Today, I’m delighted to welcome the lovely Pam Howes to my blog.
Pam and I met about four years ago on the peer review site YouWriteOn, and now we’re friends on Facebook. It was Pam who introduced me to my fantastic editor John Hudspith, the man who has made such a difference to my writing. Pam is the author of The Rock and Roll Years series: Three Steps to Heaven; ‘Til I Kissed You; Always On My Mind; Not Fade Away, and That’ll Be The Day, which follows the lives and loves through the decades of fictional Rock’n’Roll band The Raiders. Her stand-alone true-life romance, Fast Movin’ Train, set in the nineties, was published in early 2012. A new series of Fairground Romances, set in the sixties, begins with Cathy’s Clown.
Welcome, Pam. How would you describe yourself as a colour? Are you a light and airy pastel person, or more of a deep, dark, sultry and mysterious colour?
Purple, definitely purple. The darker and richer the better. There’s a colour called royal purple. That’s me!
And are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
Midnight candle burner. I don’t do mornings. I have more energy at night for some reason.
I’m the same. Please tell me something you’d like your readers to know about you.
I’m the driving force behind a campaign for Blue Plaque status for buildings in my hometown that housed our brilliant clubs where iconic acts like The Who, Jimi Hendrix, The Small Faces and the Walker Bothers performed in the sixties.
Wow! I hope you’re successful. What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all-time favourite song?
Mainly Rock’n’Roll or sixties pop songs. Favourite song of all time would have to be Let The Heartaches Begin by Long John Baldry, one of the best ballads ever recorded.
I love that song too. Pam, if your life were a movie would it be considered an action film, comedy, drama, romance, fantasy or a combination?
Definitely drama mixed with a handful of comedy and a lot of romance. Drama because of the large family I have around me and comedy because there’s plenty of laughter that such a big brood generates and romance – well why not?
Absolutely! Please tell us, when did you start writing?
I first had a dabble in the mid-nineties when I started to write what was to be a factual book about the local music scene in the sixties.
From where do you get the ideas for your novels?
Life in general. My teenage years. Songs inspire me too, and my musician partner’s tales of his times on the road with his old bands.
How did you come to write rock fiction?
By default I think. When my non-fictional attempts were abandoned because someone beat me to it, I turned the facts into rock fiction.
What do you think is the hardest part of writing a book?
Being chained to a desk all day. I get restless and want to go out, especially when the sun is shining.
Which element is most difficult for you?
None of it really. Once I get going I enjoy all the writing part.
What’s your favourite part, then?
When I can picture my characters and see them moving through the lives I’ve created for them.
That’s mine too. What’s your least favourite part?
Marketing! It’s boring and time consuming.
Snap! Would you ever consider a joint project?
Maybe. It’s been mooted. I have a friend who was married to a musician from a well known band. She has diaries and stuff from those days and the tours of America with many famous names. One day we plan on getting it together to collaborate on this non-fiction project. I’m looking forward to it as she promises some wild tales!
Sounds intriguing. Which one of your own releases was your own particular favourite?
Fast Movin’ Train. It’s based on a true tale and is written from deep within my heart.
I can’t wait to read it. Tell us, Pam. How do you handle a writer’s block?
Don’t really get it once I’m on a roll. I had a break this year while my mother was ill and needed care. Took me a while to get back in the saddle, but once I got there I’ve been fine.
That’s good to know. Do you write long-hand first, or does it go straight onto the computer?
I used to write long hand, pads and pads of it, but not anymore. I just use the computer and then print a chapter at a time and add any bits or edits that way and then input them.
Are you a “sit down and play it by ear kind of writer”, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
I play it by ear most of the time. I don’t work well if I have to stick to structure.
When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
I always have the end in my head first. That way it’s easier to start, but sometimes it takes me by surprise…
Generally speaking, is your work based on real life experience?
Yes, a lot of it is. My characters are nearly always based on people I know. I use the looks of one and the traits of another and mix and mingle them a bit!
How long does it take you to create a novel, on average?
About twelve months these days. Maybe a bit less if time permits.
Do you like to read the genre that you write?
Sometimes. But there’s not much around like mine; they’re sagas without clog and shawls. My guys wear jeans and leather jackets in the main. I love to read crime thrillers.
What are you working on now, Pam? Would you like to share anything about it?
I’m working on the second novel of my fairground series, Ruby Tuesday, but I’ve had to put it temporarily on the back burner due to working on a secret project. I’ll be back on the job soon. No release date planned at the moment. This will depend on the secret project and the available time to complete both.
How can we find you? Do you have a web page, Facebook page or any buy links?
My Amazon page with all book links
Thanks, Pam. It’s been great chatting to you and I wish you every success with your secret project and Ruby Tuesday. I loved Three Steps to Heaven and really look forward to reading more of your books.