Friday, September 6, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'Leaving Annalise' Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Pamela Fagan Hutchins is an employment attorney and workplace investigator by day who writes award-winning and bestselling mysterious women's fiction and relationship humor by night. She is passionate about great writing and smart author-preneurship. She also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

Visit her website,

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I couldn’t help it. Seriously, it was a compulsion.
Life would be more serene if I’d just left my imaginary friends alone, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

There is just about nothing sweeter than learning that the world and characters you’ve created has given someone else joy. You can’t put a price tag on that feeling, and it never gets old. The demands? Prepare to work harder than you ever dreamed for less money than you’d ever guessed, LOL. And leave your ego at home!

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I turned away from traditional publishing at a point when I had several agents on speed dial because my husband reminded me I was an entrepreneur and a control freak who would never be happy letting other people call the shots. He said, “Don’t worry. We’ll do it together.” And so we did. It’s been a giant learning curve, but fun, and now we’ve started publishing other authors too, which officially makes us a small, independent press!

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry (e.g. rejections, the long wait, etc.)

There’s just a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee bit of literary snobbery out there. Deliciously undeserved at times. Wholly pretentious at others. Now, have fun guessing who falls into this category.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

It’s a love-hate relationship for them. They enjoy the fact that I’m an author. My kids and step-kids all took turns with my husband and mother driving me around on my 60-cities-in-60-days nationwide RV book tour in the summer of 2013. I think that made it more real for them. When I’m writing a book, I’m just the crazy lady in her pink flannel sleepy sheep PJs who hasn’t brushed her hair in days and doesn’t react to the sound of gunfire at close range. My husband can take my writing binges for only about 3-4 weeks at a time. The kids kind of like it that I’m less observant, but life falls apart a little without me so they’re glad when I return to normal and patch everything up.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Taking stock six months after independently publishing my first novel and realizing that 50,000 people around the world had copies of Saving Grace. Wow. Just wow.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I find Goodreads and Facebook the most helpful and enjoyable. I wish I could avoid Pinterest, because it’s like crack to me -- I am weak, I am weak -- and Twitter.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I believe that an author sells books by making them visible, so I use every means available to me to achieve that: social media, e-mail, my website and blog, book events, speaking engagements, and giveaways. I haven’t set my hair on fire and run screaming through a Barnes and Noble yet, but it isn’t a bad idea.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

Anyone who knows us, knows this is the one true answer to that question: how awesome my husband Eric is. But sticking with the topic of books, I’m very excited about starting to write my next series, and I’d shout it from the rooftops if I could. I am spinning off one of Katie’s sidekicks from Katie & Annalise, and her name is Emily. She’s going to reinvent herself as a child advocate attorney in West Texas and Eastern New Mexico, and she will be the unwilling partner to an eccentricly sexy attorney who is in the business of defending the criminal parents of “her” kids. I’m going to have a lot of fun with the two of them, hilarity in the face of mystery, danger, and serious issues in a larger-than-life modern West.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Thanks for the tea, I needed it! I love that people know me by my books (fiction and nonfiction) and my characters, and, without publication, this never would have been. I am more me than I’ve ever been through association with characters who don’t exist to others except through the words I strung together. How sweet that is. Truly, how sweet it all is.


Pamela Fagan Hutchins said...

Thanks so much for hosting me on my blog tour!

Eric Hutchins said...

Thank you for the sweeet comment Pamela. You are awesome. You really are. Nice interview and great site.