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WOW Interview – Pam Fudge

The Words of Wisdom Interview – a series of interviews with writers and artists, to discover their methods, dreams and inspiration.

No.3 – Pam Fudge

This month’s Words of Wisdom come from the inimitable Pam Fudge who has been writing since 1983 with success initially in competitions and on local radio.  Pam’s short stories have been published on a regular basis since 1984 by such magazines as Patches, Hers, My Story, Romance, True Story, Woman’s Story, My Weekly, Chat, Bella and Family Circle. The most recent have been published in World Wide Writers, The Lady Fiction Special, Woman, Take A Break, Best, Fiction Feast and Woman’s Weekly.

For eleven years, until March 2002 Pam tutored Writing For Pleasure And Profit classes for the local Adult Education Service, with a number of successes among her students. She was also a Home Study tutor for Writers News for two years.

Pam Fudge is a member of Flair For Words, The Romantic Novelists’ Association, The Society of Women Writers and Journalists and The Society of Authors. She is available for talks and workshops in the local area.  Publication of Pam’s 10th novel Not What It Seems is 31st July 2013

 Tell us a little about your background?

I am the youngest of 3 sisters, mother of 3 grown up children and grandmother of 5 (with another on the way). I have been widowed twice. I was an administrator at Bournemouth University for 17 years and a creative writing tutor for 11 years. I adore my family and have a wide circle of fantastic friends, many of whom are writers, but just as many are not. I’ve always lived in Poole, Dorset and can’t imagine living anywhere else.

How did you become interested in writing?

I was born opposite a library and my mother and sisters were all great readers, so I learned to love books before I could even read. At school I was always top of English and my stories were read out in class, but my earliest writing was poetry and I still have a poem I wrote when I was 14. It was my eldest sister who kept encouraging me to ‘do something with your writing,’ and I joined a creative writing class in September 1983. Four months later my first short story was accepted for publication and the rest – as they say – is history.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

I would strongly advise joining a creative writing class or some kind of writing group. When I joined my first creative writing class, although I had a knack for stringing words together, I quickly found out that I knew very little about the nuts and bolts of writing i.e. how to present a manuscript, how to make a submission. Writing is also a very lonely business and it really helps to be with like-minded souls.

How did you get involved with the RNA

My 2nd writing tutor recommended I join when I had just taken the step from writing short stories to trying my hand at novel writing. I joined the New Writers’ Scheme and, although my first full-length romance wasn’t taken up by a publisher, a very encouraging critique made me try again and my next novel, Reluctant For Romance, was published. In fact, the book I entered for the NWS was eventually rewritten and published as a mainstream novel.

How have you managed to adapt from the role of writer to public speaker?

I suppose my teaching experience must have helped, though that was a while ago, and when I started saying yes to more talks and workshops at the beginning of this year I did find it all quite nerve-wracking. In fact, I will confess to being absolutely terrified the first couple of times I faced a roomful of people looking at me expectantly. I try to keep my talks light-hearted – no one wants to listen to doom and gloom – and I’m always asked to read some of my poems at the end, so I make sure they’re funny ones, so that we finish with everyone laughing.

How do you see the future of publishing?

I think it will change – after all, nothing stays the same – but people will always want to read books whatever they choose to read them on or from. We’ve been hearing for years that this, that or the other will kill reading, but you only have to sit on a beach or a train, for example, to see that reading is as popular as ever. I’ve heard the criticism about the standard of self-published books but, as with traditional publishing, the cream will always rise to the top. Word of mouth sells an awful lot of books.

Who is your favourite author?

That’s a difficult one because I have many favourites. However, I have to go with LaVyrle Spencer, an American author who has been retired for some time now. Her novels remain in my book case when others find their way to the charity shop because I know I will read them again and again. Her books are not just about romance, but she writes the best and most believable romance that I have ever read. If I can be even half as good a writer I will be more than happy.

Which book has influenced you the most?

I had to think long and hard about this one because, again, there are so many, but it’s probably ‘Separate Beds’ by LaVyrle Spencer because it was the first book of hers that I purchased. She wrote about family life with a strong thread of romance and that’s what I’ve ended up doing.

Books or Kindle?

Books all the way! I could spend all day long in a bookshop or library and I love the excitement of buying a new book – BUT I am now considering getting a kindle because a lot of my writer friends are e-published and I can’t read their books until they come out as paperbacks. I can also see the benefit of taking a Kindle on holiday instead of the pile of books I normally lug around.

Can you summarise your basic philosophy in life?

I believe we’re here to be happy and I’m very happy with my life – despite the difficult times I’ve faced. I prefer to look at the positives and not the negatives i.e. to remember how very lucky I was to have two great marriages, to treasure all the lovely memories I have and not waste time feeling sorry for myself. I try and surround myself with positive people, and to greet each day with a smile. What’s not to smile about? I have the loveliest family and friends in the world – and I’ve realised my dream to be a published author!

Published inWords of Wisdom Interviews

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