Meet Pamela DuMond, one of my favorite kinds of writers – Eclectic.
I’ve loved her hilarious Annie Graceland Cupcake mysteries. I also devoured Part Time Princesss, a contemporary romance and
The Messenger and The Assassin, her first two YA Time travel books. They are passionate, historical and laced with romance and a spunky modern day heroine. Pam has a giveaway at the end of this post.
Thank you, Sue!
Pamela, please tell us a little about yourself.
I’m originally from the Midwest, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, and lived downtown for a while before I moved to L.A. to marry the wrong guy. When that tanked, I stayed in California for the beautiful weather.
I like dogs and cats equally, the beach, working out, a hearty cabernet, dark chocolate, romantic comedies, TV, movies, and non-GMO foods. I have a few life guidelines: Be kind. Don’t litter. Use your turn signal. And… Not my circus, not my monkeys.
I'm adopting that one!
I love firsts, so tell me about the moment when a publisher told you they wanted to publish your book.A tiny press loved my comedic mystery Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys and published it in 2010. That was the year everyone got an eReader for the Holidays. I was a no-name, debut author with a teensy publisher who had zero marketing dollars, and yet that book sold decently out the gate. Very exciting!
I'm not surprised. I devoured it. How could you not love a cupcake baker with an irritating ghost stalking her?
If it isn’t too nosy. How about the first time you kissed your true love?
He had a lot of hair and a very big black, wet nose. He was rescued from being a guard dog at a factory. Chris was part German Shepherd, part mutt, and I fell in love with him when I was seven years old.
Other than your own, who are your favorite (heroes/heroines/writers) in your genre?
That’s tough - I write in a bunch of genres. Hmm. (Puts on thinking cap…)
YA: Ann Brashares. Suzanne Collins. David Levithan wrote a stunning book called Every Day. I loved. If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
Romance: Ann Brashares! I haven’t read The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon but I love the TV show. Susanna Kearsley. H.M. Ward. Courtney Milan. I’m currently reading The White Queen by Philippa Gregory and enjoying that quite a bit.
Romantic Comedy: Elle Casey is hilarious. I’m a sucker for anything similar to Ms. Congeniality or Legally Blonde. Stephanie Bond brings the funny as well.
Mysteries: Don’t get me started. Cindy Sample writes very cute, funny cozy mysteries. Leighann Dobbs. Robert Crais. There are too many to mention here.
Thrillers: Lee Child. Harlan Coben.
Thank you. You've given me some new writers to try. I haven't read any of those.
What is the most exciting moment, so far, in your writing career?
It’s a tie:
A. I had never done an author ‘reading’ from any of my books. So when The Messenger was optioned for Film/TV, I read an excerpt to the president of MTV and development execs during a pitch meeting. That was my first official reading. (And a major ‘Squee’ moment!) Wow!!!!
B. When my first book was published.
C. Getting positive feedback from readers that I helped them through a tough time, or I made them laugh. That means so very much to me.
What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
It’s a cross between my pets, working out, and TV/Film. I love my two cats. I also love exercising: pounding weights, walking, hitting the gym, and even yoga has helps me through many stressful times and keeps me (somewhat) sane. And I wind down at the end of the day or on a holiday with one of my fave TV shows and/or the occasional movie.
How do you motivate yourself when inspiration takes a vacation?
For me the key is to write several books at once. That way if the muse is dead on one, it might perk up its ears for another. Therefore writing a book could take anywhere from four months to four years. But eventually a whole bunch of them get completed. I don't know how you do that, but I think it's awesome.
Here's where I go sideways and ask if Pam has a recipe to share. Why? I love recipes.
I put the recipe Pamela shared for Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting on my recipe page. Check it out.
Any advice for new writers just starting out?
Write as often as you can. A minute or two here or there adds up. Eventually you will have a book/short story/whatever if you just keep going. Don’t wait for the perfect time of your life or optimum conditions because that will never happen. I wrote my funniest book, Part-time Princess, when we moved my mom to Assisted Living, she died, and I was dealing with the incredibly awful aftermath.
As much as you might enjoy your critique groups, don’t get bogged down in them. Just get your ms done. Please remember your first draft will never be perfect, unless you are Lee Child, and I can pretty much guarantee none of us are Lee Child. (Except for Lee Child.)
When you think you’re done? Hire an editor. I’m constantly amazed at the writers that think they can do that for themselves. God bless, if they can do that. I can’t. Me neither. Not in a million years!
What genre or genres do you write?
Young Adult. Mystery. Thrillers. Romance. Self-Help.
Another Genre slut. I love it.
Tell us about your latest release, The Assassin.
Good lordy, I love this book series. It’s YA romantic time travel and the followup to The Messenger. It combines fantasy, history, romance, and action adventure.
Time Traveler. Messenger. Beloved. Spy.
"I was a Messenger: I kept the memory of all our encounters, our lives, like a locket that brushes the skin and bones covering my heart. But Samuel was a Healer: he didn't time travel. His kind lived, died, re-incarnated, and he didn't retain memories from his past lives. Every year I landed in required starting our relationship over: from ashes, from scrap... Every place I journeyed had beauty as well as darkness; all my time-travels were bittersweet." ~~~Madeline.
Teenage Madeline’s a Messenger: time traveling across lifetimes and delivering messages that could change one life or many. When she discovers that her true love, Samuel, is alive in present day, but doesn’t remember her from their past, she journeys to a deadly royal conflict in medieval Portugal hoping to rekindle his memory. Mortal assassins as well as dark-souled time travelers seek to kill her.
Will Madeline and Samuel be together again in life—or only in death?
The Messenger (Mortal Beloved, Book One) is optioned for Film/TV.
These books are so right for a film series. I can't wait to see what they do with it.
Coming soon to Kobo, iBooks, and ARE.
What’s your current WIP?
Part-time Princess (Ladies-in-Waiting, #2) — I can’t think of a title yet.
The Seeker (Mortal Beloved, Book Three)
Cupcakes, Bars, and Rock Stars (Annie Graceland Mystery #7)
I want to read all of these books. Three at a time. All completely different from each other. I think you may be a multiple personality and I mean that in the very best way,
Sue - you asked me to write about why I self-publish…
I signed with my *third* agent in 2009 after nine months of querying. Unfortunately shortly thereafter the agency fired her, and then me as well, because I hadn’t sold yet. I was devastated. My friend gave Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys to a man who had a very small press. He loved my book and published it late 2010.
In 2011 I crunched the numbers and wondered why I was giving away 60% of my profits to a publisher. So I wrote a Cupcakes novella, hired an editor, cover artist, eBook formatter, and uploaded it myself to the various platforms. Lo and behold it sold just fine. In 2012 my contract with the publisher for my first book was up. I gratefully left, and pursued self-publishing, which was a good move.
In 2014/2015 book sales are all over the map. But new, fun opportunities arise: collaborating with other authors in box sets, having book sales and selling a lot of copies in one day. There’s no reason for me to go with a big or small press trad publisher for my cute mysteries or romances unless the deal (and I don’t mean an advance) was very special. Unfortunately most of the deals now days are not all that special.
So I ask myself in all sincerity — what can a publisher do for me that I can’t do for myself?
Here’s what I think a good publisher could do for me in 2015:
1. Obtain reviews from more prominent review sites. 2. Provide a bigger marketing launch for a book. 3. Possibly get my books in print into bookstores. (For how long?) 4. Get books into libraries. (That’s changing for Indies.) 5. Enter my books into ‘traditional’ contests. (That’s changing for Indies.) 5. Negotiate foreign sales. (Some Indies are doing that.) 6. Provide in-house marketing for the book when sales start to slide. 7. Invite me to their party at a convention.
Is this worth giving a publisher control over my book forever? No. A few years? Maybe.
I’m not against traditional publishing. I would go that route for the right reasons with the right publisher, for a specific intellectual property, a good contract, and a reasonable length of time.
I love self-publishing.
I love the hard work, the control, the speediness of moving through the publishing process. (Notice I didn’t say ‘writing process.’) I can change a cover if it doesn’t work. I’m learning formatting. I can update my books to include links to my other books. I control pricing and decide when I have a sale on a book. No one ever remainders my books.
I don’t need traditional publishing to validate me as a published writer. My readers do that.
Thank you! I love hearing from self published authors. My fears stem from hiring the right editor. And the outlay to hire a good editor and a good cover artist. I get the feeling you have a lot more business savvy than I do. Not sure I am ready to careen along another learning curve. But I am so glad you did.
And finally, where can we find you?
Sign up for my newsletter here: http://www.pameladumond.com/contact.html
Instagram: https://instagram.com/ Pamela_DuMond
Sue - thanks bunches for having me on your blog. Congrats on your 2015 Golden Quill Best First Book Finalist Award and I can’t wait to read your next Time and Forever romance!
I have two Second Chances romances in the works.
Pam's offering a crazy good Giveaway:
Two eBook giveaways of The Mortal Beloved Series, Books one and two.
$10 dollar GC to Amazon or B&N (Winner gets to pick.)
$10 dollar GC to Amazon or B&N (Winner gets to pick.)
(I never knew this before, but you have to a tiny triangle on the right to see the second prize. It's there. I promise you.)Enter Below. Be good to yourself this week. There's only one of you.