Murder on The Down Low – Author Interview – Pamela Samuels Young

murder-on-the-down-lowJoin Pamela Samuels Young, author of the mystery novel, Murder on the Down Low (Goldman House Publishing, September ’08), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in November on her first virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion!

 

Win Prizes!

As a special promotion for all our authors, Pump Up Your Book Promotion is giving away a FREE virtual book tour to a published author or a $50 Amazon gift certificate to those not published who comments on our authors’ blog stops. More prizes will be announced as they become available. The winner(s) will be announced on December 31!


About the book:

A brazen killer is targeting some of L.A.’s most prominent citizens. The victims are all quintessential family men. Well-educated. Attractive. Successful. But appearances can be deceiving. When the baffling murders are linked to a high-profile lawsuit, a tenacious female detective soon exposes a scandalous tale of lust, lies and vengeance.

About the author:

Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney and author of legal thrillers, “Murder on the Down Low”, and the Essence bestsellers, “Every Reasonable Doubt” and “In Firm Pursuit”. A desire to see female attorneys and African-American attorneys as main characters in today’s legal fiction prompted her to begin writing despite a busy legal career. Pamela is on the Board of Directors of the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a graduate of the University of Southern California, Northwestern University, and the University of California Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. A former journalist, Pamela is a legal columnist for Global Woman magazine and served as legal consultant to the Showtime television series, Soul Food.

Pamela is married and lives in the Los Angeles area. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of writing and self-empowerment and loves visiting book club meetings.

Visit Pamela’s website at www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com 

Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for Murder on the Down Low?

 

Unlike with my other novels, I have a crystal clear recollection of exactly when and where the idea originated for Murder on the Down Low originated.  I was home sick with the flu, lying on the couch watching Oprah.  The guest was J.L. King, author of On the Down Low: A Journey into the Lives of Straight Men Who Sleep with Men.  As I listened to King discuss this secret world of men on the down low—guys who have sex with other men but insist that they’re not gay —I was completely stunned. 

 

My emotions went from shock to anger to fear.   These guys were married for Christ’s sake!  The next day, while driving to work, the premise for Murder on the Down Low popped into my head:   What if a string of rich, successful married men were being gunned down on the streets of L.A. and no one knew why?  And what if they all shared a dirty little secret?  In a matter of weeks, I had the book completely outlined and got to work writing.

 

Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

I’m a serious outliner.  I begin with a story premise.  I will then spend anywhere from a few weeks to as long as three months outlining a book before I sit down to write.  I also mull over my story quite a bit.  I’m thinking about it in the shower, while I’m standing in line at the grocery store, during my 45-minute commute to work.  I can almost see each chapter as if it were a scene in a movie.  Only after I have a completed outline do I start writing.  And when I write, I go from page one to the last page without doing much editing.  For me, it’s psychologically motivating to complete that first draft, even if it’s so bad I’d never dare show it to anyone.  Once I have a first draft, then the real writing starts.  I revise, and revise and revise some more.  That process can last six months or more.   

 

Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?

Absolutely.  Though if a better ending comes along, I’ll go with the flow.

 

Do you have a process for developing your characters?

I’m fortunate that engaging characters just come to me.  I don’t write out character sketches or anything like that.  When I have an idea for a character, it’s as if I know who they are immediately. 

 

It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?

Though I don’t like to admit it, I guess there’s a lot of my main character, Vernetta Henderson, in me.  She’s smart, hard-working, loves her husband and tries to be superwoman, which can sometimes get her into trouble.

 

What is your most favorite part of this book?

My favorite part of Murder on the Down Low is the strong bond of friendship between the female characters. 

 

When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?

I waited until after I finished my first book, Every Reasonable Doubt,  to being looking for an agent.  I felt I’d have a better chance of success with a completed product.  I know lots of people who are writing a book.  I know only a few who have actually finished a book.

 

What struggles have you had on the road to being published?

Just the general struggle of trying to get that elusive book deal.  “Making it” in the publishing world is based in large part on luck and timing.  But in the beginning, I should have spent more time mastering the writing craft.  Only after I began to study writing and story structure, did I learn how to write a novel that keeps readers engaged. When I receive an email from a reader who calls my books “page turners,” I feel great.  It’s a confirmation that all of my hard work was worth it.

 

What has been the best part about being published?

How great I’m treated by my fans!  At last count, I’ve attended close to 75 book clubs meetings.  I love doing them because these incredible women feed me, praise my books and practically adopt me.  Whenever I leave a book club meeting, I’m always so energized by the camaraderie and encouragement.

 

What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading Murder on the Down Low?

That life is a precious give and that we must take responsibility for our own lives.

 

Do you have plans to write another book?

My fourth legal thriller, Buying Time, should be ready to send off to my agent in early 2009.  It’s the tale of a recently disbarred lawyer who unwittingly finds himself embroiled in a murder scheme in which his clients are the victims.

 

Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?

It’s been great.  I reaching thousands of readers without ever leaving the house.  I receive Google Alerts every time my name is posted on a website.  I feel like I’m touring all over the world.

 

Where can readers find a copy of your book?

In bookstores, the internet and anyplace else books are sold.

 

Do you have a website for readers to go to?

You can find out more about me and read an excerpt of my novels at www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.

 

Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney and author of the legal thrillers, Murder on the Down Low, Every Reasonable Doubt and In Firm Pursuit.  You can find Pamela’s articles on writing at BizyMoms.com, where she is a featured fiction writing expert.  Visit Pamela’s website at www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.

 

MURDER ON THE DOWN LOW VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ’08 officially began on December 1 and end on December 23. You can visit Pamela’s blog stops at http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/ in December to find out more about his latest book!

 

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