My guest today is author Pamela Gibson who writes a variety of nonfiction and fiction. But let’s hear more from Pamela, after a quick peek at her bio.
Author of eight books on California history and fourteen romance novels, Pamela Gibson is a former City Manager who lives in the Nevada desert. Having spent the last three years messing about in boats, a hobby that included a five-thousand-mile trip in a 32-foot Nordic Tug, she now spends most of her time indoors happily reading, writing, cooking and keeping up with the antics of Ralph, the Rescue Cat.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Pamela: I think I was in the fourth grade when I started writing poetry. Of course it had to rhyme. In junior high I sold an advertising slogan to a children’s shop. My mother was a good customer and I feel sure that had something to do with it. But by the time I got to high school I fancied myself a writer, became a columnist for the local newspaper, and tried my hand at short stories. After a gazillion rejections, I decided it would be best if I went to college. When I graduated, I became a newspaper reporter. Fiction came two careers later.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Pamela: During my second career, as an appointed city official, I joined Romance Writers of America to learn to write fiction. My years in journalism and my years writing reports for elected officials, taught me a lot, but it’s a different kind of writing. It’s “telling,” not “showing.” When I retired, I began writing my first romance novel. Then I wrote a second one. I sold the second one about ten years after I joined RWA and began to “get serious” about learning to write fiction. The publisher who bought the book, also bought the first one. That happened about seven years ago. I also took a lot of online and university extension courses along the way.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Pamela: That’s a hard one. I read all genres and write in at least three subgenres. Instead of an author, I think my biggest influence was a writing teacher at the University of California Irvine campus where I took an extension course. His name was Arnold Hano and he is known for a book called “The Catch.” He believed in me and made me believe in myself. Confidence is so important. Thirty years later I attended a lecture he gave at a bookstore near my town and introduced myself as a published author. It was a good moment for both of us.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Pamela: I love writing historicals. I’ve done my fair share of contemporaries and I even wrote a romantic suspense, but history is my forte. I love the Regency period of English history and the pre-gold rush era of western history in California (think Zorro). I majored in history in college and wrote local histories for several publishers before I even considered fiction. Some are still in print.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Pamela: I wish I knew about marketing, had better computer skills, and was not a technophobe. Training in these areas should be compulsory for any student in a creative writing program. Maybe today it is. When I started writing, we didn’t have indies and we didn’t have the internet. Boy do I feel old saying that.
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Pamela: Return of the Fox takes place in pre-gold rush California. It was a fascinating time full of change and contradictions, a time that can be compared to feudalism in Europe where hundreds of retainers worked for the liege and all of those things necessary for living were made or grown right on the property. My first book, Shadow of the Fox, is set mostly in what today is Orange County, California, and Return of the Fox came out May 27 and is set mainly in Los Angeles. Both are steamy historical romances, but there’s a lot of history in the background.
Why do I write in this place and time when few others do? Maybe it’s because I majored in history and I love genealogy. These are my people. I’m giving validation to my ancestors, to my great-great-grandmother born in 1845 in Los Angeles and to another branch of the family whose progenitor walked to California with wife and baby in the 1860s from the interior of Mexico.
It’s also a part of history in which I have some expertise, and that helps a lot when doing research.
The year is 1847…
Gabriel de la Vega, disgraced son of a Mexican ranchero, returns to his Alta California home when Americans take power to help his countrymen with the bewildering transition and make amends to the woman he once wronged.
Fiercely independent, Isabella Fuentes swore she’d never forgive Gabriel for abandoning her on the night they were to elope. Now he’s back, playing a dangerous game, pretending to be meek and repentant when she knows the handsome, former outlaw is anything but contrite.
When a series of accidents threaten Isabella’s safety, Gabriel offers an outrageous solution: the protection of a brief civil marriage. Isabella is tempted. But can she rely on a man who once betrayed her and can she trust her foolish heart to let him go when the danger has passed?
Screams filled the air as the bull lunged at the fence, loosening the boards that crashed to the ground with the animal’s weight. Isabella couldn’t move. Blood gushed from the bull’s nose, and he kept moving toward her. Too late she realized the long scarf she wore around her neck fluttered like a flag in the wind, attracting the bull’s attention as surely as a matador’s cape.
Fear gripped her body and froze her legs as the animal ran toward her.
Just as the charging bull reached her, a strong arm scooped her up and carried her out of the animal’s line of sight. She landed on the ground, a heavy weight on top of her. Afraid to open her eyes, she lay still.
She couldn’t breathe.
But she was alive.
A low voice murmured in her ear. “You need a keeper, querida. What were you doing so close to the ring? I thought I saw you safely seated on the hill with the others.”
She opened her eyes and stared up into Gabriel’s face. Tears leaked out of the corners of her eyes, trickling back into her ears. “The bull,” she whispered. “Where is it?”
“It’s being chased by our host’s competent vaqueros and will be lassoed and safely confined.”
She took in a deep breath and started to shake. “I am making a spectacle of myself, aren’t I?”
“Indeed you are.” His smile was gentle and comforting.
How did I let this man get away?
Buy link: Amazon
What a great excerpt to share with us, Pamela! Sounds like a wonderful story. I’m glad you had that special moment with your mentor, too. Thanks for stopping in!
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