The Key to Life is…

What is the key to life? In my newly released book, THEIR GREEK KEY, love is their key. But what encompasses and creates that love? On my Facebook page, I received some replies to “the key of life is…”and I think they’re good ones.

Steve and Joyce Russell suggest “the key to life is to love yourself first.” Without that, you really can’t love anyone else, and without love, hate breeds, life can be lost. Excellent point.

Susan Dailey answered “the key to life is to live simply, so that others might live.” Another great point. If we don’t learn to help or share, which means caring for and loving others, life can be more difficult for some, to say the least.

With these few words from my guest bloggers, the main tenants of our existence is explained. There is tremendous power in words. Experience life, be inspired, tell your stories and write.

New Book Release

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See the book description for THEIR GREEK KEY, my inspirational novel below, available at

https://amazon.com/author/pamelaharstad

Abandonment. Trust. Intrigue. A complicated past and present span from Chicago to Greece.

Connie Pappas has a lifetime opportunity to leave Chicago and design fashions in New York when the love of her life returns, and spins her world around.

For Nick Kanelleas, all that remain are two pendants from his deceased father and uncle, who were abandoned. He follows their mystery, but he also wants business success. He reconnects with Connie when he renovates her father’s restaurant, but past issues and new conflicts arise.Connie questions Nick’s business transactions. His job leads to problems at the restaurant, and his own future.

Will Connie move to New York and leave Nick when trust affects their relationship? Will Nick pursue Connie if she can’t trust in him? From Chicago to the Aegean, will their faith be strong enough to overcome their difficulties?

Amazon Celebrating Writers

Amazon is graciously celebrating authors all month with their #PoweredByIndie event. When invited to discuss why I became a writer, I gladly accepted the invitation. I realized I wouldn’t be the person I am at all without books, whether reading for information or entertainment. And so appreciating reading, I wanted to be able to share life experiences, travel, emotion and inspiration with a message through writing my fiction novels. I enjoy penning my novels for others to read. And if someone can enjoy them, all the better.So thanks, Amazon for your recogntion.

Authors in the #PoweredByIndie group I recommend is Anna Faversham.

Pamela Harstad

#PoweredByIndie

 

New Novel Ideas

As you might guess from the photo, I’m considering writing a novel partially set in Greece and also in Chicago, with a family Greek restaurant. It still needs to be worked out, but  keeps rumbling around in my head. It would certainly be different from ERIN’S MISSION, set in Iowa, and HEALING JOURNEY set in Port St. Lucie, Florida, if I choose this setting and story. Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions welcome!

 

Writing Description

 

I had the privilege of spending the 4th of July in the Windy City of Chicago. The sights, sounds, tastes and smells left vivid images as always. But on returning home and reflecting on what I experienced, I realized to put the events in writing would take more description in words, than the story of what I actually did; the warmth and savory taste of the pizza, fresh fish, steak and fresh Garrett’s popcorn. The cool spray from Lake Michigan on the water taxi. Traffic, sirens, and fireworks sounds. The colors of the river, lake, and buildings, many adorned with red white and blue lights and flags.

I didn’t think much about these descriptions at the time, as I was so involved in what I was doing, but am glad I remember them now to tuck away in my memory, as description is so important in writing. It’s easy to gloss over when writing a first draft, but makes such a difference to bring a reader into the story. So, my thought is to list what descriptions I’ll need when planning the next novel, to be sure I vividly bring the story across.

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Writing Themes

What is theme in writing? Universal truths? Beliefs?

We read for escape, adventure, excitement, knowledge, a satisfying story, but what binds it altogether? It should be the theme.

We’ve all heard about man vs.man, good vs. evil, and man vs.nature, no doubt. That’s because they’re good, universal themes.

But on the detailed level, think about what in particular you like to read about, or write about if you’re also an author. That can give you deeper insight as to who you are and why you’ve become who you are.

I hadn’t considered this when I wrote my two books, ERIN’S MISSION and HEALING JOURNEY. But now, as I look back, I realize even in my titles, the word “mission” and “journey” speak a little about me. I’ve blogged before about liking to travel and about writing in particular settings. However, on a deeper level, I’ve seen my own and others’ life journeys and missions, so to speak, and they’ve come out in my writing.

So next time you read a book that really resonates with you, ask yourself why.

I’d love to hear from writers and readers what books have touched your heart.

Happy reading!7d583e65-b35f-44a2-92ba-efcaae95b35e

 

 

 

Summer,travel, book settings

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Butterflies aren’t static, they travel widely, like authors’ stories.

Not long ago, I wrote a blog post using setting as character, then most recently I wrote about one of my most favorite places in the Hawaiian Islands. So now that it’s summer, we’re all thinking of taking trips, no matter how long, short, close or far.

Planning a trip to Chicago this summer, for starters, but I’m also “percolating” an idea and a new setting for another novel. I’m considering starting with a Midwest setting and adding a setting in Greece.

As readers, what are your favorite geographical settings? The U.S. Europe, Islands, Asia?

Happy reading and traveling this summer!

Pam

Kalalau Valley, Kauai, Hawaii

Since the tag line of my blog, The Write Inspiration is to experience life, travel, be inspired and write, I thought I’d pen a bit about Kalalau Valley since I’ve traveled there, am always inspired when visiting and have a different experience each time I’ve had the opportunity to return. But I’ve never written about it, so I’d like to share it with you.

As with many photos, they can certainly give you an idea, but often can’t compete with the actual view. I keep a framed photo in my living room, and yet when I’ve visited I’ve forgotten to some extent how deep this valley is, (around 4,000 feet+/-) from above, how majestic and dramatic the cliffs are and the overall beauty down to and including the Pacific Ocean. It’s mesmerizing.

I’ve stood there looking out, barely able to hear the ocean. Sometimes there are waterfalls, but they’re not audible. Clouds can rush in, especially by afternoon and cover it as if it weren’t there.

I also enjoy seeing people who walk up to the lookout for the first time. They’re floored, making comments such as “awesome,” “we should have brought our chairs and sat here all day,” or “everything is right here, the cliffs, trees, and ocean, everything.”

Before taking a helicopter ride over Kauai and also the Kalalau Valley, a sign at the helicopter pad read, “You will have a spiritual experience on this flight.” I thought it a bit presumptuous at the time, but I must admit they were right.Kalalau_Valley2_616_320_cy_100 (1)

 

 

Pam’s Author Interview

Meet Author Pamela Harstad

Halo my lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat featuring author Pamela Harstad

Having written diaries and journals from an early age, Pam now enjoys writing contemporary inspirational romance 13224290_10156848764675125_331354116_owith varied themes and settings. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When not writing, Pam enjoys traveling, music, nature and reading. She lives with her husband in Iowa.

Book blurb: HEALING JOURNEY

Tragedy. Devastation. Unanswered questions.

Kate Scott’s proposal from Jake Collins is put on hold when Kate’s mother is injured from a stabbing. Why, before surgery does Kate’s mother tell Kate she must speak to her grandmother?

When Kate comes across her mother’s journal containing cryptic passages, she’s mystified. As a tragic past unfolds, Kate’s present life is torn apart, and her future uncertain.

Will Kate overcome devastating information that will affect her life forever?

Can she hope for a future with Jake and turn her life over to God’s will?

Why do you write? I feel compelled, driven to write, and I do enjoy it.

What genre are your books? Inspirational contemporary romance, with a bit of intrigue and mystery.

What draws you to this genre? I’ve always liked stories about people and human interest. This includes relationships of course, where the romance comes in. I also like the idea of an underlying theme that speaks to people, one that they can relate to or learn from, which is the inspirational aspect.

How long does it usually take you to complete a book? About four months, but the editing can take another month or two, depending.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured? I prefer mid-morning to start and sometimes the afternoon.

Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? I don’t watch TV because it’s too distracting and I want to focus and let the words flow as best as possible. I do occasionally listen to music.

Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures? For me, my Facebook page has done quite well. I notified viewers about the upcoming book and had my books pre-orderable. When they are released, those who pre-ordered are grouped together as sales giving a spike.

Any advice for aspiring authors? I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but it’s true; keep writing. That alone improves your writing, just as exercise keeps you in shape. But belonging to a writer’s group is invaluable for networking and education opportunities. Also, good critique partners are a must.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? She is a social worker and also has the given ability for energy healing through her hands. Yet, she is human and has tough decisions to make regarding her relationship, her mother’s stabbing and a family secret that tears her life apart.

Where do your ideas come from? I do have a good imagination, so if I think “what if?” I can usually come up with something. Also, life events and experiences definitely shape my novels.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? It deals with the tough issues of victimization and some mental health issues, all within the context of an inspirational genre.

Which writers inspire you? Too many to name, of course. But to name a few, Nora Roberts, Veronica Roth, J. K. Rowling, Karen Kingsbury and Susan Wiggs.

What is the current book you are promoting? Healing Journey which was just released May 16, but I also have a book, Erin’s Mission on sale for $0.99 on Amazon as well until May 24.

You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser

A hospital gurney held her mother’s blood-laced body. Adrenalin raced through Kate Scott as she witnessed spasms rip through her mother.

The horrific trembling subsided and Mom opened her eyes. Her usual sparkling, blue eyes lost their shine, but lent the only color to her mother’s pasty complexion.

Kate moved closer and held her mother’s cold, clammy hand. “I’m here, Mom. You’re going to be all right.”

Mom’s breathy rush gave way to pressured speech. “Sure I will. But someone came out of nowhere tonight. He grabbed me from behind. Large hands, a shiny blade. Sliced into me twice.”

Her mouth gaped open. The image sickened her. “Oh, Mom, how awful. They’ll take you to surgery soon and take care of everything.”

“I tried to scream, but he covered my mouth. I couldn’t get a look at his face. Something familiar about him, though. I can’t place it.”

What a shocking, nightmarish blur. Unreal. It couldn’t be. Who would do this? Kate needed to do something for her, anything, but she couldn’t think.

“The police will find him, Mom. Save your strength.”

Her voice stripped down to a murmur. “My hands feel numb.”

The convulsive shaking started again and she tried to warm her mother’s icy hands. She pulled the white blanket up higher near Mom’s neck. Kate’s eyes grew watery and her voice hitched. “There, Mom.”

“I made so many mistakes with you girls over the years. I wish I’d been more open, especially with you. About what happened. Funny how revelations like that come to mind at difficult times.”

What in the world could she be talking about?

Who is your favorite character in your book and why? Kate, the heroine, who deals with difficult issues and must learn to grow, forgive and heal through it all.

If there was one thing you could do to change the world, what would it be? Spread enough love and healing to impact many lives.

Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? It is somewhat difficult, because we all have that inner editor on the lookout as we read our work. But it’s also good to have been away from the story so that you can read it with “fresh eyes,” which gives you a different perspective and way to look at your work.

What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer? Not to be a quitter. There is great satisfaction in being creative and sending others a message, even through difficult times.

What book are you currently reading or just finished? Where Yesterday Lives by Karen Kingsbury.

What do your fans mean to you? Everything. I always hope that someone can relate to or derive something from my books.

Is there anything else you would like to add? Thanks to Mercedes Fox and those who took the time to read the interview.

Many thanks Pamela! For more about Pamela and her books, follow the links below:

https://ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=wwwmercedesfo-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01F4MCQ5K&asins=B01F4MCQ5K&linkId=79b50eb2271fea10e55d1ae75e9f60e4&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true

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