Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Pamela K. Kinney. I will turn 65 this September.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, but we moved to Northern California and lived there until 1985, when my husband, young son, and I moved out Chesterfield, Virginia, where we have been ever since. I been to college twice (back when I was 18, the second time earlier in this century). I have acted or done extra work in films and TV shows, along withstage plays. I’ve been married since 1977, and we have the one son. Besides writing (and acting if I can) I been doing a paranormal reality show, Paranormal World Seekers, produced by AVA Productions, and I review for I Smell Sheep Reviews. Our latest pet is Shade, a black female cat that turns five in September.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I had three stories in three anthologies released since January. First was an urban fantasy, “Last Chance,” in Fae Thee Well, a faery fiction anthologypublished by DreamPunk Press, two personal true ghost stories in Paranormal Encounters, a true ghost stories anthology published by Anubis Press, and a horror story, “The Orang Bati,” in Trick or Treat Thrillers 13 Backyard Monsters, the horror cryptid anthologypublished by Night Sky Book Services. In a few weeks, I will have a nonfiction ghost book from Schiffer Publishing, Virginia’s Haunted Historic Triangle 2nd Edition: Williamsburg, Yorktown, Jamestown, and Other Haunted Locationscome out.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began to write when I was in second grade, as I enjoyed making up stories, mostly at that time, science fiction and animal tales. But I was first published in the spring of 1972 with three poems, “The Horse,” “The Leopard,” and “Sands of Time,” in Hyacinths and Biscuits Poetry Magazine. The same magazine also published three more poems of mine later in the spring 1973. I have been writing ever since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess I always since writing my first story as a kid.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book technically was a nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Richmond. My editor, Dinah Roseberry, went to work for Schiffer Publishing, as head of their ghost book department. She put out a call for anyone interested in writing “real ghost stories” in the MidAtlantic Horror Professionals forum. I submitted a book proposal, it was accepted, I wrote the book, and since then, I had five books released from the publisher. My first fiction novel was one I self-published myself, How the Vortex Changed My Life. It’s an urban fantasy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Haunted Richmond as it is about Richmond, Virginia, and its surrounding counties. How the Vortex Changed My Life? Because a vortex opening updoes change the heroine’s life and I like quirky titles.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
If you mean when do I write, I do it during the week, during the daytime. But I have written on weekends and nights if it is close to the date something is due. I write horror, fantasy, and am working on edits of a science fiction novella before I can send it to DreamPunk Press. I write my fiction half by the seat of my pants and a partial outline for the last few chapters, writing the ending first, then from first chapter to the last one.
Writing the nonfiction ghost books are different. I learned about doing indexes, captions for photos, and a lot of technical stuff. When I begin writing the book, I do each chapter separately, combining them when all is done and how I want them to go.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The ghost books have interviews of people experiencing paranormal encounters and they also include my experiences and paranormal investigations with equipment. I wrote the books starting with any legends or myths if there are, the history if there is history connected to the haunted spot, interviews, and my own experiences and investigations.
Concerning the novel and short stories, I am sure I may have based characters on a multitude of people I’ve met in my life, but the stories all came out of my head. In the novel, I tried to make the people real andones you like to meet, and the places in the novel are real places, but in the long run, it’s fantasy. After all she goes to Hell and other fantastical places from myths and folklore.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For the ghost books, yes. I had to take the photos, as all in the books are mine. Plus, the investigations are done at the places.
I did travel to the real places mentioned in How the Vortex Changed My Life, to be accurateabout street names.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For the ghost books including the upcoming one, Schiffer does the book covers, all but one based off my own photos. With the anthologies, each publisher has their own cover artist do the cover. For How the Vortex Changed My Life, it was Karen Michelle Nutt-Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover.” She did a splendid job with the cover.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That we can all step up to the challenge and be heroes.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
How about authors who inspired me to write? Ray Bradbury (I can reread his works over and over), Shirley Jackson (a woman who wrote horror and great fantasy, like The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, H.P, Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, JRR Tolkien, Elizabeth Anne Scarborough, Anne McCaffrey (love her Dragonriders of Pern series), and Richard Matheson.
New authors I’ve discovered were Melanie Golding who wrote Little Darlings (changelings/faeries/horror) that just came out. J.R. Rice, and his Bane County werewolf horror series, Christopher Golden. Seanan McGuire (love anything she has written). There are so many good authors, I can’t just pick one. And yes, I have even read Stephen King and Dean Koontz books.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My readers. When they tell me at a signing or convention that they loved my book or story, it keeps me writing the next one. I could never stop writing, that’s ingrained in me, but without my readers, the stories would only be read by me,my husband, son, and close friends.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. I want it to be.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The ghost book coming out? I would have added a bit more, but they only allowed twenty pages and ten photos to what was already in the first edition.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
When I was researching cryptids to find one to use for my horror short story, “The Orang Bati,” I learned about a lot of cryptids from all over the world.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
This would be my novel, of course. I haven’t thought about it. Most writers talk about using well known actors and actresses for their characters, but I never had ever based any of mine off anyone. So, I hadn’t given it any thought.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing every day, even if it is just for a journal. Join a writer’s critique group (check around until you find one that fits your needs) or find beta readers to help you make your book stronger. And go to a writer’s conference or workshop—learning will help you grow as a writer. And join writer organizations—writing is a lonely business and knowing other writers will help you know you’re not alone.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just keep reading my stories, poems, and books.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Just finished a rereading of We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson. I haven’t started on the next book, but I am feeling a need for a werewolf horror one..
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not the first one—I read a lot of books as a kid. But later, around third grade, The Boxcar Children books entranced me..https://www.boxcarchildren.com/books/.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good joke or comedy makes me laugh. My cat can make me laugh too. Sad stories or people hurting animals or certain movies (not always a sad cry, but a happy cry, too).
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Past: either Edgar Allan Poe or Shirley Jackson—both wrote what I like to write. Present: I like to meet whoever I meet. Maybe Dean Koontz or Stephen King? I haven’t met them yet.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Making costumes (I haven’t done any since 2011. I used to make them, wear them, and entered Masquerade contests at conventions.) Crafts. I collect anything on dragons (my favorite mythological creature), carousel horses, and ghosts. Baking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV shows: Supernatural. Babylon 5 (best science fiction show ever!). The classic Star Trek and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Doctor Who (old and new).Super Girl. The Walking Dead until the last 2 seasons. Stranger Things on Netflix. Game of Thrones on HBO. The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. Paranormal or monsters shows on Destination Truth. Big Bang Theory on CBS. There’s more, but that is the basics. On Movies: The Haunting of Hill House (1963), Abbott and Costello movies. Horror—mainly ghost stories, werewolves, monsters, like that. Superhero movies. Fantasy. Comedy. Godzilla films. Star Wars films. Star Trek.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Chicken and dumplings, Mexican and Japanese foods. Color: purple. Music: all different kids, depends what attracts me to it.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Acting—I’ve done that. But a future without writing? That is true horror for me.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Spend it with my family and my cat, Shade.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She left a legacy of words that became stories and books.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
https://PamelaKKinney.com I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads.
My USA Amazon author’s page is at https://www.amazon.com/Pamela-K.-Kinney/e/B001UAKHMU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1514247838&sr=1-2-ent