Today we’re hearing fro the lovely Pam Lecky on Meet the Author. She’s talking to us about her new book, No Stone Unturned which is be published on 28th June, ghostly encounters and choosing villains based on people at work…..
Historical Fiction – Mystery, Crime & Romantic Suspense
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi, and thanks for hosting me today, Chelle. I write as Pam Lecky and I was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Married with three children, I work part-time and have a lot to juggle, which isn’t ideal for my writing. Last year, I signed with the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency in London – a big thrill for me and I am currently working on a new project for them. I’m a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Society of Authors.
I’m probably a typical writer – a bit introverted, and was prone to daydreaming from an early age. I was an only child and my mother died when I was young, so I grew up spending a lot of time alone (though not lonely). My father was a great reader and nurtured my love of books. I grew up during the seventies – a particularly bleak time in Ireland, so escaping into other worlds was attractive (and still is!!). Books were always my joy and I turned to them frequently.
I studied horticulture with the Royal Horticultural Society, and even built a show garden in Bloom (the Irish equivalent of The Chelsea Flower Show), with a good friend of mine back in 2008. A career in horticulture was cut short by the recession, but gardening is still a great passion of mine and a way for me to destress. I adore music and photography and have continued to be an avid reader, though I have less time than I would like to indulge it.
What inspired you to start writing?
I wrote a little as a teenager – bad poetry which will never see the light of day, and I used to contribute small pieces to a local magazine. Then life took over – marriage, kids, and work. It was while on career break from work that the idea of writing a novel popped into my head – not to publish but just to see if I could do it. I did and it felt amazing. Several more followed; again I never intended them to be seen by anyone else. But then one story seemed a bit stronger and I was brave enough to show it to someone who really loved it. The Bowes Inheritance was published about two years later and the rest is history.The book has done incredibly well, being shortlisted and longlisted for awards and attaining the BRAG Medallion. Once my confidence was up, writing became an addiction. As I have always had a particular fascination with all things 19th century/early 20thcentury, from food and clothes to architecture and social history, it was no surprise that this was the era I longed to write about.
How many books have you written and published?
My debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was published in 2015. Since then, I have published ebook short stories and novelettes. In 2018, I released an anthology of my short stories, entitled Past Imperfect. I am now working on my new Victorian mystery series, The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries, and the first novel, No Stone Unturned, is now live for pre-order on Amazon. The sequel, Footprints in the Sand, will be out before the end of the year.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
My new book, No Stone Unturned, is my favourite because it has allowed me to combine mystery, crime and a little bit of romance. My main character Lucy evolved slowly in my head, and initially she was only supposed to be a supporting character. But her voice kept getting stronger to the point I had to rewrite the entire book from her point of view. She fascinates me, and Lord help her, I have put her through the mill in this first book. Victorian women led very restricted lives and I wanted to explore the possibilities of sudden freedom for such a woman. But as Lucy spreads her wings and her confidence grows, I can see endless adventures in store for her. The joy of writing a character like Lucy is that I can make her much braver than I am – a safe way to face up to my own fears (I’m a total wuss!).
How do you choose the names of your characters?
Character names are very important to me and they often change during the draft stages until I have the name that sits best. I tend to use popular names from the period which are easily accessible online. It can be lots of fun choosing. However, on one occasion I resorted to the work telephone directory to find the name of my villain (but don’t tell anyone!).
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
It would have to be Phineas Stone from No Stone Unturned. He is resourceful and not too hard on the eyes.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
This is too hard! I have lots of favourites. OK – if I really have to choose I’d have to say Georgette Heyer. There are few authors who can drop you so effortlessly into a time period and write such wonderful well-rounded characters. I devoured her books as a teenager and still return to them. They are my comfort reads. My favourite book of hers is Faro’s Daughter, probably because Debbie is such a strong, intelligent character who is not afraid to rise to a challenge. It’s also an extremely funny book.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
That would be my ‘bad poetry’ phase. Let’s brush over that!
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I work part-time as an administrative officer and have been with the same company for over 30 years.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go? (Backwards or forwards!)
Definitely backwards! I’d love to spend some time in Victorian London – perhaps 1887 – for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. I’d say there was a good old knees-up – it would be a great way to see all levels of Victorian society at play.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I would love to have a chat with my great grandfather. He lived through some very interesting times. The family home and business were destroyed during the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin and I’d love to know the details. The family survived but the business was looted and their home destroyed by fire. They never returned to live there. He died a few years’ later, and I suspect the trauma of what happened contributed to that.
What are your favourite things to do?
When I get the time, I love to read. One of the wonderful things about joining the writing community is that you are constantly coming across new authors and great books. I only wish I had more time to get through my very large TBR pile. Thank goodness for Kindle, otherwise I don’t know how I’d hide all the books from my husband! To relax, I like to spend time in my garden, and in the summer I organise trips to open gardens around Ireland with some of my horticultural friends.
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I had a ghostly experience once that still gives me the shivers. I was alone in the house when there were three loud knocks on the door next to where I was sitting reading. I didn’t imagine it as the cat woke up and stared at the door …
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
I wish I had had more confidence in my writing and started sooner. Putting that first piece of work out there can be very scary but when someone tells you ‘you can write well’, there is nothing to beat that feeling.
Name one book you think everyone should read?!
Now this is hard. My love of historical fiction was ignited on reading Jane Austen, so for me Pride & Prejudice will always be an important turning point. If I’m allowed a second, it would be Strong Poison by Dorothy L Sayers (I’m a huge fan) – brilliant writing and great characters whose vulnerabilities make you root for them all through the series.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
No Stone Unturned is the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mystery Series, which is set in the late Victorian era. It is now live for pre-order on Amazon for Kindle ebook. The paperback version will also be available shortly.
A suspicious death, stolen gems and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?
Lucy is trapped in an unhappy marriage and ripe for an adventure, but when she meets the enigmatic private investigator, Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, Lucy’s life begins to fall apart. When her husband’s dirty secrets continue to spill from the grave, and Lucy’s life is threatened, she must find the strength to rise to the challenges she must face. But who can Lucy trust, and how is she to evade the murderous clutches of London’s most notorious crime gang? Buy Link
Thanks so much Pam for this wonderful interview! I love your passion for history and your books sound fantastic! I hope I get to read No Stone Unturned soon!
Any questions for Pam then give her a shout!
Thanks for reading all!