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Book Plug Friday: Meet Pam Uphoff

[Yes, BPF is coming suspiciously close to being Book Plug Saturday this week. Give us a break, we're still being retrained. — Charlie]

PJM: So, you’re one of the new independent writer/publishers, making it out there, in the new world of selling stories directly to the public.

Well . . . not actually that new. My first Indie publication was in 2011, so I have almost seven years of experience.

PJM: Tell us how you came to publish indie? Was it a choice?  Did you ever do it traditionally? Do you also traditionally publish?

I tried the traditional route, and collected the traditional rejection slips that I understand are a requirement to call oneself a writer.

Then I braced myself and put up a novel by myself . . . and another . . . And here I am, six and a half years later with fifty-four titles up.

Then Amazon started the Kindle Direct Publishing, and I put up a novella through some friends’ start-up small press. Then I braced myself and put up a novel by myself . . . and another . . . And here I am, six and a half years later with fifty-four titles up.

Then I braced myself and put up a novel by myself . . . and another . . . And here I am, six and a half years later with fifty-four titles up.

PJM: How did you start writing?  What did you envision as your career in writing (if you did)?

I grew up making up stories, inventing worlds, and having adventures in my head. A few of them even got written down. But it wasn’t until I got on the internet and met some “real” writers that I realized I might be able to join their ranks.

It was an utterly astounding thought.

But, online coaching, real-world writers workshops . . . and I was off and running.

The best part is being in control of the entire process. And getting up-to-date sales information. Taking the entire blame—and the entire credit—for every book.

PJM: What are the good and bad points of being an indie author?  Would you like to be traditionally published someday, or do you have absolutely no interest in doing it?

The best part is being in control of the entire process. And getting up-to-date sales information. Taking the entire blame—and the entire credit—for every book.

The bad parts? Having no one but yourself to blames for the awful covers! J And not getting into bookstores. And those are the only reasons I can think of to publish traditionally.

For covers, inexpensive art and fancy fonts are a Google search away.

PJM:  A lot of people point to things like getting editing, covers and such things that the houses used to do.  Is this very difficult for you?

This is where the internet shines!

You can ask around and people will recommend the people, the companies, or the sites they’ve used.

For covers, inexpensive art and fancy fonts are a Google search away.

Your fan base, once you acquire one, will volunteer to edit anything you write. Oh, sure you have to see what they can do and if they are any good at whatever level of editing you need, but that’s also true of professionals. The first time is a gamble.

I’ve got a gang of people whom I even trust to see the raw wordage just about as I write it. They jump all over continuity errors, and make gleeful suggestions (Oh, c’mon, he would have turned him into a goat! Get some magic in there!) and when the story’s done, they’ll turn around and make me fix all my commas, grammar errors, double spaces . . . Nothing is safe from their eagle eyes.

PJM: Tell us a little about yourself.

I was born in California and have a degree in Geology. I moved to Texas early on in my career as a Geophysicist. I got married, had children, quit to raise them . . . discovered the internet on my high tech Apple II+, found writing communities, and now I write Science Fiction and Fantasy full time.

PJM: That was a bit of a change!

Yes and no. I’ve always loved all the sciences, and you need a good basis in the sciences to do justice to SF. And geology isn’t a bad place to start your world building. In many ways, I was still using the same knowledge and skill set in both the old and new careers.

Working gave me exposure to a broad range of people, cultures, worldviews, business and government practices—I can’t imagine how I could write characters without having had that Geophysics career—but it was motherhood that gave me the time and opportunity to start writing.

Bestseller with movie deals, of course!

PJM: Where do you want to go with your career.  Pie in the sky – where would you like to be in your writing career in ten years.

Bestseller with movie deals, of course!

More realistically, I hope someone else figures out how to get good Indie books into bookstores—someone who thinks I’m one of the good ones.

Failing that? I hope I still love writing and the slowly growing fan base has kept on growing.

PJM: Tell us about your latest book?

Oh, where to start? My friends and I aren’t really joking when we call my series an SF Soap Opera. My latest book is number nine in the offshoot series. The main series stands now at thirty-six titles.

Don’t worry, they’re mostly stand-alone stories, that just happen to occur in the same imaginary Multiverse with a lot of the same characters. The problems usually get solved in one or two books.

Fractured Loyalties is the story of an agent from one multi-world empire being assigned to spy on a powerful man from another world. A world they are currently not at war with, but relations are such that he can’t marry the love of his life . . . but he can use her love for him to get closer to her father, the target of his spying.

Dear me, that does sound pretentious! Actually, it’s a fun read as Ra’d ibn Nicholas learns how to deal with situations where he can’t just shoot the problem with his favorite 20mm anti-tank gun.

(You can find Pam's author page on Amazon for her other books.)

FROM PAM UPHOFF: Fractured Loyalties

 

Ra'd knew the main reason he was being assigned to the Embassy World was to get him away from headquarters. But since this was where his girlfriend and her father lived he was far from reluctant.

And if the ministry intel section didn't want him, he'd just have to be a simple security guard.

But few things are simple for a Warrior of the One.

 

 


FRIDAY BOOK PLUGS

[We got a lot of books.  A lot of books.  We’ve decided to do a maximum of five per Friday or no one will page to the end.  So, don’t send us anymore for … five weeks.  We’ll get to it. – SAH and CM]

FROM PJ MEDIA’S OWN BRUCE BAWER: The Alhambra: A Novel

An American living in Amsterdam overhears jihadists planning a terrorist act, and finds himself caught up in deadly international intrigue.

 

 

 

 

 

 


FROM L. JAGI LAMPLIGHTERProspero Lost (Prospero’s Children Book 1)

Miranda, daughter of the magician Prospero from Shakespeare’s Tempest, lives in the modern age. Upon discovering that her father has gone missing, she must discover the location of her other siblings and convince them to save their father, before the Three Shadowed Ones destroy the Family Prospero. She is accompanied by her company gumshoe, an airy spirit stuck in a body that looks a bit like Humphrey Bogart. Humor, mystery, wonder.

 

 

 


FROM ROBERT E. VARDEMAN:  Darklight Pirates

Programmer General Donal Tomlins never expected a mutiny on his starship--and a coup on the planet Burran. His wife and daughters are trapped on-planet and it is up to him and his son, Donal, to rescue them using advanced weaponry from the world Far Kingdom. Aiding them is weapons-master Leanne Chang. But even her expertise is not enough to wrest control of their world from the rebels.

 

 

 


KATHRYN EVANS: An Adult-ish Toolkit: 30 Things I Have Learned in 30 Years

The term “adult” is a nebulous word that most of us aspire to, and yet feel like frauds when we try to claim it. The truth is, even adults don't have a clue what we are doing most of the time, and that's okay! With heartfelt honesty and wit, Kathryn Evans shares thirty pieces of wisdom about how to successfully “adult” in the modern world, which she has learned over the three decades that she has lived in it. Chapters include:

It's Okay to Love Your Body

Romantic Love is Not the Only Type of Love

Eat a Snack

Celebrate Birthdays

Plus 26 more!

This is a book for the new generation; for the rootless, the overwhelmed, and the bewildered. For all those who were tossed out into the world without any instructions on how to function in it.


FROM MIKE SMITH: When the Sirens Were Silent: How the Warning System Failed a Community.

"When the Sirens Were Silent" is the gripping story of the Joplin tornado and how flaws in the storm warning system contributed to the catastrophic death toll. It recounts that horrible day with a goal of ensuring this does not happen again. The book gives you the tools you need to keep yourself and your family safe. Included are numerous color photos.