Category Archives: The Writing Life

What I did last summer, fall, winter, spring…

June 26, 2015 · 21 Comments

A lot of you have been asking what I’ve been working on, lately, so it’s probably past time that I checked in. For more than a year, now–actually close to two–I’ve been working on a new series, supernatural thrillers. And I don’t mind telling you, it’s been kicking my butt. Which is both wonderful and frustrating because I’m learning and growing as a writer. But it’s been hard, hard work. Paranormal romances come easily to me–I’ve written 19 of them! Thrillers are an entirely different animal. Not only am I having to understand the intricacies of a new genre, but I’ve discovered that the way I wrote before doesn’t work as well for thrillers. My entire approach to writing has been turned on its head. The wonderful thing is, I am learning, and growing, and I’m seeing that growth in the writing. But it’s taking time.

I just finished the first book in the series for the third time. And I’m not talking about drafts and revisions. Pretty much the only pieces of the original story that remain are the setting (a modern day castle ruin in Argyll, Scotland), and the supernatural elements (which I still absolutely love). I wrote the book the first time and knew I hadn’t nailed it, not at all. The protagonist was all wrong, definitely not the right person for the job. So I fired her and found the perfect heroine. I adore her. The story changed drastically with a new protagonist, but when it was finished, I still wasn’t satisfied. I realized the pacing was off because I hadn’t gotten the thriller elements right.

Fortunately, I’m nothing if not stubborn. I never give up. Ever. But it was clear to me that I needed a completely different approach to the book. I decided, instead, to take a different approach to the writing.

I’ve always been a bit of a plotter. Not too in-depth, mind you. The characters still need plenty of room to take the story and run with it, and mine always have. But I usually spend about three months working out the basic plot structure of a book before I start writing. Kind of like planning a vacation by saying, “I’m going to travel from Washington, D.C. to Chicago, to Denver, to Dallas, and back, and do it in ten days.” And that’s about it. Maybe get some ideas for what you want to do in those places, but no reservations or commitments.

There are certainly writers who do far more plotting ahead of time. And I’d thought a thriller would certainly require that–setting up all the twists and turns. Instead, I decided to try going the other way and writing the second book in the series by the seat of my pants. No pre-planning at all. I typed ‘Chapter 1’, closed my eyes, shut down my thinking mind, and typed what came to me. I was completely startled to find my fingers flying across the keyboard, the words coming, not from my engineering brain, but straight from my muse, my imagination. I figured the book was the second in the series with the same protagonist (it was!), but I didn’t even know where it was going to be set. Turns out, it was Pompeii. I have never had a writing experience anything like that, the story unfolding beneath my fingertips. It was like riding in the backseat with no hands on the wheel. Over and over I was startled and delighted by the things that happened, things I never saw coming.

It turns out that my imagination is a far more creative plotter than my engineering brain. <head desk> And it only took me twenty-one books to figure that out. Another thing I realized was that since I was essentially channeling the story directly from my subconscious, I had to keep that channel open, which meant writing every day. I took a day off, early on, and had trouble getting going again. This took place last December and I still wrote every single day, even if only an hour in the morning before everyone else got up (over the holidays). I first-drafted that book in 20 days.

After that eye-opening experience, I had a much better idea of what I needed to do with the first book, though writing a book ‘fresh’ that you’ve already written twice isn’t easy. Still, I took a deep breath, handed the reins over to my muse, closed my eyes, and let her lead me on another wild ride. And she did. Not only is the story a far better one than before, but the characters came roaring to life in a way they hadn’t before. We (my muse and I) finished the book last Sunday, June 21st, the summer solstice, which I find fitting.

Now I’m heading back to revise the second book. I have complete faith that my muse knew what she was doing when she wrote all those lovely twists and turns, but she didn’t tidy everything up in the end, and it’s time for the engineering brain to get in there, sort everything out, and tie everything together. As I learn to trust my muse more, and as she and my engineering brain learn to work together better on the front end, perhaps my first drafts will be cleaner in the future. Hard to say. But I’ve decided that I’m going to write the third book in the series before sending any of these to my agent, because I may learn something else about this new writing process, or the characters, or the series, that I’ll need to work back into the first two.

I’m absolutely in love with this series. The stories fascinate me, I adore the characters, and despite the occasional head-banging, writing them is turning out to be an incredible experience. I can’t wait to share them with you!

OfBloodandPassion_200x300My thrillers aren’t the only books I’ve been working on. Between the second version of book 1 and the first drafting of book 2, I wrote the final book in my Vamp City trilogy. Quinn and Arturo’s story finally comes to it’s climactic end in Of Blood and Passion which will be out July 14th! Once these first three thrillers are off to my agent, I’ll have to decide what I’m going to work on next. I’m open to suggestions!

 

 

Catching Up, Plus an Amazing Halloween Giveaway

October 12, 2012 · 7 Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy almost Halloween!

I’ve been writing, writing, writing, finishing up the second book in the Vamp City series, A KISS OF BLOOD, which comes out next June. The romance is really starting to spark, the action is off the charts, and I’m absolutely having a blast writing Quinn and Arturo’s story.

In addition, I’ve just written a Vamp City novella about a new couple, Elizabeth and Lukas, that will be coming out February 12th in the Avon Impulse anthology VAMPIRES GONE WILD. The other fab authors in the anthology: Kerrelyn Sparks, Amanda Arista, and Kim Falconer. It’s already available for pre-order!

And not to tease too much, but be sure to look for my newsletter November 6th. (If you don’t receive them, sign up here.) I’ll be announcing a couple of fun little treats for the Feral fans leading up to the Dec. 26th release of book 7 in the series, A LOVE UNTAMED.

Now for the Amazing Halloween Giveaway. Want a chance to win 24…yes, 24!…books from Harper Collins paranormal and fantasy authors? We Supernatural Underground authors are offering up this tasty Halloween Treat.

PLEASE NOTE: This giveaway is on the Supernatural Underground blog, link below, not this one. Commenting on this blog will not get you entered (though I’m always happy for your comments! : )

 THE SUPERNATURAL UNDERGROUND HALLOWEEN BOOK PRIZE PACK:

(Some of these books are e-books, so the winner should have access to an e-reader.)

The Body Finder and swag by Kimberly Derting

Nightspell by Leah Cypess

 Ascension by Sable Grace

 Afterlife + Fathom (e-book) by Merrie Destefano

 A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

 Wrong Side of Hell + To Hell And Back (both e-books) by Juliana Stone

 The Heir of Night, US edition by Helen Lowe

 Dream of Asarlai trilogy (Secret Ones, Power Unbound, Rogue Gadda) in e-book by Nicole Murphy

 Night Forbidden by Joss Ware

 Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake

 A Devil Named Desire by Terri Garey

 Tatsania’s Gift (e-book) by Kim Falconer

 Darkness Becomes Her by Jaime Rush

 Last Vamp Standing by Kristin Miller

 Diamond Eyes by AA Bell

 Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

 One Grave at a Time + Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

 Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista

 Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

To enter visit: Supernatural Underground Halloween Giveaway and fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom for a chance to win. Open internationally. Contest begins October 10 and ends October 31. Winner will be announced on November 1.

Whether or not you win, may the Great Pumpkin bring you lots of fun Halloween Treats!

RWA 2012 Anaheim

August 4, 2012 · 11 Comments

Lynsay Sands, Kerrelyn Sparks, and I at the Literacy Signing

I’m home from Anaheim and, six days later, finally firmly back on east coast time. What a blast, though! Southern California has the most gorgeous weather. The Anaheim Marriott, where the convention took place, was practically within walking distance of Disneyland, and while I never quite got to Disneyland, I did sneak away one evening with my roommate and critique partner, Laurin Wittig, for drinks and beignets in Downtown Disney.

While days were spent in meetings and workshops, the nights were the most fun. Wednesday night was the Literacy Signing, all proceeds going to charity and over 500 authors signing. Crazy! But always fun.


Thursday night, five authors, two Avon editors, and a member of the Avon Books publicity team traveled to the incredible Cerritos Library for a panel, book signing, and a tour of the most incredible library I’ve ever seen.

Laurin Willig, Sarah MacLean, Lori Wilde, me, Alma Katsu at the Cerritos Library

Friday night was the fabulous Avon Party at Maestro’s Beach club in Newport Beach.

 I’m back home, writing like a fiend before my next trip, New Orleans for Authors After Dark this coming Wednesday. Hope to see some of you there!

 

Book Tour Recap

June 14, 2012 · Leave a Comment

I promised to post a recap of my recent book tour with the fabulous Julia Quinn, Rachel Gibson, and Elizabeth Boyle. I also promised to take pictures and didn’t…again. I’m not sure what it is about pictures, but I always forget to take them! Fortunately, others took  them, so I still have them to post.

The tour started out a little shaky, or maybe I should say a little stormy. Huge, nasty thunderstorms and tornado warnings in the DC area Friday night, and me with a 9:40 pm flight to Tulsa. I knew it was unlikely the flight would take off, but I had to go to the airport anyway, just in case.

Anderson's Bookstore Tea

 

They kept telling us the flight would be on time, then just delayed. The aircraft was there, they were simply waiting for the crew. But at 11:00 pm they cancelled the flight and told us to head to the United Service Center line to be rebooked. When I hit that line, there were easily seventy people in front of me. They’d been canceling flights all night. At 2:00 am, I finally got through the line with a seat on a 6:00 am flight out of a different DC airport. Thank goodness I hadn’t checked my luggage. I ran home, showered and changed to my Saturday book signing clothes, then left for the airport at 4:00 am.

 

Tulsa Library panel: JQ, me, Rachel Gibson, Elizabeth Boyle

No make-up. I figured I could do that later (and did, in the Houston airport restroom hours later.) That flight was on time, but by the time I reached Tulsa, via Houston, there was no time to run by the hotel and drop off my suitcase. I took a cab straight to the signing, luggage and all. At 1:00 am that morning, I’d heard people saying all the morning flights were completely booked, so I was afraid I was going to miss my first event. But I made it!

The Tulsa Library put on a fabulous event, inviting local news anchor Karen Larsen to moderate our panel. She was wonderful. More than eighty people attended as we read excerpts from our latest releases, answered questions, then signed books.

Rachel Gibson and me at Anderson's

Afterward, we had a lovely dinner with our hosts, then headed back to the hotel. I was exhausted, running on no sleep, but some days aren’t meant to be easy. When I pulled out my toiletries baggie, my shampoo bottle had come open and spilled completely. None left and it was all over everything else. Uhn. While I was cleaning up that mess, I got a call from the front desk that my business credit card hadn’t gone through. I started laughing. None of it was that big of a deal, but all I wanted was to crawl into bed, which I finally did.

Me, Elizabeth, Sarah, Rachel, Julia

The next morning, the four of us met in the lobby at 6:00 am for an early flight to Chicago where Sarah MacLean joined us. Fortunately, that plane was on time and we had a chance to settle into our hotel and change before our 2:00pm event at Anderson’s Bookstore in Naperville. The crowd was even bigger here, over a hundred, and a fun group!

Early the next morning, Sarah MacLean and I were picked up and taken downtown Chicago for an appearance on WCIU-TV’s You and Me This Morning. They mic’d us up and we went on the air shortly after their rescue dog segment. The pup roamed the set freely after his introduction, so you’ll see him in the clip. I’ve included the link for our short segment, below.

Anderson's panel: Rachel, me, JQ, Sarah, Elizabeth


That evening we had one more event at the Frankfort Public Library, another great crowd. All three venues hosted really nice events with refreshments for the guests and speakers. The Frankfort Library thrilled us with cake pops! We got a late dinner at what appeared from the outside to be a Scottish pub and turned out to be a Scottish Hooters sports bar. Ha! I think we were the only women in the place other than the hostesses and waitresses. The next morning, Tuesday, we headed home, though for Elizabeth and I, it was only temporary.

Kerrelyn Sparks, Diane Kelly, Vicki Pettersson, Lorraine Heath

A few days later, Saturday morning, I boarded another flight, this time for Dallas, heading to Fresh Fiction’s Boas & Tiaras Tea in Plano, Texas where I joined Elizabeth Boyle, Kerrelyn Sparks, Vicki Pettersson, Lorraine Heath, Diane Kelly, Candace Havens, and Deborah Coonts. So much fun! Yes, I brought a boa and a tiara, though I only wore the boa for a handful of minutes. Texas in June is a bit warm for feathers. I had a great table and thoroughly enjoyed chatting with them about books while we enjoyed the goodies and tea. Afterward, the other authors and I signed books. That evening, my sister-in-law and brother-in-law (who live nearby) picked me up and took me out to dinner. Then Sunday I flew home again.

My traveling might not be over for the summer, but the book tour is. Now it’s time to write!

 

 

Vamp City Book Tour Info

May 31, 2012 · 1 Comment

A Blood Seduction, book 1 in my new Vamp City series, is on sale now! To promote the new release, my publisher is sending me on tour with several other authors this weekend and next. If you’re in one of the areas where we’ll be signing, I’d love for you to come say hello!

 

 

 

My tour schedule:

 

Saturday, June 2, 2012 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

You, Me, and Tea… with Romance’s Most Popular Authors

Central Library – Aaronson Auditorium

400 Civic Center

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Join Julia Quinn, Rachel Gibson, Elizabeth Boyle, and me as we discuss our inspirations, how we write, and the state of romance novels today. Book signing with our newest releases (A Blood Seduction!) and tea with light refreshments to follow. Fabulous door prizes, too!

 

Sunday, June 3, 2012 2:00 – 4:00pm

High Tea with Pamela Palmer and Four Other Authors!

Anderson’s Bookshop Naperville

123 West Jefferson

Naperville, Illinois

Join me for tea, along with Elizabeth Boyle, Julia Quinn, Rachel Gibson, and Sarah MacLean at this ticketed event at Anderson’s Bookshop. Tickets can be purchased through Book Perk ($5), or buy one of our books for admission at the door.

 

Monday, June 4, 2012 7:00pm

Signing at Frankfort Library

21119 Pfeiffer Rd

Frankfort, Illinois

Join me and bestselling authors Julia Quinn, Rachel Gibson, Sarah MacLean and Elizabeth Boyle as we chat with readers and sign our latest books.

 

June 9, 2012, 1:00-5:00pm

DFW Tea Readers Boas & Tiaras

Allen Ballroom of the Chocolate Angel

4709 W. Parker Rd

Plano, TX 75093

Books, chat, and high tea with authors Pamela Palmer, Kerrelyn Sparks, Vicki Pettersson, Elizabeth Boyle, Lorraine Heath, Candace Havens, and Diane Kelly. This is a ticketed event, $35, tickets limited. To purchase tickets, go to: http://dfwtea.com/blog/

 

Hope to see you! I’m determined to take pictures (which I’m terrible about doing), so look for a post tour blog post in a couple of weeks.

 

 

Travel Mania and Vamp City ARCs

May 1, 2012 · 35 Comments

ARC giveaway winners: Samantha, Mellissa Monteforte-Jimenez, and Rebe.  Please email me (pamela@pamelapalmer.net) by Tuesday, May 8th, with your address so I can get these in the mail!

I just got home from a weekend conference/retreat, my second this month, and today bought plane reservations for two more. So I thought I’d give you the run-down — where I’ve been and more importantly, where I’m going, in case you want to come say ‘hi’!

Three weeks ago was the RT BookReviews convention in Chicago, which was a blast. I loved seeing so many of you at both Avon’s Indigo Lounge and at the huge book signing Saturday! Avon’s Indigo Lounge extravaganza is always one of my favorite events of RT. Tons of free books given away, food, champagne (served by last year’s Mr. Romance), and other giveaways (like shot glasses advertising A Blood Seduction).

Not only was RT in town, but also Chicago’s Comic Con (C2E2). I did a book signing there (above) and sat on a panel, We’re No Angels, with Charlaine Harris, Christina Henry, Chloe Neill, Karina Cooper, Jeaniene Frost, and Kerrelyn Sparks. In the following clip, we discuss why our heroines are no damsels in distress.

This past weekend, I attended the Washington Romance Writers’ annual Retreat in Westminster, Maryland. The weekend kicked off with a book signing at Turn the Page bookstore in Boonsboro owned by Nora Roberts’ husband.

Nora was there, of course, along with me and fourteen other authors. Left is a picture of me at Turn the Page with Christine Trent, Allison Leotta, and Robyn Carr.

 

 

 

My travel schedule for the next few months:

Tulsa, Oklahoma: Saturday, June 2, 2012 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

Naperville, Illinois: Sunday, June 3, 2012 2:00pm

Frankfort, Illinois: Monday, June 4, 2012 7:00pm

Plano, Texas: Saturday, June 9, 2012, 1:00-5:00pm

Anaheim, California: Wednesday, July 25, 2012, 5–8 p.m.

New Orleans, Louisiana: Saturday, August 11, 2012, 2-4 p.m.

In addition, I’ll probably be doing a signing in the Fairfax, Virginia area in late May.

Note: All of these events are open to the public except the one in Plano. Information, including how to buy a ticket to the tea in Plano and the other authors signing with me, is available on the Media and Events page of my website.

As for the ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies), I have three left of A Blood Seduction, book 1 in my new Vamp City series which hits shelves May 29th. On Thursday, May 3rd, I’ll choose three people from the comments below to get one. Question for you: have you ever attended a book signing? If so, whose? If you’ve attended a lot of them, which one was most recent? (If you’ve already received an ARC of this book, please let me know. I’m losing track!)

 

ECSTASY UNTAMED Is Here!

October 25, 2011 · 17 Comments

Finally! Hawke has arrived.

I’ve been waiting for this day with as much anticipation as a lot of you have, which might seem kind of odd. After all, I’ve read the book. More than read it. I wrote it.

You know that anticipation you feel when you’ve bought…or even better, made…what you hope is the perfect gift for someone very, very special? You’ve spent hours thinking about this gift, searching for it or working on it, wrapping it up prettily. And now you’re on pins and needles, waiting for them to open it, hoping they like it as much as you think they will.

Release day for an author is just like that. It’s filled with anticipation, joy, and yes, a touch of nerves. Just a touch because, so far, the reviewers are loving Ecstasy Untamed. And I’m breathing so much easier.

The thing is, I never know if the book I’ve written is any good. Never. My mom doesn’t get this. “How can you not know?” But I can’t. Certainly not right after I’ve written it. I’m way too close. And think about it–I’m seeing scenes, hearing dialogue, feeling emotions. But I have to distill all that into words–words you take into your brain and transform into pictures and action and emotions. Did it work? Only you know.

Writing often feels like sculpting in the dark to me. That’s why I work with two critique partners, trusted writer friends who read everything I write, even before my editor sees it. They’re my first set of eyes. They see clearly where my sculpture needs a little more work or a little smoothing of rough edges. My editor is my second.

You’re my third, and the ones who really matter, because it’s for you that I write. So let me know if you enjoy the book. And if you do enjoy it, let others know, too, please? Word of mouth is everything when it comes to books.

Go feral!

 

Welcome!

October 3, 2011 · 73 Comments


Welcome to my inaugural blog! I’ve blogged before, don’t get me wrong, but this is the first time I’ve had a blog of my own. It’s time. I have things to share and I need my own place to post them. Speaking of which, I’m throwing a pajama party at Feral House and you’re all invited! Trivia questions with tons of book prizes, tiny teasers from Ecstasy Untamed, and, perhaps, a visit from a Feral or two. Click here for the Invitation. I also have other fun things planned in celebration of the upcoming release of Ecstasy Untamed. Would you like me to send you a signed postcard of the Ecstasy Untamed book cover (anywhere in the world)? Just fill out the form on my website’s Luck page and I’ll get it in the mail.

So, what’s going on in the writing world of Pamela Palmer? A lot. As mentioned, the sixth book in the Feral Warriors shape-shifter series, Ecstasy Untamed, comes out Oct. 25th…just three weeks! This one is Hawke’s book as he battles the ravages of the spirit trap and of his heart when the woman of his dreams arrives at Feral House…the intended mate of the newest Feral. If you can’t wait for the 25th to take a look, the first chapter is on my website, now.

In addition to the Feral Warriors, I’ll be publishing the last two books in my Esri series for Harlequin Nocturne this winter/spring. I’m so glad they’re finally coming out! The series began with The Dark Gate and Dark Deceiver and is the story of the invasion of our world by the immortal, man-sized Esri (the creatures at the heart of the legends of fairies and elves), and the handful of humans immune to Esri enchantment–the only ones who can stop them. Book 3, A Warrior’s Desire, has a January 24th release date, according to Amazon (and Amazon seems to know these things before the authors or publishers). Warrior Rising will be out the end of March. I’ve posted short blurbs of each book on the Coming Next page of my website.

And if that wasn’t enough, I’m starting a brand new vampire series. Book 1 in the Vamp City series, A Blood Seduction, will be out the end of May 2012. This will be my first series with continuing characters in the hero/heroine roles, what I term a multi-book romance. I expect the series (or at least this first romantic arc) to be five books in length. I just finished writing the first book, but I’ve already seen the cover art and it’s gorgeous. As soon as I can show you (probably after the new year), I will!

Meanwhile, I’ve just started writing book 7 in the Feral Warriors series, but you’ll have to wait until December 1st for the reveal of the hero. I’m not telling, yet! My plan is to alternate the Feral Warriors and Vamp City books, so expect plenty more of both.

To kick off this blog in the right way, I think we need a giveaway. What do you think? Tell me how you found me here today (newsletter? Twitter? Facebook?) for a chance to win one of three signed copies of Hunger Untamed. (I use random.org random number generator to choose my winners.)

Thanks for stopping by!