Please join me in welcoming one of my fave people and fellow Seekerville blogger, Pam Hillman! Her new book The Crossing at Cypress Creek released June 4th from Tyndale House.
Pam’s Fun Bio:
CBA bestselling author Pam Hillman was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air- conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought, so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of.
Pam’s Official Bio:
Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and Gilded Age. Her novel Claiming Mariah won Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart award. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family. Visit her website at www.pamhillman.com.
SERIES: Natchez Trace #3
GENRE: Inspirational Historical Fiction
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: June 4, 2019
Sailing and soldiering around the world has taken Caleb O’Shea far from his native Ireland, so he never imagined that a promise to see a fellow crewman safely home would practically land him on his brother’s doorstep. After spending years away from his family, Caleb isn’t certain what kind of reception he will receive when he steps foot in Natchez, Mississippi. The one thing he knows for sure is that he won’t stay long.
Since her sister was kidnapped by river pirates six months ago, Alanah Adams has taken special care to avoid drawing attention to herself. Those living in the rough-and-tumble settlement of Cypress Creek might even think she’s addled. But when she stumbles into Caleb and his friends in Natchez, she appears to be the picture-perfect lady.
Caleb only catches glimpses of the mysterious and beautiful Alanah before she disappears. But a chance encounter with her at his brother’s logging camp near Cypress Creek leaves him uncomfortable at the thought of the young woman traversing the dangerous area alone. At a crossroads in his life, Caleb must decide whether he wants to give up the worldly adventures he’s been seeking for one closer to home.
Hi dear Pam! Welcome to the blog!
Pam: Growing up I was a hardcore cat lover. I loved my cat, Twinkle, and he loved me. His meow even sounded as if he was calling my name: “pim, pim, pim.” Maybe it was because our dogs were Catahoula/blue heeler cattle dogs who weren’t exactly pets. As an adult, we’ve had more dogs than cats over the years for various reasons. Someday I’m going to grow up puppies and kittens together and see how it works out. Maybe they’ll be best buds.
Carrie: aww i bet you have more of a chance of a puppy-kitten bff relationship if they grow up together!
Pam: Coffee, all the way. I’m not a coffee snob, but I do have this routine that I like, and if I don’t have everything to make my coffee just the way I like it, the day goes downhill from there. I’m cheap, so I don’t buy flavored coffees anymore. Instead, I brew a cup of medium-roast Dunkin’ Donuts original or Folgers medium roast in my Keurig, add vanilla, maple, or caramel extracts, a dash of salt, coconut oil, sweetener, and heavy cream. Then I nuke it in the microwave for 30 seconds since it’s not quite hot enough for my taste. Complicated much?
Carrie: hahaha maybe just a smidgen 😛
Pam: If by ocean, you mean beach, then definitely mountains. My cowboy and I aren’t beachy people. If by ocean, you mean cruise, well, I don’t know. I’ve been on a cruise, and it was quite fun. I need more details to make an informed decision. Or I just need to go on more mountain trips and a couple more cruises and get back to you. I’m willing to take one for the team in the name of research. 🙂
Carrie: LOL ok let me know and I’ll provide an update. Ummm… and I can tag along? 😉
Pam: Goodness, you drive a hard bargain. Can I pair this question with the winter/summer one? These things matter, you know! A thick, hearty beef and vegetable soup in the winter, and a tomato sandwich in the summer. See, options! Seriously, while both are lovely, probably soup. Unless the term sandwich includes a big, juicy burger with a carb-free bun (but somehow with the same taste and smell as the carby kind), then I might change my answer. . .
Carrie: I’m willing to negotiate on the definition of ‘sandwich’ if it helps… LOL
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Pam: If I had a superpower, it would be to wave my magic wand and get the rough draft done. If you haven’t heard, long drawn-out projects like writing an entire book are just plain out hard.
Carrie: I have heard rumors to that effect…
Q: When you walk into a bookstore, where do you head first?
Pam: I go straight to fiction. If the store has Christian fiction shelved separately, then I go there. If historical Christian fiction is shelved separately, I gravitate to those shelves. I browse through all the pretty, shiny new books, getting lost for a long, long time. I spend equal amounts of time checking out new-to-me authors and my favorite authors’ and friends’ books as well, sending fangirl pictures to social media sites and tagging them.
Carrie: Visiting ‘friends’ in the bookstore is fun!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Pam: Would you believe that I turned my breakfast nook into an office several years ago? I bought this amazing L-shaped cherrywood desk and was so happy to have an “office.” But even though I still love my (cluttered) desk, I don’t like to write or work in there at all. I sit on a love seat recliner with my laptop, and that’s where I do all my writing. Occasionally I get on the treadmill or stand with my laptop on the back of a couch so that I’m not sitting for too long.
Carrie: You are superwriterwoman to write on the treadmill or standing up! I am completely impressed 🙂
Q: Which character in The Crossing at Cypress Creek was the most difficult to write?
Pam: Uncle Jude, definitely. When I first started writing The Crossing at Cypress Creek, I didn’t have my finger on Alanah’s guardian. Was her uncle a godly, upstanding man? Was he a river pirate? Was he strong and brave, or weak and sniveling? The more I wrote, the more I realized his character was part and parcel of Alanah’s internal and external struggles and decisions. I was well into the first draft when I realized who he was as a man. I won’t spoil it for readers, but after that, his character took off, and the overall plot started coming together as well.
Carrie: That whole process is so fascinating to me…
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Pam: I didn’t have the whole plot outlined. In some ways, feeling my way along in the dark was really hard, but in other ways, it made the story better, the twists and turns more intense and organic. I think The Crossing at Cypress Creek is a strong ending to the series.
Carrie: WAIL! You reminded me that it’s the end of the Natchez Trace series!! Say it ain’t so! 😉
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from The Crossing at Cypress Creek?
Pam: That God’s mercy extends much farther than we could ever imagine, and that if we let him, he can use us to reach the lost. And, in many cases, our own faith is strengthened in the process.
Carrie: Amen. He is so merciful, isn’t He? To use us even in our weaknesses…
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Pam: I’m excited about another series set in Mississippi during the early 1800s. That’s about all I can say about it. 🙂
Carrie: Eep!! YAY!
What about you? Have you read any books in the Natchez Trace series? What are you most looking forward to in this new book?