Monday, September 1, 2014
AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Pamela Jones
1. When/why did you decide to become a writer?
I decided to become a writer because I couldn’t find a job after graduating from college. I had more bills than money, so I needed to make a living somehow. So, writing was really the only answer.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
Terry McMillan inspired me greatly in my early twenties. Like everyone else back then, I was amazed at how she took the genre of women’s fiction by storm.
However, my current reading taste has expanded. Not only do I enjoy bestselling authors, but also indie authors. In fact, I read more self-published authors. I’ve found a lot of good reads from this group: memoirs, fiction, nonfiction, poetry, etc.
3. What was the inspiration behind your novella Tomorrow Never Comes?
My late grandmother is the reason behind “Tomorrow Never Comes.” I was exercising one day when I noticed her picture in the corner of the room. At that moment, I could feel her presence. Afterwards, I had the idea for “Tomorrow Never Comes.” I know without a doubt she was giving me this story to tell.
4. Why choose drug addiction and abuse?
These are common everyday problems faced by all families – be it a distant or close relative; or the reader themselves. And as a writer, I take full responsibility to write as realistic as possible.
5. Were any of the characters based on real people?
No, however, they do share common ground with real people. For example, my grandmother was a victim of domestic violence – just like Marlena. However, this isn’t her story.
6. What advice do you have for people going through those issues?
If you have a drug problem, please get help. There’s never a happy ending to drug addiction. You either die or go to prison. My mother lost two relatives to drugs and to this day, she can barely mention their names without getting sad. I mention this to show how drug abuse not only hurts the victim, but the family as well.
As far as domestic violence, leave. It won’t get better. Too many women are dying trying to “hang in there” hoping their husband or partner will change. And if you have children, it messes up their self-esteem, and they don’t deserve that.
7. Can you tell readers about your previous work?
I used to write for romantic themed magazines, which were sold in grocery stores back in the day. They were called Jive, Bronze Thrills, Black Romance, etc. I sold 19 short stories. That’s when my writing career started, and I loved it.
After that, I started a SEO copywriting service. I would write blog posts, press releases, and web contents for clients. I liked my clients, but I didn’t like the work. There was little to no creativity in SEO copywriting. I have a creative mind, so storytelling is my true calling.
8. What would you do if you were Bernice?
I definitely would stand by my family like she did. However, I wouldn’t seek solace in the same manner she chose. I’m a spiritual person, so I would’ve turned to prayer for guidance and strength.
9. Will we see another book like this from you in the future?
I’m contemplating on that one. Sometimes I feel the story might be too strong, so I’m thinking of maybe milder material. Yet at the same time this is life, and I have a responsibility as a writer to write realistically. So, we’ll have to wait and see on this one.
10. Would you like to see Tommorrow Never Comes in theaters as a short film or on TV? If so, what actors would you like to see play your characters?
Yes! I think it’s every writer’s dream to see their work turned into a movie.
I’d love to see Viola Davis play Bernice because I think she’s gifted enough to bring the strength needed to play Bernice.
Kerry Washington is a brilliant actress who’s in her 30s – just like Marlena. So, she’d be a perfect choice.
For Rico, I’d like a talented, new actor to portray him. I believe in giving people chances, and a role like this would be a great acting job for a newcomer.
Mrs. Stowe would be an excellent role for a gifted, older actress like Cicely Tyson.
As for Otis, actor Tommy Lister would be a perfect match. He’s an older, tall man – just like Otis. He has a mean look and that’s a crucial factor in casting Otis Mason.
11. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I envision the following blessings:
Being a New York Times Bestselling author
Being represented by a prominent literary agent
Having my stories published by a major publishing house such as Simon & Schuster
I’m throwing these positive thoughts into the universe!
12. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
This is frightening, but probably true: I’d be in the unemployment line. I was never lucky at finding a job.
13. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
I’m working on another women’s fiction eBook. It’s titled Her Married Lover. This is a longer eBook about infidelity. The tag line for this upcoming story is “infidelity has its consequences.”
14. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
Instead of collaborate, I’d like to get educated on publishing from these three authors:
Stephen King: he is the king of publishing. If there’s anything to learn about writing, he’s the definite one to learn it from.
Terry McMillan: As a successful author of women’s fiction, she can offer tips that will take your career to another level.
Maya Angelou: Writers must be able to tell their story not only with words, but their voices too. Because she mastered this craft, she’d be the perfect author to learn it from.
15. Thank you for participating in the interview. Can you please leave the readers with three things that may surprise them about you?
Thank you for interviewing me. It was a pleasure, Kelly.
Here are three things that will surprise readers:
Although I write about chaotic stuff, I live a quiet life. And I like it like this too. I like to write drama, not live it.
At one point, I started to quit writing. It seemed like it was a dream that wasn’t going to come true (publishing books). I just so happened to meet a woman in Walmart that day (she worked there) that persuaded me not to.
Even though it was a miserable situation, I’m now glad that I was unemployed. It turned out to be a blessing that led to something more fulfilling: writing.
Find Pamela Jones online via:
Amazon Author Central