Now that we have so many new members of the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Board of Directors, we'll once again be featuring the RMFW Spotlight on the blog. Our goal is to introduce our board members to all our readers and encourage other RMFW members to offer their time and energy to this energetic and growing community of writers.
This month we've put the spotlight on President Pamela Nowak. Read on and see if you learn anything about Pam you didn't already know.
1. Pam, tell us what you do for RMFW and why you are involved.
I currently serve as President. My official role is to conduct board meetings, manage RMFW business as it comes up between meetings and sign any legal documents. What that actually means is I also serve on a variety of sub-committees including conference, contest and most special committees, I monitor all on-line discussion of the board and manage as needed, I answer questions regarding official policies and procedures, and I look out for the good of the entire organization and its members. When voting or directing action, I must look beyond my personal reaction and see the potential impact on all of RMFW. I am a negotiator, a manager, and a behind the scenes busy-body.
As to why I’m involved…pure and simple, because I believe in and owe so much to RMFW. RMFW supported me in my craft development and nurtured me when I needed it. After years of attending critique group and conference, I moved to Denver and someone (Scott Brendel) asked me to take on an active volunteer role. Of course, one thing led to another.
But being involved has enriched me tremendously on so many levels. It has allowed me to put my non-writing skills (thus keeping them active) to use and to give back to RMFW in a very rewarding way. What makes doing this with RMFW uniquely special, is all the other dedicated and talented writers and volunteers. Everyone gets to contribute, no one takes on the load alone, and everyone recognizes what others do. Few organizations have this quality and thus, I can’t see myself not being involved with RMFW.
2. What is your current WIP or most recent publication, and where can we buy a book, if available?
My fourth book, Escaping Yesterday, will be released in September. The book is set in 1905 Elitch Gardens and has deeply conflicted characters with a bit of humor, romance, and a great setting tossed in to lighten their journeys as they cope with trust, incest survival, and PTSD. Thus far, I’ve received three major reviews and they are all positive. I hope to have the book in time for conference but also have several signings set for October including an October 9 launch at Tattered Cover Colfax and an October 24 party at BookBar to raise funds for the historic Elitch Theatre. The book will be available at all Tattered Cover locations, Boulder Books, Who Else Books, BookBar, and several smaller stores as well as via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
My 2013 release, Changes, was a Colorado Book Award recipient and is available at Who Else Books, Tattered Cover, or Barnes and Noble or can be ordered via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
3. We've all heard of bucket lists -- you know, those life-wish lists of experiences, dreams or goals we want to accomplish-- what's one of yours?
Becoming a NYTimes best-seller, of course! More easily reachable items are continued travel and finding joy within each and every day.
4. Most writers have an Achilles heel with their writing. Confess, what's yours?
Allowing myself to take on too many volunteer roles (RMFW and others) and devoting my time to them and not to writing. In other words, NOT writing every day.
5. What do you love most about the writing life?
Getting feedback from readers. I love hearing that my stories made someone cry or kept them up until 3:00 a.m. or made them late for work.
6. Now that you have a little writing experience, what advice would you go back and give yourself as a beginning writer?
Don’t resist growth. Learn from critique group, even when it’s painful. Stay on task. Practice, practice, practice.
7. What does your desk look like? What item must be on your desk? Do you have any personal, fun items you keep on it?
My desk is an organized mess. I have stacks of things I am working on (on my desk and on the floor) and reference books on the bookshelves. The stacks look like piles of mish-mash but I can tell you what is in each and every one of them and how far down each item is located. I also have a TO DO list and inspiring quotes. Above my desk, a few items to warm me, such as cards and gifts; nearby, where I can see them—my awards. Two special items are my Angel of Knowledge who holds a book with “writings” and “special words” on its pages and my Angel of Change releasing happiness from her hands. And lots of clutter.
8. What book are you currently reading (or what was the last one you read)?
I am currently reading The Bootlegger’s Daughter by Lauri Robinson and finished Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee a couple days ago. Since I read two to three books a week, I’ll be on to something else soon!
Pamela Nowak writes award-winning historical romance. She has a B.A. in history and, prior to becoming a full-time author, she taught history to prison inmates, served as project manager for the Fort Yuma National Historic Site and ran a homeless shelter. Her novel, Changes, received the 2014 Colorado Book Award for genre fiction and a HOLT Medallion Finalist Award. Previous honors include the HOLT Medallion and HOLT Medallion Finalist Award, a WILLA Finalist Award, a listing among the "Top Ten Romance Novels of 2008" by Booklist, and being named the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2010 Writer of the Year. Please visit her at her website, friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter (@ReadPamelaNowak).