Interview with Pamela Labud
Susana: What inspired you to start writing?
Pam: I was raised in Illinois, with only 3 TV channels and a small library, I couldn’t wait for more stories, so I started writing my own at age 13. I didn’t really finish a novel until much later when I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander, and knew I had to write. Shortly after that I started my first historical romance novel!
Susana: How long have you been writing?
Pam: I’ve been writing romance for twenty years! Before I wrote mostly short stories and as a teenager, very depressing poetry. But, once I started writing romance, I never looked back. I love the genre and plan to write it forever!
Susana: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
Pam: Read everything you can get your hands on! All genres and all ages. Not just in your comfort zone. Read nonfiction as well as fiction. Pay attention to the masters, and by that I mean Stephen King’s On Writing, Deb Dixon’s GMC, Chris Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, and Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Renni Brown and Dave King, among others. Learn to write synopsis, blurbs and log lines. Learn how to pitch a book and how to gracefully accept rejections and learn from them. And, finally, the most important thing to do? Write, write, write!
Susana: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Pam: I’ve not really suffered from writer’s block, but I do have moments of anxiety and times when the words just aren’t there. I think a block can come from several sources. Health problems, grief, fear, and even situational stress.
The best thing to do is to figure out what’s blocking you and then do your best to deal with it. Do you need medical treatment? A counselor? Time to grieve? Or, maybe a job change or help dealing with a domestic issue will make it possible to restart your writing.
Sometimes you can be blocked because of low self-esteem. “I’m no good, therefor I can’t do this. I’m a terrible person and therefore I’m a terrible writer. No one will want to read what I write, etc.”
When this happens, you really need to sit yourself down and start reciting positive affirmations. Writing is a very scary business, when you fail and when you succeed… No matter what, face that blank screen and keep trying.
Susana: What comes first the plot or the characters?
Pam: For me, it’s the characters. I grow the plot from their personality, flaws, goals and what cause conflict in their lives. Every time they solve one problem, I give them another, bigger one. Of course, they all have that “black moment” where they think all is lost, but they figure things out and their story always works out. I believe in Happily Ever After or Happy for Now.
Susana: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Pam: I’m a plantser! LOL! Actually, I start with my character’s profile and then pants, or free write from there until about halfway through the story. Then, I plot the rest. Also, I always know my ending before I sit down to write the first line.
Susana: What are you reading now?
Pam: I love reading Regency romances, except for when I’m actively writing in the genre. I love to read romantic suspense authors like Tammy Hoag and Kathy Reichs. At present, though, I’m reading the first book in an amazing series by Kristen Painter. The Vampire’s Mail Order Bride was so much fun! I can’t wait to finish the rest of the series.
Susana: What author or authors are most influential in your writing?
Pam: My favorite author growing up was Ray Bradbury. I so loved his books and poetry. He’s a Midwesterner like me, so his writing really resonated with me. In addition to his writing novels, he also wrote short stories and poetry. Plus, he wrote the screenplay for the first Moby Dick movie.
Later on, though I’d love authors like John Jakes, JRR Tolkien, and others, it wasn’t until I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander that I really had the urge to write. I’m nowhere near the kind of writer she is, but I learned to write with emotions through her more than anyone else I’ve read. And, finally Jane Austin and Mary Jo Putney were my go to for Regency stories. Mary Jo’s The Rake and The Reformer is still my favorite modern Regency romance.
Susana: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Pam: All over the place! LOL! Six months ago I retired from nursing to write full time, and it has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. I have two grown daughters, and since I left nursing one of the graduated from college—three thousand miles away, and the other one got married. I also attended my first Romantic Times Convention and went to New York City for last year’s RWA National Conference. We are also doing a major reorganization of our house, so you can imagine what insanity that involves. But, I do write every day whenever and wherever I can.
Susana: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Pam: A writer, of course! After that, I decided to become a nurse. I had a long and wonderful career in nursing, 2 years as a nurse tech, and then 33 years as a registered nurse. I met lots of great people, met and married my husband of 26 years (who is also a nurse), and now have two wonderful daughters, one of which has become a nurse as well. I was always blessed with enough work to pay the bills, raise my girls and eek out time for writing, too.
Susana: What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Pam: That was definitely my first visit to New York City last July for the Romance Writers of America’s National Conference. I love that city!!! For my entire adult life, I have had a huge crush on the Big Apple. No lie. I started watching Law and Order, and fell head over heels crazy about that place. I watched Sex in the City not only for the fabulous stories, but to see NYC! And of course, CSI New York, and the list goes on. L&O the first show was my long time favorite show so I’d always felt a kinship. Then, seeing Times Square for real was just awesome. I so can’t wait to go back.
About To Catch a Lady
Ashton Blakely, the Duke of Summerton, cannot stop his aunt from meddling in his affairs. So rather than let her select a most disagreeable mate, Ashton decides to fire the first volley by holding a ball as a scheme to bag the ideal wife: a deferential girl eager to produce and raise an heir, leaving Ashton to his beloved hunting lodge and titled friends. But when Ashton falls for the one woman who isn’t willing to play his game, all his plans scatter like buckshot. Suddenly, the chase is on!
Caroline Hawkins has no interest in marriage. In fact, she has devoted her life to defending women from the indignities visited upon them by their husbands. She only chaperones her beautiful younger sister to Summerton’s ball in the hopes of saving her family from bankruptcy. She certainly doesn’t expect to catch the Duke’s eye… nor is she prepared for the heat that rises every time she thinks of his powerful build or his dark, tantalizing gaze. Caroline can run, but she cannot hide—for Ashton has already captured her heart.
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About the Author
An avid reader since age 5, Pam Labud began seriously writing romance fiction in 1996. Published in 2005, Pam’s first mass market romance novel, Spirited Away, was a Romance Writers of America’s Double RITA contest finalist. That book and the one that followed, If You Could Read My Mind, both received 4 star reviews from Romantic Times Magazine. Since, she has been published both ebooks and in print, via online publishers as well as self publishing her own backlist titles. Currently she writes historical Regency romance, western romance, paranormal romance and fantasy.