Welcome Pamela King
Author of Angel with Drumsticks; and
Co-author of For the Love of a Dingo
(Links to both books are at the end of this interview.)
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My journey from shy young woman, lacking in self-confidence to a mature woman with a self-assured persona who, as a tourism manager, was able to feel comfortable with people of all sectors of the community, give presentations and talks, teach and produce well written and attractive marketing materials was largely due to two bosses I had on my journey. They both insisted I was capable of carrying out tasks I would never had dreamed of undertaking; not only giving me confidence but an awareness of skills I was unaware of within my being.
What first inspired you to write?
Angel with Drumsticks was my first attempt at writing a lengthy story. It is actually my husband’s story about a painful part of his life that has stayed with him. We both felt that the story had to be told. It was an emotional exercise for him but I believe that now it is out he has finally accepted what happened.
In what genre(s) do you prefer to write?
I prefer non-fiction and enjoy the research part of writing in that genre but I have some ideas for fictional work that I hope to pursue in the future.
Are you working on another book?
Yes, I am working on another biography. It is the story of an Australian woman who led the fight to have the Dingo acknowledged as an Australian native animal, understood as a gentle and loving companion and as Australia’s apex predator the protector of small native mammals.
Your books have obviously required research. What do you consider the best resources?
Personal knowledge and experience has been the core of both books published and the one I am currently working on.
My first go to is the Internet because it is quick and easy, however, as a resource it must not be depended on. This was reinforced when I was researching background material for Angel with Drumsticks.
For my current project I am fortunate to have original documents and the personal writings by my central character and these are certainly my most valuable resource.
Having said that, there is nothing quite like sitting in a library and carefully turning the pages of original books to give you a feeling that you are undertaking research; especially when the library concerned is a grand and historic building.
Do you consider your book(s) convey messages to readers?
I am not sure about my first two books I think they do have some subtle messages. However, I sincerely hope that my next book will help people to understand and appreciate more about the dingo.
What advice would you give to authors who are just starting out?
Start with something you know about so that you are comfortable with the backdrop to your story. That way you can focus on your story line and the scenes will fall into place naturally.
At the same time don’t include too many references to items that people worldwide may not be familiar with. I have just completed a book set in New York and I was totally lost when it came to mention of particular food, clothing brands and landmarks.
This is something I also learnt from you, Tanya, with my last book. It is a very Australian story about a little known state of affairs for the Australian dingo and I should have provided more background information for an international market. (It will be rectified in the next story.)
Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs: What advice would you give, about using real names and descriptions, to authors who write in this genre? I ask because many raise concerns about the issue.
This is something I am struggling with currently. As I am at still at the research stage I have a bit more time to grapple with this issue.
Do you self-edit or do you think a book should only be professionally edited?
I give my manuscript to my husband first and he mostly picks up typos and gives his opinion on whether I have gone into too much detail or not provided enough. As English is not his first language there is a limit to what he will pick up.
I self-edit first to try and pick up simple things like typos, spelling and grammatical errors. I also look for words I have used too much, then search for them throughout the document and make changes.
I don’t have a professional editor but I do have a friend who is a former editor that I rely on. Her grammar knowledge is excellent (we call her the “grammar police”) and she made some brilliant suggestions for my first book.
How do you go about marketing your books?
Angel with Drumsticks has been difficult in many ways. Giving it a category whether it is music, religion or simply biography limits the target markets. The audience that remember the event is also relatively small. There is information about the event readily available, sadly much of it is incorrect.
For the Love of a Dingo is in many ways a marketing tool itself for my next book by giving readers a taste of what is to come.
I read somewhere that marketing a new book should begin three years in advance. I have established a Facebook page and blog specifically for the “Dingo Lady” project and most of my sales of For Love of a Dingo have come through these social media sources. With regular posts it keeps my project in the public eye.
This exercise has also put me in contact with what I refer to as ‘the new wave of dingo advocates’ who are up to date with current issues, laws and dingo research.
How important do you think reviews are?
I think they are valuable rather than important depending on whether other promotional opportunities are available.
If you consider reviews important, how do you go about obtaining them for your books?
I have been lucky that some authors have been happy to review my books in exchange for me reviewing theirs. However, I have found other than that it a very time consuming and frustrating chore.
I have used IndieView and that means wading through pages of reviewers to find those that might be interested in your genre and that it is in a format they will accept.
I believe it is important to treat the reviewer courteously and that means a fresh personalised email to each one. Also, Every reviewer wants different information included; some more than others. By the time your list has those who don’t reply crossed off and those that can’t/won’t accept the book you spent many hours for maybe only one reviewer to accept your book.
I have also used a couple of websites where you can list your book for review. One didn’t get picked up and the other site requires you reading other people’s books. That’s fair enough but you don’t get a big range to choose from.
Do you have a preferred genre for when you read?
I enjoy nonfiction particularly history and interesting memoirs.
For fiction my favourites are murder mysteries and legal thrillers but really anything that tells a good story.
This is an age old question but one I consider of interest. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you like to have with you?
I’d probably miss the ship while trying to decide but here goes:
Narnia Chronicles for fantasy and child-like escapism
A compendium edition of one of my favourite ‘who-dun-it writers’
A good size, up to date world history book with loads of information.
I don’t travel light – can I take my kindle I can get a lot more on that.
Please share with us links to where readers may obtain more information and insight into who you are.
Dedicated to books and research relating to the Australian Dingo:
Pamela’s reviews of books she has read:
A general blog in which Pamela shares personal information, ideas and thoughts:
Thank you Pamela for sharing with us your interesting history and experiences.
These are the books referred to above with links to where you may obtain them:
This book is also available in Italian here.
If interested, you may read T. R.’s review here.
If interested, you may read T. R.’s review here.