Monday, December 15, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays with Pam Champagne

Today on Make-Believe Mondays my guest is Pam Champagne.

Pam, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Pam: I’m working on a full-length RS that I keep changing the name of. “Tina, the heroine is an addicted gambler. Her mother died at the hands of a serial killer and now he’s after Tina. Spade, the hero, who carries his own heavy load of baggage, is in hot pursuit of the murderer for killing his sister. Spade’s a former SEAL so he sticks by Tina while she tries to clean up her mother’s involvement in selling a lost treasure map.”

Debra: So you'll keep us in suspense with the title of your romantic suspense. ;-) It sounds intriguing.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Pam: My creative nature is sparked by reading, whether it be a newspaper, other author’s stories, a history book or even a dictionary. I also have an overactive imagination. My brain is like the energizer bunny. It never shuts off. Ever.

Debra: I have one of those busy brains too, so I know just what you mean.

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Pam: My characters are alive in my head from conception. We take a while to really get to know each other but by the end of the book we talk to each other day and night.

Debra: Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Pam: No, I can’t say that I have. I enjoy playing with known words…putting them together in a unique phrase, but I’ve never created new ones. Perhaps it’s because I don’t write fantasy or sci-fi.

Debra: For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Pam: I’m an avid dreamer and I always dream in color. I’m actually surprised whenever someone tells me they dream in black and white. I’m a star in most of my dreams and I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with me. I think my overactive brain gets bored at night and conjures up some excitement. I’ve never consciously included any dreams in my books. That’s not to say I don’t do it though.

Debra: I dream in color too. It's hard to imagine it in black and white. Yes, I'll bet psychologists are gleeful when an author walks into their office. We're usually so far outside of the box.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Pam: I devoured Nancy Drew books as a child. I tried the Hardy Boys, but even at a young age, I liked the hint of “romance” in the Nancy Drew series. As a teenager I moved on to adult books. Forever Amber was one of my first and I read every book that Frank Yerby ever wrote.

Debra: My best friend and I managed to borrow/trade/read every Nancy Drew out at the time. Devoured those books. That bit of romance early on, combined with her adventures was a world we wanted to live in.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Pam: Great question. I’ve toyed with writing an apocalypse themed book. There’d be a dab of romance, of course, but it wouldn’t be the main focus of the story. Stephen King’s The Stand inspires me to write my own ‘end of the world as we know it’ book.

Debra: Thank you. This is one authors seem to either love or don't want to answer, which I find very interesting. I'm sure that psychologist would have something to say about that.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Pam: Every author is unique in their ways of creativity. If there are aspiring authors reading this and you’re having a difficult time starting a book, I’d suggest you go somewhere quiet, clear your mind, and start asking the “what if” question. I find this method a foolproof way to come up with a plot.

Debra: Pam, that is excellent advice. Thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
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Well, I seem to be behind on everything and the little fender bender I had last week didn't help matters. This week I have to ship presents to family in Vegas and Ohio and get going on the Christmas cards. And as with any other day job, continue to go to work which means writing. This week I am working on a contemporary romance.

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