting out need to enter for feedback. As your scores improve, you’ll become more specific on which contests to enter. When you start finalling, you enter based on who the finalist judges are, usually agents and editors you’d like to work with.

You mentioned in previous interviews and on your website about dealing with rejection. That’s a real obstacle no matter where an author is in their career. Any advice to pre-pubbed writers out there to make sure we pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and plug on toward our dreams?

That’s just it. Pull yourselves up and keep moving forward. If you can walk away from your dream, do it. If not, don’t. Writing, submitting, and getting rejections are just like going to school. And the rejections don’t stop after you land that first contract. If you work at your craft and send your best work, you can be proud of what you sent in, even if it is rejected. Seekerville rule #1: You’ve got 24 hours for a pity-party, then you gotta pull up those bootstraps and try, try again! Come to Seekerville and we’ll give you a hug and a Ruthy-style pep-talk.

 I didn’t realize that constantly editing a manuscript and revising it was simply an example of
 my fear within my writing. Can you share any fears you’ve dealt with during your journey
 and how you conquer them?

When I first started writing years ago, I connected with another woman in my area who wanted to be an author. But she couldn’t get past those first few chapters. She’d enter a contest and restructure the chapters, her paragraph structure, agonizing over each sentence, all the way down to every word. I determined then and there that I wouldn’t get hung up on that first attempt. And I didn’t. I never finished some of my first few manuscripts. Either the plot was too flimsy or the characters too flat, or I wrote myself into a corner and didn’t know how to get out. Those ideas are still there in my head, so I haven’t abandoned those characters, but if I ever decide to write their story, I’m confident I can do them justice now.

I understand you have been an avid reader since you were a child.  
       What’s your favorite book?
Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is an all-time favorite.

 We all have a 1st book that will never find its way to publication. That first book we wrote, thought was awesome at the time, but now, want to keep it buried in our drawer, safe, wherever.  If you have that kind of book buried, can you tell us what it was about and what spark encouraged you to begin writing it? What encouraged you to begin writing as a career?

The first book I started writing was about a girl who lived behind a waterfall in a secluded valley. Her parents had died (but I didn’t dwell on that aspect for some reason), and she was living alone, self-sufficient with the crops, animals and everything they had accumulated throughout the years. Then she sees this poor cowboy racing across the plains being chased by outlaws. He’s shot and she rescues him.

After he gets well, he takes her to the nearest town because …now I can’t even remember why other than the fact that she was alone and he thought she needed to be “rescued”! If I was writing that story now, I would give her a passel of younger brothers and sisters and how they squabble over letting the man leave because he might expose their hidden valley to others. Hmmm, that story might have some redeeming qualities after all! Lol Oh, and since I was so bad at dialogue, she rarely spoke, and I gave the excuse that she’d been alone for so long she was not used to talking to people. It was horrible!!!!

I’ve always wanted to be a published author ever since I can remember, but I didn’t start pursuing publication about seventeen years ago. As a child, I was fascinated by how authors put all those stories on paper. Somehow, my brain just naturally made up stories. But for years, I didn’t write them down. I tried to get started a few times, but didn’t know how to construct a compelling story with an interesting beginning, firm middle, and satisfying ending. So out of lack of knowledge and fear of failure, I just kept dreaming. I think I had the idea that as long as I didn’t attempt to write, I couldn’t fail at writing. In 1994, I decided that if I was ever going to write, I had to stop kidding myself and get to work.  

Pam, I agree, that story has a lot of promise!  I could sit here and talk about writing all day!
 
Christy, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today!

Thank you for being here! 
 
Don't forget to head over to Pam's blog and enter to win the Kindle. There are several books that will be loaded on it. Winner will be announced in October. And right now, for those of you who have your own Kindle, Stealing Jake stayed at #1 on Amazon's Top 100 Bestselling Free books for five days and is still riding in the #3 spot. Grab your free download while available!


     

10 comments:

Missy Tippens said...

Great interview, ladies! Thanks for sharing!

So exciting that Stealing Jake stayed at #1 on Amazon free downloads for so long! This is a wonderful story y'all don't want to miss!!

Cara Lynn James said...

Great interview! Stealing Jake is a great book, Pam. It's funny how most authors started writing early in life whether they were published young or not. I guess we've always had stories and characters we had to get out of our heads onto paper.

Salena Stormo said...

Congrats on the book! It looks awesome! :) I have it on my kindle and can't wait to read it!

Naomi Rawlings said...

Thanks for sharing, Christy and Pam!

Pam Hillman said...

Good morning everyone. Cara, people ask me where I get my ideas, and I'm amazed. I don't have a lack of ideas. I have a lack of TIME to sift through them and develop the good ones! lol

Salena, thanks for downloading Stealing Jake. Hope you enjoy it!

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Hi, Pam! Good advice on the rejections.

BTW, I've got Stealing Jake on my IPad and can't wait to read it.

Pam Hillman said...

Yay! Mindy, that's great! Hope you love it, and if you do, spread the word. Thanks for the support!

Sarah Forgrave said...

What a great interview! Pam, I just recently bought a Kindle and yours was the first book I downloaded. I'm loving the story (not to mention the fabulous romantic chemistry!). :)

Pam Hillman said...

Sarah, that is so cool that Stealing Jake was the first book you read on your Kindle.

The first book I read on mine was Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. The book was fantastic and so was the experience of reading it on my new Kindle.

Christy LaShea said...

Sending cyber waves and hugs to all of you who've stopped by so far!

Speaking of writing as a kid,
I used to write stories in middle school. During class. That was my first memory of writing a story. Sometime in high school or college I threw out the manuscript. I wish I would have kept it. it would have been funny to read it now.

I can't wait to read Stealing Jake! Hearing so many good things about it. And I love chemistry between characters! That's the key to a great book, I think ;)