Welcome to my weekly Author Spotlight. I’ve asked a bunch of my author friends to answer a set of interview questions, and to share their latest work.
Today, Pelaam – Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a best-selling, multi-published author of M/M romance and erotica across time and space. When not writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.
Thanks so much, Pelaam, for joining me!
J. Scott Coatsworth: If you could sit down with one other writer, living or dead, who would you choose, and what would you ask them?
Pelaam: Ideally I’d like one living and one dead. I’m a Dean Koontz fan and have a huge collection of his books, some I like a lot more than others. But I’m also a fan of Edgar Allen Poe. Two vastly different writers. I’d love to just sit and let them tell me about their Muse, what drives them to write as they do.
JSC: What do you do when you get writer’s block?
PMP: Because I work on multiple works, I can flip between books. Although currently working on six, I have, what a friend described as a leaning tower of WIPs. If the Muse dries up on one, I switch to another. I don’t worry if I find I feel a little burned out (usually post Nano). Instead I read more, and that quite often generates ideas, which I jot down, and the flow restarts.
JSC: Do you use a pseudonym? If so, why? If not, why not?
PMP: Yes, Pelaam is a very simple anagram of Pamela. I used it when using a free site for my writing and kept it when I was approached to write for a publisher.
JSC: How long do you write each day?
PMP: At least a couple of hours. More at the weekends.
JSC: Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
PMP: I do write in multiple genres. Fantasy/paranormal, sci-fi/steampunk, and the occasional contemporary. It really depends on the Muse. At the moment I’m working on a couple of paranormal with a more horror emphasis, one featuring a cryptid, a steampunk/time travel AU, and another steampunk with paranormal elements.
JSC: Are you a plotter or a pantster?
PMP:: I’m a pantser. Even when writing for Nano (National Novel Writing Month) where I know the target is 50k words, the most I’ll have is the initial idea, and headings for chapters as a guide. Until I start writing, I never really know how the stroty and the characters may evolve.
JSC: Do your books spring to life from a character first or an idea?
PMP: Usually an idea, but the main characters usually immediately after. Although sometimes, secondary characters like to end up at least sharing the limelight.
JSC: How long does it take you to write the first draft?
PMP: Difficult to say. I never focus all my attention on any one single book. I work on multiples at any given time. That can be as many as eight, or as few as four. As a pantser, I write quite happily out of sequence, so if I get inspiration for something, I write it.
JSC: What is the most heartfelt thing a reader has said to you?
PMP: That they’d had a hard life, and difficult relationships. But when they read my books they could lose themselves in worlds where ultimately love would win.
JSC: Where do you like to write?
PMP: There isn’t anywhere I don’t like to write. I do a lot in my bedroom which overlooks the Tasman Sea. But I never go anywhere without pen and paper, so if we go out to a bar in the evening, I’ll still do some writing.
JSC: How did you choose the topic for this book?
PMP: I was researching Japanese folk talks and the story of a vampire cat really caught my imagination. I loved the premise of a soldier prepared to risk his life for his prince.
JSC: What character gave you fits and fought against you? Did that character cause trouble because you weren’t listening and missed something important about them?
PMP: Not fought exactly, but Suoh, the dragon shifter was never a part of the story at all. I already had secondary characters who wanted a storyline of their own, but he insisted on being there, too.
JSC: What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about him or her.
PMP: Suoh insisted on a story of his own. He’s arrogant and that caused his punishment leading to imprisonment in the necklace. He now has to face his family and let them know that he’s taking a human mate. It won’t go down well with all of them.
JSC: Who has been your favorite character to write and why?
PMP: Both Bertie and Ichirou. Bertie steps out from his father’s shadow and Ichirou finds a way to break the chains holding him as prince to have a chance of living as a free man with the one he loves.
JSC: Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?
PMP: Suoh – “You wouldn’t believe the way I had to nag to make sure that I was in this book. They couldn’t have succeeded without me.”
Rest of characters – “Shut up , Suoh!”
JSC: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
PMP: I always envisioned myself aboard a spaceship, travelling the universe. Or one shaped like a police telephone box.
JSC: Tell me one thing hardly anyone knows about you.
PMP: I’ve been an unpaid extra in a successful movie.
JSC: Tell me about a unique or quirky habit of yours.
PMP: Not unique, but I knock on wood to stop from jinxing myself.
JSC: Were you a voracious reader as a child?
PMP: Yes. So much so that my English teacher, who ran the school library, passed on to me those books which weren’t being shown the love rather than dispose of them any other way.
JSC: What pets are currently on your keyboard, and what are their names? Pictures?
PMP: I don’t have pets at the moment, but we’re working on our landlord to allow a cat. Previously I’ve been a doggy person (although I like cats, too). I’m the person dogs turn to look at when they pass by.
JSC: What other artistic pursuits (it any) do you indulge in apart from writing?
PMP: I sometimes paint. I also have colouring books and pens/pencils. I also cook and read cookery books like other people read novels.
JSC: We know what you like to write, but what do you like to read in your free time, and why?
PMP: Mostly fantasy/paranormal or steampunk. I’m working my way through one of each at the moment.
JSC: Describe yourself using… ( a food, a book, a song, a movie, an animal, a drink, a place etc)
P PMP:: Irish coffee. Made of layers. Darker once you look beneath the surface.
JSC: Do you have any strange writing habits or superstitions?
PMP: I don’t know that I have any superstitions, but I guess not working on less than several books simultaneously may be considered a strange habit.
JSC: If you could create a new holiday, what would it be?
PMP: World Love Week. A time to show we’re capable of more than hate.
JSC: If you were stuck on a desert island all alone with only three things, what would they be?
PMP: Unfair question, so I’m going to cheat. I’m very pale skinned and prone to burn easily. I’d have to have limitless sunblock. Limitless journals and pens to write. A luxury treehouse, with a magical self-refilling fridge.
JSC: What fantasy realm would you choose to live in and why?
PMP: Middle Earth, so long as I could be in blissful ignorance of Sauron, but friends with Hobbits, Elves, and Wizards. I rather fancy the Green Dragon as my local.
JSC: Would you visit the future or the past, and why?
PMP: I’d like to visit the time of the Enlightenment. It was my favourite time when studying for my Masters degree. I love the art of the time.
JSC: Star Trek or Star Wars? Why?
PMP: Star Trek. I grew up with it.
JSC: What’s your drink of choice?
PMP: If non-alcohol, I’m a tea drinker, if alcohol, it’s between Rose wine and Bubbles (Kiwi term for Champagne/Prosecco type drinks),
JSC: What’s in your fridge right now?
PMP: Fixings for salads. Strawberries. Wine. Water. Cheese. Chocolate.
JSC: What food(s) fuel your writing?
PMP: Predominantly chocolate. I have a stash to nibble on when in my bedroom. But I also have fruit, too.
And now for Pelaam new book: The Tailor and the Prince:
When Bertram Blackwood’s father is attacked and injured, Bertie must take his father’s place and travel to Japan where he hopes to obtain a contract for silk from the prince of the Kaiyo province.
But his rival, Felton Coleman, doesn’t play by the rules.
Despite an attack on Bertie, and his right-hand man Tom, they still make it to the rendezvous in time to be taken to the palace.
When Bertie meets Prince Ichirou, friendship soon becomes something much more, but danger stalks Ichirou.
Bertie must battle with an ancient evil if he’s to save his prince.
The journey was proving uneventful, for which Bertie was very thankful. Tom had settled surprisingly quickly in regard to travelling on the ship, provided he stayed within the body of the craft. Therefore, Bertie had taken to promenading around the deck in the evening prior to retiring for bed.
At a slow stroll Bertie wandered around the deck, nodding at people he passed, and stopping now and then to look at the stars. Back home, he never had time for such pleasures. Standing by the rail, Bertie peered through the netting that prevented anyone toppling, or jumping, over, and tried to see something of the land below.
A frisson ran down Bertie’s back, and he was certain someone was staring at him. Turning quickly, Bertie looked around. The only person around was a tall, slender woman, bundled up in a thick, red, fur coat.
Although she stood in a patch of shadow, Bertie had the distinct impression she was staring at him. For a moment, he wavered on the cusp of going over to her, as if pulled by a silent siren call. Sudden heat against his collarbone made Bertie yelp softly. He reached into his shirt, but his questing fingers encountered nothing out of place.
The sensation went as quickly as it came, and when Bertie looked up, the woman was gone. He frowned, staring around. Bertie remained where he’d been standing in the middle of the deck and had an unobstructed view both fore and aft.
There was no direction in which the woman could have gone without him still being able to see her. At least, thereshouldn’t have been. But she was nowhere in sight. Bertie shivered, suddenly very cold. He took out his pocket watch. There were ten minutes he couldn’t account for.
Putting the watch back in its place, Bertie strode quickly to the nearest door that led back inside the airship. I shan’t be walking out here alone again.
When the airship finally docked, Bertie saw no need for them to immediately rush off and be caught up in the crush to disembark. The bar still offered refreshments, and Bertie sat with Tom, having a last drink before leaving.
At a signal from one of the crewmen, Bertie stood and finished the last of his drink. “Time to move, Tom. I can hardly believe we’re here. We just need to collect our luggage and make our way to the far side of the port. The train station is there, and the next part of our journey takes us straight to the prince’s province. According to the letter Father received, when the train arrives, there’ll be transport to take us directly to the prince’s palace.”
“I’ll be glad to get there.” Tom pursed his lips. “Although a train journey is better than an airship, I’m looking forward to having a break from travel altogether.”
“Don’t worry.” Bertie patted Tom’s shoulder. “Once we’re in the palace, you can relax and keep your feet securely on terra firma until we have to leave.”
“Well, at least that’s a relief.” Tom grinned at Bertie, then his smile became a frown. “What are those idiots doing with our cases?” He pointed to a couple of porters wheeling their luggage in the wrong direction.
“Hey, that’s the wrong way.” Tom shouted out, but the porters must have been too far away to hear. “Hey, wait a minute.” Tom yelled as the porters scurried away in the wrong direction with their cases.
“When will something be straightforward?” Bertie rolled his eyes, then his blood ran cold. Tom had set off after the porters, but another couple of men attacked him, dragging him into what looked to Bertie like a huge warehouse.
Without hesitation, Bertie gave chase after them. “Hold on, Tom. I’m on my way.” Dashing into the warehouse, Bertie tossed his carpet bag aside to free his hands.
However, it seemed Bertie’s rescue attempt was expected, and as he rushed to help his friend, another couple of men jumped him. Bertie struggled furiously, but to no avail, unable to break free of the men who held him.
Instead, Bertie tried yelling loudly for help. The last thing Bertie heard were his attackers speaking quickly in their native tongue, before a sharp blow to his skull turned his world black.
Living in clean, green New Zealand, Pelaam is a best-selling, multi-published author of M/M romance and erotica across time and space. When not writing she can be found indulging in her other passions of cookery and wine appreciation.