Where Readers & Writers Connect
Although I love horseback riding, swimming, hiking and being outdoors, reading is my MOST favorite pastime. I’m quick to admit I’m a book junkie. Whereas some folks go on eating binges and others on drinking binges, I go on reading binges and PLEASE don’t turn me loose in a book store with unlimited cash or credit card!
I’ve been a reader from as far back as I remember beginning with Dr. Seuss to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, then the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. I started reading sweet romances as a young teen then quickly graduated to historical where I discovered authors like Judith McNaught (Once and Always), Jennifer Wilde (Love’s Tender Fury) and Jennifer Horseman (With One Look). One day I discovered Nora Roberts who quickly became my favorite author of all times. I simply adore her power of description. I do love a good romance, but now days I read non-fiction books by spiritual leaders more often than not.
When did you begin to write?
The bug to write didn’t hit until my early twenties while I was pregnant with my youngest child. I read one-too-many insipid little romances and thought I could do better. A mite arrogant to say the least, as writing and writing well enough to be published are two different things. When I first started penning my stories in five-subject notebooks (which I did for 11 years!), I wrote what I read – romance….full fledged, hot, steamy romance.
At that time I had no idea there was a CBA market or readership, much less guidelines. Then one day I submitted. Lo and behold was I in for a surprise! The editor who rejected the story sent me a copy of their guidelines and I was blown away. I began reading Christian romances and worked endlessly to revise and tone down my story, so much so that I didn’t even recognize it. That’s when I decided I wasn’t cut out for this market, threw out the guidelines and wrote the kind of story I’d like to read….hot, steamy, romance that stayed within Biblical principles and showed the characters faith in the midst of their circumstances.
This type of writing did not bode well for me in terms of getting published in the traditional CBA market, but thankfully I met readers who loved it and editors/publishers who appreciated the style. Tempered Hearts (book 1 in a 4 part series) was the first to be written in long-hand and was E-published in 2000 after 4 years of submitting, revising, rewriting and resubmitting. To date I have 6 full length novels and 5 short story/novellas as well as numerous articles and essays published and like most authors, a host of ideas and WIPs.
How did you study writing and prepare for the craft?
I’ve never studied the craft by means of formal education or even leisure learning courses and, although I have read several books on writing, I can’t say I have a favorite or one I keep as my go-to resource for all things. Most books on writing are written by experts in their particular field and, though all contain great advice, the bottom line is a writer must stay true to his or her voice and passion, whatever that may be.
What has been your greatest influence, then?
I believe the greatest influence on me as a writer is being an avid reader. My parents and family have always supported my reading habit and once I came out of the closet with my writing their encouragement was beyond description. I’ve been writing for nearly thirty years now, published for more than a decade and I still don’t prepare, plot or research my stories in advance. I am 100% panster. An idea will come to me and I just sit down and write in chronological or linear fashion. I have no idea what will happen, when or why. About the only thing I DO know is the story will end in a HEA fashion. Balancing writing with the other aspects of a publishing career, as well as running an online magazine, is always a challenge but when I’m actively working on a project, I write as much and often as I can.
Tell us about your latest work.
My latest release, The Visionary, a contemporary women’s fiction novel, is set in my hometown area of Lake Charles, Louisiana on a piece of property that once belonged in my family. The story centers around twins Taylor and Trevor Forrestier who own a architectural firm/construction company. The two share more than a successful business though. They share a childhood wrought with lies and deceit and the type of abuse that is disturbingly present in today’s society. The book shows the awesome power of God to heal the most wounded of souls.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana and is the owner of The Wordsmith Journal Magazine. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ A former member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Golden Triangle Writers Guild, Coeur de Louisiane and RWA, Pam won Coeur’s 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” as well as their 2000 “Ruby” Award and received her RWA Pro Pin in 2001. Find out more about Pam by visiting her website or blog.