"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Monday, August 8, 2011

At the Round Table & Giveaway with Pamela Samuels Young - Murder on the Down Low

Pamela Samuels Young

Welcome to the Round Table. 
May I offer you a beverage before we begin?  
Tantalizing tea.  

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today.  It's so nice to have you at the Round Table.
BK:  Please tell us a bit about yourself.... 
I’m a lawyer, writer, wife, step-mother and more!  I’m currently practicing as an in-house employment attorney for a large corporation in Southern California, yet I’ve still managed to publish four books in the last five years.  Nothing short of passion made that possible. I was always an avid reader, but I never thought about novel writing. I wanted to be a journalist and majored in journalism in college. I spent five years as a television news writer and associate producer before going to law school. It was after law school that I stumbled into writing legal thrillers.
BK:  What inspired you to pen this novel? 
The Oprah show gets credit for Murder on the Down Low. I can still remember the day I watched in stunned silence as Oprah interviewed JL King, the author of On the Down Low.  He boldly professed to sleeping with men, but at the same time, claimed that he was heterosexual. His shocking revelations about the secret world of men on the “down low” really shook me up. The very next day while I was driving to work, the plot for Murder on the Down Low came to me:  What if attractive, successful African-African men were being gunned down on the streets of L.A. and no one knew why? 
BK:  What draws you to write in this genre? 
My love of a good mystery with lots of twists and turns.
BK:  How do you keep your writing different from all the other novels in this genre? 
My fast-paced stories distinguish me from other writers in my genre.  My background as a lawyer gives my legal thrillers an authenticity.
BK:  Who is your favorite character and why?
Without a doubt, my favorite character is Special, my main character’s best friend. She’s savvy, street smart, and sexy and more often than not she goes with her emotions no matter what the consequences. That makes her both challenging and fun to write.

BK:  Which character would you most invite to dinner? 
Special. I think she would keep me laughing.
BK:  Any advice for new aspiring authors? 
First, master your craft!  Take the time to study writing the same way you would study any other profession. Also, read like a writer. When you read a book you enjoy, study the author’s writing style and the book’s story structure. Ask yourself why the book was a great read.
Second, don’t let rejection keep you from pursuing your dream.  Most successful authors experienced years of rejection. John Grisham, for instance, received 45 rejection letters and self-published A Time to Kill because people told him no one wanted to read about lawyers.  How wrong they were!  So if you think you have a marketable book, don’t give up on your dream.
BK:  Where can readers find you?  (Facebook, twitter, website, blog, etc.)  Questions if your book is a series:
My website is www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com. I can be reached on Facebook under my name.
BK:  What inspired your book to be a series?
I didn’t start out planning to write a series.  When I started meeting with book clubs, they kept asking what was going to happen next with these characters. That’s when I decided to write another book with the same characters. Now I can’t let them go.  I’m currently working on the four book in the series.
BK:  Do you have a favorite book in the series?
Definitely Murder on the Down Low.  I learned quite while writing it.
BK: What is your favorite food and restaurant?
I love gumbo and Applebees.
BK:  Can you tell us about any projects you are currently working on?
I’m currently working on Attorney-Client Privilege the fourth book in the Vernetta Henderson mystery series. In Attorney-Client Privilege, Vernetta squares off against an unscrupulous female attorney in an explosive gender discrimination case that threatens to bring down a corporation.  Meantime, Vernetta’s best friend Special, once again finds herself faced with a personal crises that will make you laugh, cry and root for her until the very end.  It will be released next year.
Fun Facts: 
BK:  Fantasy or Horror?
BK:  Day or Night?
BK:  Favorite Drink?
Fresh squeezed apple juice.
BK:  Favorite Movie?
Splendor in the Grass and Friday.
BK:  What is a must have to write?
A neat area.
BK:  If you could possess a supernatural power,  what would it be and why?
The ability to see into the future.
BK:  Favorite Book?
Too many to name!
BK:  Favorite Author?
I enjoy Walter Mosley, Tammy Hoag and Greg Isles.
BK:  Favorite Song?
Can’t pick just one! I love R&B, gospel and country music.
BK:  Favorite Saying?
I can do all things through God who strengthens me!
BK:  Sometimes while reading a book we visualize a certain actor/actress playing the part.  If your book were being made into a movie,  which actor or actresses do you see playing the part(s)?
Jada Pinkett Smith would be Special. I could see her in the role as I was writing. The other characters are up for grabs!
BK:  What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
No surprises. I’m pretty predictable.
BK:  What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
I can’t think of one crazy thing I’ve done.  I guess that’s why I write.  I can allow my characters to do crazy stuff.
BK:  If someone could describe you in one word,  what would it be?
Thank you so much for being at the Round Table today.  It's been such a pleasure chatting with you and I wish you much success in the future.
About Pamela:
Corporate attorney Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. Fed up with never seeing women or people of color depicted as savvy, hot shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, the Compton Native decided to create her own characters. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by rising at four in the morning to write before work, dedicating her weekends to writing and even spending her vacation time glued to her laptop for ten or more hours a day. The Essence magazine bestselling author now has four fast-paced legal thrillers to show for her efforts.
Pamela’s debut novel, Every Reasonable Doubt (February 2006), won the Black Expressions Book Club’s Fiction Writing Contest, received an honorable mention in the SEAK Legal Fiction Writing Competition and was a USA Book News Best Books of 2006 finalist in the mystery, suspense and thriller category. Her second novel, In Firm Pursuit (January 2007) was honored by Romantic Times magazine as a finalist for Best African-American Novel of 2007. Murder on the Down Low (September 2008), Pamela’s third release, was an “Editor’s Pick” by Black Expressions magazine and a finalist for the 2009 African-American Literary Awards in the mystery category, and was a USA Book News Best Books of 2009 finalist in the African American fiction category. Pamela then published her first stand-alone novel, Buying Time (November 2009). The Black Caucus of the American Library Association honored Buying Time with its 2010 Fiction Award, calling the book "a captivating, suspenseful thriller." Her short story, Setup, was selected for the 2006 Sisters in Crime anthology, LAndmarked for Murder.
Pamela has achieved a successful writing career while working as Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for a major corporation in Southern California. Prior to that, she served as Employment Law Counsel for Raytheon Company and spent several years with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP in Los Angeles. A former journalist, Pamela began her broadcasting career as a production assistant at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, where she was quickly promoted to news writer. To escape the brutal Detroit winters, she returned home to Los Angeles and worked at KCBS-TV as a news writer and associate producer..  
A former Coro Foundation Fellow, Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She received her law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law and was formerly an adjunct professor at the University of Redlands’ School of Business. Pamela currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is the Fiction Expert for BizyMoms.com.
Pamela is a frequent speaker on the topics of discrimination law, writing and pursuing your passion. She is married and lives in the Los Angeles area. To contact Pamela or to read an excerpt of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.

A high-profile lawsuit erupts into chaos, revealing its place in a larger spree of violence in this scandalous tale of lust, lies, and vengeance. A brazen gunman is targeting prominent African American men on the streets of Los Angeles, and police are completely baffled. At the same time, savvy big-firm attorney Vernetta Henderson and her outrageous sidekick, Special, lead the charge for revenge against a man whose deceit caused his fianceé's death. For Special, hauling the man into court and suing him for wrongful death just isn’t good enough. While she exacts her own brand of justice, a shocking revelation connects the contentious lawsuit and the puzzling murders.

A copy of Murder on the Down Low. Simply leave Pamela a comment telling her what you think about how this book came to life with your email address.


InlovewithTwilight7 said...

Thank you BK for a q&a with Pamela. It was really intetesting. I'm more of a paranormal reader, but I could get into this series I think. Thanks again for all your hard work..

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