MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PAMELA ACKERSON
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Pamela Ackerson ~ I write sci-fi time travel, Native American, historical fiction, contemporary, non-fiction, and children’s books.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My most recent book released is a time travel western titled Garrett’s Ghost. I had the idea and had started writing the story but couldn’t quite put the edges together. When we visited Americus, Georgia we stayed at the Windsor Best Western which was built in the late 1800s. From there the story flew by.
Buried alive! The story of the courageous ghost who haunts a time traveling Texas ranger to find her killer.
Garrett Houston is being harassed by a ghost. She’s an unrelenting force that refuses to leave him alone! She will do everything in her ghostly power to get his attention. It was too late for her, but if she could just convince him to go look for her killer, she could save many lives, and stop the man from destroying anyone else’s life.
What’s a time traveling Texas Ranger supposed to do? Trouble is brewing, and that trouble is called Margarite.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’m a trekky and have loved science fiction forever. I love history and well, the two combined beautifully! As I got older and continued writing I wanted to start dabbling in other genres. It worked out great!
What kind of research did you do for this book?
A lot! We’d been to Pendleton, Oregon a few years which is where the actual seed of the story started. I loved Texas when we were there, so it just had to be a Texas ranger! I researched about the trade and tunnels in Oregon and how the people lived, traveled, etc. Then I had to research serial killers from Texas and connected it to murders in Oregon. Even though the information about the killer is true. It didn’t happen in the 1890s. But, it is not about the serial killer, it’s about Margarite and Garett…
Can you tell me about your Series?
Garrett’s Ghost is the first of three book. They’re all stand alones and are about time traveling Private Investigators.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
LOL, yes, Garrett’s Ghost.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
We’ve traveled a lot and I’ve gotten inspiration from many of the states we’ve visited. Since I love history, we tend to go to places with historical impacts. Got to have the Happily-Ever-After and when I can come up with something that is unusual or different, I have to jump on it.
Was it always meant to become a series?
No, it just worked out that way. There’s a character in each story that needed their story told and off I went.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I work part-time for a book review magazine. That get taken care of first. Then I’ll either start writing or I’ll do research.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Yes, I do. It’s called I am a Runner. It’s nonfiction and the true story of a sepsis survivor. She went in the emergency room because of strep throat, went into a coma, had to have amputations…was told she’d never run again. And Guess What? She ran again and is training for the Boston Marathon!
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Very. If the character’s name is forced I tend to keep changing his or her personality so, I have to stop and reevaluate the character.
Where do your ideas come from?
Everywhere! Even sometimes just driving down the street. An example? We were at dinner in St. Augustine a few weeks ago, and a pirate walked by with a girl in Goth clothing…oh my mind went nuts. All these ideas went flying through my head.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
Not at this time.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting the silence needed, and not getting interrupted. People tend to think they’re only interrupting me for a moment. You can start writing again in a little while. No….the thought process is broken. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to get back into the story when I’m interrupted. But if it’s my kids, I’m okay with it. They’re all grown and out of the house, so if they call or stop by. I love it!
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I have had trailers. As a promotional tool it can rock. If it’s not done right or not promoted properly it doesn’t do anyone any good.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Excluding Garrett’s Ghost…. The Wilderness Series. It’s a time traveling Native American western. I love that series! It has so much history in it and follows the family from book one and two where she time travels, to her son time traveling in book three and four, and then the daughter in book five.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Meeting and hearing from readers!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Retired but still writing.
Have you always liked to write?
Yes, from a very young age. My mother would encourage me to tell stories to my younger brother to keep him entertained.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I used to say don’t give up. Now, I tell them. Be careful listening to newly published authors who consider themselves experts. Many are not giving good advice.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I do marketing and advertising for Affaire de Coeur book review magazine. I’ve had a lot of people ask why I didn’t leave the company when I was able to support myself on the sale of my books. They’re right, I don’t need to any more but I still do it because I like creating and using my imagination.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
Yes, most of the time the reviews help me improve. There’s always room for improvement no matter how many years a person writes. I will ‘like’ a good review. I will not respond to a bad review but I will take what they say and listen. Sometimes I have to decide if it’s real or a trolled review. Haters will hate, hate, hate. You have to ignore them when they attack. And they will attack and be cruel, etc. I just ignore them.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
It’s extremely satisfying to do the research (Did I mention I love history?). And of course, the heart pounding The End.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Absolutley. Here’s a tidbit from I am a Runner.
Being on an emotional roller coaster for the last few years was vexing, not only for myself but for my family and friends.
I’m no longer sick.
I’ve struggled with letting go. I’ve worked on the new me. I don’t consider myself 100% better. Many times over the years, I’ve felt alone and helpless. There was a sense of vulnerability and a need to find what was lost. I wondered where the old Maria was hiding.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I love science fiction and history. It was obvious for me to use the combination and why I have a few nonfiction. I don’t write different genres at the same time. I’ll outline a story idea but won’t start a story until I’m finished with the one I’m writing.
Where did your love of books come from?
I think I came out of the womb loving books. My mom told me years ago, that once I started walking, I’d go to the bookcase and bring her a book to read to me.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Too very many to name. Especially since I read so many different genres.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
My favorite was Jennifer, book five of the Wilderness Series. OMGoodness, she’s a trip. She has no idea why she wants, even though she thinks she does. She’s a confused, stubborn women until she realized…
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. I’m energized when I’m writing. When I’m done for the day, I’m exhausted.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Yes! How many time travel Native American Westerns have you read? Or time traveling Private Investigators who meet at a Time Travel Compendium every year? My readers like the HEA so they’ll either get an HEA or a Happy for Now.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Being associated with Affaire de Coeur has put me in a position where I’ve met and conversed with many authors. Many NYT, USA today, international best sellers, and newly published authors. I’ve helped them all and they’ve helped me. Most of the time the writing community is like a family. We help and support each other. Best advice was from Kat Martin about fifteen years ago. She told me to break up my narration and don’t forget to use contractions. I took it to heart and she was right. It helped the story flow so much better!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️
Thank you very much for having me. Have a good moments day!