Monday, July 29, 2013
Tag: Perennial Authors
What have you learned that seemed completely unrelated to writing at the time but has influenced your writing career?
I was listening to a podcast recently, a self-publishing podcast, where the podcaster (is that the right term?) said that he seriously wanted to know from an accountant, isn't his whole life tax-deductible? It feels like that sometimes! Everything works its way into writing in one way or another. In my lifetime I've worked as a web designer, marketer, fundraiser, in contracts and insurance, so many things that I would never have guessed would help me out in a writing career, but which have been priceless to me. I'll go to the fundraising history for a more specific example. In my time in fundraising, I learned the idea that it never hurts to ask. People often want to give or help, but you have to ask them first. The worst they can do is say no! Working in fundraising either gave me a fearlessness, or enhanced it, and I think that fearlessness has been invaluable to me in working in a field where it is so easy to give in to fear. Fearlessness, perseverance, determination. I'm not sure you can succeed as a writer without these.
A toy manufacturer has decided to make you their new superhero action figure. What is your superpower and what are you wearing?
Oh my gosh. I want to have multiple superheroes! Actually, just the other day someone asked what superpower I'd want, and my tongue-in-cheek response was that I want the ability to fold and put away my clothes fresh out of the dryer, just by blinking. I hate folding and putting away clothes! But if I had the chance to have a real actual superpower, I'd say .... oh, gosh, I can't choose just one. I'd want teleporting superpowers, because I love traveling but I hate the getting-there part. I'm so impatient on airplanes, and I fall asleep in cars. For my teleporting action figure I'll wear ... well, whatever it is that would hold all my atoms together because I'd like to be there in one piece. I'd also love the ability to fly, because obviously, awesome! For that I'll wear something warm, because of the wind chill, you see. Sometimes I wish I had the ability to read people's minds, but that one is a double-edged sword, just like invisibility. Although clearly what I'd be wearing as a superhero with the superpower of invisibility would be INVISIBILITY. Awesome.
Do you ever regret deciding to become a professional writer?
Never. Never!! I can't wait until I have more time to write. When I wrote my first book, it was all new and unknown, I had no clue what I was doing or what would come of it. But I so clearly remember that when I finished my second book I had this really deep, emotional moment where I thought, "This is it. This is what I want to do with my life." For a person who had spent the previous XX years trying to figure out what the heck she wanted to do with her life, it was huge, powerful. I get Oprah's e-newsletters, and there was one not long after my second book that came out with an article "How to figure out what you want to do with your life." Out of habit, I clicked on it. And then I thought ... wait. I know. I'm there. I can't wait for the day when I can more easily support myself through writing alone, but I'm so happy to be doing what I'm doing.
What is the best part of being a professional writer?
One time, years ago, I was in this self-help phase. I decided for some reason that something I needed to do was to go away for a weekend and do all these self-help exercises, one of which was to figure out the ONE WORD that summed me up. Now, obviously none of us can be summed up in one word. However, I do think the word I came up with is pretty good. After much thought, I settled on CURIOUS. Discovery, learning, all that. I live to learn. I want to know. At the end of my days, my dream is that I get to know EVERYTHING. How awesome would that be? And writing, well being a writer is like having a passport into everything. People will share their lives, companies will share their business, everyone is just so willing to share when you tell them you're a writer. Writing gives me access and credibility. And stories! People trust me with their stories, which is the most amazing thing. In fact, I'm starting to think of myself less as a writer and more as a person who connects others through stories. Whether fiction or non-fiction, real worlds or made-up worlds, all of it rings true in some way.
Give us a quick overview of what you write and where we can find it.
"Whether you're looking for an escape to a small island town filled with quirky, lovable characters, or hoping to find adventure around the world through the eyes of a curious adventurer, you have come to the right place! The books I have out currently are fiction - novels with recipes. The Wishing Rock series begins with Letters from Wishing Rock, continues with The Wishing Rock Theory of Life, and finishes in The Tides of Wishing Rock. These books take place in Wishing Rock, Washington – an island town where everyone lives in the same building. Letters between the neighbors and their friends chronicle the twists and turns of the characters' daily lives, and are interspersed with recipes tried and tested by the characters themselves, in these witty and wise novels that explore community, relationships, hope, fear, forgiveness, risk, dreams, trust, and love. Coming this Fall, I will launch a new series showcasing another of my loves: travel! The Pam on the Map series will bring readers an intimate insight into my adventures and misadventures as I travel around the world, near and far, meeting new people and discovering new cultures. These books, filled with wit and wanderlust, are the embodiment of my passions of curiosity and connection. The series will launch with a new look at Iceland, plus retrospective looks at past trips I've taken to Ireland and Switzerland. You can find out everything you need to know at www.pamstucky.com. The first in the Wishing Rock series is Letters from Wishing Rock (a novel with recipes), available in both print and ebook. At Amazon, print is http://www.amazon.com/Letters-Wishing-Rock-novel-recipes/dp/1460960122/ and ebook is http://www.amazon.com/Letters-from-Wishing-Rock-ebook/dp/B004SD2JEK/. Read that first, then move on to the rest of the books in the series! To stay up to date on what's going on with the Pam on the Map series and other publications, follow me on Facebook Pam Stucky, Author, and on Twitter, @pamstucky. I also have some great boards on Pinterest for those who are interested!
Posted by Sue London at 10:00 AM