Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pam Beason in the Author Spotlight

Cate: Please welcome Pamela Beason. Pam, will you please share a short bio with us?
Pam: I usually introduce myself by saying I have multiple personality disorder. That's because I work at three jobs, and at multiple contracts within those three jobs.
First, I'm a freelance writer and editor, so I write and edit all kinds of technical and creative materials and occasionally ghost-write and doctor books for money.
Second, I'm a licensed private investigator, so I'm sometimes busy with background checks and surveillance and other tasks too weird to mention. (If you ever see me crouched in the bushes with my camera, please just walk on by.)
Third, I'm an author with both self-published ebooks and a three-book contract with Berkley Prime Crime. So I'm both an indie author and a (soon-to-be) traditionally published one.
I can't wait until I can say that I am first and foremost a fiction author. That's always been my dream, and I'm getting closer every day to making a living at that.

Cate: Wow. Impressive! :)
Tell us about your books and where they are available.
Pam: I have three fiction ebooks that you can find in any ebook store. They're available in Kindle, Nook, and other formats. 

My mystery/suspense novel, The Only Witness, opens with Brittany, a teenage mom, leaving her infant alone in the car while she dashes into the grocery store. When she comes out, the baby has vanished. The detective in charge, Matthew Finn, can't tell whether this is a case of infanticide or kidnapping until a tip comes in about an eyewitness to the crime. The only problem is that the only witness is a gorilla who communicates in modified American Sign Language. Can a gorilla provide the clues to solve the case?

Call of the Jaguar is a romantic adventure novella that I adapted from a screenplay I wrote years ago. It's about Rachel McCarthy, who ditches her cheating spouse to go in search of a romantic former lover who is working as an archaeologist in Guatemala. He has no idea she's coming and she has no idea he's working in a war zone. She and her bush pilot are shot down in the jungle, and events go downhill from there. I'm not telling you the ending; I'll just say it's a wild jungle romp that ends happily for Rachel.

Flashpoint is a contemporary romance that begins with vandalism and an earthquake and our heroine Elisa Langston trapped under a tree. Then there's arson and an explosion. The hunky insurance investigator, Jake Street, is convinced that Elisa's causing all the problems to cash in on insurance money because her plant nursery business is not doing well. Elisa is half Guatemalan and was raised in a quirky Anglo family. There are quite a few laughs in this book. I won't reveal who The Gremlin (the vandal) is here, you'll have to read it for yourself.

So you see I write mysteries and romances, but all my stories have a few things in common: the heroines are can-do, kick-butt women; the men are strong and handsome and kind and funny; and all my stories end more or less happily, so don't ever be afraid to pick one up. I don't like blood and gore or violence, so you won't find sadistic killers or unpunished perverts in these books. You also won't find erotic sex scenes; hot kisses and sexual innuendo, yes, but no graphic descriptions.

Right now these are all ebooks because I'm giving my agent a chance to shop around print rights, but if I don't get a major offer soon, I'll be offering printed versions as well before long.

Cate: Very cool. What's next for you?
Pam: For (Penguin) Berkley Prime Crime, I'm writing three novels in my new Sam Westin outdoor mystery series. The first book, ENDANGERED, is about the search for a child who disappears from a campground in a Utah national park. The local television coverage makes everyone believe that a cougar took the child, but Sam has good reason to suspect it was a human kidnapper and she's relentless in searching the wilderness for the real criminal. In the second book, Sam's on a temporary contract in Olympic National Park when she becomes the unwitting target of an anti-government group. I'm working on the third book now: Sam's in trouble in the Galapagos Islands and I've got to figure out how to rescue her. ENDANGERED will be available in December of this year; the others about nine months apart after that.
I also have plans to write more romantic adventure stories and to convert a murder mystery screenplay I wrote long ago to novel form.
In the summer, I'm a hiker/kayaker/scuba diver. In the winter, I'm a snowshoer/cross-country skier. No matter where I am or what I'm doing, I feel like I should be at least two other places working on two other projects. There's never enough time to do it all!

Cate: Congrats – very exciting. What inspired you to draft your first story?
Pam: I can't live without fiction. I see WAY too much reality in my investigation work, and it's rarely pretty. In fiction, I can make justice prevail and see my characters get what they each deserve.

Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Pam: I put my butt in the chair whenever I can each day, and keep it there as long as possible while typing as fast as possible. When I get stuck, I go for a walk and think. For some reason, I can solve plot problems a lot better when I'm in motion, and nature always revives me. I always carry a little notepad and pen in my pocket to jot down ideas.

Cate: Where can readers find you on the web?
I occasionally tweet, too, as @PamBeason. I have to say that I don't really 'get' Facebook, so although I have a page, I rarely go there. Maybe readers can help me figure out the benefits.

Cate: I hear ya – I’m terrible at tweeting. :(
Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Pam: Two questions: 1) What's the most romantic gift you've ever received? For me, it was a loaded toolbox, which does not sound romantic at all, but I really needed those tools and I knew how to use them and it proved the guy was actually buying a gift for me, not just for some idealized version of a generic woman. 

Question 2) What's the greatest adventure you've ever had? I've had quite a few, but I'd have to say my best so far was an expedition in Kenya. If you're a wildlife enthusiast like me, there's no place like Africa. I'm finally going back this fall.

Cate: Great questions. Readers, Pam is giving away any of her ebooks to one lucky commenter on the last day of her blog tour. Good luck to all!
And thanks for being my guest Pam!

Pam: Thanks for hosting me!


Cate Masters said...

Welcome Pam! Congrats on all your releases. Good to see another author writing across genres. :)

Pamela Beason said...

Finally got back in town to participate here. I was in Forks, WA, home of Twilight. No vampires or werewolves in sight, but it was nice at the beach.

Donnell Ann Bell said...

Hi, Pam, hi Cate, I'm so excited you're hosting Pam. I wondered what I should do when I saw her crouched in the bushes with the camera. I said, Pam, Pam, is that you? And she flat out ignored me. Now I know she wasn't being rude, she was ;)

Gosh, the most romantic give I ever received was my grandfather clock. I've always wanted one and my husband bought it for me for my 34th birthday. It is/was lovely.

The most adventurous trip was Key West in February. We toured the Everglades and didn't get eaten so I'd say it was a success.

Best wishes on your books, Pam!

Ann Charles said...

Hi Pam! I love the kind of books you write! Romance, adventure, mystery, action--all fun. You're a PI, too? That's very interesting.

Most romantic gift? My now-husband (just a good friend at the time) knew I was feeling down and went out and bought me a big 44 ounce Coke slurpee from 7-11 (my favorite drink). It was a romantic moment in my world. :)

Most adventurous trip? I hike down from an alpine lake up by Mt. Rainier in the middle of the night when there was no moon and our flashlights had died. I'll never forget trying to find the trail by tapping my foot to see what was trail and what was bush for a mile worth of trail. If I'd heard a bear or mountain lion, my heart would have burst. ;)

Great interview!

Ann Charles

Lori Brighton said...

Oh wow! What an exciting life you have! I love it!

Adventures for me... hmm, we went to G.B. for two weeks and Sept 11happened while we were there. So that was pretty scary.

I took a bunch of 13 year olds spelunking. Actually had to crawl through tunnels on my belly! and then we ended up sleeping in the entrance of the cave. And I did underwater archaeology off Grand Cayman. Didn't see any sharks but swam with quite a few stingrays.

Now... I pretty much sit on the couch and write. how sad! lol.

Edie Ramer said...

Pam, your life sounds like an exciting adventure. I get ideas while walking my dogs too, but the couple times I carried a notebook and paper, I didn't get any ideas. Now I walk 2 dogs, so that's out.

My most romantic gift was the first Valentine's Day gift from my husband, when we were dating. A big stuffed cat. He's given me more expensive gifts since then, but that one stuck in my mind.

My most adventurous trip was in AZ. By mistake, we ended up driving for miles on one of those red mountains as we went to Sedona. We were on a 2-way road carved into the mountain, but in some places there was only room for one car. I can't tell you how happy we were when we made it. Very scary.

Laurie Ryan said...

Wow. You DO have a lot of irons in the fire. :) And some great story lines. Congratulations on the 3 book deal with Berkley!

Pamela Beason said...

Thanks for commenting, Donnell--my greatest fear while on surveillance is someone coming up and saying loudly, "Pam, what are you doing hiding in the bushes with the camera, and what's with that awful wig?" LOL

Pamela Beason said...

Ann, thanks for sharing. Yikes! Mount Rainier in the dark! I'd be afraid I'd walk off a cliff. And although I want to protect all the big predators, I'd be looking over my shoulder for them, too.

Pamela Beason said...

Hi, Lori! Wow, you've had a LOT of adventures, too. Spelunking is one thing I've never tried. I think I might be pretty claustrophobic and worry about the lights going out. But scuba diving I can definitely identify with. The manuscript I'm working on now has a lot of underwater scenes in the Galapagos.

Pamela Beason said...

Edie, always nice to see you! Whoa, I too have been lost amid the southwest plateaus. I even spent a few nights in places I never intended to (and probably should not have been) in New Mexico. The unexpected is what makes for adventure, doesn't it?

Pamela Beason said...

Hi, Laurie! I have WAY too many irons in the fire; it's amazing I haven't burned everything down. I can't wait until I become a best-selling author and my life becomes more tranquil. I sure hope the 3-book deal with Berkley launches' me into the stratosphere, but these days, you never know. Time will tell...

Dale Mayer said...

Pam, you life sounds like fun! Then I'm on the crazy side too. The best holiday was river rafter down Hell's Gate on the Fraser river - especially as I was the one at the helm :


Amy Atwell said...

So lovely to get to know Pam--thanks, Cate, for sharing! My greatest adventure was a summer living in a ghost town on the North Carolina Outer Banks. It was part of the Volunteers in Parks program with the National Park Service. Amazing!

Anyway, I'm excited to see this new Sam Westin series. Thanks for sharing!

Pamela Beason said...

Thanks for stopping by, Dale. I want to hear more about traveling down the Fraser. Hell's Gate sounds pretty intimidating! I once survived a raft that accidentally went thru "The Devil's Eyeball" on a wild river--it kinda felt like we'd been through hell after we got out.

Pamela Beason said...

Hi, Amy! Always nice to meet up with you online. I hope you're going to put your volunteer experiences in a ghost town into a book sometime. That sounds fascinating. I need to chat with you sometime about the Volunteers in Parks programs, since my Sam Westin character is always running around our national parks and public lands.

Theresa Ragan said...

Pam, sorry i'm late to the party! Your cover are awesome! Can't wait to read all of your books.

Most romantic gift from my husband was a mini notebook to take with me on an adventurous trip with my sister to bangkok/Thailand. He knew I couldn't take much and he also knew I wanted to edit one of my books, so he surprised me with a computer that weighs under 3 pounds!

Most adventurous trip was with my sister to Nepal where we were literally chased by a killer elephant that had recently killed two locals. Terrifying ordeal in Chitwan National Park...but my sister and her son do crazy stuff all of the time and they were fine after we survived. I needed a drink FAST! It still freaks me out thinking of it. but I had a GREAT trip overall!

Pamela Beason said...

Whoa, Theresa, killer elephant attack in Nepal! You definitely win the adventure contest so far, and I want to read the book you put that event into, so let me know when it's out! Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I'll be dreaming about killer elephants tonight, thank you very much...