PAMELA SPARKMAN, THE AUTHOR OF MANY ROMANCE AND FANTASY NOVELS, JOINS ME FOR AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW ABOUT HER UPCOMING RELEASE REVEREND OF SILENCE, INSPIRATION FOR HER LATEST NOVEL, AND HOW SHE IS INSPIRED BY MUSIC. SHE'S GRACIOUSLY PROVIDED AN EXCERPT FROM REVEREND OF SILENCE FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE.
Hi Pamela! Thank you so much for joining me. With seven books under your belt, it seems like there is no stopping you! What are your author plans for the future?
To just keep writing and telling stories that speak to my heart, no matter the genre. That’s my only plan.
Your early novels are romance based, what gave you the idea to try your hand at writing fantasy?
A Monster Like Me, was the hardest book I’ve written to date. And I’m grateful for it.
Reverend of Silence is your latest novel (out 14th of January 2020!) and it is the best one yet. Where did the inspiration from this story come from?
The book is inspired by the Cogswell family—Mason Cogswell and his daughter Alice, who became deaf after suffering an illness. Thomas Gallaudet was the Cogswell’s neighbour, a religious man, who took a liking to little Alice. There’s a story that he saw her sitting alone while the other kids played, and Gallaudet came over and tried to communicate with her. It is said he taught Alice her first word—HAT. But she had another teacher, Miss Lydia Huntley, who also guided this child into reading and writing. But it was Alice’s father, Mason Cogswell, who saw a need for a school for the deaf to be educated in the use of sign language after reading a pamphlet he’d found that told him of the work in Paris that had been started and its successes with sign language.
It seems as if writing runs in your veins. How did you begin writing?
I can’t remember not writing. I’ve always loved to write. Even as a child I would sit down with pen and paper and just write things down. In the sixth grade, my teacher gave us an assignment—to write an essay about our family. Or something along those lines. The details are a little fuzzy. There’s been a few years between sixth grade and now. I do know I got sick the day we were supposed to read our essays aloud and I didn’t go to school. My teacher had read mine to the class in my absence. I learned while I’d been out sick my class had voted to have my essay submitted to a contest, unbeknownst to me. And a little while later I was notified that I had won said contest. My first official contest win for writing. But I was also a good storyteller. I used to tell my friends ghost stories that would make the hairs on their arms stand on end. I suppose that’s what makes for a good book—the storytelling. And if you couple my love of storytelling with my love of writing then I suppose it’s as you say—it’s in my veins. I think I was just born to do it.
There is a blog tab section in the menu of your website. What can we expect to see on your blog in the future?
The first thing I’ll post there will probably be this interview. LOL. After that, I’m not sure. I think you have to give yourself permission to just not be sure about some things. I haven’t had a chance to focus on blog material to date.
I think you have to give yourself permission to just not be sure about some things.
You have stated that music is the pulse of life. What are you listening to currently and what songs inspire you to write?
I have lots of songs I’m listening to. I’ve been playing Can I by Tedy on repeat. It was one of the songs I listened to while writing Reverend of Silence. It’s kind of the heartbeat of the book. And then there is Hold You Down by X Ambassadors. This song is like the book’s anthem. But outside of finding songs to aid with my writing, I have songs I just love on their own. Such as: Wish You Pain by Andy Grammer. I believe the lyrics says it all. No need for me to elaborate on it. I urge everyone to give it a listen if you haven’t already.
With Reverend of Silence soon to be released, could you give us a snippet of your favourite scene?
One of my favorite characters is Jasper Hallison, Lucy’s father. I never expected to love him as much as I grew to love him. And this scene I’m about to share between Jasper and Sam is such a poignant moment, but what makes it special for me was that I hadn’t planned to write it at all. The moment happened naturally as I was writing and when I reached the end, I just sort of sat there thinking… I love this story so much. (Read until the end for a teaser of Pamela's favourite scene from Reverend of Silence!)
What is the best writing advice you have received and what advice would you give to other writers?
It’s easy to compare ourselves to other writers—to see their successes and wonder if you should try to be more like them. Don’t. Don’t try to write like anyone else or try to be like anyone else. Bring your own voice to the table. Be you. Do you. And by voice, I mean your own unique writing style. Everything else can be learned. But your voice is yours and no one can do it better than you. That’s my only advice.
THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME, PAMELA!
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Excerpt from Reverend of Silence by Pamela Sparkman
All rights and permissions belong to Pamela Sparkman and you must attain her permission before using any portion of the following excerpt.
The next day, we took a tour of Hartford, a beautiful town, bustling with activity, but there simply wasn’t enough time to see it all. We had to leave by noon if we wanted to be back by suppertime. We had gotten up early, ate breakfast, and casually walked the streets as we window-shopped and breathed in the cool morning fresh air. Lucy and I held hands as we toured the different shops and took in the different sights with our families.
Freelance Editor, Mentor, Author.