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Pamela Cook is an Australian author of rural romance and women’s fiction, co-host of the Writes4Women podcast, and Room to Read ambassador. Her latest novel, Cross My Heart, was released in September 2019.
I have known Pamela online for a couple of years and had the pleasure of meeting her in real life at this year’s RWA conference. Pamela is one of those people who you can’t not like. She’s warm, friendly, down-to-earth and, of course, a wonderfully talented writer.
Her latest novel, Cross My Heart, is her first foray into women’s fiction, and one of my favourite books of 2019. But, enough fangirling. Let’s meet Pam, and see what she gets up to on one of her writing days.
A Day in the Life of Pamela Cook
I’ve never been a routine person so every day is completely different for me, but lately I have been trying to stick to more of a schedule so this is what an average day looks like for me …
7am – drag myself from sleep and drink a cup of tea while reading one of the many books I get to enjoy as part of the Writes4Women podcast. I used to be a morning person but sadly not any more!
8am – breakkie while I check my emails and socials, list down what I need to do today (see how good I am at being organized?), feed our three dogs Teddy, Spencer and Luna and check on the horses, chickens and goats. More tea.
9am – 12pm – reply to any urgent emails or, if I’m in writing mode work on my latest novel. I tend to have a break between books as I need the headspace before I dive into the new story. I like to use my veranda desk so I can soak up some sunshine and take in the view and get inspired.
If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday I might be donning my headphones, plugging in the mic and chatting on my virtual couch to one our Writes4Women guests. If not I should still be writing. I’m lucky to have a mobile coffee van that often pops in so thanks to the wonderful Rose I don’t have to go out for a caffeine fix but sometimes I walk into town to get some fresh air.
12pm – 2pm – more emails, social media and marketing time with some lunch thrown in. Sometimes a break to play with the dogs, garden or ride my quarter horse Rio.
2 – 5pm – either writing or podcast planning and generally a visit to the shops and the post office.
5 – 6pm – horse feeding time which I generally love to do, as long as it’s not raining or windy. After being at the computer for most of the day this is a great time to clear my head and hang out with my four-legged family.
6 – 8pm – dinner and family time.
8 – 11pm – watching tele with the family for an hour or so and then it’s bath time with a book. The perfect way to end the day!
The Hot 5
What’s your favourite thing about being a writer?
So many things! If I have to choose one I’d say it’s starting with a blank page, thinking you’ll never be able to write anything (that feeling never goes away) then coming up with an idea and working on it to get it just right. That process takes quite a while when you’re writing a novel but that satisfaction of going from nothing to a finely polished story ready to be placed in reader’s hands is absolute magic.
Another thing I love is the people I meet and connect with – both writers and readers. Book people are the best!
Who are your favourite or most inspiring authors?
I’m inspired on a daily and weekly basis by my wonderful writing group, The Inkwell, previously The Writers’ Dozen. We’ve had people come and go over the last decade but meeting with writing buddies each fortnight and sharing the ups and downs, as well as giving and receiving feedback on our work has literally kept me going.
My favourite authors are Tim Winton, Liane Moriarty, Jane Austen, Hannah Richell, Favel Parrett, Kate Grenville and more recently I’ve loved the writing of Holly Ringland, Delia Owens, Natasha Lester, Kim Kelly and Kelly Rimmer. I could go on, there are just so many more!
What’s the hardest thing about the writing process?
For me, it’s having discipline. Even though I was a teacher in my past life, I’m not a very naturally disciplined or organised person. I really need a deadline to get my bum in that chair which is crazy because once I start I get totally lost in the writing. I’m sure a huge part of it is fear – fear of not being able to do it again, write the book I want to write, be good enough, all feelings I’m sure most writers experience.
What’s your go-to food or drink when writing?
Definitely tea. Or in winter, a hot chocolate. And I do like a nice biscuit to dunk, maybe a Scotch Finger. Lunch is often a cheese toastie.
What’s your number one tip for aspiring authors?
Persevere. Keep writing and you’ll find your voice, your writing style and your most heartfelt passions will be revealed. Keep learning about craft by going to courses and workshops. Keep revising until you are 500% sure it can’t get any better. Keep submitting to publishers if the traditional route is the one you choose to take, or getting your work out into the world via the Indie path if that’s your preference. And most importantly keep on loving the process of writing.
About Pamela Cook
Pamela Cook writes page-turning women’s fiction set in escape-worthy places. Her novels feature tangled family relationships, the ups and downs of friendship and explore life issues like grief, belonging and love. Her first novel, Blackwattle Lake (2012) was published as part of the Hachette Manuscript Development Program and followed by Essie’s Way (2013), Close To Home (2015) and The Crossroads (2016). Her September 2019 release is Cross My Heart. Pamela is the co-host of the exciting new podcasts Writes4Women and Writes4Festivals, and is proud to be a Writer Ambassador for Room To Read, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes literacy and gender equality in developing countries. When she’s not writing, reading or podcasting she wastes as much time as possible riding Rio, her handsome quarter horse. She loves to connect with readers both in person and online.
Instagram @pamelacookwrites and @w4wpodcast
Purchase your copy of Cross My Heart through the following links:
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2ke73cJ