Pamela Beason's Blog, page 2
August 7, 2014
Problem: You’ve lost sight of your character’s goal.
Solution: Revisit your character’s goal and make sure your focus is on that and you’re still headed in the right direction.
Problem: You gave away the whole story in the first third of the book.
Solution: Break up backstory, feed it in slowly to add interest and drama.
Problem: Your st...
April 24, 2014
“Hi, I’m Rae Ellen Lee, an internationally unknown author,” my friend says to the bicycle rider who has stopped to chat with us in a Utah canyon.
Rae Ellen is more forward and much funnier than I am, and I love this line. It cuts through the embarrassing back-and-forth that, for me, usually goes something like this:
I’m not lying, I actuallyam an author! This is me signing books at Seattle Mystery Bookshop
Me: “I’m an author. I write mysteries and romances.”
Polite Stranger: “That’s great!” Then,...
April 16, 2014
Hiking with new friends
Today I’m in Escalante, Utah, sharing good times with my intrepid author friend Rae Ellen Lee. This is the first time I’ve been back to Canyon Country since I used it as the setting for my novel Endangered, and as we explore the area, I am reminded of several things.
Slickrock is Slick
Duh! There are very few level surfaces in any canyon, and the rippling multicolored layers of sandstone have been polished to a hard smoothness by water and wind. If you don’t have gripping...
March 29, 2014
Fair Warning: This post discusses unidentified corpses, so if you don’t want to think about death and missing persons, click away right now.
As a private investigator, on the very first missing persons search I worked on, I found that the individual was deceased. I hated to tell my client that her long lost buddy was dead, but at least it was closure; the client knew what happened to her friend. I am haunted by another case in which I could find no clue about what happened to a missing young w...
March 24, 2014
Me, signing books at Seattle Mystery Bookshop. I signed at Left Coast, too, but was one of the smaller frogs in that big pond.
I just returned from four days at Left Coast Crime in beautiful Monterey, California, and I am exhausted. I can’t decide whether my fatigue is from multiple mornings when I had to arise at 3:30 a.m. to make my flight, or because I’m an introvert and crowds make me a little crazy, or simply because the conference was so interesting that my brain cannot absorb meeting on...
March 10, 2014
After a surprisingly heavy snowfall (for my coastal area), I decided to pull on my hiking boots and stroll the 1.5 miles to my favorite park while the scenery was coated in white.
The trail was only a bit slippery and the frosting of snow made thick woods and waterfalls completely enchanting. The winds were calm, and the temperature hovered around the freezing point, hardly life-threatening. I was deep into my beloved woods when I noticed that other aspects of my walk might be more than a litt...
March 2, 2014
Could this be an AWP?
When I heard about the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Seattle this year, I was 1) perplexed about why I didn’t already know about it and 2) eager to go investigate. So I signed up to help out with a vendor booth–Chanticleer Book Reviews, a company that provides author services such as manuscript overviews, book reviews, and contests of all kinds. They awarded me a Grand Prize for my mystery THE ONLY WITNESS, so naturally I have a fondness...
January 21, 2014
Valleys in Mist in Olympic Natl Park
I was recently asked to do a talk about why the wilderness makes a good setting for novels, so I decided to write a post about it here.
Reason #1 – I’m passionate about wild places and want to share my love of them with an audience. I can rhapsodize about my obsession with fungi and lichen, my enthusiasm for all wild creatures, and all the endless variations of colors, shapes, and patterns of nature. I do truly believe that—like the Ken Burns PBS series titl...
January 12, 2014
No matter how I try to avoid it, I get stalled sometime in January every year. The days are short, the holidays are over (thank God), the weather is generally miserable, and I’m stuck in the tedium of end-of-previous-year paperwork for my three businesses. It’s hard to get started again on any creative project. But here’s what I’ve learned over the years that helps.
I define achievable writing goals for the year. For me, these are finishing the YA adventure novel I have already begun, and writ...
December 27, 2013
My cat Lassie says Hi!
People who know my books know that there will always be a lot of animals in my stories. Why? Because there are a lot of animals in my life, and I hope there always will be. Most of these creatures are wildlife, not pets, although of course I tell my cats they are my favorite mammals.
I can be surprisingly oblivious to inanimate objects in my environment. Sometimes as a child I’d open a Christmas gift that looked familiar, and then realize that my mother had made it right...