Saturday, June 28, 2014

Author Interview: Pamela S. Williams

By Lacey Gunter

Today I am interviewing one of my good writing friends, Pamela S. Williams.  Pamela's debut novel, Living It Down, just came out from Walnut Springs Press. It it available through Deseret Book online and in stores and though If you are in the Provo, Utah area, her book launch party will be tonight, June 28, from 4-7 pm at Pioneer Book, 450 W. Center Street, Provo. Oh, and it will involve cookies!

LG: Pam, tell us a little about your road to becoming a published author.

PW: My road to becoming a writer began when I was 16 years old, and the rest of the story is posted on my new blog,, which is associated with this first series. (I also have a Book of Mormon series in the making.) 

LG: Can you tell us what type of reader you think your book will touch the most and give us a short blurb of what your book is about?

PW: I hesitate to call this romance or women's fiction. This book is not just for women--couples would also enjoy it. I hope it reaches the adult LDS audience who would like to read a grownup love story.

Carrie Burke has it all—marriage to a successful lawyer, two lively teenage daughters, a beautiful home, the gospel. Why isn’t she happy? Confused, joyless, and depressed, she questions her own worth and decides to take an unorthodox “time-out” to reevaluate her life. Her husband Morgan calls it selfish. Carrie calls it self-preservation. Moving to the basement apartment of Aunt Sophie's vintage Victorian home in Provo brings its own set of challenges, but also the advantage of friendship with vivacious, creative Lainie McGuire. Coincidence brings an old flame, Todd Kendall—a man Carrie never wanted to see again—back into her life. To guide her daughter through a moral crisis with a predatory boy, she realizes she needs the help of both Todd and Morgan. In her spiritual quest to reconnect with her values and reclaim her best self, Carrie yearns to find joy again, and in the process discovers that maybe there's no such thing as coincidence.

LG: Sounds very interesting. I am excited to read it. What is one thing a reader would be surprised to find out about you?

PW: My main body of work is journalism, essays, poetry and plays. I never thought I was smart enough to write a novel--now I have written six, with ideas for several more. I am exceedingly ordinary, pop-culturally illiterate, and not terribly academic even though I graduated from BYU. Now I couldn't write a paper with footnotes and a bibliography to save my soul, although I did it occasionally out of necessity when I was a student, but I just don't think that way. My writing is intuitive and my background in theater had a tremendous influence on my writing process. A novel is structured like a three-act play. In fact, I wrote four LDS-oriented plays before I started writing Living It Down, and all four were produced in the town where we lived for 33 years.

LG: I've never thought of a novel that way, but it makes a lot of sense now that you mention it. Do you have an odd writer habit or ritual to help get your creative juices flowing or to help you write, and if so what is it?

PW: I don't think my writing habits are particularly odd, but my husband might tell you a different story. Since I don't have young children to care for, or teenagers to referee, I generally neglect everything when an idea obsesses me, including the clock, and write until it's all out there on paper. Then the REAL writing begins--revision. I'm generally not a seat-of-the-pants writer. I'm lost without an outline to follow. That's the only way I know where I'm going.

LG: Since I don't have your husband here, I guess I'll have to take your word for it. So, if you lived on a waste dump in Cambodia and collected trash to sustain yourself, what one thing or book would you be most delighted to find?

PW: If I lived in a trash heap in Cambodia, I would hope to find scriptures and a dictionary. That would be the kind of knowledge that could lead me out of the trash.

LG: And finally, what is the best piece of advice you can give to an aspiring Mormon Mommy Writer?

 PW: I am living proof that pigs fly. My first novel has been published, and I am 71. As it says in the acknowledgements, I am the poster child for late bloomers. I got the idea for the story when I was in my 40s, but didn't have the maturity or wisdom to do this idea justice until I was 60. Don't be in love with the idea of writing--write. Don't think that when the kids get older you'll devote yourself to your passion for writing. It doesn't happen that way. Write, and keep writing, even if you don't have time to polish it now. Keep files of your snatches of writing and they will become the seeds that will sprout into full-blown work later on. When your kids know it's that important to you, they will appreciate your example of devotion and determination, and it will have a tremendous impact on them.

Thanks Pamela. I am very excited and inspired by your persistence and subsequent success and I look forward to reading  Living It Down. My next MMW post I plan to summarize some of the great tidbits I took home from WIFYR.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview Lacey. I loved reading about the author's success in her golden years.



Related Posts with Thumbnails