I am so happy that you stopped by to meet another great author on this week's Southern-Style Meet & Greet! Before we get to all the fun, let me first announce the winner of last week's Meet & Greet. This one *very* special person will be receiving a copy of Jody Hedlund's newest book, The Doctor's Lady, and they're in for a real treat, I guarantee it! So, wanna know who the winner was? None other than...
Maureen, I will be in touch with you shortly to get your mailing addy. You're gonna LOVE this book! :o)
Now, to this week's featured author. Pamela Ewen is an author whose work I haven't had the pleasure of reading, but I hope to change that very soon. :o) Pamela filled in for me in a pinch this week, and I'm so happy that we're all getting the opportunity to get to know her better. Just wait until you see not only how many writers are in her family, but also where her grandparents lived! Fascinating stuff, I tell ya!
Hmmm. First time... Well, books create whole new worlds for me when I’m reading. My entire family reads all the time. My Louisiana family—the Burkes from New Iberia originally--includes so many writers—besides me, my cousins James Lee Burke and Andre Dubus (father and son, of course) and Elizabeth Nell Dubus, Alifair Burke, DeLauney Michele...(Isn’t that weird?) Two summers ago five of us had new books released. But, I’ve always been a rabid reader. An uncle of mine began sending five or six books to me each Christmas and Birthday as soon as I learned to read. They were my favorite presents. Also, I lived in a small town in south Louisiana at that time, and we had one of those lending library trucks that would come around and I’d pick out piles of books and check them out. In the fifth or sixth grade I decided I wanted to write one. So to make a long story short, my mother taught me how to type, and every day I came home from school and spent the rest of the afternoon typing it. (You can imagine what it was like—a “Little Women” rip-off!) I took me about six months to do this.
We didn't have the trucks when I was growing up, but I still couldn't resist checking out the max number of books from the library as a child! I was a voracious reader! :o)
What genre do you most like to write?
I can’t say I have a favorite genre, but I do love books with plots that turn on strong issues and ideas. If you look at the great masters, like Tolstoy, Dickens, Henry James, etc. it’s the ideas in their books that last through the centuries. I love books with a strong plot that incorporates the ideas, and characters that have depth, that make you think and let you learn something new.
Do your own personal experiences, or those of family and friends, ever find their way into your stories?
photo album of all the people in the story (the pictures she’d brought back from Siam) on my website.
I'd have to think twice before marrying a man who planned to take me to the jungle for our honeymoon! :o) But on a serious note, what a heritage you have, and I can't wait to see what you have available to share on your website.
What do you hope readers take away with them after they read one of your books?
I hope they’re riveted to the book because of the plot and characters, but I also hope that the see something of themselves and their own lives in the story that will keep them thinking, or dreaming, afterwards! Most of my books are about the psychological aspects of making difficult choices, and also how faith lifts us through many of them.
Dancing on Glass was released on August 1st of this year. It’s set in New Orleans—the place I consider home—in 1974. Amalise Catoir is a young lawyer who meets and falls in love with a man who isn’t what he seems…love or illusion? Slowly she’s drawn into a relationship that she doesn’t understand. One reviewer said the snippet on the back of the book says it all: What would you do if prayers seemed to go unanswered, faith slipped away, evil stalked, and you felt yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?
Dancing has been getting reviews that I really, really love. Some thoughtful, wonderful reviews focused exactly on two things I most wanted to highlight in the story – an understanding of how manipulative relationships work, particularly between men and women, and the power of those relationships. And also the whimsy and beauty of the city of New Orleans. For me, the city was almost a character in the book. Library Journal said the story gave readers both insight, and it brought the city of New Orleans circa 1974 alive. The Suspense Zone said this: “One of the best books I’ve read this year…The plot thickened with every chapter…a book that alerts you to a very real danger of our present generation, a story that stirs you to your depths.”
I've read a few books set in New Orleans, and you're right...the city really is its own character. There aren't many other locations that can boast that.
Are you currently working on another novel, and if so, can you give us a snippet about it?
I just finished a sequel to Dancing on Glass. The title is Chasing the Wind, and it continues the saga of two characters in Dancing, although it’s an entirely different story, both as to plot and as to the ‘feel’ of the book. Set in New Orleans in 1977. Amalise is a successful young lawyer now, working on a corporate transaction in a large law firm. And what comes along is this:
A mysterious child with a forgotten past. Love and yearning and envy. A razzle-dazzle financial wizard building a resort hotel in the city of New Orleans.
When they collide—anything can happen!
What is the last Christian Fiction book that you read that you couldn’t put down?
It would be either Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers, or her Atonement Child. I have to brace myself when I read her books. They are earth-shaking from an emotional point of view.
Where can readers find you on the web?
At www.pamelaewen.com. And I love to talk to visitors – answer all emails.
What is your most favorite thing about the South?
That’s a hard question but here goes. Writers of fiction are basically dreamers, and the south, particularly Louisiana where I live, is made for dreamers. I love the warm sultry air scented with sweet olive, jasmine, fresh pine…I even love that dank, musky smell of places that are perpetually damp. I love the way southerners have a story for everything—never just imparting news, but working it up into a story, maybe adding a little music, maybe adding a little shuffle along the way. And then before you know it everyone’s listening to the story and laughing and the frogs and cicadas join in the music and now you’ve got a second-line behind you and a brass band out in front, and everyone holds on while you’re dancing off into the sunshine and the creator’s smiling down on us....
That’s, most of all, what I love about the south.
Plus, I love the food!
Beautiful descriptions, and yes...the food keeps us ALL coming back! :o)
Told you that you'd love that interview, didn't I? :o) I'm itchin' to take a trip down to New Orleans now, go to Cafe DuMonde, snatch up some beignets, and then, walk next door to grab some pralines. YUMMMM!! (Too bad we don't have some of those to give away this week....all y'all's diets would go down the drain!)
But we do have a copy of Pamela's newest book, Dancing on Glass, that she's so graciously offered to one person. Simply follow the instructions below for your mandatory and optional bonus entries.
- Leave a comment with your email address disguised like "yourname at yourdomain dot com" or something similar. Many people are not following this rule for their mandatory entry, and I've not been able to include them. Please leave your email addy so I can contact you.
- All entry comments must be left by Sunday, Sept. 25.
- Contest is open to US residents only.
- Become a follower/email subscriber for an additional entry, and let me know in your comment if you're a new one or an existing one. (No need to create a separate comment for this. Combining everything into one comment is much easier.)