written, how did you learn or know it was bad, and what did you learn from it?
tendency to write really snarky conversations. In my mind, they pass for witty
banter, but some people don’t appreciate my sarcasm and think I’m just plain
mean. My critique partners have set me straight on that a few times, and I’ve
learned that I really need my critique partners to tell me when I’m making my
characters unsympathetic. Actually, it would probably be a good idea if my
critique partners would follow me around and prevent me from getting into
scrapes in real life, but they seem to want to focus on their own lives.
did you decide to go professional?
a professional writer? Yippee! Seriously, I think I’ve always written. When I
was really young, I used to write various scenarios about how I’d kill off my
little sister. (Stop worrying, she’s fine.) Then I wrote an ongoing saga about
a canine secret agent when I was around 13 or so. In college, I always got As
if I could take an essay exam; a multiple-choice test always ended up much
lower because I would start to think about all the ifs, ands, ors, and buts
associated with each choice. As an adult, I made a living from technical
writing and editing and from private investigation work, in which writing
reports that can stand up in court is very important. I spent a lot of time
studying screenwriting. And now I’m finally starting to make a living from
fiction, which is my true love.
genre? Which ones and which do you like the best?
am most naturally a mystery and adventure writer, so my romances have a lot of
suspense and action in them, but there’s some romance in my mysteries, too. I
like strong active characters, and I am personally a real nature lover, so my
stories have a lot of animals and outdoor activity in them. You’ll never find me
writing about shoes or recipes (although I do wear shoes on occasion and I also
love to eat good food).
when you’re writing? If so, do you read the same genre or something different?
read in all fiction genres and nonfiction, too. The story and the characters
just have to be interesting to me. When I get stuck in my work in progress, I
read my favorite authors in the genre I’m writing in—that often jogs my mind
back onto the right track.
the entire writing process for you? Queries, pitches, editing, etc.
entire novel than a synopsis! That said, writing one really helps the author to
focus on what’s important about the book. Often I find in writing a synopsis
that I haven’t emphasized my theme enough, and I go back and revise the
manuscript to strengthen it.
hardest part for me is marketing. I’m pretty darn clueless about how to do
that. For example, people have told me that I should have a natural tie-in
between my novel THE ONLY WITNESS and the current movie about the Planet of the
Apes, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to take advantage of that.
career as any author currently publishing who would it be and why?
mind. Nevada Barr, because I love her books and we write a lot alike, or Jodi
Picoult, whose books I always adore and who has the courage to write about
difficult subjects. And of course they are both always bestsellers! CJ Box is
another author I’d love to emulate (we both write outdoor mysteries); he’s done
a fantastic job of writing and creating a wildly successful career for himself.
Pamela Beason lives in the Pacific
Northwest, where she writes novels and screenplays and works as a
private investigator. When she’s not on the job, she explores the natural world
on foot or cross-country skis, in her kayak, and underwater as a scuba diver.
Pam is a recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award.
She is currently working on a new mystery series that will debut with
ENDANGERED from Berkley Prime Crime in December of 2011.