• Lisa Wee

Pamela Jane - author and more

You may have seen her name on Harper Collins's children book "Little Goblins Ten" or Simon & Schuster's Monster Mischief. Her essays can be found on THE NY TIMES, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, the NY DAILY NEWS, THE WRITER, WRITER'S DIGEST, THE BALTIMORE SUN, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER and THE ANTIGONISH REVIEW. Yes, I know it is long. That is why she is THAT good.

I know Pamale Jane because I illustrates a few of her books. All of them I love. Her abilities to draw a smile, a laugh or a nod is something I just enjoyed the most.

So you will enjoy her little Q and A.

What is the first book that made you cry? That's a hard one!  I don't remember if I cried or not, but I was devastated when this happened: One Christmas vacation, I was curled on the floor of my bedroom in my new red pajamas eating an apple and reading The Emerald City of Oz when I came to the last chapter, “How the Story of Oz came to an End.” It described how the author, L. Frank Baum, had received a personal note from Dorothy: You will never hear anything more about Oz, because we are now cut off forever from all the rest of the world. But Toto and I will always love you and all the other children who love us. Dorothy Gale. I stopped chewing mid-bite. I didn’t move or even breathe as the enormity of what I had just read sank in. The whole universe seemed to stand still with those terrible final words, we are now cut off forever from all the rest of the world. I was locked out of Oz for eternity, stuck in the real world trying to coerce ordinary life into a story.

What is your writing Kryptonite? Rejections!  Although I've published over 30 books and even more essays, I still get dozens of rejections every month. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be? "Giving up is not an option" What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? With my book advance for Noelle, I bought a washing machine and dryer for the old country basement. It was magical to be able to transform something as ethereal as dreams and memories into two pieces of sturdy, practical machinery.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? I spend hours, months and sometimes years researching every book or article I write.  If I have done a good job, the research should appear seamless.  I used to visit The Museum of Broadcast Communications in New York for research, but much of that is now available online. Aside from print and online research, I interview or observe people, and, if possible, travel for authenticity in scenes or settings. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do? If I could talk to my teenage self, just for a moment, I’d take her by the shoulders and whisper, “Wake up! This is just a moment in time. Go deep and find the beauty in it. Look into the faces around you; commit them to memory. Remember the warm air blowing through the vent where you curl up on winter mornings, the smooth weave of your black tights, the sound of locker doors slamming in the hall at school between classes. Cherish and relish each moment, even the miserable ones, and most importantly write everything down. Then bring back a story.”

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