Buying Time – Author Interview – Pamela Samuels Young

Paperback Writer is pleased to announce our author for today, Pamela Samuels Young, author of Buying Time as she continues on her virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book.

About the Book:
Buying Time is a scandalous tale of blackmail, murder and betrayal, evoking John Grisham with a dash of Terry McMillan. Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he’s about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.
In Waverly’s new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there’s a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker’s fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.
The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who’s bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly’s clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.
Soon, a determined federal prosecutor is hot on Waverly’s trail. But when the prosecutor’s own life begins to unravel, she finds herself on the run—with Waverly at her side

Welcome to Paperback Writer, Pamela.
Thank you, it’s nice to be here.

Q: Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?

A: The idea for Buying Time came to me while chatting with a friend at a party. I
knew he was in the insurance business, but when he explained that he was a
viatical broker, I started asking lots of questions because I’d never heard of
the viatical industry. When he finished explaining how he brokers the insurance
policies of terminally ill patients, I knew there was a thriller in there
someone.

Q: Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long
time?

A: It was definitely a light bulb moment. On the ride home from the party, I
thought to myself: What if a disbarred lawyer stumbles into the viatical
business and his clients start dying before their time and he becomes the prime
murder suspect? I knew this business would make a great setting for a mystery.

Q: How did you come up with the title?

A: I like to mull over possible book titles when I’m stuck in traffic. I was
driving to work and tossing around ideas in my head. When Buying Time came to
me, I knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for the story I was writing.

Q: How did you find an agent and publisher?

A: I was referred to my current agent at Trident Media Group from my former writing
coach. My agent, however, was unable to sell my third novel, Murder on the Down
Low. Rather than put the book on the shelf and begin writing another book, I
decided to create my own publishing company, Goldman House Publishing, and
publish the book myself. I received such positive feedback from my test readers
that I had every confidence that Murder on the Down Low would do well. And so
far, it has. Because of the success of that book, I decided to self-publish
Buying Time as well, without even bothering to submit it to traditional
publishers.

Q: Who reads your work in progress?

A: My writing group gets the first look at my work. Then once I have a decent
draft, I give the manuscript to at least one book club as well as a group of
friends and colleagues. Close to 50 people read the manuscript for Buying Time.
It was a very diverse group in terms of age, race, region of the country and
professions.

Q: Who made a difference in the book’s quality?

A: Each one of my test readers made the difference! I find it so interesting that
no one interprets a scene in exactly the same way. Each critique I received
helped me to improve the novel.

Q: How long did it take you to complete the first draft?

A: Depending on how much time I commit to writing, it takes me about six months to
complete a first draft. I still practice law, so I don’t have the opportunity to
write every day. As often as I can, I go away to write over a long weekend or
take a weeklong writing vacation where all I do is write for 10-plus hours a
day. I can get quite a bit of writing done when I hibernate like that. I power
through my first effort with little or no revising. Once I have a decent draft,
then I can really begin shaping the story. It takes me about a year to produce
a final product that I’m happy with.

Q: How long did it take from start to publication?

A: Because I published Buying Time myself, it was in stores three months after I
finished it. That’s the positive side of self-publishing. With a traditional
publisher, the whole process can take up to two years. Since 2006, I’ve
published a book a year. My first two novels, Every Reasonable Doubt (2006)
and In Firm Pursuit (2007), were published by mainstream publishers, Harlequin
and BET Books. When Harlequin passed on my third novel, Murder on the Down Low
(2008), and my agent was unable to sell it to another publisher, I didn’t want
to lose the momentum of my growing fan base so I published the book myself. The
lengthy time frame that traditional publishing houses need to get a book on the
shelf is the primary reason I’ve decided to continue publishing my own novels.

Q: Do you have any advice for new authors?

A: First, diligently study the writing craft and solicit objective feedback to
ensure that there’s a market for your work.

Second, don’t let the naysayers discourage you. Agents and editors have
rejected lots of writers who went on to major success in the publishing world
(e.g., John Grisham, Terry McMillan, Stephanie Meyer). So when you get that
rejection letter, take a minute or two to lick your wounds, then move on. Your
day will come. Just don’t quit!

Thank you, Pamela Samuels Young for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual
book tour. I wish you continued success through the rest of you tour.

To find out more about Pamela or her book check out her website. www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com

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