Interview with author Pamela Lee

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Pamela Lee and I initially met online through LinkedIn, from there we connected on Facebook and then moved onto communication through email. In this crazy world of social media and online networks, occasionally a real one-on-one friendship evolves. I was fortunate to have discovered a genuine friend in Pamela, a colleague to share ideas, inspiration, and encouragement. The following is a text from a recent interview I conducted with Pamela.

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Pamela Lee, Author

Interview with Pamela Lee

Dale: How and when did you get into writing?

Pamela: Writing came to me at age 7—my pencil poised above my ‘fancy paper.’ In the middle of a patch of Mayflowers, I had tramped down into a perfect circle. My own first created writing sanctuary.

How blissful to be close to the earth, with the sound of bees buzzing around me, the sun shining on my skin. I could almost TOUCH the air, nibble on it. The scents, sounds. That was the day my senses were truly awakened. The day I became AWARE… and was reborn.

As I write now, the image of blonde little tomboy [me] appears and I remember being so proud and careful each time I took a sheet of that floral scented paper from the box of stationery my Gramma gave me for Christmas. Each sheet I carefully titled with my word of the day—starting with the very first one. SPECTACULAR! I loved using exclamation marks. From there I added goals, wishes, observations. I was intense and passionate about life, even at 7.

We MUST have passion in our hearts to be writers, oui? For, what more lonely existence is there than that of a writer when we drift into that place. After all, with no passion—how can we writers persistently and consistently go on..and on.. and on.

Life ensued from there. Writing, a thing I did here and there through school, through several careers where I did ad copy, business plans, letters to editors. Etcetera.

I began WRITING, seriously, on October 1, 2006 — 50 years later. There is a long and involved story about why THAT date but suffice to say it involved invasive breast cancer, a follow-up heart attack to put a period on the end of that sentence, mother murder, a need to honour that mother—and a sense of my own mortality.

Dale: Which genre(s) do you prefer to write, and why?

Pamela: You could have knocked me over with a feather when I discovered I had poems within me—in 2012. Again, over the age of 60.

Much to my astonishment, I have won awards with my poems. Go figure!

I always assumed poetry was beyond my education and ability (I have grade 10) and was only for egg-heads. The smart people. Little did I know until these alien things (poems) started rushing out of me that you can say SO much in 600 words! Taught me yet another life lesson. NEVER assume.

F.Y.I, dear reader, poetry is the polar OPPOSITE to my writing style where I use many words and love to spin imagery with my prose… as you may have picked up here… lolol

Bored yet?

I wonder if I should add that I am currently working on a lit erotica novel and yes, I do love writing in that genre. It’s all about commercial when it comes to writing about that subject. Wouldn’t we all love to make a living with our writing?

Dale: Who is your most favorite character from your own writing, and why?

Pamela: Louise Kovats. Beloved Sister and best friend of protagonist Annie. An intensely complicated and endearing character in my Holy Snappin’ series, introduced in Book 1, Call Me J.

5-Star

Louise appears firstly as a simple, sweet incredibly humble and giving female child whose only wish in life is to be a good mother and wife. Her wishes are realized as she builds a home and a family of four beautiful children, circa mid-century set in South Western Ontario, Canada.

Her world falls apart when she suffers postpartum depression with child #3 then unravels completely with postpartum psychosis with child number 4. It was a huge challenge to define the level of care for severely compromised mentally ill patients in that era—or lack thereof, and their families. The paragraphs involving this character are graphic and upsetting with such images as the description of her obsession with cutting off her own lips with scissors. But, sadly, many parts of Louse are irrefutably relatable for who does not have someone in their family dealing with this debilitating malady? Louise’s struggles were hard to write for this book is grounded on a true story close to my heart. Louise will eventually commit suicide in Book 3 of the series after YEARS of a truly handicapped lifestyle, losing her family and suffering greatly with this debilitating disease.

Dale: What do you hope to get across in your writing?

Pamela: That no one is immune to horrific pain—that everyone has a story that no screenplay could outdo-—that we are never alone–and that we must NEVER give up. My family saga Call me J and ensuing books in the series is a story of faith, love, unrelenting hurt AND joy. And that there IS a ‘’6 degree of separation.”

Dale: Are there any genres you would never consider writing, and why?

Pamela: Sci-fi/fantasy The genre does not move or engage me—So, even if someone said to me “Here’s a cool million. Create a sci-fi novel”—I’d have to rip up the cheque (not that anyone pays with cheques anymore—lol)

Also—horror—I find it difficult to read some Stephen King’s stuff. SOME I can do, but others? NOT! Even at close to 70, my mind is still too fertile and susceptible to seeing what he is writing. Freaks me the heck out! Example-The Mist. But loved the Green Mile.

Dale: What is your favorite book you have read, and why?

Pamela: When asked this question I made myself zone out, avoid overthinking and just let the answers come. Oh and here’s something interesting. Once I had gathered my notes, I noticed that all of these books have a movie adaptation. How fascinating!

Historical Fiction-
#1-Hawaii—James Michener. Why? Like my aha moment at age 7, reading this novel was a life-changing experience. 12-year-old tackles her first big fat read. And falls in LOVE with reading. Every Michener novel hence evoked the same emotions.
#2-Clan of the Cave Bear—Jean Auel. Who WASN’T fascinated with Ayla and her story?

Crime/Fiction-
#1-True Crime—In Cold Blood—Truman Capote. Edgar Award winner but failed to haul in the Pulitzer. I would SAY, considering it wasn’t exactly fiction! I read a piece somewhere that Harper Lee, a buddy of Capote’s, helped him collect 6000 pages of data on the crime. The Why? Riveting. Sickening. Massively gobsmacking at how base humans can be against their species. I couldn’t put it down.
#2-The Lovely Bones—Alice Sebold. The most memorable first lines, ever!!! “My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.” I wanted to ROOT for her sooooo bad—like we do for the heroine…but how could I? Breathtaking.

Drama/Romance
#1-The Notebook—Nicholas Sparks. Oh, come ON… Of COURSE, this had to top my list. I (and every heterosexual woman) wants to be Allie. I want my man to be Noah.
#2-Where The Heart Is—Billie Letts. Oprah’s Book Club choice. Fabulous movie adaptation to a NEVER GIVE UP novel.

Autobiography—Why Not?—Shania Twain. I felt like her SISTER! Great job done by Shania and her (assumed) ghostwriter!!

Non-fiction. On Writing—Stephen King. FINALLY, short and sweet and oh so authentically real. I did not feel alone in this crazy thing we do once I read On Writing. From the very first bite into this book, I was transported. I found myself nodding and nodding again. It was like I myself was sharing all the nuances of the art. Sooo much like my experience. Yours’ too, I’m sure. Nooo, I am, not holding myself up beside the writer, Stephen King—but instead beside the man who understands and lies it all out on the table.

Just because books—To Kill A Mockingbird, and Gone With The Wind.

Dale: Which authors have inspired you, and why?

Pamela: I cannot deny it. I am in awe of the prolific writer. Like—how do they DO that? The research. The art of chaining it all together without losing theme or character progression, storylines and depth—page one to the last word. Book after book after book. It still stops me up when I browse through my local library and see an entire row of novels—from the same author. I am particularly keen on series with the same characters—Example: The J.D. Robb In Death Series. Ohhh, Eve, Darling. There are too many to list.

Dale: What genres do you most enjoy reading?

Pamela: Family sagas. Historical fiction. Murder mystery.

Dale: Many writers/artists/content creators adopt habits in dress, writing paraphernalia, location. Tell us about your day?

Pamela: When I accidentally fell into writing at 58 years old, I quickly realized I had to look at it like a business. Writing, untrained writing with trial and error strategies and an end goal, must be taken seriously. If I was going to look at this new discovery as a career, then I must attack it as I had done in my past careers.

I write from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. I dress comfortably, often in loose PJ’s. a baseball cap. I do not answer the phone but have a local favorite classic rock radio station playing softly in the background. I like to sit where I can look outside towards nature. I make NO other plans for the day. It is my J.O.B. for the day.

Dale: Any final words?

Pamela: Yes. Before I became a writer, I had NO idea how it would take over my life when I wrote. I had no idea how my work would, on occasion, be regarded as frivolous and selfish. And that loved ones would be jealous of the time I took to pursue this thing that had taken over me over the four-odd years it took me to write my debut novel and two additional books in the series.

As writers, poets, content creators, all too often, we have to FIGHT to be recognized that we DO have a job in our writing.

See. You are not alone.

Our chances of being successful and recognized are about the same as winning the lottery. It is all about timing, luck, patience, tenacity, faith.

With a big ole jigger of self-love to bring us through day after day.

NEVER, ever give in.

Or give up.

If you believe you will fail in completing your work, living that dream, you will fail.

If you believe you will succeed in finishing that work, you will.

Pamela Lee_CallMeJ(2)
Pamela Lee is a mother, grandmother, teacher, entrepreneur, Internet TV personality, survivor, friend, poet, author, and writer.

To learn more about Pamela visit her author website.

Purchase Pamela’s books at these fine retailers.

Contact Pamela through her contact page.

Grey Expanse Between Fact and Fiction

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There’s an old saying “write what you know” a popular expression among writers. So what happens when you write a story of “what you know” but you don’t have all the factors to conclude the story?

Over four decades ago, when I was a high school student, there were some unconventional incidents that took place in my teens. Years later, I considered writing an autobiography which would have revealed a real and intimate part of my life, but I was missing a key component, the “why did those events take place?” Without answers to that question, an autobiographical account was out of the question. Who’d want to read a book with no conclusion? Those events were real, and they changed not only my life but the lives of others. Yet I didn’t have the details to wrap up the story all tidy and neat.

On a personal note, I had struggled with the “why?” for years. I had kept that part of my life private because I worried to tell my story due to possible retaliation. For years, I wanted to put those memories behind me. I craved and needed closure.

Finally, the solution came to me. Couldn’t I write the “what I know” part and fill in the unknown “why” with fictional content? I wrote the rough draft and everything fell into place. The completed draft was a blend of fact and fiction. It answered every one of the unknown factors which eluded me for years. I had a complete story. And most of all, I found the closure I so desperately desired.

The result was a coming of age story composed in the grey expanse between established facts and pure made up fiction. No loose ends, no unanswered questions, a story wrapped up with a big shiny bow. I entitled it CLIPPED WINGS.

I completed the epic length rough draft in four months. Handwritten with fountain pens and liquid bottled ink in eight cheap college-ruled composition notebooks. An additional three months to transpose the manuscript into digital format along with considerable first round editing. There are several further rounds of self-editing to do. Then, I will release the manuscript to hungry beta readers. At which time, they will rip and shred my manuscript apart with their scathing remarks. From the beta readers comments, I’ll have a plethora of editing options before me. However, I will have the last word as I wrap up the final edit before the manuscript goes to a third-party editor to polish the final manuscript for publishing.

CLIPPED WINGS may be a southern coming of age novel to its readers, but for me, I found closure to a dark part of my earlier life. The question remains, is the book fact or fiction? You and I know the actual answer, the story takes shape in that grey expanse which exists between fact and fiction, yet inspired by actual events.

Read more about CLIPPED WINGS. I invite you to subscribe to the SCUTTLEBUTT, my online newsletter, with monthly updates on CLIPPED WINGS, as well as background facts and behind the scenes news about the book.

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist #LGBT

Conversation with an Author: Dale Thele

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Had an amazing afternoon with A Dude Abikes. A budding new author to watch for. Take a look at his blog and make sure you LIKE his posts and don’t forget to Follow A Dude Abikes. He’s an awesome dude.

A Dude Abikes

img_20180326_132441756-1483595608.jpg Dale with his coffee cup, black moustache protector, business card, and writer cap.

Dale Thele is an author.  If there’s one thing I took away from the very generous amount of time we spent together at a coffee shop today, is that to think of oneself as an author (or writer, if you prefer), is important.  No, it does not make you good, or increase your chances of publication.

But, thinking of oneself that way is one key to behaving that way.  Writers write, right?  (Do authors auth?)  Luckily, I took away alot more than that one thing, and as Dale was happy to share them with me, he’s happy for me to share them with all 168 of my followers and any new visitors.

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Word Count Matters

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Math-ProblemOOPSIE!

My word count estimate for the first rough draft of CLIPPED WINGS may have been way off.

I’m not a PLOTTER (a writer who plans out a storyline in detail).

I’m not an OUTLINER (a writer who creates a story outline before beginning to write).

I’m a PANTSER (I don’t plan out anything; I fly by the seat of my pants). I write the opening chapter and the closing chapter, then let the story develop organically between the beginning (point A) and the ending (point B).

Characters (even though they are fictional) have a way of driving the direction of a story as it develops through their actions, feelings, stubbornness, and drama. Every manuscript I’ve written has been character driven, CLIPPED WINGS is no different.

I am currently writing chapter 18. I realize now, my word count estimate was not adequate to fully tell the story. Yes, the manuscript is shaping up to be “epic” in length (between 150,000 – 200,000 words), but don’t worry, CLIPPED WINGS is not characteristically “epic” in any other way.

(I should have paid more attention in Algebra Class)

Additional information can be found at CLIPPED WINGS

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist #LGBT

REALITY vs. FICTION – BLURRED LINES

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Image via YouTube

It’s suggested authors and writers are to write about things they know. Some compose memoirs, an account of events from their authentic life, and others create an artificial world out of their imagination. Even an imagined world has elements from an authentic life, no matter how small. So where do authors draw the line of distinction between reality and fiction? The answer would depend if the author is writing fiction or a memoir. A fictional work could take place in a real-world location, however, the characters, if based on real living individuals, the author would change the characteristics of the real-life individuals, so the reader can not identify the characters to the real-life people they are writing about. Authors can be sued for libel, defamation, and/or slander. To get around this obstacle authors use a little trick; a colloquial term, a euphemism to denote distortion of fact called: artistic license, where elements of reality and fiction become blurred in a way which masks the true elements of reality.

I had to decide if I would write my new manuscript as a memoir, or as a work of fiction? The premise of both manuscripts would center on a specific set of circumstances from real-world events. So, could I tell the story better as a memoir or as fiction? If I wrote a memoir, there would be key parts of the real-world story which would not be included in the manuscript, due to possible legal ramifications. However, if I composed a fictional manuscript, retaining key components of the story as possible. Real-world facts within fictional elements (artistic license) would be retained without worry of reprisal or possible legal repercussion. I decided to write a story based on actual real-world events in the form of a fictional novel, tentatively entitled: CLIPPED WINGS.

A tale of a zealous authoritarian high school administrator exploits his position to break Shane Davison’s teen spirit, unaware of the Pandora’s box he has unintentionally opened. The administrator’s unrestrained actions set into motion a chain of events which no one expected, in this early 1970’s narrative, told from Shane’s teenage perspective. Shane takes the reader into his confidence to reveal a nightmare of biased victimization in a small, ultra-conservative, north Oklahoma town. A true, honest-to-goodness southern literary fictional novel, inspired by actual events being written by Dale Thele.

So, how blurred are the lines between reality vs. fiction in CLIPPED WINGS? The manuscript is a current work in progress, but I can assure you, the storyline blurs repeatedly into murky gray areas of artistic license.

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist #LGBT

Texas Book Festival 2016

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Saturday morning rain showers didn’t stop Austinites from venturing downtown to the annual Book Festival. High spirits, laughter, umbrellas, wet clothes and puddle splashing made for an unusual but entertaining Book Festival for all ages.

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Saturday, November 5 & Sunday, November 6
10th & Congress Ave, Austin, Texas

#DaleThele  #Author #Novelist