Saturday, March 22, 2008

Louisiana Saturday Night with Author Pam Thibodeaux

Meet my friend, award-winning Louisiana author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux. She's multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction. Just google her--she's everywhere. Her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Pam is Co-Founder/President and Treasurer of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana and I'm delighted to share her with you today. Pam is the epitome of perseverance.

1) How long have you been writing and what is your writing process?
I began writing over 25 years ago in 5-subject notebooks. After 11 years of that, I bought my first word processor. It took over a year to type in my WIP at the time after which, I started typing in other stories. I worked on a word processor for 7 yrs before I got my first computer. As for writing process, I am 100% SOTP writer. Sometimes a character will introduce him/her self to me and start talking, occasionally a thought will generate the idea and sometimes I just get a blurb and then work from there.

2)How does your heritage or living in Louisiana affect/influence your writing?
Louisiana is steeped in culture as are the people who live here. As with any writer, I write what I observe. I have 3 books that are set in Louisiana. Tempered Dreams, book 2 in my series is set in Lafayette. The Visionary a single title women’s fiction novel is set in Lake Charles and Circles of Fate (un-contracted) starts out in Georgia but ends up in the Thibodaux area. I’ve been so disappointed in books I’ve read that feature ‘Cajuns’ as nothing more than backwater hicks so I hope to show we’re not that at all.

3) How do you inspire yourself or what are your sources of creativity?
I write Inspirational so my work is God-inspired and the Holy Spirit is my source of creativity. That said, I am also inspired in other ways, a song or even just a thought can quickly roll into a story or novel.

4) What are the biggest surprises you've encountered as a writer?
That writing is a business and sometimes a business without a heart. When I began writing I naively thought that all you had to do was write a good story and BAM! you’d get published. Then all I had to do was keep writing. Many newbie authors still start their careers under that same misconception. Writing is a business and from publishers to book buyers, the main focus is the Bottom Line. If you’re new, you must be BETTER than the best to even get looked at by Big Name publishers and agents. You’d better have a marketing hook, marketing plan and platform already in place. This is why so many authors are finding their niche in E-publishing. Although the goals of those publishers are also to make money, they’re just as interested –if not more so-in finding good stories and giving good authors a chance for their writing to be read.

5) What's the best advice you were given about writing? Keep writing and don’t give up, write from your heart and stay true to your voice.

6) What is your proudest writer moment?
EVERYTIME an editor says “I like it and the contract is on its way!” I doubt I’ll ever get over the thrill of that happening whether it be an article, essay, short story or novel. Also, seeing my book listed on the ‘current best seller’ list at the publisher’s site and receiving my royalty statement…whether I’ve sold one book or a dozen, I know that I’ve gained a new friend and gotten Jesus’ message out there to one more person.

7) What is your favorite self-marketing idea and is marketing a challenge for you or are you a natural?
Marketing is a challenge for me mainly due to time constraints. I love doing it, just don’t have the time to focus extensively on it. One of my favorite things is to carry around what I call an ‘envelope flyer’ about the size of a regular bookmark that I can easily hand out to people…waitresses, bank tellers, just about anyone.

8) What have you learned about yourself in this writing process? That I do have talent! Many people you know say they’d love to write a book, but not everyone will actually persevere to sit down and do it much less keep plugging away through years of rejection to see that dream come to fruition.

9) What business challenges have you faced as a writer? Any pet peeves? Challenges, pet peeves? You got all day, LOL! There are numerous challenges I’ve faced as a writer, especially since my writing doesn’t ‘fit’ a particular genre or niche. I write “Inspirational” NOT ‘Christian’ and that is a constant challenge as well as a pet peeve of mine. The CBA market is not open to more sensuality in their romances and yet the ABA is reluctant for their characters to actually have a personal relationship with God, one that shines through their difficulties. Oh sure, they can talk about God, even attend church, but to engage in actual dialogue with Him is not heard of. In fact, many self-proclaimed Christians don’t believe in this either. They love, honor and respect Him but that’s about as far as it goes. Me, I talk to God and, believe it or not, He does talk back…sometimes in a still, small Voice, sometimes in an ‘impression’ in my heart and mind and sometimes in a very audible way. He’ll talk to you too, if you’ll be open-minded enough to listen.

10) What kind of support staff do you have? Not the secretary or publicist or research assistant we'd all love to have, but the family, the crit partners, the prayer team, or whoever helps prop you up when you're in need of some props.
My husband and mother are my two greatest supporters…then there are the family members and friends that buy EVERYTHING I write. And of course, the members of Bayou Writers’ Group who stand by me at every twist and turn in my life.

11) What was the last book you read and why did you read it?
The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. I love reading inspirational/motivational books; books that make you think a level deeper. Many have deemed The Secret as un-Christian or anti-God or any number of other labels, but I’ve found that every principle in that book is backed by Scripture(s) and it has helped understand those Scriptures on a deeper level.

12) What's your best advice for new writers? Never give up! Writing is a gift and a talent….don’t bury your talent or hide your gift.

Tell us what's coming up next.
My Books: Tempered Series:
Tempered Hearts, Tempered Dreams, Tempered Fire (Com Star Media) are available now in Ebook and Print. Tempered Joy is due out this year.

Single Titles:
The Inheritance
(The Wild Rose Press) available now in Ebook and Print.
The Visionary (Enspiren Press) coming this year.

Short Stories:
Cathy’s Angel, Choices, A Hero for Jessica (The Wild Rose Press) are available as downloads only through the publisher’s site.

Visit Pam's website and her blog
Read her Articles:
Links to books:
Tempered Ebooks
The Inheritance Ebook
Cathy’s Angel

Link for Print Books

Keep an eye out for A Hero for Jessica - available after March 26th.


Jessica Nelson said...

Cool interview. Thanks for a look into your life Pam!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Thanks Jess!

I'm also guest blogging over at Petticoats and Pistols today if anyone wants to drop by!


Georgiana Daniels said...

Great interview =) Those are many of the same reasons I love The Wild Rose Press too!

Missy Tippens said...

Great interview!

Pam, I'm really impressed that you started out on paper. I always wanted to write a book but waited until we got our first computer. :)

Jess, your blog photo is beautiful! Really makes me wish I lived close to water (other than a creek!).

Missy :)

Jessica Ferguson said...

Thanks, Missy. My blog photo is one I took myself at Grand Lake. We're with our Sunday School class in a beautiful house on stilts. :)

Erica Vetsch said...

Thanks for another great interview!

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hi Georgiana, Missy & Erica,

Thanks for commenting on my interview.

Missy, for the years I had a word processor, everyone told me I needed a computer but I put it off saying "all I do is write, I don't need all that other stuff."

Now, I don't know what I'd do without one LOL!

In fact, I went a couple of weeks last year without a computer when my home pc crashed...I felt lost.

Kinda like men...can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em


Anonymous said...

Jess and Pam, Thanks for a terrific interview! It was a pleasure getting to know you, Pam. Blessings, Catherine

Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Great interview! :)

Pamela S Thibodeaux said...

Hi Jessica and Catherine!

Thanks for commenting. Glad you enjoyed the interview.