Monday, September 1, 2014
Interviewing Pamela Burford
Tell us where you grew up and the kind of work you did before.
I grew up mostly on Long Island and still live there, which is why it’s been the setting for most of my books. In addition to writing, I have a day job: editor in chief of a nonprofit organization that produces a free audio magazine for people who are blind and print-disabled. It’s an incredibly rewarding job and has also been a wonderful education for my writing career.
Tell us a bit about your previous published novels.
Before Undertaking Irene, which is the first book in my new humorous mystery series, I wrote fourteen works of romantic suspense and contemporary romance.
What made you decide to write mysteries?
I knew I wanted to write a series, and my previous books that included mystery were the most fun to write, so it was an easy decision to make!
Give us a brief summary of your new book.
Jane Delaney, the town’s Death Diva, has been hired to surreptitiously liberate a brooch from the corpse during a wake. Before she can manage it, a mysterious man impersonating a priest beats her to it. Throw in a mysterious death that’s officially chalked up to natural causes, and an orphaned poodle with grooming and neurosis issues, and the game is on!
Why did you decide to publish Undertaking Irene yourself? Are you pleased you’ve gone this route?
I wanted total control over the publishing process. In particular I didn’t want to publish it traditionally, pray that I could live with the publisher’s decisions, and then wait years for the rights to revert to me. Does that make me a control freak? Well…☺
What do you think makes your books and your writing style unique?
For one thing, all of my books include some humor—it’s integral to my personal style. Dark, navel-gazing stories are not my thing! I love to entertain, and I love quirky characters and situations.
What advice would you give new writers?
Join a writers’ organization. Never underestimate the value of networking with, and learning from, your fellow writers.
What do you plan to write next?
Book two of the Jane Delaney mystery series, of course! The working title is Uprooting Ernie.
Who are some of your favorite mystery writers?
Tana French, who writes the Dublin Murder Squad books, is my favorite. I also love the work of Timothy Hallinan and the late Elmore Leonard.
These days writers are expected to market and handle PR for their books. What do you find is the best way to get out the word about your books?
I wish I knew! I use social media, price promotions, and a street team, but I prefer spending my time writing the best books I can. I figure if they’re good enough, the readers will find them.
In what other genre would you consider writing?
I still love romance, and in fact there’s a romantic subplot in Undertaking Irene which will continue throughout the series. Jane is pulled in two directions between the proverbial Good Boy and Bad Boy. Fun times! I’m having such a great time writing this series, I can’t see doing anything else for the foreseeable future.
Sale links for Undertaking Irene: