Monday, January 25, 2021

Indie Author Interview: Pamela Harju

Indie Author Interview with Pamela Harju - Author of the Women's Fiction Novel Two Hearts in a Grave.

Pamela Harju is the author of The Truth about Tomorrow, which won WriteIntoPrint's Captivating Opening Contest in 2017. 
She spends her spare time with her dogs and travelling to see rock bands most people have never heard of. She loves tea, big old houses and tattooed men and is happily unmarried to her partner of many years.

Interview with Pamela Harju

Author Pamela Harju
Author Pamela Harju
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News):
 
What is your (writing) background?
Pamela Harju: I’ve always written. Before I even learned to read, I was making up stories to go with the pictures in children’s books. As soon as I physically learned to write, I was always scribbling something. I always, always wanted to be a writer.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
I don’t know if I have influences so much because I dabble in everything as a writer. My favorite authors include Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon, J.R.R. Tolkien and Susan Cooper, but I write nothing like any of them. I basically read anything and everything, which is probably why I write anything and everything too…

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Ooops - I sort of skipped to this question already, didn’t I? I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Hmm… I’m not sure if it was my first story, but I remember writing a story about a puppy which almost got put down for being the wrong colour. This puppy grew up to be an influential dog in my life, and the story was quite mature – or so I thought at the time.

"Trying to write outlines or anything just gives me writer’s block"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I only plan in my head. Trying to write outlines or anything just gives me writer’s block. I plan in my head at night while waiting for sleep. I’m relaxed at that time, my mind at ease, and it also allows me to focus on something positive and non-stressful so that I can fall asleep.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
My house, usually, or garden on the one day a year we’re lucky enough to have good weather in Ireland. I like to move about, but I avoid the actual desk, comfortable as it is, because I work there every day, and I don’t want writing to feel the same as work.

"Coming up with characters is the easiest."
  
What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
Coming up with characters is the easiest. They just come to me.
The hardest is keeping the ideas down. I have so many ideas but so little time. It’s hard to know which to focus on sometimes.

"I love throwing myself into someone else’s life and problems [...]"

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The actual creating, building new worlds, new places, new people, new events. I love throwing myself into someone else’s life and problems – the ultimate escapism.
  
Pamela, please tell us a little about your Women’s Fiction Novel Two Hearts in a Grave.
Women’s Fiction is probably not an ideal category for it, but I don’t know where it fits, to be honest. There should be a category for musical fiction, which is what I write, considering that my stories nearly always tie in with music, one way or another.
Two Hearts in a Grave is a love story of a couple dealing with a tragedy in the man’s past. They carry a secret which isolates her from her friends. It’s a dark, heart-wrenching story and not to be confused with romance. I’d love for anti-romance to be a genre, but I don’t think it is. I find it weird that as authors, we have to pigeonhole our works very distinctly whereas almost every alternative rock band seems to label their music in a genre of their own, and it still works for them. (Sorry about the ramble…)

Two Hearts in a Grave (Pamela Harju)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
My love of rock music and particularly grunge, which I was listening to at the time. There are some amazing new grungy bands coming out of the alternative rock scene at the moment. It was a very specific thought which inspired the story, but I can’t reveal it here because it would be a spoiler.

Who do you see as your target audience?
Women, mostly, I’d say from their 30s and up. I would love to reach readers who are also rock fans. As a reader, I find most books set in the music business are rock star romances and paint rockers in a completely wrong light. I want to take a more realistic approach; being in a rock band is not as glamorous as people think, and most rocker dudes are definitely not bad boys! 

" It’s not for the faint-hearted, but [...]"

What makes your book special?
It’s gritty and real and doesn’t glamorize. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you’ve dealt with grief in your life and love the alternative rock scene, you will enjoy it.
  
How would you describe the success of your self-published books so far? 
Modest. It’s hard to find the right audience. I understand the concept of writing to market, but do you think my brain listens to it when it throws ideas at me? The answer is no.

"Don’t give up."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process? 
Don’t give up. I know there are days when you’ll want to throw your computer, typewriter or notepad out the window and break the window while you’re at it, but please don’t. (It’s going to be expensive.) Take a break and come back to it with a fresh head.

"[...] too many ideas!"
  
Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am sort of actively working on two projects and have another I haven’t touched in a while – as I said, too many ideas! One is a first in a series, another is time travel, and there’s another book set in the music business.
 
Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I hope not because I’m holding onto those record stores for dear life! I don’t think physical books will ever disappear completely. Maybe they will become more like collectors’ items, sort of like vinyl is now. Who would have thought that decades later, people would start buying vinyl again? It’s a very cool trend, so maybe we’ll see something similar with books, such as a rise in hardbacks and in the esteem of book covers other than as thumbnails.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle Fire. I’m considering upgrading because, while it’s great as an e-reader, it’s not brilliant for doing a bit of work on.
  
Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a day job and will for the foreseeable future. I work with internet search results, which is very interesting and allows me to learn something new every day.
My other hobbies include live gigs – which I miss sorely during the pandemic – and agility with my dogs. I currently have three dogs with a puppy on the way. I’m lucky to have an agility arena in my back garden, so I can train whenever I want.

"I love to hear from my readers"
  
How can readers connect with you?
I’m in all the usual social media channels – Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest – and I have a website at pamelaharju.com. I have a pretty unique name, so I’m easy to find! I love to hear from my readers, so please don’t be shy!

Thank you very much for the Interview, Pamela.



About the Book Steaming: Two Hearts in a Grave 


Two Hearts in a Grave (Pamela Harju)
There is a lot of sadness in Jeff.

Jeff and Hazel are in love. Life should be so simple, but an incident in Jeff's past haunts him to the point that he becomes a recluse. As his band prepares to release its first album after the tragedy, Hazel watches as Jeff's passions turn into obsessions. 

When Jeff's sorrow gets the best of him and alienates Hazel from her friends, the couple has to finally face the truth of what happened three years earlier...

Will Jeff's grief tear their love apart?




Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Two Hearts in a Grave on Amazon

Link to the eBook Two Hearts in a Grave on Amazon



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