4 August 2011

Getting to know you Thursdays with Pam Hillman and a review.

Please welcome Pam Hillman to my blog today. Pam's debut book was released in ebook format recently and for a limited time it is free (see link below) This is an excellent book and I am so happy Pam agreed to be on my blog. Now a shameless plug for this book its in my top 5 for the year so far. 

  1. Can you tell us a little about yourself? Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.
2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books? When I was about five, my favorite book was The Kitten Twins, about two mischievous kittens named Twinkle and Boo. For some reason, I didn’t have a lot of books at home, and didn’t learn to read until I started first grade. But I caught on quickly and fell in love with books. One day, our teacher, Mrs. Smith, told us to bring something to school to trade with the other children. I remember taking a small stuffed bear I had gotten on vacation in the Great Smokey Mountains in Tennessee. One of the girls brought the book, The Kitten Twins. Oh, I wanted that book! And I got it. I never forgot that special Little Golden book. I even named my real kittens Twinkle and Boo.
(Jenny again I this story I loved the little Golden books they were so cool)

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and write? I love to read and write historical romance, especially prairie romance and westerns set in America during the late 1800s. I don’t know why I fell in love with that genre and that era. Maybe it was all those John Wayne movies and Gunsmoke episodes I watched as a kid. (Jenny here I loved westerns as a child have to say loved the Cisco Kid but I also loved the movies still love watching them)

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you? I cut my teeth on the great western writer, Louis L’Amour. L’Amour kept me mesmerized with his tales of cowboys and Indians, outlaws, prim schoolteachers, hot dry deserts and boom towns.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author? I knew I wanted to be a writer by the time I was 8 or 9 years old. There was a small public library where we checked out books once a week on the way home from school. My brother and my cousins were okay with stopping by the library on the way home from school, but it was the highlight of my week! I checked out the maximum allowed (I think it was 3) and my cousin, Joy, checked out 3 more that I wanted to read in her name. I’m sure I even twisted her little brother’s arm and made him check out books I picked out! lol

6. How did you go about becoming an author? As a child, I was fascinated by how authors put all those stories on paper. Somehow, my brain just naturally made up stories. But for years, I didn’t write them down. I tried to get started a few times, but didn’t know how to construct a compelling story with an interesting beginning, firm middle, and satisfying ending. So out of lack of knowledge and fear of failure, I just kept dreaming. I think I had the idea that as long as I didn’t attempt to write, I couldn’t fail at writing. In 1994, I decided that if I was ever going to write, I had to stop kidding myself and get to work. This was before the internet changed our lives, and the first thing I did was go to the library and check out the only book they had on becoming a writer. It was “How to write a Romance” by Kathryn Falk. I read it, picked one of the many ideas in my brain to start writing, and began. Oh, and I need to add that this was when Apple came out with the Apple Macintosh computer. I was a young mother with two children and my mother wanted to give me a gift. She asked what I wanted. I told her a computer. I had a computer science degree but no computer at home. So, now I had a computer so I could write. I’m not sure I would have ever attempted it if I had to write long-hand. Next, the librarian called me one day and told me that a lady was there who was also interested in writing a novel. I left work and we met and chatted for a while. She was a member of Magnolia State Romance Writers of America, the RWA chapter in Mississippi. So, that connection led me to RWA. It was there that I met real, live flesh and blood women who were writing novels and getting them published. At that point, I realized my dream was something I could attain. Someday. Somehow.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be? Maybe this is hard to believe, but I can’t think of a thing! Other than being an observer of people. Can I get paid to do that? (If you can get paid for this I can get paid to be a professional cricket follower)

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do? I like traveling, just meandering all over the place with no set agenda in mind, and eating at really good old-fashioned restaurants.

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit? I’ve always wanted to travel overseas. I’d love to visit England, Ireland, and Australia (and I’m not just saying that because I’m talking to YOU, Jenny!) I’m not fond of the idea of being in an airplane for 10-12 hours, but maybe someday, I’ll get the chance. (The flight seems worse than it really is I have done the 17 hours to Vancouver and survived, 10 hours to Hawaii, make sure you have a good book and that you have access to movies or something if you dont sleep. Coming back from hawaii I read one of Mary Connealy's books)

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why? I would say my husband and two sons, but then the boys would bring their girlfriends, so that would be six of us, so that’s too many. But I’d rather hang out with them that anyone. So….let’s see. Only 3? Sigh. That leaves out the Seekers, since there are 15 of us. Seriously, I’d rather have dinner with 3 family members or 3 of my writing friends, or agents and editors at ACFW than a Saudi Arabian prince or a king or the President. The very thought gives me hives. Let me sit around a campfire listening to some ol’ cowpoke nobody’s ever heard of spinning tales about his adventures, and I’m happy.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.

My debut novel, Stealing Jake, released from Tyndale House Publishers July 2011.

When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

Please visit me on the web at www.pamhillman.com, www.calicotrails.blogspot.com and www.seekerville.blogspot.com

Link to free down loads

Thanks again for your time and agreeing to be on my blog.

Jenny, it’s been a pleasure to be your guest. Thank you for asking me. I’d love for your readers to download Stealing Jake. It’s available for free for a limited time!

And I’m giving away a Kindle in October. Deadline to enter is September 30th


My Review: 
This book is amazing. I loved the story. Livy has lived on the streets and has a real heart for street kids. She remembers what its like to have to struggle for food, warmth and survival. Jake has no idea he thinks street kids are a problem that needs to be moved on. Jakes opinion is common of many people. Add a to this mix the fact the street kids are being brought to town by an unknown man. I love reading livy's story how her life has changed and she is now working in an orphanage helping look after orphans, she would like to help all the children but knows its hard for them to trust adults. Jake also has to deal with some of the issues of the children also when some robbery start to happen. We see themes like redemption, forgiveness, acceptance in this book. When I was reading this book I was thinking about children today we still have foster children who are still mistreated. There are also children in third world countries that are badly mistreated today. I love a book that makes me think about different issues. This is a great book and I cant wait to read more books by Pam.


Julie Lessman said...

JENNY AND PAMMY -- GREAT INTERVIEW!!! It is SO much fun getting to know more about my Seeker buds.

Pam, had to laugh at you checking out the max books at the library and getting others to do the same for you!! I did the same thing, only my bookmobile allowed us to check out TEN books each (they only came to the school once a month). My girlfriend would check out ten science/math/mystery books while I checked out ten romance. Needless to say, she went on to be a doctor and I went on to be a romance writer. I guess I don't have to tell you who makes more money!!

Jenny, I agree with you totally -- Pam's book "Stealing Jake" is "AMAZING," but no surprise there because I have read Pam's work before and thought she was one of the best Inspy writers out there BEFORE she got published, so it's about time!!

Pam ... LOVING "Jake," and hope to get a review up before too long.


Jo said...

Loved the interview and getting to know a little about you, Pam. I always love to find out more about new authors. I also enjoy reading prairie books and especially around the late 1800's/ early 1900's. I remember when I was a kid that I thought I would have loved to have lived than.


Pam Hillman said...

Julie, those were the days, weren't they?

Ah, just thinking about how excited I was to visit that little hole-in-the wall public library every week makes me shiver with delight!

You know what? Jenny asked me what I would be if I wasn't a writer, and I couldn't come up with a good answer, but I think I would love to be a librarian, or a bookseller in a little book nook with dusty books scattered all about. Not really a big chain or anything like that, but a fun place with chairs and couches and books and a coffee bar, nestled in a corner off a London street.

With a calico cat.

I probably wouldn't have any customers, but who cares? I'd have my books, my coffee and my cat!


Pam Hillman said...

Jo, thanks for stopping by. Like you, I dreamed of living back then. But I'm kinda partial to air conditioning... lol

Ausjenny said...

Hey i would come to your bookshop even if it was only to see the cat. I do love cats and could use one to cuddle every so often.

Christine Johnson said...

Pam, great to meet you! I love that libraries played a big part in your life. My little hometown library certainly did the same for me. Your book sounds fantastic, and, hey, if Jenny recommends it, it must be excellent. Congrats!

Jennifer said...

I want to read this one! Fun interview! I shall have to go get this book now! lol

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