Friday, January 23, 2009

Interviw with Pamela Tracy

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Pamela Tracy. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Daddy for Keeps. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I’d love to talk about Daddy for Keeps. It’s my first straight romance for Love Inspired. By nature, I think I’m a comedian, which makes writing suspense so much fun. I get to go against nature. In Daddy for Keeps, I didn’t have to curtail nature. I could write humor. For example, here’s the first paragraph:

The billboard on top of the grocery store featured a picture they'd taken straight from his mother's photo album. Lucky Welch, headliner of this year's Selena Rodeo, shook his head and hoped no one recognized the bull in the background. It had belonged to his grandfather and was a family pet named Whimper.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

The moment Lucas "Lucky" Welch sees the black-haired, green-eyed boy at the rodeo, he knows. The child is his late brother's son. But why was little Robby kept a secret? He demands answers from the woman claiming to be Robby's mother, Natalie Crosby. But the pretty, protective woman isn't forthcoming. And once Lucky learns the truth behind Robby's birth, he understands. Especially when some family matters get more than complicated. As a bull rider, Lucky knows he just has to hang on tight and keep showing Natalie that his wish is true-blue: to be a daddy—and husband—for keeps.

Daddy for Keeps is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

My title was Lucky in Love. I, genius that I am thought that was a snappy title. Harlequin didn’t think so, and they know best. I didn’t arrive at the title. It arrived to me.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

Oh, again, the genre found me. I started writing paranormals, which I dearly love, and even in those – think vampires, ghosts, time travelers – I didn’t write sex scenes. As a Christian, it just wasn’t second nature, and I wasn’t comfortable writing them (yes, I tried). When the Christian market caught up to the twentieth century, I was ecstatic. I love writing about faith issues. To me, the faith issue is plot, black moment, and romance all rolled up into one.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a pantser. I always know my beginning and my end. I have a handout that divides chapters that I keep next to my desk. I think of writing as being playdough. I’ve got my green playdough (Go, I’m at the beginning, I love this part). I’ve got my red playdough (Stop, I’m at the end, wrap things up. I love this part). As I write a few colors come to me naturally. Black – controversies. Pink – love. Yellow – good secondary characters who add to the plot. Green – usually the setting is a character. Oh, wait. Some green didn’t wind up where it deserved so now it’s in the middle. Oh, some of the red needed to happen later. That’s how a seat of the pantzer keeps from having a sagging middle. As for this book, the only thing being a pantzer affected was how to truly deal with the real ‘mother’ issue.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I read biographies of bull riders. I watched two bull riding movies. I went to bull rider sites (someday I might even start a bull riding school. Looks like fun).

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

This is one of the reasons why I’m glad I had my goal in mind and never strayed. I wanted to write for Harlequin from day one. Daddy for Keeps is an idea that formed almost a decade ago. I don’t remember where I got the idea. I only know that about eight years ago, I started the story, and two years ago, when I had grown as an author, I got to finish it.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I think I liked Natalie. I’m an adopted child, and I’ve always been amazed by the emotional attachment that isn’t by blood. There’s a poem that I dearly love:

Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
But still, miraculously my own.

Never forget for a single minute,
You didn't grow under my heart,
But in it.

~Fleur Conkling Heyliger

My dad carried that poem in his wallet because he loved me. How could I not identify with Natalie.

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I don’t really have character sheets anymore, although I always mean to. I usually think of movie stars and gauge my h/h after them. Then, I develop personality. No interviews. Research changed Lucky more than Natalie because “I” could be Natalie. I’ve never been a bull rider.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

I want to be Debbie Macomber when I grow up.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

LOL, I’m doing lots of blogs. Then, too, for this book, I started the Craftie Ladies of Romance blog. Nine other authors joined me, and together we promote.

What do we have to look forward next?

Fugitive Family, a Love Inspired Suspense, hits the shelves in August.

Thanks, Pamela!

To celebrate her book release, Pamela is offering a free book of Daddy for Keeps to one lucky commenter on today's blog. She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...


Pamela Tracy is a writer and teacher in Scottsdale, Arizona, where she lives with her husband and son. She was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and started writing fiction while earning a BA in Journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Her first novel It Only Takes a Spark was published in 1999. Since then she’s published fifteen more writings in suspense, romantic comedy, and Christian inspiration romance. Three more novels, two suspense and one straight romance are slated for 2009 and 2010. Her 2007 release, Pursuit of Justice, was a RITA finalist and took second in the ACFW’s Book of the Year contest for published authors. Her 2008 suspense Broken Lullaby is an RT Reviewer's Choice nominee.

Besides writing, teaching, and taking care of her family, she is often asked to speak at various writers’ organizations in the Phoenix area. She belongs to Romance Writers of America and the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is president of the local ACFW chapter, Christian Writers of the West. In February of 2005, her newlywed status changed to that of newlymom.

Check out author’s website at



PamelaTracy said...

Kim and everyone. Thanks so much for having me here. I love talking about Daddy for Keeps!

Anonymous said...

You're welcome Pam. Thanks for joining us today. Good morning. Having read Daddy for Keeps (another awesome Pam book) I'm curious to know if there were any scenes that you or your editor took out?

PamelaTracy said...

The end is completely different. I had Tisha showing up at the rodeo. The editor said, "Nope, we don't need Tisha." The editor was right.

robynl said...

Daddy for Keeps sounds awesome. You know I'm going to give my neighbor/friend that poem; she is adopted and is never positive about her 'parents'. I so feel badly for them and her.
You mentioned writing humor and I love humor in books. Laughing is good for the soul.

PamelaTracy said...

Do it! I didn't find the poem my dad carried until after I was going through his belongings after he died. It sent me to my knees.

Carol Webb said...

Hi, Pam. Thanks for stopping by! I've got Daddy for Keeps on my shelf and after I'm done the book I'm reading now, I'm going to open yours and enjoy every page. I can't wait.

PamelaTracy said...

Thanks Carol!

Tina LaVon said...

I'm looking at my autographed copy of your book right now. Can't wait to get started on it.
Thanks for dropping by MCTT.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Robyn L. You're the winer of Pamela's book. Please contact Kim at kwatters21 (at) to collect your prize. Thanks for stopping by our blog.

robynl said...

thanks so much Kim and Pamela; this is awesome to have won the book. E-mail on it's way.