Welcome! Today’s guest at Venturing to Other Worlds is a fellow fantasy lover and writer. Meet Pam Halter. I’m certain you’ll adore her as much as I do. And she’s giving away a copy of Stephen King’s memoir, On Writing, to encourage fellow dreamers. Simply comment at the end of the post to enter the giveaway.
Tell me a bit about where you’re from.
I was born, raised, and still live in Southern New Jersey. I consider it the best place, location-wise, because we’re only 3 hours from NYC and 2 hours from the shore. Our produce is truly wonderful. We actually measure the start of summer with produce. The first thing to arrive is asparagus, then strawberries, peas, blueberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, Silver Queen corn (you’ve never had such delicious corn!) zucchini, peppers, etc. August brings cantaloupe and peaches. We are close to the Chesapeake Bay – yummy seafood – and twenty minutes from Philadelphia, where you can get the best cheese steaks on the planet. My town boasts the best subs, Italian or otherwise, EVER, from a small deli called Italian Kitchen. Ocean City, NJ, has Shriver’s saltwater taffy, and we have some of the best beaches in the country. My parents live in N. Cape May, where you can find beautiful Victorian houses and go to Sunset Beach to look for Cape May diamonds. I don’t go for Atlantic City much, but going down the shore is the highlight of my summer, either Ocean City or Wildwood Crest.
Mm! I absolutely must visit New Jersey soon. Now, as my stomach growls, let’s move on. What is your favorite film adaptation of a book? Why?
I’d have to say The Lord of the Rings. I believe the screenwriters really captured the essence of the story and brought it vividly to life. Yes, I know they didn’t completely stick to the book, however, it was so well done that I can forgive the absence of Tom Bombadil.
Though I realize there are many fans who disagree, I agree with you. What is your favorite genre to read? Write?
I’m pretty eclectic in my reading and enjoy fantasy to suspense to romance to YA to classics like Jane Austen. But my writing is mostly fantasy based. Even much of the picture books I’ve written have a fantasy element to them. I enjoy fantasy because the opportunities are endless. I can build fantastic worlds, magical characters, and strange, but fascinating, animals. Great truths can be told in fantasy. Many Bible stories have a fantastical, fantasy element to them, yet God included them in His inspired Word. My first fantasy novel, Fairyeater, got an offer for publication only one week after my agent sent it out. I’m waiting to see if any of the other houses who have proposals are interested.
That is wonderful news! Congrats! And since I’m too excited to wait for publication, introduce us to your villain. Is there a flicker of good within him/her?
The witch in Fairyeater is Tzmet. She’s delightfully evil in the beginning. And yes, she destroys her enemies, the fairies, by capturing, drying, and eating them. We don’t see the flicker of good in her right away, but it’s there. She was the most fun to write because she doesn’t care what anyone thinks. She does whatever she wants, says whatever she wants. She’s really funny without meaning to be funny. Her goal is to raise her father, the Dark Lord Riss’aird, from the ashes so they can rule the world, of course. And she’s successful. However, things don’t go as planned. The most surprising thing I discovered about her was during a writing exercise with my writers group. I found out she was lonely and it totally changed her character arc. I love it when that happens.
What message do you hope your readers will take away after reading your novel?
Everyone is created with a purpose. In Romans, Paul tells us some are created for noble purpose and some for common use. God determines how He wants to use us. In Fairyeater, Akeela (the heroine,) discovers her purpose, learns to trust in God’s plan, and comes to joyfully accept her destiny. Readers will come away from Fairyeater knowing they can trust what God has determined for their life. That His plan is good and works out in the end.
And, oh, the plans He has for us. Didn’t you mention endless opportunities earlier?!? Anyway, are you planning a sequel?
I’m writing the PREQUEL right now – Fairystone. So much fun to meet the old hag, Krezma, when she was young and mischievous, to see how Riss’aird became the Dark Lord, and to know Tzmet when she was a child. Not only that, but we will see how the Fairy Council creates the first Fairy Guardian. And we’ll get some answers to things we read in Fairyeater.
Could you please share your favorite Bible verse and the ways in which it impacts your writing.
I don’t read The Message, but my mentor, Nancy Rue, shared this with me a few years ago from The Message when I was feeling discouraged: I Corinthians 15:58 “Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort.” I taped it next to my computer. It reminds me that no matter what I write, picture book, devotion, blog, or novel, God will use it to His purpose. It’s my job to keep writing.
As we close, tell readers a little bit about yourself, including where they stay posted on publishing updates.
I started out as a picture book writer. My girls were young, so I wanted to write something they could enjoy. Actually, I started writing in 1994 after a late-term miscarriage as therapy for the grief. I rediscovered the love of writing and went on to write for children. I still enjoy picture books and still write them, but I’ve also branched out into fantasy novels. I also blog for parents of special needs children. My oldest daughter, Anna, has autism and uncontrolled seizures. It’s not easy being her mommy. So, I blog to encourage other parents and to give them a place where they can know they aren’t alone. I also do some freelance editing and am the children’s book editor for Fruitbearer Publishing. I live in Southern New Jersey, about half a block from the Delaware River, which is nice because I enjoy walking in the park near my home, which is right on the river. I was the music director for our local summer theatre’s children show for 9 years, I love quilting, cooking, gardening, and playing the piano.
Concordia Publishing House published two of my picture books in 2001; Beatrice Loses Her Doll and Beatrice’s New Clothes. They are out of print, but you can still find them on Amazon. The really cool thing about these picture books is that my friend, Kim Sponaugle, did the illustrations. We’re still working together and are both represented by Sally Apokedak (Les Stobbe Agency).
Pam, thank you so much for venturing to other worlds with me today.
Thanks so much for this opportunity, Angie.