Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I’m pleased to have Pamela Poole as my guest! I really enjoyed the depth of her answers regarding faith and her writing, and I also love the fact that we share the same love for the south. Charleston, South Carolina, is on our short list for retirement! I hope you enjoy her interview as much as I did. Read on to see how you can enter to win a copy of her latest release!
About me and my current new release: Hi, I’m Pamela Poole, and I live an amazing life as an artist and author! What makes my life amazing isn’t the things I get to do. It’s the scope of experiences, from devastating to incredibly wonderful, that are used by Christ to weave my story and make it one worth telling and living.
A deeply held love for the South inspires my books and paintings. The setting for my novels and short stories in the Painter Place Saga is a fictional island between Charleston, SC and Myrtle Beach. I live life loving Jesus and my family as a wife, mother, and GiGi. Though my husband and I currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina, we consider the Lowcounty of South Carolina “home” and hope to retire there someday.
Have you ever noticed that people entertain themselves at the expense of the suffering of others? What about the book you’re currently reading? Would you be interested in the story if the author didn’t drag the characters through excruciating ordeals so they could
grow into a better person? We tend to pray for protection from trouble for ourselves and loved ones, then we relish reading or watching others as they cope with it. Their stories are the ones we find amazing. What irony!
In my latest novel, Landmark, I take readers back to the year 1960 to journey with the Painter and Gregory families as they navigate through trouble on the verge of a tumultuous new decade. Their efforts to do the right things as they walk with Christ will not eliminate the valuable struggle ahead of them. Like other novels in the saga, Landmark is a nostalgic, entertaining, and wholesome story, yet it is packed with meaningful insights that encourage us as we set up our own landmarks to remember for the times when Jesus was faithful through our struggles.
Landmark is the first book in the saga chronologically and can be read first.
What do you think is lacking in Christian Fiction? Hands down, it is lack of Biblical conviction and spiritual maturity in authors. This plays out in sappy worldliness and compromise, like writing to satisfy emotional neediness with a focus on self-fulfillment. Relationships look like how the world interacts, especially in romance but also in speech (my pet peeve is Christians who curse and impose it on others). Most Christian fiction I try out lacks artistic substance and is barely an inch deep in spiritual maturity. Christian authors should be aware that they are held accountable to Jesus as influencers in the faith and should not be the blind leading the blind over a cliff.
How did you determine whether to self-publish or seek a traditional publisher? One day, after I’d returned a stack of disappointing and unread books to the library, my son encouraged me to write the book I wanted to read. I used the inspiration from a dream to take him up on the challenge, assuming only my family and friends would ever read it. But he said it was good enough to be published and encouraged me to seek a publisher, though the rule of thumb then was that you had to spend a lot of money on conventions and years of networking, then find an agent, etc. That sounded ridiculous to me and I would not have traveled that road. But I did a search and found 3 Christian and inspirational publishers who were accepting stories. I submitted the manuscript. Three weeks later, I had a nibble from a big established one, but I’m so glad in retrospect that I didn’t pursue it. I signed a contract with a smaller publisher, asking for a limitation of only 2 years because I thought I might want to be independent and didn’t want my rights to be tied up. By the time I was writing my 3rd novel in the series, I’d learned enough about publishing and the experiences of fellow authors with publishers to know I had to be independent, so I established Southern Sky Publishing and launched Jaguar, Painter Place Saga 3. I got the rights back from my original publisher for my first 2 novels, re-launched them under my brand, and never looked back. Perhaps getting a publisher so quickly helped me with the confidence that comes from the confirmation that I had a quality product, but I know my path is to be an independent author.
What is your inspiration for writing? Honestly, I thought of myself as an artist and art teacher, not an author, and never dreamed of writing novels. However, those who have ever had a “calling” will understand when I say that’s what my experience as an author has been like. As I walk with Christ in faith and pray about His will for my life in service to Him, this is the door He sent me through and the thing He’s using to grip my heart and attention. Stories are a way to reach thirsty hearts, and He sends me experiences and interactions to jot down and communicate in novels and stories. Most of my books were born in a dream, an idea that lingered when I woke up, and that I recorded as a basis for the next book.
Who do you envision your typical reader to be? My typical readers will enjoy Christian fiction and perhaps art and the beach. But my “tribe” will be the ones looking for depth and conviction in entertaining stories. They will be the kind of readers who hope to feel like better people for having read the story.
Do you write your book for your own enjoyment or more for what you think people would want to read? The perfect reader for my books is ME. All of my books, short stories, poetry, and paintings are created for an audience of 2 – myself and Jesus. By making my work public, I have opened myself up as a target for criticism and unkind readers, but I keep my focus on my satisfaction as a picky reader who depicts characters who live out their faith.
Here is where you can find Pamela online:
Pamela is giving away a copy of her book Jaguar to a reader! See below how to enter to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway