Interview & Contest: Pamela Palmer

Jen: We’re excited to welcome Pamela Palmer to the blog today.  Pamela, will you please share a short bio with us?
Pamela: Pamela Palmer is the NY Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Feral Warriors shape shifter series, the Esri series and, under the pseudonym Pamela Montgomerie, the Jewels of Time time travel series. When Pamela’s initial career goal of captaining starships didn’t pan out, she turned to engineering, satisfying her desire for adventure with books and daydreams until finally succumbing to the need to create worlds of her own. Pamela lives and writes in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Jen: Tell us about ECSTASY UNTAMED and where it can be purchased.
Pamela: Ecstasy Untamed, book 6 in the Feral Warriors shape-shifter series, is Hawke’s book and will be in stores October 25th, and available in all e-formats. From the back cover:

Shattered by recent nightmarish events, Hawke feels his bond with his animal spirit weakening–and once it breaks, he’s finished. The arrival of Faith sends his life spinning even further out of control, for although she delights him and enflames his deepest primal passions, she’s promised to Maxim, the newest Feral Warrior. Faith is drawn to Hawke from the start, but Maxim holds her in his thrall and has secretly bent her to his malevolent will. Though gravely damaged, Hawke is the only one who can end Faith’s slavery and protect the Feral Warriors from Maxim’s evil designs. But first they both must embrace the wild…and surrender body and soul to a forbidden, all-consuming ecstasy.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Pamela: I had no idea I wanted to be a writer. In fact, I was determined to be an astronaut until I realized, at age 19, that the farthest I’d ever get was orbit around the Earth. I wanted to explore the stars! So I got a degree in industrial engineering and went to work for IBM. It wasn’t until one night when I was doing the dinner dishes and one of my daydreams became too big to keep in my head, that I was driven to the computer to start writing. Three chapters later, I was hooked. I sold my first book (not that one) to Harlequin Nocturne in May 2006 through Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart contest for unpublished fiction. My Harlequin editor was one of my final round judges and she was looking for manuscripts for the yet-to-be-launched Nocturne line. Which, by the way, I’d never heard of. You can imagine my confusion when I got the call. An editor I’d never submitted a book to called to offer me a contract for a line I’d never heard of. She had to do a lot of explaining!

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Pamela: My dad has written his memoirs, though just for family, and he’s a fabulous writer. His brother, my uncle, Bob Palmer, was a talented artist–a well known political cartoonist for the Springfield, Missouri newspaper for years. It’s their mother, my grandmother, who I’m certain I got my storytelling talent from. She had a wonderful imagination.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?

Pamela: A little bit of both. The engineer in me wants to be a plotter. I’d love to come to the writing with the book figured out, in detail, down to the last chapter and scene. But when I’ve tried to write that way, it’s never worked. Usually, by the first turning point I’ve found a scene that won’t work the way I’d envisioned, sending the story off in a new direction and my careful plotting notes into the trash. I liken that process to plotting your journey through the city on a map. From the map it appears a simple matter to get from point A to point B–drive three blocks and take a left. But it’s not until you actually get into the city and try to drive that route that you see the detour, or the one-way street going the wrong way, or the sign that says, “No left turns.”

So what I do now is figure out the big picture of the story–the characters (what they need to learn, what they think they could never do), the villain and what he wants, the conflicts (both internal and external), how the story starts and how the story will end. I usually have three or four big, important scenes in mind. My tent poles. And then I start writing. It’s in the writing that the story ultimately unfolds.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?

Pamela: I have to write them down, which is why I try to never think about the book once I crawl into bed at night. If I do, I almost always have to crawl back out to jot something down. Every time I tell myself, ‘I’ll remember’, I end up forgetting.

Jen: How much influence does the editor have over the story or characters?

Pamela: All of my editors have been wonderful about giving me free rein over both story and characters. On occasion, one of them will raise a concern that requires some rewriting, but only during revisions. They generally have no idea what the story is going to be about before it’s written.

Jen: If ECSTASY UNTAMED was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Pamela: Oh, hard question. I’m no good at casting actors because the best actors can play just about anyone.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?

Pamela: I can’t say anyone in particular has inspired me. As an engineering major, I never took any literature classes, so have never read, let alone studied, the vast majority of the classics. I read romances and urban fantasy with some YA fantasy thrown in. What inspires me is anything and everything that touches my emotions–books, movies, newspaper articles, life. It all goes into the black box in my head, the box from which ideas continually spring forth.

Jen: What did you do to celebrate your first book?

Pamela: Took the family out to dinner, then picked up a bottle of champagne on the way home!

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?

Pamela: I love it when readers tell me that my books are so REAL. That’s really a phenomenal thing to say about stories of shape-shifters and Daemons and Mages, but it’s an incredible compliment, too. I’ve always had a knack for stepping into other people’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes and, for the most part, I think I’ve been able to do that with my characters. If you accept the story premise, that there really is a world of immortals we know nothing about, then what happens in the story–how the characters act and react–makes absolute sense. At least, that’s what I strive for and I love that for many readers, it works.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Pamela: Well, I have lots more stories to tell in the Feral Warriors series, but I’m starting a new series, too, which I’ll be publishing simultaneously with the Ferals, beginning next summer. The new series is called Vamp City and the first book, A Blood Seduction, is scheduled to be released the end of May 2012. It’s the first of what I believe will be a five-book continuing character romance. Vamp City is a magical dark city created long ago by a sorcerer, a vampire utopia where the sun never shines and where the vampires can live and hunt in the open. The story starts when the heroine and her brother accidentally stumble through the portal while searching for her brother’s lost friend.

I also have two more books coming out in the Esri series for Harlequin Nocturne, the final two of the series that launched my career. A Warrior’s Desire will be out in February and Warrior Rising comes out in April.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Pamela: Website: http://www.pamelapalmer.net/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PamelaPalmer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Pamela_Palmer
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/267687.Pamela_Palmer?origin=

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Pamela: If you’ve read any of the Feral Warriors books, do YOU have any suggestions for actors to play any of the characters? If you haven’t read them (or if you’re not any better at casting than I am), who are some of your favorite paranormal romance or urban fantasy authors?

Contest details:

  • The prize is two signed copies of Rapture Untamed.
  • The contest is open to everyone (international readers included) over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Monday, October 31.

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