Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pam Hillman {Writer Wednesday}

I am thrilled to have multi-published author in short fiction and non-fiction, Pam Hillman on the blog today. Please give her a warm welcome :)

A little bit about Pam...
Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove the Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of! Claiming Mariah is her second novel.
How to connect with Pam...

Twitter: or @PamHillman
Group blog:
Personal blog:

Author Interview | Pam Hillman

You & Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I wrote in my head for years, from the time I was a child. Then eventually I started writing stories down. The dream of seeing my stories in print has kept me writing.

Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?
...My current release, Claiming Mariah, is a favorite. I’m just so pleased in how it turned out, and had the best time working with the copy editors polishing it.

Your Writing
Tell us a little bit about your book or what you’re working on currently? Why are you/did you write it? ...Several years ago, I read a novel where a bank robber tosses a sack of stolen money in the back seat of a hand-to-mouth college student’s car. She kept the money and eventually started a very successful business. She justified her actions because she anonymously created a charity to help destitute young women get back on their feet. But, as the old saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right, and that wasn’t quite right from a Christian’s perspective, was it? I based Claiming Mariah on the following question: “What would a Christian do if they found out their whole livelihood had been based on a lie?” Mariah does the right thing by writing to Slade’s father asking for forgiveness, but the consequences of her actions end up being way more than she bargained for.

Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...I enjoyed getting to know Mariah’s grandmother. Grandma Malone doesn’t dance around particulars or stand on ceremony. This line sums Grandma Malone up to a tee. She gave him with that peculiar look of hers that said she was old enough to say what she wanted and get away with it.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with?

...I hope readers can learn to let go of bitterness toward someone who has wronged them. But on the flip side, I pray that someone who has committed a wrong would have the courage to offer restitution if God lays it on their heart to do so.

Where do you find inspiration for your story/characters? Are they based on real life or pure imagination or both?
...Everywhere! Church. Books. Movies. Drinking coffee. (Oh, what a good idea. Be right back…) Watching ants crawl out of a flooded anthill. Boom! I immediately see coal miners fleeing a mine, or WWII soldiers climbing out of bunkers. Oh, sorry, you were asking…
...For Stealing Jake, my debut novel in 2011, Tyndale House Publishers used to publish 2 Heartquest anthologies a year. Tyndale has been my dream publisher from the beginning, and I submitted novella proposals several times trying to break in. Stealing Jake was one of those submissions. Tyndale put out guidelines for a Cowboy Christmas anthology, so the story had to involve Christmas and have a historical setting. Stealing Jake didn’t make the cut for the anthology, but I loved the idea so much that I went back to it later and turned it into a full-length novel. It just happened to be the novel my agent and I were shopping when word went out that Tyndale was launching the Digital First Initiative.
...I honestly can’t remember how I came up with the exact idea for the pickpocket theme, but it was the old adage of opposites attract. If she’s a thief, he’s a lawman. Okay, she’s a reformed thief…or is she? lol

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?

...First: Believe in yourself. I tamped down the dream until I was almost thirty years old because the author bios and the glamour shots on the back of the books in the bookstore intimidated me. Who was I to think I could compete with such poise, such sophistication, education, and competence? Surely those authors came from wealth and power. But sometimes that glamour shot might be an illusion, the bio polished a little too brightly. You, dear writer friend, are just as worthy as the next person.

...Second: If you’re writing Christian fiction, join ACFW. Develop friendships with other writers, not just connections, but true-blue, ask-me-anything, I’ve-got-your-back friends. It took me years to find those friends because I’m a fairly private person. I don’t open up to others very well, but those friends are the very reason I can be this candid with you today. Find them. Embrace them.

Would you prefer chocolates or flowers on Valentines Day??
...Definitely Chocolate.

On Valentines Day would you rather stay in (ie: home with a movie) or go out (ie: night on the town)?

...Generally, we stay at home, but this year, we went to our local steakhouse and enjoyed a delicious steak and shared a chocolate lava cake with ice cream. And we had chocolate covered strawberries waiting at home. Also from a local sweet shop. A very memorable day indeed.

Describe your ideal date.
...Going out to eat at one of our favorite restaurants and riding through the countryside. My son recently purchased a Polaris Rzr, and I can’t wait for us to get our hands on it so we can ride around on the weekends. I think I would enjoy it better than 4-wheelers. Easier to talk to each other and I won’t have to eat my husband’s dust!

About Claiming Mariah...

In light of her father’s death, Mariah Malone sends a letter that will forever alter the lives of her family. When Slade Donovan, strong willed and eager for vengeance, shows up on her front porch, Mariah is not ready to hear his truths: her father’s farm, the only home she’s ever known, was bought with stolen gold. With Slade ready to collect his father’s rightful claim and force Mariah and her family out on the streets, Mariah must turn to God for guidance. Though Mr. Fredrick Cooper, a local landowner, promises to answer her financial woes if she agrees to be his bride, Mariah finds herself drawn instead to the angry young man demanding her home.

With the ranch now under Slade’s careful eye, he will unearth more than he ever imagined as a devious plot of thievery, betrayal and murder threatens more than the well-being of the ranch, endangering the lives of those who hold it dear. With days dwindling until the rest of the Donovan clan arrive to the Lazy M ranch, Mariah and Slade must rise above the resentment of their fathers and see their true feelings before greed alters their futures forever.

  To purchase Claiming Mariah click {here}

To celebrate her new release, Pam is giving away two eReaders!
(choice of Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" Display, or Nook Simple Touch)

Two Winners: One on Facebook. One through Pam’s Newsletter.
Facebook Drawing for Kindle/Nook

Pam’s Newsletter

Registering both places is not required but will double your chances of winning. Also keep in mind that you will receive updates more often being connected on facebook than through the newsletter. Just sayin’

Contest runs from January 1st until March 31st, 2013.


Thank you so much for joining me on the blog today Pam!  It has been so great hearing from you and I absolutely love your advice to aspiring authors - I know I have struggled with feeling inadequate comparing myself to other writers, but your advice rings true, we are just as worthy as the next person. I look forward to hearing about new releases from you in the future :)


  1. Emilie, thank you for inviting me to your blog today. It's a gorgeous day in Mississippi, even if it's a bit cold. :)

    Since the name of your blog is Thinking Thoughts, I need caffeine!

    I'm manning the coffee bar this morning...Starbucks coffee, tea, anyone? My fav is a white chocolate mocha with whip. Yum!

    I'm travelling today, but my local airport's Starbucks is outside of security, pre-9/11 style, so I had to by-pass the Starbucks: can't take it thru security. :(

    1. Just wanted to say thanks again Pam for joining me on the blog!