A Letter from Pamela Cook

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Loretta’s Penpals : Letter 7

This week I’m sharing a lovely letter I received from my good friend and fellow Aussie author, Pamela Cook.  I love hearing about what inspires other writers and the different ways they approach things. Pam talks about basking in the glow of her first novel and starting the next one a little late. I know how that feels -it’s just one way to make your life more stressful.  But here she is out on the other side, looking forward to a nice break and the release of her second book. Well done Pam!


“Essie’s Way” comes out December 1st. Just in time to be added to the pile of books I intend to read before the year is out.  It’s a family mystery with a splash of romance. Sounds like just my sort of novel…

Hi Loretta


Lovely to be chatting to you again, even if not in the flesh.


At the moment I’m taking a break between books, letting myself wallow in some post-editing relaxation while my new book, Essie’s Way is off at the printer. Last week I saw an amazing Australian film, The Turning, a film adaptation of Tim Winton’s short story collection. So beautiful – you must go and see it if you get the chance. I’ve also been catching up on some reading – Mr Wigg, by Inga Simpson. exquisitely written and incredibly moving. Next on my list is The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window – not sure what it’s about but I’ve heard good things and the title is intriguing! Then I’ll just work my way through the TBR pile. I’m also wickedly watching re-runs of some of my favourite shows – like my current addiction, Castle.


On the writing front, the last six months have been a whirlwind of writing, editing and revisions. I began the year still basking in the glow of having my first novel, Blackwattle Lake, published last December, when I should have dived straight into my next project. Fortunately I did have something very rough I’d started a few years back so by the time March rolled around I managed to sit my backside in the chair and come up with a new novel. Note to self: don’t make the same mistake next time. Start writing something soon J


One of the things I love best about writing is the escapism it offers, so while I’m currently escaping inside the pages of other people’s books and through the screen I’m looking forward to starting something new and escaping back into a world of my own creation. Both of my novels have been set on or near the south coast of NSW which is one of my favourite places in the world. It’s wilder and more untamed than the north coast and I love the sense of isolation so many of its beach and bush areas evoke. When I’m writing about one of these places I really feel like I’m there and I hope that’s the feeling I’m creating for my reader too.


Essie's Way front cover copyI’m really excited that Essie’s Way will be on the shelves on December 1st. Having two books published in the space of one year is a dream come true. This novel is set in a rural area and has romantic elements, like Blackwattle Lake, but it also has a double narrative, with two main characters and a historical thread. The younger of the two characters, Miranda, is about to get married when she discovers her supposedly dead grandmother could be very much alive. She sets off on a road-trip south in search of some answers, not only to the family mystery but to the truth about herself. When she meets Esther, a recluse living in the quiet backwater of Pelican Point, she discovers that life doesn’t always run according to plan.


This novel evolved from some fragments I’d written a few years back. At the time I had no idea how these two characters were connected or what their stories were. When I was researching shipwrecks on the south coast I came across the story of Grace Bussell, a young West Australian woman who rescued some shipwreck survivors on horseback. The image of her plunging into the sea and the bravery that must have taken provided the thread that allowed me to stitch the two women’s stories together. I loved researching the historical aspects of the book, escaping not only in place but in time. Hopefully I can do that again with some future books.


Well, time I signed off. Hope all is going well with your writing and books and I look forward to seeing you again in person somewhere and sometime soon.


Pam-4Pamela  x

Website: www.pamelacook.com.au

Blog: www.pamelacook.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PamelaCookAuthor

Twitter: @PamelaCookAU


It’s time for a Break

This month, many writers will be engaged in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month which takes places annually every November. It’s when writers pledge to get down 50000 words or more in one month. Basically, it’s a writing frenzy to help writers who have difficulty staying motivated get as many words on the page as possible in a short space of time. It’s a month when you’re supposed to let go of procrastination and the distractions in your life and just put your butt in the chair and write.

I’ve never done NaNoWriMo before. Not because I don’t think it’s a great program but because “motivating myself to write” has never been a problem for me. As a full time mum to four kids, my time is very limited. So when a window opens up, I have to be at my computer. I just have to. My kids have trained me to take what I can when I can to get things done. It’s like constantly running to catch a train. Get there or be left behind. But I’ve become used to it. In fact, I’m so good at maximizing the spare time I have to write that I actually feel guilty to use my spare time to do anything else. Like, READ.

So this is where my real problem lies.

Not reading is actually bad for a writer because reading is not just a form of pleasure, it’s research, networking, skill building, analysis and market watch all rolled into one. So this month I’m taking action.

I’m going to do the opposite of NaNoWriMo and make myself NOT write. Yes, I’m starting a new trend, for all you workaholic writers out there who can’t seem to get your butt out of the chair long enough to enjoy your first love. Books. It’s time for a break.


2013-11-20 11.00.42Here’s just some of the books in my TBR pile. I’ve even started a few of them awhile back and just never got round to finishing reading them.  I am going to try and finish as many books as possible between now and Christmas.

Who’s with me?

I will also be releasing a novella in 2014!

I’m currently writing the final chapters of a romantic comedy novella to be released as an e-book early next year. I am thrilled to be releasing the title and blurb today to whet your appetite for it. I’ve certainly had a lot of fun writing it. I do love a heroine who is unlucky in love and a hero who has “Bad” as his middle name. This one has a lovely Valentine’s day theme, so the release date is perfect for all you romantics at heart.

Here’s the details.

Operation Valentine

Out February 2014

“Once upon a time, there was a young girl called Sarah Dubert who needed to fall in love in six week …”

Thanks to food poisoning, broken dates, airport malfunctions and even death, Sarah Dubert has never had a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day. However this year she’s determined to break the curse and snare herself a man before Big V. Signing herself up to the online dating site soulmates.com, she begins eliminating possible candidates through dates at her favourite bar, The Blue Saloon…

Owen Black, the handsome new owner of The Blue Saloon, likes his women fast, experienced and temporary. A woman on a mission to find love – particularly one with a six-week deadline – would normally have him running for the hills. So why is he so uncharacteristically interested in Sarah’s search? And, more importantly, the success of her dates…?