Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Welcome Pam Hillman, Author of Claiming Mariah
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel. www.pamhillman.com
Welcome to PASTimes, Pam. Tell us a little about what you write.
I write historical romance set anywhere the late 1790s into the 1890s and beyond. Sometimes I find my characters in a dark alley in Chicago, on a dusty street in a Texas cow town in the middle of a gunfight, riding the range in Wyoming, or even hiding inside an Antebellum mansion, riding out a hurricane way down Natchez, Mississippi. I go where they are, and I coax their stories from them and write them down to share with my readers.
Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?
Until recently, I worked a day job as a purchasing manager for an OEM company. But after holding down a full-time job, a part-time job as conference treasurer for ACFW, writing, and being a wife and mother, (I figure all of that together constitutes 3.5 jobs. Wouldn’t you agree?) I now only have 2.5 jobs. And, the scary part is I’m just as busy as I when I worked outside the home. The biggest challenge for me is to not have tunnel vision so bad on one task that other equally important tasks don’t get done on time.
What historical time periods interest you the most and how have you immersed yourself in a particular time period?
I was born and raised on a farm, and from an early age I loved horses and all things western. I was a bit of a tomboy and cut my teeth on Louis L’Amour westerns. Our neighbor’s husband worked in the oil fields of Alaska and was gone months at a time. She’d invite my brother and me over to watch John Wayne movies on Friday nights. We’d have popcorn and soda, or she’d bake a butter cake (the smell of hot butter cake fresh from the oven still makes my mouth water!).
I branch out a bit and cover the entire 19th century, but country living, cowboys, farming and ranching, and a rough-and-tumble existence is pretty much what readers can expect from me.
Introduce us briefly to the main characters in your most recent book.
When Mariah Malone’s dying father confesses that he cheated his partner out of the gold used to buy the family ranch, she writes a letter, offering restitution. But when the son of her father’s victim demands the entire ranch, she stands to lose everything. As these two let go of the bitterness of the past, Slade Donovan has to learn to forgive Mariah, her father, and God, while Mariah must learn to overcome her pride.
And along the way they find a love that will last a lifetime.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a couple of projects, but specifically on a novella for Barbour Publishing’s 12 Brides of Christmas anthology. The working title is The Evergreen Bride, and it’s about a young woman who longs for a white Christmas, but is stuck in the evergreen state of Mississippi. I’m very excited and honored to be included in this anthology.
A reader once asked me this question, and I thought it was a good one. Is there ever a time when you feel like your work is truly finished and complete?
Once my editor says she loves the book and is ready to go to print, then I can truly let go and feel like it’s done. But as long as we’re working on it, I can always see room for improvement. But, then again, now that I think about it, I read some feedback from a reader and thought, “Oh, wouldn’t that have been a cool twist?” So…maybe it wouldn’t take much for me to be ready to rewrite a story!
Describe your workspace.
Come back tomorrow for Pam's answer and the rest of the interview. In the meantime, Pam has a question for you. Answer it in the comments along with your email (name at domain dot com) by this Friday, 8am EDT, and you'll be entered for a chance to win a copy (choice of print or ebook) of Claiming Mariah. **Note: print version for North American residents only, but international readers may enter for a chance to win the ebook version. There must be at least five comments for a winner to be drawn.
Question for drawing: Winter seems to be lingering longer than usual this year, and we’re all ready for spring to arrive! What’s your favorite part of spring? What’s the one thing that you always do every spring as soon as the weather permits? And do we have anybody who doesn’t really like spring that much?