Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
Hi. My name is Pamela Gibson and I write contemporary and historical romance. While I call Sonoma, California, my home, I’m currently living in a quiet residential area of Las Vegas.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I’m from a family of readers. One of my earliest memories is going to the library with my grandmother and I became a bookworm quite early. I wrote my first story in the fourth grade and by the time I graduated from college I knew I wanted to be a writer. I became a newspaper reporter so I could write every day.
My turning point came when I was asked to write a history of Orange County, California, for its centennial. I’d majored in history and had already published a book on San Juan Capistrano where I lived at the time. After several contracted history books, a change in career, and a move to the wine country, I switched to fiction and joined the San Francisco Chapter of RWA. Through amazing programs, tons of encouragement, and contest feedback I honed my craft. In 2013, when I was frustrated and about to give up, I submitted a contemporary novel to Entangled Publishing. They have an online submittal process which I’d decided would be my last-ditch effort. Imagine my surprise when they bought that book and the second in my contemporary series. I was on my way.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
My contemporary series, called Love in Wine Country, has grown to six books. It follows the Reynoso family of the Napa Valley. These aren’t billionaire winery owners—these are the people who grow the grapes and make and sell wine. As in any family, a few are not in the business, but they are always drawn back to their roots as they struggle to find their happily-ever-afters. Book six is scheduled for next year, but I am also reprogramming four novellas that were St. Helena Vineyard Kindle World books to fit into this series.
My one Regency romance, Scandal’s Child, has been a huge surprise. My best-selling book, it has turned me back to my love of history. The sequel is nearly finished and the first book in my new series, set in Spanish California in 1846—prior to the Gold Rush—is due out in September. My history books have found a home with Soulmate Publishing and that’s where they’ll stay.
What/who do you like to read and do you have a favorite genre/author?
I’m an eclectic reader and have lots of auto-buys in contemporary and historical romance. I adore Susan Elizabeth Phillips and have read all of her books. I admire her wit, her style, and her plots. In the historical genre, my favorite author going way back is Mary Balogh, a prolific writer of Regencies. Her books are character driven and are all about the relationship. But if I want to zone out and be entertained I read a thriller—maybe something by James Patterson—just for the hooks at the end of each chapter that keep the reader turning the pages.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you? Or, what did someone tell you that you’d like to pass on to others?
I am always astounded by what I don’t know about internet marketing, so my first piece of advice is educate yourself, learn everything you can about how to prepare an ad, sites that you can use to promote your book, accounts you need on social media sites based on your genre, where to go to get free photos, how to put your own message on them, setting up accounts where you purchase photos. You can write the best book out there, but you won’t have sales unless you know how to get it into readers’ hands. Even if you sell to a traditional publisher, it is still up to you to do the majority of the marketing.
And of course, don’t give up. If you don’t have an agent or can’t seem to get your book in front of an editor who loves your book, there are plenty of successful authors who are independent. Everyone will tell you this. Believe them and keep writing. The more books you have, the more successful you will be.
City, suburb, or small-town? Anywhere near a beach
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate? Any kind of chocolate
Alpha, beta, or both? Both alphas and betas (or a good combo)
Wine, whiskey or punch? Wine, preferably red and robust
Leather, lace, or silk? Silk, smooth and sensuous
Top, bottom, or against the wall? Top or bottom outside under the stars
Any last words before we say goodbye?
Never give up your dream. It can sustain you through life’s challenges.
A Pinot for your Thoughts by Pamela Gibson