Handbags, Books...Whatever

Handbags, Books...Whatever (http://www.vickibatman.blogspot.com) is the website of Vicki Batman, sassy writer of sexy and funny fiction. Handbag lover. Avid Jazzerciser. Mah jong player. Yoga practioner. Movie fan. Book devourer. Choc-aholic. Best Mom ever. And adores Handsome.



HBW Calendar

  • 10/16 - Handbag & Book, Karilyn Bentley
  • 10/12 - Last Year was Tough. This Year was Tougher
  • 10/09 - Handbag & Book w Pam Thibodeaux
  • 10/05 - Found object! And it's all Mine!
  • 10/02 - Handbag & Book w VB
  • 09/28 - Travel & Book, Izzy Szyn
  • 09/25 - Handbag & Book - Amy T
  • 09/21 - Travel & Book, Madison Michael
  • 09/18 - Handbag & Book, Fran Thomas
  • 09/14 - Last day, Jon

Monday, June 22, 2009

Author interview with PAM STONE, July 25




Pam!!!! I am so thrilled to have you here to talk about Last Resort: Marriage.


Can you tell us about your rode to being published? How long you have written? How many manuscripts have you completed? What was "the call" like?


How did you get from your career to writing romance?

35 comments:

PamStone said...

Hi Vicki,

Thanks for having me. The call. I got the call on Friday the thirteenth. How is that for luck? I was working from home that day and when the editor told me her name it sounded familiar. My mind scrolled through co-workers, clients, etc as I'm clicking away on my laptop, then she said, "We'd like to buy Last Resort, Marriage."

My heart stopped. My fingers froze. I blinked at the speaker phone and checked to make sure the light was on and I hadn't dreamed it. I was too numb to even squeal. So we talkd a few minutes and she asked if I'd like for her to call back the next day with the details after the reality sunk in. I said, "No, patience is not my strongest trait and the suspense would kill me." She laughed. I really have a very approachable editor and she has made this experience much easier.

As for the transition from my old job into writing. I'm still working on that. Writing has been a huge part of my life for years, but I didn't get serious until both my sons joined the army 6 weeks apart in 1997. I had to have something to keep my mind off what they were doing so I finally took the plunge and joined my local chapter of RWA. Tried a few critique groups and finally ended up with the greatest CPs in the world. Wouldn't be published without them. Oh yeah, we were talking about transition. Hmm, haven't done that yet. Still work the day job and write in the evenings. But hopefully in the next few years I can write full time.

Vicki Batman said...

I know when I sold my short story, I read the email and all reality left my head.

How many manuscripts have you completed?

Why write contemporary romance?

What is your writing day like?

PamStone said...

My writing day is more of a writing night. I work the day job, have dinner, then try to write a couple hours starting around 8:00 or 9:00PM. For awhile I was waking up an hour early when my husband got up and writing before work, but alas, mornings are not my most creative time.

I write contemporary because that is what I most enjoy reading. It's also a nice perk that research is easier for contemporary. And since I like to write about beaches, it typically involves sand between my toes. Hah.

How many manuscripts? A bunch over the years. Seven I believe. There are two of those that have been revised and might be marketable, but most will remain digitized on my hard drive, as they should.

BTW - I know I've said it before, but congrats on selling your short story. That's way cool!

Vicki Batman said...

So you plan on continuing with contemporary genre or does anything else appeal to you? Everyone seems to be on the paranormal or ya bandwagon.

What kind of writing turns you off? How have you shocked your readers?

Vicki Batman said...

Thanks for the congrats, Pam. Because of friends like you, I was able to improve my writing. It's true that for some of us, we need the village, and certainly true for me. When I received my white carnation yesterday, I knew and said who had been instrumental in getting me to where I am. So Thank you!

Kara Lennox said...

Congrats on your first publication, Pam AND Vicki.

Vicki Batman said...

Wow! A big time Harlequin author posted on my blog. And Kara, good luck to you and your new life adventure. You'll be missed.

Diana Cosby said...

Pam,
What a fabulous 'The Call!' :) Friday the 13th, very cool indeed. My sincere thanks for your son's service to our country, and to you and your family for their support. Coming from a military family, as a retired Navy Chief, and with my son active duty in the Marines, I totally understand the sacrifice, physical as well as emotional. I will keep y'all in my prayers.
I sincerely wish you every success.

Diana
2009 JABBIC Finalist
2009 Maggie Awards Finalist
2009 Booksellers Best Finalist
www.dianacosby.com

Vicki Batman said...

Oh Diana! Thanks for taking time from your Sunday to blog with Pam and me.

And congratulations on the many recognitions of your book. You rock, girl!

Addison Fox said...

Pam:

I loved LAST RESORT MARRIAGE and am anxiously hoping for more books!!!

It was wonderful to see you at RWA National in DC. And you must tell us - how was it to sign at the big Literacy Book signing at National?

Addison

Addison Fox said...

Vicki:

It was WONDERFUL to see you get your whiite carnation yesterday!!!!!!

Addison

Diana Cosby said...

Vicki Batman said...

Oh Diana! Thanks for taking time from your Sunday to blog with Pam and me.

~My sincere pleasure.

And congratulations on the many recognitions of your book. You rock, girl!

*Blush* Thank you. As I explained to another writer this morning, it's truly an amazing year. I'm as thankful as humbled. And I understand that the story credit is not mine alone. In addition to my character's, my cp's and those who also helped brainstorm the story is the reason it is.
Enjoy your day!

Diana
2009 JABBIC Finalist
2009 Maggie Awards Finalist
2009 Booksellers Best Finalist
www.dianacosby.com

Vicki Batman said...

Hellooo, Ms. Addison Fox! And thanks for popping by. And as for your question to PAM regarding the signing....I think we'll be hearing from you on this soon. Right?

Vicki Batman said...

Thank you so much. It was too much fun getting the flower, too. Just a small fraction compared to you big time girls.

Addison Fox said...

Vicki:

It was WONDERFUL to see you get your flower. Every step we take in the writers journey is important and you crossed a big milestone yesterday!

To the literacy signing this year in DC, I loved seeing Pam there - she was this poised, super-cool author! Gracious, warm and welcoming of everyone who came up to her.

If there is one truth about romance authors, I think it's that we ALL look forward to signing our first book at the RWA National Literacy signing. (And since you were so lovely to out me, I hope you'll forgive the shameless plug for WARRIOR ASCENDED that debuts in March!) :-) I am super-excited about RWA National in Nashville in 2010!!

Addison

Vicki Batman said...

March! It's right around the corner. And we'll have a blast at National.

Pam looked great. She is super poised and the nicest person. She had a good time, didn't you, Pam?

PamStone said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by. As I read these posts from my friends I smile at how great of a year it has been for all of us.

Addison(wow is that hard to get used to)you will be signing next year at National. It was fun after I got over being nervous. I appreciate you all commenting that I looked poised and together. Not so much on the inside.

Diane, you rock and you're finally getting recognition. Serving our country. I don't think people understand what our service men and women sacrifice and risk until you've lived through it. I am so proud of what my sons and daughter-in-law gave in service of their country.

Kara, so proud to be a Harlequin American author. Great line and great people to work with. Hope California turns out to be everything you and Rob dream of.

Vicki, selling a short story is a big deal. Wish I could have been there to see you get your flower. Next step a book. But you are so right. The support of the other authors at RWA and DARA is amazing. Almost makes me cry.

Write anything other than contemporary? Probably not. I am interested in YA, but not sure mine would be tame enough so I may just keep them as characters in my HA stories. I have a trilogy in mind that involves a ghost, but it would be single title and I'm focused on HA at the moment.

But ladies, I am so hyped about this past year for all of us. DARA rocks!

Vicki Batman said...

So have you shocked your readers, Pam?

Any rejection stories?

How does humor fit into your book?

How do your get your ideas?

PamStone said...

Not sure I've shocked my readers but a couple have surprised me. My mom has three sisters and I wasn't worried about Mom or two of them. But one of the 70 year old twins is small town, worked in banking, very devoted to her church, and as good of a person as she is, just not a romantic. Very down to earth and no nonsense. She read my book in one afternoon while sitting with her preacher's elderly father. At one point he woke up and she said all she could think was, "Go back to sleep old man, I want to read my book."

And last Sunday my husband picked me up at the airport in his little 1979 Fiat convertible. As I walked down the sidewalk toward the car, he saunters toward me waving my book and saying, "Ms Stone, oh Ms Stone, would you sign my book?

AND he'd told his physics professor about it. Now there was a reader I would not have expected. His uncle went to the store, bought the book, read it in one afternoon and send me a short critque commending my character development. My jaw dropped.

Rejection stories - I have many. My current editor judged Last Resort Marriage in a contest, placed it first. I sent her the full and she sent me a two page rejection. I revised, met with her at National in Dallas and pitched it again. She asked me the hero's name and when I said Aaron, she said she'd love to look at it again. Twice she looked at the full manuscript before she bought it. Pretty cool.

Humor is strange for me. For those who know me, I have a rather dry, sarcastic humor and I think it comes through in my characters. I like my humor subtle.

Ideas are everywhere. Music, TV, people around me. Things I overhear when I'm out in public. The world is full of ideas if you're receptive.

Vicki Batman said...

Pam, I love those special stories from your friends and family. That's cool.

I like how the editor gave you something to work with so you could improve your manuscript. And that she was receptive to reading again. Obviously, she hadn't forgotten you.

I agree with your thought on ideas being everywhere. I walked through my husband's closet, saw all his ties and bingo! A short story in the works.

Vicki Batman said...

Let's get down to the nuts and bolts. Tell us about Last Resort: Marriage.

PamStone said...

It's an interesting thing, writing. Yesterday at the party three different people wanted to talk writing. One, I'd critiqued the first chapter of her short story and she had a bazillion questions. One school teacher said she was thinking about writing. But the one who surprised me is my friends new son-in-law. Young, hardworker, but I'd have never taken Jim for a writer type. He just might do it though.

PamStone said...

Last Resort Marriage was the first book I wrote that I actually targeted category books. Up until then I was just writing what and how I wanted with no thought to where the story might fit. Everyone said I needed a hook. Contemporary Marriage of Convenience is tricky, but I kept reworking it over and over until it worked for me. Last Resort: Marriage started from a single thought. "Charlotte stared at the exquiste specimen of masculinity in her bed. She hadn't set out to marry Aaron Brody, it just sort of happened." I have no idea where that line came from, but it was the basis for the book. Aren't writers strange in what inspires them?

But Aaron was a fantastic hero to write. That sarcastic wit of his came from me. The way he relates to people came from my dad. And since I'm a beach person and love the Florida Keys, voila.

Vicki Batman said...

This is interested in "targeting" your market.

Can you talk some more about this?

And can you explain why other of your manuscripts aren't "targeted"?

PamStone said...

For years I wrote for me. Pure escapism. And I loved writing. I paid no attention to length, level of sexuality, or type of story. I wrote what I loved, plain and simple. There is a freedom to that and a level of creativity that isn't so easy when you target a particular line. Writing is a wonderful adventure, but selling it can be a nightmare.

Once I decided I really wanted to be published I studied what my strenghs were, with the help of my CPs. I next studied all the information available on the Harlequin website. I know. How many speakers and articles does it take for me to finally accept that the way I was approaching writing wasn't working for publication? LOTS! So I printed out the ones that I thought might fit my style based on what I'd written and what I was writing at the time and got serious about writing that type of story. It's still not easy but I am really trying to concentrate on Harelquin Ameraican and write books that fit as opposed to writing whatever I want and hoping it'll fit somewhere, eventually.

I'm a slow learner, or maybe just extra hard headed, but it finally soaked in.

Juliet Burns said...

Pam! I was SO excited for you to be signing at Nationals! And I am SO in love with your hero from LRM, Aaron.
We had a great time in DC and loved seeing everyone there. I'm thrilled for Vicki on selling her article and SO excited about Addison's book coming out in March!
Pam is too nice to brag, but heck, that's what CPs are for. When her editor met with her in DC, she told Pam that her proposal for her option book has been sent up to the Senior editor of Harl American! I'm on pins and needles waiting to hear back on this book. It's going to be SO good. Takes place in the hill country of Texas.
Yep, DARA rocks!
hugs everyone!

Vicki Batman said...

Juliet! Congratulations to you! (And I feel fortunate to be sitting with you and your buds at National and hearing your most excellent news.

So Pam, Juliet let open the door here...what is up next for you?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting insight into how writers work. Congrats to all!
Jeanne (Vicki's sis)

PamStone said...

I have three chapters of a book set in Marble Falls in with my editor. She told me that she'd sent it up to the senior editor, so I am just waiting. I need to focus and get back to working on it. Moving has sapped all my time lately.

Juliet got a two book deal though. WooHoo!

Vicki Batman said...

Thank you, sissie, for stopping by.

Vicki Batman said...

This is excellent news! I've been to Marble Falls. My sissie who posted isn't far from there.

And now for the good stuff....

Your ideal fictional hero would think you gorgeous if you____________.

How much do you like cake?

PamStone said...

Thanks Vicki's sis, Jeanne for stopping by. We really are nuts, no matter what Vicki tells you.

My ideal hero would think I'm gorgeous if I was natural and myself. The type girl who could walk on the beach without worrying about hair, makeup, or that her figure isn't Barbie doll perfect. A guy who loves a woman for herself and who she is inside.

Vicki Batman said...

I love this, Pam, and I think you really spoke to the heart about this thing called love.

And cake?

Vicki Batman said...

It's late in the evening and so we bid adieu to Pam and the loverly interview. Maybe she'll answer the cake question soon. (I know she had some not too long ago.)

Thanks, Pam, and those of you who stopped by. As always, I humbled.

Next up...the fabulous Diana Cosby in September. See you then.

PamStone said...

Cake - I guess German Chocolate would have to be my favorite, but I consume most of my suger through Dr. Pepper.

It's been fun! Thanks to everyone for stopping by. And Vickie, it's been a pleasure.

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