Pamela Johnson brings a refreshing and witty story to romance, no matter if sheís writing a contemporary, a time-travel, or a Regency. She has the ability to pull you into her fictional world with just the first paragraph. I, for one, hope to see her out-of-print Unfinished Dreams back in print soon, because I havenít enjoyed a contemporary romance like this in a long time. I found it a wonderfully pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Itís one of those books you donít want to put aside for anything and can be read in one sitting on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
Ms. Johnson is passionate about embracing her imagination, continuing to learn new things everyday, and challenging herself to go beyond what she learned yesterday. She brings all of this to her fiction, and she puts out unforgettable reads.
As a child, Ms. Johnson spent a lot of time daydreaming. She especially loved taking a blanket to an open field across the street and playing the cloud shape game. Her favorite toy was her collection of Troll dolls, and sheíd create imaginary worlds for them. She also enjoyed catching lightning bugs and butterflies.
Ms. Johnson is an artist in addition to writing, and she always wanted to draw for Disney in those cell-by-cell drawings. She collects rocks from every place she visits, and sheís fond of shells and driftwood, though she lives far from the ocean.
Some of her favorite things include: twilight in any season, open windows on summer nights, a childís belly laugh, road trips, exploring the off-beaten path, Chunky Monkey ice cream, football and live hockey games, rock concerts, Broadway musicals, art museums, and letters from readers telling her what her book did for them.
On Writing, in Ms. Johnsonís Words
What or who inspires you to write?
My family is my first line of support. Without their encouragement, belief, and help, I couldnít do this. Next come the readers. No one is in the business of writing fiction to gain wealth. Thatís icing, true. But the true reward is the feedback and encouragement, the pleasure of entertaining a reader or creating something they can relate to, that touches them in some wayóthatís inspiration. As far as story ideas...those come from the most unexpected of places.
Why did you begin writing?
I began as a newspaper columnist after I gave birth to twins. I was fortunate that I could stay at home and be with them, and so I began dabbling into researching fiction writing, reading a few e-books, and writing to the authors to ask about their work. I became a book reviewer for a year or two, joined a few writer groups, took classes online, and here I am. Itís a journey I doubt will ever end. But thatís how I view life. If Iím not learning, then Iím not growing.
Which author inspires you?
Oh my, far too many to name, and it may surprise some people that not all of them are well-known. I have met a great many authors since I stepped into this writerís journey. Many courageous men and women authors whom I admire for reasons that go beyond their writing. I will say, however, that I aspire to be like the seasoned authors Iíve met who arenít afraid to reach back and lend a helping hand. Those who remember the struggle. This is not a chosen path for the thin-skinned or the weak of heart. It takes a great deal of intestinal fortitude...a great deal of belief in yourself. There are days when itís just you and the powers that be that are your inspiration.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Without a doubt, when a reader contacts you and tells you how much your book has meant to them.
Have you experienced writerís block? And if so, how did you cure it?
More than I can count! Iíve actually written a book with my good friend, talented author Lori Soard on this topic, called So Your Muse Has Gone AWOL? We discovered there are different forms of writerís block. Some are tangible, where you can induce something into your routine that will aid in jumpstarting your creativity. And on some occasions, we discovered, quite by accident, really, that sometimes writerís block can be the result of very real events in our livesódivorce, death, loss of any kindóand those times of writerís block must be dealt with perhaps with more tolerance.
Itís a popular term in writersí circles to ďjust do it,Ē to sit your butt in the chair and write! And that can be a cure for writerís block. But Iíve discovered, for myself and in talking to others, that authors are like human sponges. Weíre able to tap into a well within us to create real characters, emotions, plots, etc. But, on the flip side, weíre human and need to rejuvenate and allow healing. Iím not sure authors give themselves much time to replenish their creative wells.
Tangible things I use are music, visual aids, aromatherapy, exercise, making a schedule, and reading.
When is your next book due out and whatís it about?
In this business, you have to be flexible. Iíve always said that. Most recently, I received back all the rights to many of my contracted books with Triskelion. Itís always sad to see an E-pub close, but itís a common occurrenceósome make it, and some donít. Fortunately, many of the authors are finding new homes for their work, which is fantastic. I was blessed to have contracted a novel-length erotic historical with Harlequin SPICE, so Iíve spent a great deal of this past spring and summer (between family events) researching and writing this story of Victorian England. I tell people itís like Jane Austin Gone Wild!
Though extreme with steam, it does have an ending that I believe readers will enjoy. This book is tentatively slated for release from Harlequin in October 2008. (Harlequin SPICE releases only 6 books a year at this line)
I also have a number of short works under consideration for their new Spice Briefs line at Harlequin. These are short and extra-steamy as wellóand for the discerning romance reader. Readers who want to learn more about Harlequin SPICE and see whoís featured in this line can check it out at EHarlequin.com.
Coming to a Bookstore Near You:
Teaser blurb for Diary of Cozette by Pamela Johnson, writing as Amanda McIntyre
Harlequin SPICE, 2008
From poverty and life in a brothel to her position as maidservant of an aristocratic family, Cozette learns passion knows no status or wealth. When it comes to desire, all men are created equal. Not so easy to decipher, however, are the secrets of the heart. For where passion and desire are fleeting, the heart continues to beat.
The time is Victorian England, in the mid- to late 1800s. Itís a time when women are seen as little more than possessions and are thought not to have the same sexual needs as a man. While itís common that a man carry a mistress, for a woman to carry on an affair, whether married or not, places her in the position of being a loose woman and, unless reformed, unfit for societal standards.
This story, set in diary form, follows the life of Anne Cozette Bennett and shows how, through her life experiences with various men, she grows to become a powerful woman in many ways. Still, deep in her heart, she yearns for the one man who will challenge her and accept her for all she is.
Ms. Johnson is in the process of creating a new Web site. For now, you can visit her at Myspace.com/AmandaMcIntyre to keep up with her future endeavors and to learn when her e-books will be available through a new publisher