Have you ever wondered what we authors look like when we work. Here's a picture of my friend Pamela Tracy at her desk. That's some of her books in the foreground. However, today we're going to feature her Love Inspired Suspense--The Price of Redemption
I wonder if there’s a writer out there who doesn’t write themselves into their characters just a bit. When I’m writing suspense, there’s only a little ‘me’ in the characters. There’s more of the ‘me’ I’d hope to be: brave, dedicated, and adventurous. For example, in this month’s release The Price of Redemption, Ruth takes her daughter to kindergarten. I was a kindergarten teacher for six years, so I’m more the teacher than the heroine. I have two characters who are mothers and they stick around peeking in the classroom door until the teacher shoos them. Been there; done that. In a romance that releases next year, Lucky in Love, I have a heroine who attends a rodeo, and, yup, the rodeo I describe is one I’ve been to. For a short while, it’s not Natalie traipsing through the rodeo, it’s me.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
For my writing? I once went to a resort and asked it I could draw one of their suites. I was using it in my book. They let me. So ten minutes later I’m standing in the room drawing, and jotting down notes, and finally I realize that the cleaning staff is a bit apprehensive. Finally, one asked if I was immigration.
Outside my writing? LOL, you want me to pick only one!
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
During my early years, I wrote short stories about running away and meeting David Cassidy. During my teenage years, I had a friend (Debby Klein) and we would stay on the phone for hours and make up stories about the boys we had crushes on at our local skating rink. That’s probably where I learning brainstorming. Those hours also encouraged my mom to install a teenline (think pre-cellphone days)
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I’m reading Hometown Cinderella right now by Victoria Pade. There’s a line in it that states had the heroine not had books, she’d have had an easier time moving. When I married my husband, and we moved to the home we’re in now, I remember him saying, “Why do you have ALL these books?” I love all kinds of books. I read historicals. My favorites are Mrs. Mike, Years, and Gone with the Wind. I love mysteries. I can’t even begin to list my favorites. I’m hooked on Sue Grafton and Patricia Moyes. I love chick lit, hen lit, contemporary, and even young adult. My keepers include Front Porch Princess, the Potluck Club ladies, and Junie B. Jones.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
Right now I spend most of my time writing for LI, but in September I had a prayer book out from Barbour. My second prayer book. I also write novellas for them. I think I’ve done about ten.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Character naming is not my gift. When I sold my most recent two books to Harlequin, the editor emailed me and told me that I couldn’t name the child in both books Justin. I had to go look. Yup, I was using Justin for both books. Guess I was having a Justin kind of week. Once, when I was waiting for my car to get fixed, I ate a piece of candy. On the wrapper, it read de la Rosa. Yup, my next book had a herone with the last name of de la Rosa. Usually I just try to come up with names that start with different letters. That doesn’t always work. My next book Broken Lullaby has a hero named Mitch and a heroine named Mary. Two m’s and I can’t change them because they’re from earlier books.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Easy question. I am a Mommy! A Mommy! A Mommy! I have a little boy who seems to be happy and healthy. His hand is warm when it clutches mine. I am his favorite person (right now). I am amazed by this little person who I am responsible for. As a Mommy-come-lately, I truly know to sit back and watch him grow. Wow.
Enjoy every moment. Before you know it, he'll be gone and making you a grandma or great grandma. If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Hampsters spend too much time exercising (bad). Cats do things with their tongue that I don’t want to do (yuck). Dogs…see cat sentence. Tigers are endangered. Probably a bird. I’d love to be able to get from one place to another quickly. I’d love to be able to peek into windows and learn other peoples’ secrets (to put in my books, of course). Then there’s the fact that as a human my biggest fear is flying which is not a fear at all for birds. Plus, God would make sure I’m fed (see Matthew 6:26)
What is your favorite food?
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My problem was not spending enough time figuring out where I really fit in the publishing world and then figuring out that it was okay not to be a perfect fit but my own kind of fit. Does that make sense? Probably not. I’m not sure ‘I’ overcame it. God did. He kept guiding me to the inspirational market.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Read, read, read, and read what you want to write. Take a class at your local college in both grammar and creative writing. Make as many writing friends as you can. And remember, the path to publication is paved with rejection bricks, and each one is a badge of proof that you never gave up, you mastered the trade and persevered. You finished the race, kept the faith…
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
The Price of Redemption is second in the Gila City saga.
Ex-con Eric Santellis figures there might be worse things than finding a dead body in the shed of his grandfather’s cabin. But, while staring that the remains of a person who fortunately for Eric, unfortunately for the deceased, stopped breathing while Eric was still in prison, he can’t think of one.
He doesn’t need to think of one. There are two dead bodies in his shed.
Police officer Ruth Atkins is just leaving a funeral of a fellow officer killed in the line of duty by 15-year-old caught stealing a car when she gets the call she’s been praying for a dreading for two years. A body has been discovered on Prospector’s Way. Two years ago, her husband’s police cruiser had been found on the dirt road near the cabin Eric Santellis now calls home. A smear of blood dirtied the driver’s seat. His body had never been found.
Ruth Atkins watches as for a second time the investigation into her husband disappearance and death leads in the wrong direction. Why is everyone so willing to believe that the bullet came from a gun belonging to a woman who has already proved she’s on the side of the law, the side of God? It’s too convenient, and the ease in which investigators label Dustin’s file as cold is hard to stomach. Two years ago, she’d done what she could by joining the police force. She’d never felt it was enough. Today, she had a bit more experience under her belt and a lot more gumption.
Before long, and only somewhat unwillingly, Ruth and Eric join forces to solve very different murders. They make a good team. Good thing, too, because it turns out that God isn’t the only one watching over them.
The murderer is too.
This novel tackles a woman’s journey. Ruth Atkins overcame a terrible home life, married a Christian man, and created what, for her, was a fairy tale life. Unfortunately, most fairy tales are short stories. Hers certainly was. Her husband disappeared two years ago, and Ruth needs closure. It also tackles redemption in so many ways. Our hero also journeyed over life’s uneven road. Eric Santellis also had a terrible home life. His father, family, was organized crime, and Eric had the misfortune to be born with a conscience. He cost him dearly. He’s estranged from his family and also wound up spending a few years in prison. Exonerated for a murder he didn’t commit, he’s not too happy to find not one but two murder victims in his shed.
What these two find, when they journey a dangerous road together is closure, forgiveness, and love – both God’s and each other’s.
Motivation to buy: Adventure, angst, and family are sought after plot points in an edgy Christian suspense.
Pamela, thank you for spending this time with us today.
Readers, you'll want to get a copy of this book right away. You can sign up for a free copy by leaving a comment, but if you don't win, you'll want to read this story.
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