Tuesday, May 01, 2007
MY AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH PAMELA S. THIBODEAUX!
I'm thrilled to have Pamela S. Thibodeaux blogging with us today! If anyone has any questions for Pamela, feel free to leave them in the "Comments" section and we'll get them answered for you.
Pamela, please tell everyone about yourself!
Hello Laurie, Thank you for hosting me on your blog. As well as being a writer, I am a housewife, mother, grandmother and licensed sales producer in the insurance industry with a background in accounting.
You’re an award-winning author. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and what awards you’ve won?
I began writing 25 yrs ago in 5-subject notebooks. As a former member of RWA and Coeur de Louisiane –an RWA chapter- I won Coeur's "Diamond in the Rough" award in 1999 and their "Ruby" award in 2000. I also received my RWA "Pro" pin in 2000.
TEMPERED DREAMS is the second book in your series. First, tell us about the series, and how TEMPERED DREAMS fits in to it.
My original thought for the series was for 2 novels, book 1 Tempered Hearts and book 3 Tempered Fire. However, when Dr. Scott Hensley came on the scene in Tempered Hearts, I knew he had to have a story. My heroine, Katrina, came to me way-back-when and I'd jotted down some notes and forgot about her. As I learned more about Scott, Katrina came back to my mind and I knew she was the perfect heroine for him.
What was your inspiration (or the story behind the story) for starting the series?
As I mentioned, I only intended to have 2 stories, Tempered Hearts and Tempered Fire, and both were intended to be Harlequin type romances. However, when I recommitted my life to Christ I committed my writing to Him and the focus changed from "just another romance" to something that would glorify Him. This was back in 1989. At that time I had no idea that there was a "CBA" market. Since romance is by far my favorite genre, I simply wrote what I thought was a good romance but allowed the characters' relationship with God to shine forth in their lives. Little did I know that my writing was far more sensual than allowed in the CBA market/readership.
As for continuing the series, as certain secondary characters came to life, they began telling me their stories so I just had to write them. Also, what intended to simply be an interesting fact in Tempered Hearts, became a major question throughout the series….are Craig Harris and Scott Hensley blood brothers as gossip and rumors suggest?
For people like me who’ve not read the Tempered series yet, can you elaborate on who the characters are – some teasers for the hero/heroines story?
I'd love to!
Tempered Hearts revolves around Rancher Craig Harris and veterinarian Tamera Collins clash from the moment they meet. Innocence is pitted against arrogance as tempers rise and passions ignite to form a love as pure as the finest gold, fresh from the crucible and as strong as steel. Thrown together amid tragedy and unsated passion, Tamera and Craig share a strong attraction that neither accepts as the first stages of love. Torn between desire and dislike, they must make peace with their pasts and God in order to open up to the love blossoming between them. It is a love that nothing can destroy when they come to understand that only when hearts are tempered, minds are opened and wills are softened can man discern the will of God for his life.
Tempered Dreams of course revolves around Dr. Scott Hensley (introduced in Tempered Hearts) who has built a wall around his heart since the death of his wife and parents. Katrina Simmons is recovering from scars inflicted on her as a battered wife. Can dreams be renewed and faith strengthened? Can they find joy and peace in God’s love and in love for one another?
Based on Proverbs 22:6: "Train a child up in the way he should go, and he shall not depart from it", Tempered Fire revolves around Craig and Tamera's daughter; Amber. Conflict occurs when daddy's little girl finds love of her own. Craig must learn the hardest lesson a devoted father has to learn: To let go and let God make of His children what He will. They are, after all, a gift from God, entrusted to him for as long as He chooses. Through love and laughter, temptation and tragedy, Amber Harris and Stanley Morrison must come to understand the absolute meaning of trust and forgiveness if their marriage is to last as long, and be as strong as her parents'.
Tempered Joy revolves around Ace Harris (Tamera & Craig's son) and Lexie Morgan (Scott and Trina's adopted daughter). All-Around rodeo cowboy and heir to the Rockin’ H Ranch, Ace Harris is determined not to fall in love. He’s only loved one woman in his life, his mother, and no one can even come close to filling her boots. Her death has left a hole in his heart and emptiness in his soul. Lexie Morgan thinks rodeo cowboys have rocks for brains and a death wish for a soul. A broken childhood and the death of her father and best friend leave her doubting and questioning God (despite her years of religious upbringing) and afraid of love. Can two young people who clash from the onset learn to trust in the healing power of God and find love and happiness amidst tragedy and grief?
Also, the answer to whether or not Craig and Scott are really a blood relation is answered which leads us into Tempered Truth because it is only when you know the truth that the truth can set you free!
What kind of themes do you like to explore in your writing?
All of my books have a Scripture reference and I guess that could be notated as the "theme" of the book, though this isn't always the case. For instance, although the Scripture reference Acts 20 does match the overall theme of the story, it is not necessarily THE theme in my book, The Inheritance. The Inheritance is about the chance we all long for…the chance to start over and finding new love after loss. Tempered Hearts is another case of Scripture reference and main "theme" not necessarily matching. The Scripture reference for Tempered Hearts is Ezek. 36 but the "theme" is…Only when hearts are tempered, minds are opened and wills are softened can man discern the will of God for his life.
So I guess the best answer to this question is that the main theme throughout my writing is a personal relationship with Christ since I don't always know what else will come to light in a story until I begin writing.
Your inspirational books have been called “edgy”. How do you feel your books compare in this respect with other Christian novels on the market?
Well, it's evident that my books cross the line when it comes to the CBA market since I am not published by a traditional CBA publisher. Although the guidelines are loosening up in some aspects, an editor for Steeple Hill (Harlequin's inspirational imprint) told me at a conference last year that when it comes to sensuality, the guidelines will probably always remain strict. This means that I may never be published by a traditional CBA publisher.
Who are you published with, and why did you choose that publisher?
The 'Tempered' series is contracted and published through ComStar Media, LLC. I chose ComStar when the editor, Jennifer Andersen told me that she didn't care about 'guidelines' she just wanted good stories with good characters. ComStar publishes my books in trade paperback as well as Ebook formats. I also have a single title novel, The Inheritance published through The Wild Rose Press for the same reasons. The Wild Rose Press titles debut as Ebooks but those over 55,000 words go to print. Both utilize POD technology and both use Lightningsource which is owned by Ingram who is one of the largest book distributors in the US! Although they do adhere to Biblical principles, The Wild Rose Press' White Rose line (inspirational) allows more sensuality than the traditional CBA publishers.
Do you encourage unpublished writers to enter contests?
I encourage unpublished writers to do as much as they can to get feedback on their work, but caution them to not get hung up in the contest cycle. I've seen some really good writers get good feedback and even invitations from editors to send their work in as a result of a contest, yet never do so feeling that "it's just not right yet." Contests can be great, but at some point, you've got to take that leap of faith, get off the contest merry-go-round, and submit to a publisher, editor or agent.
Do you have a critique group or partner? If so, does this help with your writing?
Yes, I have a critique partner who challenges me to grow as a writer. In fact, every time I begin a new project or open an existing one to edit, I hear her voice along side all the others in my head…"Show don't tell, active not passive, what is 'it'?"
Why do you write romantic fiction? Is this the kind of book you’ve always loved to read, or did the opportunity to write the series come later?
I've always been an avid reader of romance so the writing naturally came out of that love. Like most romantics I've enjoyed romances since the fairytales we're taught as children…true love, heroes on white horses, and knights in shining armor; who doesn't dream of love everlasting and happy-ever-after? Also, I love…love! Those sweet, all-consuming emotions…the flush of new love or the deep-seated contentment of long-time romance and everything in-between deserve to be honored.
What WIPs do you have “in the hopper” at the moment?
Currently I'm editing Tempered Joy, book 4 in the series and I still need to write book 5, Tempered Truth. I also have two completed novels The Visionary and Circles of Fate that need homes as well as a gift book titled Love is a Rose (which is currently at Thomas Nelson) and a book of short stories titled Seasons of Love in the works. After these, I have a host of other ideas for future works.
What are your long-range goals as a writer?
To keep writing and continue glorifying God in the books and stories I write.
Once again, Thank you, Laurie, for having me as a guest on your blog!
Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder/President & Treasurer of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, 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.” Email: email@example.com Website address: http://www.pamelathibodeaux.com
In association with the book tour, Pam is offering a special discount coupon for VBT participants! To receive your coupon for 25% off of Tempered Dreams (or any of the Tempered Books) simply email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with "VBT Coupon" in the subject line.