Everyone who comments will have their name tossed in a hat to win a copy of The Visionary. And I’m sure Pam wouldn’t mind answering questions if you have any.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
Learn more about Pam by reading an interview I did with her back in 2008 HERE and by visiting the following links:
Read more about Pam and The Visionary in the following interview:
Answer: When I first wrote The Visionary in a 5-subject notebook (where most of my stuff began way back when) I had in mind a sweet romance featuring m/f twins and their love interests. When I first typed the novel, I thought, “this is my light romance!” which was a great relief after some of my other work which dealt with subjects like domestic violence, grief, and betrayal. However, one day I sent off the first 3 chapters to a friend and her response was, “these twins are awful close, you need to be careful.” Of course that made me wonder Why? What happened to them or between them to make them so close (I couldn’t seem to tone down their intense feelings for one another). Then one day I walked out of my office into the living room where my husband sat watching a popular talk show. In a heart-wrenching scene the young man on the show apologized to his sisters because he couldn’t stop the abuse they suffered at the hands of their father. I swear, every drop of blood drained from my body and I began to argue with God…. No! Not that! Anything but that! I can’t write this! I have no experience in this! I’m not qualified as a minister or therapist! God….PLEASE….no. Three days of wavering, three days of arguing, three days of not being able to sit down and write a single word and God finally confronted me with…. “Who are you writing for anyway?” I capitulated and wrote the entire story in 4 months during the busiest time of year for a bookkeeper/tax preparer (Jan – April).
Answer: The hardest part of writing The Visionary was depicting the gruesome abuse the twins suffered as children and then realistically portraying the healing available through the awesome power of God’s love and their struggle for relief from a past too horrendous to live with any longer.
Question: How did you come up with the concept and the setting?
Answer: Characters came first then setting for The Visionary I wanted to do a book around a set of M/F twins, don’t know why, just thought the concept would be interesting and I hadn’t read anything similar so I thought it would be something different. My family history goes back to the early settlers of Lake Charles, and I’d visited the old ‘LeBleu’ homestead so the idea that these twins would be hired to restore/remodel this home back into its previous grandeur and was supposed to be a light-hearted story until the twins revealed to me the horrific abuse they suffered as children. This has been my most difficult—yet most rewarding—books to write.
Answer: Yes, the research Taylor uncovers about the LeBleu estate is factual as I actually did the research into the family history myself. However, that homestead no longer exists—the family sold the property to a pipe manufacturing company.
Question: How much research did The Visionary take?
Answer: Other than the research into the LeBleu estate –which I enjoyed immensely—actually very little, after all, the book is set in the area where I grew up so the setting was very easy to incorporate.
Answer: That regardless of where you’ve been or what you’ve done the awesome love of God has the power to heal the most wounded of souls and to forgive the ugliest of sinners.
Question: What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?
Answer: To what or whom do you credit your success?
Answer: Many people have a love/hate relationship with their muse. My muse is the Holy Spirit and I accredit every ounce of success to the grace of God because without HIM I seriously doubt I could write a single word, much less stories that bring hope and healing to so many.
Question: What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
Answer: Unlike many writers, I’m not strictly disciplined. Sometimes I feel I need to be because I haven’t written anything new in quite a while. I’ve completed a couple WIP’s and edited existing projects, but nothing brand new—and how I long to just throw everything out and start fresh LOL! However, when I am actively writing, I write—very little editing, or working on other projects, limited time online, not much networking or blogging, sleep comes only in snatches, meals are scarce and light, and definitely no playing!
Question: When do you feel like it all began to come together for you as a writer—was there a particular moment?
Answer: After years as a closet writer, penning stories in 5-subject notebooks, I’d have to say when I purchased my first, USED word processor and started typing in all those handwritten manuscripts I really began to feel like a writer.
Answer: There is really no one person to whom I can attribute this to, so many have helped me along the way. I’d have to say that my love of reading has influenced me the most. Reading opens doors to the imagination, takes you places you’d never be able to go otherwise and improves your visualization and vocabulary skills. Now, I’m able to implement all those things into my own writing.
Question: What are some of the challenges you face as an author?
Answer: The biggest challenge I face is not having my work accepted by the “Christian” publishers. As one reviewer said, “though undeniably Christian, it is never dogmatic or insular; offering faith rather than religion.” (Review of Tempered Dreams by Elizabeth Burton for Blue Iris Journal) My books deal with issues in a way that is unacceptable in the traditional CBA market. Now that is not saying that my books are better than those published through traditional CBA publishers, only different. As I’ve said many times, everything that gives God glory deserves to be praised!
Answer: The bible exhorts us to “study and show yourself approved.” Keep studying, keep writing, keep learning, stay open to constructive critique and NEVER GIVE UP! Writing is both gift and talent given to you by God. Don’t hide your gift or bury your talent. Whatever you write, write well. Strive for excellence. Stay teachable, pliable, and flexible. Never believe that you know it all because knowledge is power and the more you know the more valuable you become. Above all share what you learn with others and make someone’s load lighter to bear.
Question: Any marketing tips?
Answer: Marketing is an intricate part of the publishing business and publishers today expect authors to do their fair share. However, marketing/promotion can be overwhelming as the more you learn, the more there is to learn. For every thing you accomplish, there are hundreds more you can do. My motto is: Do something every day and your best then let God do the rest and remember it takes time to build a career.
Answer: A committed Christian, I firmly believe in God and His promises. God is very real to me. I believe that people today need and want to hear more of His truths wherever they can glean them and I do my best to encourage readers to develop a personal relationship with Him. The deepest desire of my heart is to glorify God and to get His message of faith, trust, and forgiveness to a hurting world. My hope is that all of my stories will touch the lives of everyone who reads them and – in some way – bring them a truer knowledge of God and urge them into a closer walk with Him.
GREAT interview, Pam! Thanks. I’m looking forward to reading my copy of The Visionary.