Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Author Interview: Pamela Crane
Pamela Crane is a North Carolinian writer of the psychological thriller The Halo Effect and wannabe psychologist, though most people just think she needs to see one. She’s a member of the ACFW and EFA, and has been involved in the ECPA, Christy Awards, and Romance Writers of America. Along with delving into people’s minds—or being the subject of their research—she enjoys being a mom and riding her proud Arabian horse, when he lets her. She has a passion for adventure, and her hopes are to keep earning enough from her writing to travel the world in search of some good story material.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I let the story take me where it wants. I usually start off with a character profile and general outline, but the details often take me on tangents I didn’t expect. It’s interesting to see how the story develops a life of its own this way—and it’s this lack of method that created the twist ending you’ll find in The Halo Effect.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
All the time. I have to fight with them to stay in line.
What is your favourite food?
My husband makes an amazing veal marsala. I admit, I love almost all Italian food.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely a night owl. If I didn’t have kids waking me up by 7am I’d sleep until 10 o’clock...the next day!
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I’d love to backpack through Europe. I don’t really care where I’m going, just as long as I’m somewhere. lol
Do distant places feature in your books?
Not yet. I like to experience a location for myself first, so once I get a little more travel under my belt I’d like to branch out to international locations.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Classical. Anything with words or a beat distracts me because I’ll start singing and dancing.
The Halo Effect takes readers on a journey into the mind of a real-life erotomaniac as it shares my personal experience of being stalked and harassed by a sociopath. It is a psychological thriller that digs into the depths of one of the most baffling mental disorders, erotomania. In this based-on-truth story, I share a story about an aspiring screenplay writer on a passage to reconcile her desire for love and her dream job at all costs—which reflects a struggle that many face today.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
It’s more work than a full-time job with kids! Being a wife, mom, and working forty-hour weeks is nothing compared to the creativity and personal investment involved in writing a book and then marketing it!
Is there anything you would do differently?
I would put the kids to bed earlier to make more time for writing.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
My life experiences are responsible for my writing. In February of 2006 writing became therapy for me after living out the experience of being stalked and having my life threatened. I needed to get my thoughts down on paper, so I wrote my story and titled it The Halo Effect—although I fictionalized it with a couple twists at the end. People who lived through it with me became my characters, and my life became my story.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Make time to write. Find a way to fit it in. If you aren’t diligent about making a daily effort to write, it goes from back burner to the shelf where it collects dust.
What are three words that describe you?
Passionate. OCD. Empathetic.
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
I love Steven James’ Patrick Bowers series, so I’m currently working my way through those.
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
It started with a glance. And ended with a nightmare.
Small-town girl Haley Montgomery meets two men who will change her life forever—the handsome Marc Vincetti whom she falls head-over-heels for, and the big-time Hollywood producer Allen Michaels who has the power to turn her screenplay into a movie and a ticket to a better future. It seems as though life couldn't get any better—until things take a decidedly dark turn when Haley spots Marc with his former high school sweetheart and Allen develops a consuming obsession with her.
As Haley is faced with a choice between love and fame, Marc becomes the target of a stalker and Haley's life is thrown into a tailspin. Suddenly everything she thought she knew about Marc and Allen is completely wrong—and Haley's life will never be the same again…
Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
The Halo Effect Excerpt
One cut. One swift movement across pink flesh. In a moment of desperation it seemed so easy, so quick. But as my hand hovered above my wrist with measured pressure, the cold stainless steel blade taunted me. My courage waned; I trembled with each heartbeat that pulsed beneath the knife’s serrated edge. Only a thin layer of skin contained my precious lifeblood.
In picture-perfect clarity, I imagined the jagged grooves puncturing and tearing my skin. I regretted being so hasty in picking up the first knife I came across. A smoother blade wouldn’t take as long to do the job, and it likely wouldn’t hurt as much. The thought startled me, striking me with its ferocity. My vein jumped beneath the blade.
Was I actually deliberating the efficiency of my own suicide?
No doubts, no hesitating. One slice and this part would be over soon enough. Then I wouldn’t have to think anymore.
Press it down. I did.
I never felt the blade pinch and then slide into my skin, moving right to left, catching on the tiny bone about halfway across. My mind blocked out the pain, focusing my thoughts on one face – the only face that mattered to me now. Under the force of my steadied hand, I pulled the blade across and out, then leaned into the cushions of the sofa, watching blood ooze from the cut, building momentum as it trickled down my palm the way rain collects on a windowpane. The puddled droplets eventually found residence in the quilt beneath me that protected the microfiber cushions, the crimson chaotically adding to the kaleidoscope of colors. Oddly, I cared about the stain, though I wouldn’t be here tomorrow to see it.
Still one wrist to go, but I needed to make the phone call first while I still had the strength and ability to dial. I fumbled to open my cell phone – I was weaker than I thought – then concentrated on pressing each of the memorized numbers. The line rang. Voicemail picked up as I’d expected.
“I kept my promise,” I said, then hung up. There’d be no more pain after this. I’d be gone and everyone else could have their happily ever after.
This was the only way to make everything better. Life had become pain and suffering, and I was tired of suffering. I was tired of making others suffer. If only there was a hope out there to make it all worthwhile … but there was none. None that I knew of, at least.
I closed my eyes, feeling the energy drain from me, through the slit. My body relaxed along with my thoughts.
Some say they envision a collage of memories during a near-death experience. Others embark on that journey toward the white light.
I saw neither. Instead I envisioned one memory. The day that first tore my heart open and my life apart – when she trampled my life.
The Halo Effect is available from: amazon