About Pamela J. Dodd:
Pamela J. Dodd currently serves as an adjunct instructor of English at a local technical college. She is also a wife a mother, and a grandmother. Having grown up among people who told stories for entertainment as well as education, she enjoys visiting with readers and others interested in writing. She loves stories, whether in print, on the screen, or just told at family gatherings. Her debut novel, The Gift Horse, is a contemporary suspense yarn, and her science fiction novel, Trinity on Tylos, was recently re-released as a Kindle eBook.
What inspires you to write?
Everything! Nothing! Seriously, there are as many reasons to write as there are writers. In my case, I began writing because I couldn’t always find want I wanted to read in my local library or bookstore. Striving to be different is still a goal for my writing, and often reviewers use the “term” unique to describe my stories.
Tell us about your writing process.
Fiction begins as an idea, then as scenes, and if the scenes are compelling (to me anyway) I begin to add more scenes. At some point, the novel begins to take on a life of its own. Also, I am constantly editing. When I return to a story that I have been working on, I re-read what I wrote previously, and if I like it, I keep going along. If I don’t like it, I either fix it or delete and try again. This is a lengthy process, obviously, and I don’t publish often, because I am still re-writing. For me, writing is like polishing a gem, there is always something else to do to make it better.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
For a time, I really try to crawl into their heads and “be” that person. Every character is not me, nor am I every character, but the reasons they do what they do must make sense to me.
What advice would you give other writers?
Here are some things I have learned while writing for publication:
Do get professional help in editing. I have thirty years of experience evaluating writing, but my editors have helped me improve and pointed out problems that I totally missed. Poor editing keeps many books out of print, and it can make authors who have real talent look bad. People who decide to self-publish ought to seek a good editor, because poorly edited books make self-publishing a risky business.
Do keep writing. If the first efforts don’t provide the success you want, keep at it. Experience is a great teacher.
Don’t take rejection personally. (That one is hard, though. Really hard.)
Don’t expect to get rich. Not everyone you know will buy your book, and getting people who don’t know something about you to buy it can be even more difficult.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first book, The Gift Horse, was accepted by a publisher who was less than honest, and then she died. (No, I didn’t do it!) At that point, lots of folks in my small town knew I had a book coming out, so to keep that process going, I used a self-publishing company. While it wasn’t a glowing sales success, the second company was honest, and that book still sells several copies a year.
For my second novel, Trinity on Tylos, I was accepted by a small press, which emphasized eBooks but also printed trade paperbacks. For a while, they paid royalties, then they didn’t. Nor did they communicate, so a few years after the initial contract expired, I asked to withdraw the book from their company and I decided to “repackage” it with a new cover and some editing, and I published it via Kindle Direct.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I was an early adopter of eBooks, reading them on first my laptop, then a Palm, and now I use my iPad. With every new device, the eBook experience seems to get better.
Like many people, I still enjoy putting a book in my hands and turning the pages, but as a business model, print publishing is fading fast. Printing large numbers of books, storing them in warehouses, then putting them “on consignment” in stores, then collecting the “remainders” for resale as bargain books or recycling them is kinda stupid. Delivering a file, electronically, is more sustainable, cheaper, and puts more options in the hands of readers. In short, eBooks are the future.
What do you use?: Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: contemporary suspense, science fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
Your Social Media Links