Meet The Chapter Mates: Pamela Moran

Pamela MoranIts time to meet the chapter mates! For August we learn a little more about Pamela Moran, a lover of romantic suspense with a pinch of paranormal.

You can learn all about Pamela’s books at her website, www.pamelamoran.com. But let’s get a closer look.

Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?

Hi! I’m Pamela Moran, business owner, author, artist, photographer, astrologer, and the current RWA PRO Liaison (National). I write Romantic Suspense with a paranormal twist. My stories are populated with cops, Federal agents, and covert agents, most with some kind of psychic ability.

What does RWASD mean to you?

Friends. Support. All that’s good with RWA. Not that I’m biased. Much.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?

Time constraints. Being a business owner means long hours, usually seven days a week, and that makes it just too easy to push aside my writing time for something else, something that, at the time, feels more pressing. To get any writing done I’ve had to learn to make writing a priority. Not always easy. Even now.

What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?

I love all things mystic, otherworldly, suspenseful, gothic. I grew up reading my mom’s mysteries and thrillers, and I’ve always loved a good ghost story. I’m married to the Captain of the Reserve Unit for SBPD (reserves are volunteer cops who go through the same training, etc – they just don’t get paid for their hours), and my best friend and critique partner is a retired CA DOJ agent (Margaret Taylor). Mixing my love of the supernatural with cop stuff seems natural to me!

Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?

There was this real life princess who passed away after falling down a flight of marble stairs. The rich boyfriend was in Europe, the ex-husband was varnishing church pews hundreds of miles away. The fall was a sad, sad accident. But what if it wasn’t? What if the ex wasn’t a nice man? What if he had lots to hide and the princess found out? What if –?

That ‘What If’ story, Darkwater Echoes (PSI Sentinels: Darkwater Guardians), will be out later this year.

What is your favorite kind of hero in a romance novel?

Tortured, but not in an angsty way, more in the silent, suffering way. In the pissed, the heroine’s making him feel something, kind of way.

Love Scenes. Steamy or sweet? Why?

Steamy, of course! Sexual tension – build it up, make them wait. And when they give in,

She also loves kitties. How can one not?

She also loves kitties. How can one not?

throw something in their way, and make them wait again.

Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?

A few years ago I would have said Nora Roberts and Linda Howard. But, in the course of the last several years, I’ve met them both several times. This last July, at Nationals, I shook Nora’s hand at a party in her suite, and rode down the elevator (43 floors) with Linda. How cool is that?

Now, to be able to sit with Nora and have a long conversation, I’d probably do back flips for that!

If you could go back 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?

Make writing a REAL priority. Don’t  wait for the right time, because there isn’t a right time, and stop letting everything else get in the way.

Tell us about your latest novel!

Part of my PSI (a psychic covert agency) series, Gavin’s Woman (A PSI Sentinel Novella: Darkwater Guardians) is set along the Oregon coast during a terrible storm. One time lovers, Calea and Gavin deal with their relationship while a stalker hunts Calea and wants Gavin dead.

She was his only obsession.

PamelaMoran_GavinsWoman_1800x2700Gavin Dunbar, liaison between the PSI and the government, is a low-level psychic himself. A man of the present who believes the future can’t be trusted. His reasons are mired deep in a past he has no desire to examine. After all, in his world, having a soul-mate doesn’t equate to happily-ever-after.

Tragedy has brought Calea Fontaine to a crossroads and has her reassessing her future without the man she loves. A seer from a long line of seers, Calea knows, firsthand, that while Fate might try to guide a person along a path, Free Will has a way of trumping Destiny. 

Or does it? 

Along the storm ravaged Oregon coast, a predator stalks Calea with an obsession born of a dark ache, an overwhelming need to control and possess at any cost. The only obstacle standing in his way is Gavin Dunbar.

The short stories I’m doing for the monthly Sexy to Go anthologies are also part of my PSI world. The Dreamwalkers Task Force is made up of psychics not only from the PSI agency, but from many different law enforcement branches, including the FBI and local agencies. I’ve had a great time with these shorts and there are several couples I’m seriously considering revisiting for their own full length stories.

 Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?

Perseverance!

Carve out that time. Write every single day, even if it’s only for fifteen minutes at a stretch or a hundred words at a time.

Make goals, short-range as well as long-range.

Don’t be afraid of the emotion on the page. That’s what will hook your reader and keep her coming back for more.

Keep writing!

August Potluck Roundup + Good News

Last Saturday, RWA San Diego members gathered at the Serra Mesa library to enjoy an informal potluck lunch and dish on everything that went down at the RWA Conference in New York. Our chapter is fortunate to have two members who serve on the national board – HelenKay Dimon and Pamela Moran – and they were happy to explain some of the recent changes RWA has been making to improve the organization and better serve its members. Some of these changes include:

  • Revised qualifications for PAN and PRO membership.
  • The establishment of a diversity committee.
  • Corrected definitions for RITA and Golden Heart contest entries.

Other members who attended the conference shared some of their experiences and insights, as well as tidbits they learned from workshops, such as motivational quotes and manuscript wish lists.

For those RWA members who were not able to attend, you can watch replays of the keynote speeches and award ceremony on YouTube, or purchase audio recordings for some of those workshops you really wish you could’ve sat in on.

Speaking of nationals, the candidates for next year’s Board of Directors have been announced. Head on over to the RWA website to read all about their platforms, and when elections come around, make sure you vote!

At the end of the meeting, we all shared good news, which was plentiful this month!

  • Kristen Koster received a full request from Melissa Jeglinski at the Knight Agency.
  • Rick Ochocki submitted his full romantic suspense manuscript.
  • Toni Noel sold her tenth book, a romantic suspense, Lying Eyes, to Desert Breeze, for a February 2016 release.
  • Pamela Moran published short stories in Sexy to Go, Volumes 5, 6, and 7.
  • Sorcha Mowbray published short stories in Sexy to Go, Volumes 3 through 7. She also sold Love and Punishment to Decadent Publishing, Beyond Fairytales.
  • Laura Connors placed second in On the Far Side.
  • Eleanor Nystrom finaled in the Orange Rose, placing first in the Paranormal Romance category.
  • Kristin Rockaway finaled in the Orange Rose, placing first in the Women’s Fiction with Romantic Elements category. She also signed with agent Jennifer Johnson-Blalock of Liza Dawson Associates.
  • Tameri Etherton’s The Stones of Kaldaar won Best Fantasy in the San Diego Book Awards. The book also placed second in FF&P’s PRISM Awards.
  • Jillian Stone released her first self-published book, The Do-It List.
  • Demi Hungerford released her second anthology epub, Bowman’s Inn Summer.
  • Bob Richard’s A More Perfect Union and Autumn Breeze were picked as some of Amazon’s Best Books of the Year. He’s also about to publish The Art of Writing Male Characters.

Next month’s meeting is one you won’t want to miss: guest speaker Lisa Cron will be joining us to discuss techniques featured in her hit book, Wired for Story. To get a sneak peek at what she might say, check out her Tedx Talk. See you then!

Check it Out: September Workshops

We’re almost halfway through August, which means the “Back to School” season is in full effect. Strolling through Target (or clicking through Amazon), we’re bombarded with images of pencils, notebooks, and backpacks – all the necessary accoutrements for kids gearing up to return to the classroom. As a child, I remember this time of year inspiring mixed emotions: sadness and disappointment about the lazy days of summer coming to an end, but also a nervous excitement about what was to come in September. What new people would I meet? What new experiences would I have? How would this year change me for the better?

The older we get, the easier it is to forget about that feeling of anticipation – the thrill of learning something new and growing as an individual. But just because we’re not in grade school anymore doesn’t mean we can’t recapture that spirit of renewal and enlightenment. We simply have to be more proactive about seeking it out.

Think about it: when was the last time you learned something new?

Well, this September, RWA San Diego has two workshops to help start your school year off on the right foot – one focusing on craft, the other on business – and both are designed to help you grab the attention of editors and readers alike.

CRAFT: Editing

Have you ever cringed after finding an embarrassing typo in your manuscript – after you’ve submitted it to an agent or editor? In How’d I Miss That? Tips and Tricks for Self-Editing, Kathryn Jane aims to show us how to easily avoid situations like this. By learning how to identify common weaknesses in our writing such as inconsistencies, passive voice, clichés, and clunky rhythm, you can be confident you’ll be delivering high-quality prose every time you hit Send.

BUSINESS: Marketing

Eilis Flynn returns to RWA San Diego to teach Marketing Your Book With Key Phrases. This crash course in advertising reveals certain “magic words” that are proven to elicit a reaction from people. By employing them strategically, you’ll be better equipped to hook your readers into buying your books, or entice agents and editors into giving your query letter a second look.

If you’re ready to take your writing career to the next level, then sign up for one of our exciting workshops today.

See you in September!

Share Your Story: How do you push through?

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So here I am, sitting at my computer and wracking my brain for a blog post. I’ve been deep in revisions with my book and editing for two weeks, the day job has been relentlessly evil, and home time usually consists of me pondering “When did I last cleaned out the cat boxes?” I am tired, I am cranky, and I am drawing blanks on what the heck to write.

Then it hits me, why not talk about pushing through? Because that’s exactly what I’m doing right now. Granted, pushing through isn’t the most ideal way to get words down but its effective and gets the dirty job done.

So today’s Share Your Story question is how do you push through on days when you just don’t want to write?

For me, my highest motivator is my deadline. Most of them I set for myself but they do turn up the motivation. Giving myself a due date forces me to push forward. If I tell myself, “Oh it will get done when it gets done,” trust me, it will never get done.

I’m also not above a reward system. On certain days (like today) I think “Okay, if you get this blog post down and then edit another chapter of your book, you’ll be free up tonight to go out to dinner or watch an episode of that show on Netflix.” My reward for getting my work done. I’ll admit it, I am very gift motivated.

Once again, I invite you to share your story in the comments section. Perhaps your method will inspire others!