On The Same Page is a column to inspire and motivate writers to take control of their literary
destinies. Pam Williams-Guinn is a new author, whose novel, Tangled Web, is creating a buzz on the literary circuit. I'm proud to say that Ms. Guinn was one of my first customers at my Literary Service. Dreams do come true for those willing to invest in their own careers.
M.T.: Pam, tell us how long you have been writing?
P.W.G.: I started working on 'Tangled Web' in 1996. So that's been about five years ago. I was
kind of off and on with my efforts until about two years ago, the discipline and determination
that it takes to get your novel out kicked in. From there I got serious about getting
'Tangled Web' published.
M.T.: Give us a little history on what inspired your story and how you wove the Proverbs into the book.
P.W.G.: I always wanted to write a romance novel and at the time, when I finally put pen to
paper, I was recently divorced. My story was going to be about a God-fearing woman who finds her
life suddenly torn apart by divorce but in the end she would demonstrate courage to the universe
on how to overcome an obstacle like that. Well, as I did my homework about writing a good
story, capturing an audience and going to different writers' conferences, I realized that that
story line was a little dull. My main character, Pretty Baby, needed more of a dilemma to add
some spice and keep the reader wanting more. So I invented Elliott. The man of her dreams who
is the best thing since sliced bread. He promises the sun, the moon, the stars. And he can
deliver! His only flaw is that he is MARRIED! What's a good Christian woman to do? My story took on a life of itsí own from there.
During my bible study time, I realized that Proverbs from the Bible give wisdom and instruction for any facet of life, no matter what the problem. Ainít nothiní new! So I decided to start each chapter with a Proverb to offer a little food for thought in the midst of lust, scandal and redemption.
M.T.: Who are some of your favorite writers?
P.W.G.: I have so many! I flip flop all the time because I just love a good story. Something
that will keep me up late at night and make me sneak and read chapters at work or where ever.
Right now I love Tananarive Due (My Soul to Keep and The Living Blood). Of course, I love the
McMillan sister's. Zora Neale Hurston is a favorite. I love old stories by old authors who are
no longer with us, because like I said, 'ain't nothin' knew'. I have a collection of fiction
books that were written in the early 1900's. Those authors tell the same type of stories that we
tell, today, with a different twist.
M.T. Have you ever taken a writing class?
P.W.G.: I've never taken professional writing classes but I sure want to, to enhance my skills.
There's always room for improvement and you never stop learning in this business.
M.T.: What have been some of your marketing angles?
P.W.G.: Marketing is so important. Maybe even more important than the actual project because it
is the worlds first impression of you. My first tour was a 'Tour at Sea' with twenty-two other
authors and a dozen book clubs from across the country. This gave me the exposure I needed to get
things going. Since then, I have been the featured guest at many events, including Kwanzaa Expo in
St. Louis, Write Now 2 Conference in Baltimore, many local signings and I was at the For Sister's
Only showcase in Charlotte, NC on April 7-8, 2001. The key is to get as much exposure as possible
whether it's via the Internet or personal appearances.
M.T.: What are the names of the new books you are working on?
P.W.G.: I'm going back and forth between two suspense novels that I am working on. The one I plan
to release next is entitled, 'Agree With the Adversary'. It's about two women with two different
social backgrounds that give birth at the same hospital but leave with the wrong babies. This is
not discovered for ten years. The adults agree to not disrupt the children's lives but become
extended family and keep this explosive secret. An excerpt can be viewed on my site
M.T.: Tell us about your self-publishing journey.
P.W.G.: Self-publishing has been wonderful. First of all, it shows that an author believes in
their project enough to make it happen. Secondly, for me, it put me in a position where I was
forced to learn the business end of this industry, which can be pretty ruthless if you don't
know the ends and outs. Of course, everyone wants a major book deal but to know the business
first hand will ensure that you don't get a raw deal!
M.T.: What advice would you give new and aspiring writers?
P.W.G.: Study your craft, attend workshops/conferences, get in a critique groups and ask other
authors questions that you don't know the answers to. Even if it's me. Feel free to contact me, http://web.archive.org/web/20030223151457/http://www.pamspen.com/
Most importantly, KEEP WRITING!
M.T.: Thanks for this encouraging interview, Pamela Williams-Guinn.