Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Rock*it Reads: Interview with Pamela Clare + Giveaway

Pamela Clare. When we hear Pamela Clare, we immediately think I-Team and that abtastically delicious cover of Breaking Point. Well, under the Rock*It Reads logo, Pamela has another abtastically delicious cover and the book ties in with her I-Team series. But before the I-Team, there were the MacKinnon's Rangers which are traditionally published but are a total must read. Today, Pamela is answering some questions about Rock*It Reads and giving away a copy of Skin Deep.


Meet Pamela:
Colorado author Pamela Clare began her writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor-in-chief of two different newspapers. Along the way, she and her team won numerous state and national honors, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service. In 2011, Clare was awarded the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award. A single mother with two sons, she writes historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense at the foot of the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Connect with Pamela: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

Jamie & Kati: Who is Pamela Clare? (author, mother, advocate...)
Pamela Clare: I’m the single mother of two young men. I studied Classics and archaeology in college and grad school and then left academia for a journalism career. As an investigative journalist, I got to experience so many things. My team and I won several national awards, including the National Journalism Award for Public Service, and I was personally honored with the Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011 after getting a law passed that bans the shackling of women inmates during labor and birth.

While my journalism career was taking off, I decided at last to try writing fiction, which I had wanted to do since I was about 10 years old. I love history so very much, so I started with historicals. At the time, actually, I didn’t read any other sub-genre. Then my agent suggested I put all my journalism experiences to use and write romantic suspense. I started the I-Team series as a result of that conversation, and now I write both romantic suspense and historical romance. I now write fiction full time.

J&K: Share a little bit about Rock*It Reads.
PC: Rock*It Reads is a brand developed by authors who are traditionally published through New York, but who are also self-publishing. It’s not a publishing imprint or an indie publisher, but a brand. Books with the Rock*It Read logo — those published by Rock*It Reads authors — are self-published books that have been held to very high standards, creatively and editorially. The brand serves as a way of helping readers sift through the massive amount of self-published works for quality books.

Not only do Rock*It Reads authors hold themselves to very high standards for our self- published books, but we’re also highlighting good self-published reads through the LOVE ROCKS column on the Barnes and Noble website.

J&K: What drew you to this project?
PC: I had been thinking for more than a year that there needed to be some way for traditionally published authors whose work has been acknowledged as being of a high caliber to stand out from the self-pubbed slush pile, but I really didn’t have any idea how to do that and was too busy to think about it. Then Elisabeth Naughton emailed to invite me to be a part of Rock*It Reads. The concept aligned well with my earlier thoughts, and so it was really a no-brainer for me.

J&K: How will readers benefit?
PC: In the past, agents and editors served as the gatekeepers to publishing. This was good and bad. It was good in that bad writing and poorly written books never saw the light of day. It was bad in that New York publishing houses tend to have somewhat rigid ideas about the kinds of stories they should be publishing. That meant that a lot of good books were never published. Many talented writers never made it into print and readers missed out.

Now the gates have been thrown wide open. Anyone can self-publish. But although some fantastic authors are now able to break through with books that wouldn’t have been published before, there’s a lot of poorly written fiction out there. Rock*It Reads offers readers one way to filter through all of that to find well-written, well-formatted ebooks.

J&K: Tell us a little bit about your novella published under the Rock*It Reads logo.
PC: SKIN DEEP is my latest release. It’s the first in a series of I-Team After Hours novellas that will feature characters from my I-Team series. The “I-Team After Hours” series is different from the I-Team series in that the heroes and heroines will be secondary characters that I-Team fans have come to love. The stories will take place outside the newsroom, as this one does.

SKIN DEEP features Megan Hunter, the younger sister of Marc Hunter from UNLAWFUL CONTACT (I-Team #3). Megan has a horrific and tragic past, but she has largely moved beyond it now — except that she believes she’ll never be able to have a man in her life. Nathaniel West, a veteran who was badly burned in an IED blast, is also badly scarred, but on the outside. He has returned to the Colorado ranch where he grew up to breed horses and live a quiet life, certain that no woman will be able to accept him. When the two meet, they feel an immediate connection and empathy with each other. That empathy becomes understanding and love, and through their love, both are truly healed.

It’s a long novella at more than 47,000 words, and self-publishing it gave me the freedom to include a treat for hardcore I-Team fans, a short story titled, “Marc and Julian Make a Beer Run.” I won’t give any of that away, except to say all of the I-Team heroes are involved. It’s bromance, bullets and beer.

J&K: If you ladies wrote an anthology, what would it be about?
PC: Between all of us, we cover so many subgenres it’s really hard to say.

J&K: Plotter or pantser?
PC: Pantser. I’m trying to reform and become more of a plotter, but it’s hard when your imagination tends to work in one way. I just don’t have the patience for plotting. I want to get the story out. Plotting feels like a big needless hassle, and yet I know it has the potential to speed up my writing. That would make my readers very happy.

J&K: Do you have any writing rituals? (blasting music, complete silence, drinking wine...)
PC: I always make an iTunes playlist for each book, gathering songs that set the mood for the story or say something to me about specific story moments or characters. I listen to that list while I write, adjusting it as I go along. And coffee! Coffee is the most important ritual.

J&K: What can readers expect from you next? What can readers expect from you next under the Rock*It Reads logo?
PC: I’m hoping to have another I-Team After Hours novella out late this fall.

J&K: Authors Choice. What question would you like to ask readers?
PC: I’m always eager to hear which e-reader is best. I own a Kindle 3G, but am looking longingly at the Nook tablet and the iPad. Thoughts?

Broken on the inside

Megan Hunter has worked hard to get back on her feet, leaving the nightmare of her teenage years behind. The last thing she wants or needs in her life is a man. But when she is attacked by someone from her past, a scarred stranger intervenes, saving her life and that of her little girl. Looks can be deceiving, for despite the man’s rough appearance, she feels safe with him. And for the first time in her life, she knows the stirrings of desire.

Broken on the outside

Nathaniel West paid a high price serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He returned to his family’s ranch in the Colorado mountains to heal—and be alone. Disfigured as he is, he has put all thoughts of sex and romance aside. But something about Megan brings him back to life, heats his blood, makes him feel like a man again. As danger pursues her, and the truth about her past is revealed, he vows to protect her—and to heal her wounded spirit.

But confronting the past is never easy—especially when it’s carrying a gun. Megan will have to learn to trust Nate to survive and to claim a passion that is much more than … Skin Deep.
Get Your Own Copy: Kindle | Nook | Smashwords
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt | Fun Notes
Other Books by Pamela:

Pamela is giving away one(1) ebook copies of Skin Deep to one(1) lucky readers! *International* Here's how to get your hands on some abtastical awesomeness:
  • Leave a comment answering Pamela's question: I’m always eager to hear which e-reader is best. I own a Kindle 3G, but am looking longingly at the Nook tablet and the iPad. Thoughts?
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
Keep up with the fun posts by the ladies of Rock*It Reads here.

A huge thank you to Pamela for answering some questions and for donating the giveaway copy of Skin Deep.

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