Thursday, July 28, 2011

Interview with Pam Hillman with bonus giveaway and review

Hello, Pam Hillman and thank you so much for talking with me today! To begin, could you just tell us a little about yourself?

Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.

I'm still amazed that Stealing Jake was your debut novel.....
How long have you known that you wanted to be a writer?  Did you receive a clear “calling” from God or have you always had a desire to write?

I starting pursuing publication in 1994, but I’ve wanted to be a published author ever since I can remember. As a child, I was fascinated by how authors put all those stories on paper. Somehow, my brain just naturally made up stories. But for years, I didn’t write them down. I tried to get started a few times, but didn’t know how to construct a compelling story with an interesting beginning, firm middle, and satisfying ending. So out of lack of knowledge and fear of failure, I just kept dreaming. I think I had the idea that as long as I didn’t attempt to write, I couldn’t fail at writing. In 1994, I decided that if I was ever going to write, I had to stop kidding myself and get to work.

We are glad you finally gave it a shot...
Who has inspired you the most?

My daddy. After you read the story below, titled “Daddy’s Girl”, you’ll see that just because I was a girl, didn’t stop Daddy from letting me attempt to do anything I wanted to. Maybe it was just my nature, but growing up, I really believed I could do anything, be anything, I wanted to be. I still believe that. And the one thing I’ve always wanted to be was a writer.

That's really sweet....What are 2 things that people wouldn’t normally know about you?

I was a tomboy growing up, and was my daddy’s righthand “girl” until I married. I can cut, rake, and bale hay, or drive 40’ cattle trailer to the stockyard if needed. I’m a purchasing manager (my predecessors were all men) for an OEM company where I purchase tons of stainless steel, pumps, motors, relays, and solenoids all day long. And I know the difference in a Phillips and a flathead screwdriver, and that 26 gauge stainless steel is a lot thinner than 14 gauge, which is weird when you think about it!
Readers can click here to read “Daddy’s Girl”

You recently have had a book published, would you take this time to describe it to us?  How and where can readers buy your book?

Stealing Jake, Tyndale House Publishers, July 2011
When Livy O'Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she's helping to run an orphanage. Now she'll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.
Sheriff's deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy--literally--while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town--as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off--Jake doesn't have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can't seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn't willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.

To read the first chapter, click this link:

Stealing Jake is an ebook and can be purchased at these locations. And, actually, for a limited time, Tyndale is offering the book for FREE in all formats! I’d love for your readers to download a copy, and if they love it, please post reviews and tell their friends. Word of mouth is priceless!

Is there a spiritual message in your book?  If so, what is it and what can readers expect to get from reading it?

I’d like to quote from this reviewer. She said it so much better than I ever could! “Light-fingered Livy O’Brien grew up on the streets of Chicago. Raised on the cold and hunger of homelessness, friend to pain and the tragic death of her sister, hers is a story of God’s love shining in the most broken of hearts.

Woven into the story of Jake and Livy is a cast of street kids. Arrested in Chicago and sold—by the police, nonetheless—as child labor, these kids find themselves alone and without hope in Chestnut.
And yet God never leaves us that way, does He?
Because He brings Jake and Livy together at His perfect time, not only to discover a future together, but so they can intervene in the lives of kids who have no one to fight for them.”

Natalia Gortova, Reviewer

What’s your favorite part of the story?

All of it? Seriously, I love creating the opening of a story. That part percolates in my head for weeks, months, sometimes years, until it finally boils over on the screen. Yeah, it gets some tweaks before the final hoo-rah, but those opening scenes are usually still with the book once it’s finished.

What was the hardest part to write?

All of it? lol – Hmmm, the hardest part to write for me is the middle, trying to tie all the threads together and keep things interesting and clear for the reader. All this has to then dovetail for an ending that’s like snapping a bullwhip.

Do you have any other books in the making?

Stealing Jake is my first book, and I’m excited…and blessed… to see the great reviews that are popping up on Amazon, B&N, and CBD. As for what’s next, there’s a feisty young widow named Johanna Thorndike in Stealing Jake who’s looking to tell her story along with a brawny coal mine owner named Trey. Working title is Trusting Trey.  It’s not contracted, so we’ll see. And I’m been working on a book set in the 1790’s about an indentured servant. It’s been a lot of fun.

Oh, I love it when a character from a first book gets to have a story too, so excited to read about Johanna!!

Here are a few fun questions:
Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
Pepsi or Coke?Coke
Cats or Dogs? Cats
Summer or Winter? Summer

Would you give us your blog or webpage so everyone can check it out?  Anything else you’d like to share?  (promotional information)

Giveaway Time
And I’d love for your readers to sign up for my Kindle Giveaway. Three Seeker books (Stay tuned. More to come!) already pre-loaded! Deadline to enter is September 30th:

My Review of Stealing Jake:

Light fingered Livy who was an expert at pick pocketing has given up her old ways of living and has changed for the better! She is now a Christian and is helping run an orphanage in a small time to start a new life for herself. She is troubled though by all the street kids in her new small town that are getting a bad name because someone is stealing and everyone is blaming them. She is trying to help figure out who is the thief to clear the street-kids names and at the same time trying to convince them to come stay at the orphanage where they will be safe!

Livy meets Deputy Jake and instantly there are sparks a flying! The only problem is that she is afraid of falling in love, afraid of lawman, and afraid that once Jake knows her past he will abandon her!

Stealing Jake starts off with a bang and you are instantly involved in the lives of the street kids and the story of Livy! I was devouring the chapters as fast as I could and I finished the book in one night because I had no desire to wait until tomorrow to keep reading! I just had to know who the bad guys were and what would be the fate of the poor street kids!

I really enjoyed the character development of Livy! I felt like I knew a lot about her and could easily connect to who she was. I also felt this way about Jake, although at times I wish I knew a little bit more about what happened to him in the mine but I still really felt connected to him.

The spiritual aspect of this book was very refreshing and inviting! Hillman portrays a message that God can take anyone and restore them to beauty for God's glory and that when you seek God for help he will always provide for you! I was touched by the sweet way the Christians were portrayed in this story but I also never felt the Spiritual aspects were too pushy!

I very much enjoyed reading this debut novel and will be making sure I check out more of Pam Hillman's work. By the way - I got this novel free on Amazon, not sure how long the deal will last!

Content: Very clean, minor kissing!


  1. Thank you Pam for joining us today!

  2. Courtney, so glad to be here!

    And that review rocks! You read it in one night?? You've just put a permanent grin on my face.

    Lucky for the folks I meet today, huh? lol

    Okay, folks, I'll be here off and on all day to chat if anybody stops by, so feel free to comment away.

    Pam Hillman

  3. I really did. :-) I kept saying to myself "I'll read until the end of this chapter and then I'm going to bed" but then I'd get to the end of the chapter and I didn't feel like it was a good place to stop reading so I kept going. Next thing I knew, it was 11:30 and I was at 95% done, so I just finished it all up! :-) Great story!!

  4. Courtney, I do believe you are my new best friend! To hear that you couldn't find good place to stop reading is music to my ears!