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With over a million books in print, Pamela Britton likes to call herself the best known author nobody’s ever heard of. Of course, that’s begun to change thanks to a certain licensing agreement with that little racing organization known as NASCAR
Nowadays it’s not unusual to hear her books being discussed by the likes of Jay Leno, Keith Olbermann, or Stephen Colbert. Flip open a magazine and you might read about her, too, in Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly, or Southwest Airlines’ Spirit Magazine. Channel surf and you might see her on CNN, ESPN, ABC or NBC.
But before the glitz and glamour of NASCAR, Pamela wrote books that were frequently voted the best of the best by The Detroit Free Press, Barnes & Noble (two years in a row) and RT BOOKclub Magazine. She’s won numerous writing awards, including the National Reader’s Choice Award, and a nomination for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart and the Holt Medallion.
When not following the race circuit, Pamela writes full-time from her ranch in Northern California where she lives with her husband, daughter and, at last count, twenty-one four-legged friends.
If you'd like to chat with Pamela you can find her on her Facebook where she loves to hangout with her readers.
How do I go about getting my own NASCAR novel published?
I don't believe HQN, my publisher, is accepting submissions at this time—but you never know and so I would encourage people to query them. The best thing to do is check out www.eharlequin.com and click on TALK and then BOOK BUZZ. There's a thread of messages there called NASCAR LIBRARY COLLECTION that has up to the minute information.
Are there more NASCAR books coming?
Yes. I have one coming in February of 2007 called TO THE LIMIT. That will be followed by TOTAL CONTROL in September 2007. After that readers can expect at least two more.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
First and foremost—finish a book. Publishers won't look at a proposal unless they know the book is written. As far as technical details, go to www.eharlequin.com. Click on TALK (bottom of the page) and you'll find FAQs, Guidelines and plenty of message board discussions on the "how to" of writing to keep you busy for days.
Without counting your own books, who are your all-time favorite hero and heroines?
Whitney and Clayton from Judith McNaught's Whitney My Love. Joy and Alex from Jill Barnett's Bewitching. As far as movies, Princess Leah and Hans Solo from Star Wars (I'm showing my age:) and Cinderella and Prince Charming--I love those rags to riches heroines.
Obviously, humor plays a huge part in your books. Does humor come naturally to you or are you like some authors that really have to find the right balance?
I like to tell people that if I didn't write books, I'd be a standup comedian. Seriously, I try like heck to make people laugh, whether in my books or in real life. So, yes, the humor comes very naturally to me. Honestly, I don't think I could write a serious book if I tried.
Why do you write romance?
I write for personal satisfaction. If I wrote for any other reason I'd likely drive myself insane. This is a competitive business, one where you can't please everyone and once I realized and accepted that, I was a much happier writer.
When did you start writing?
Back in 1996.
When did you first discover that writing was your passion?
Very shortly after starting on that first book.
What is your writing schedule?
Some days it feels as if I write all day. Other days I write for a few hours. It depends on how the day unfolds. One thing for certain, I try to write every day.
What kind of research do you do for your stories?
It depends on the story, but it seems as if I'm always researching something. Mostly I use a combination of the Internet and the libraries. I would KILL for a research assistant.
Where do you get your story ideas?
From all over. The smallest thing can spark a story idea—like a snippet of conversation or something I saw on TV. It just depends.
What was the first romance novel you read? How did it shape your own writing goals?
I think it was Janet Daily's book NO QUARTER ASKED, and it was TOO SHORT!! It was a category romance and so I gravitated toward longer books when I was older. That's what I prefer to write, too.
About in the Groove, Pamela’s latest NASCAR romance (As seen on www.eharlequin.com)
Tell us about your latest novel, TO THE LIMIT. What can readers expect from this story?
Hopefully it'll be another humorous story that will make people laugh and cry. I'll have to admit, however, that this was a very difficult book for me to write. One of the male leads really worked hard to steal my heroine away from the hero. That was a tough thing to do—show two guys falling in love with the same girl. Also, my heroine is a very strong individual. She's overcome a lot of adversity in her life and so it was difficult to make her walls crumble down. I sure hope I succeeded in writing a plausible story and a hero and heroine who readers will love.
How did you come up with the idea for a romance set in the world of NASCAR?
Having worked in the industry, I know firsthand just how many female NASCAR fans there are out there. It seemed only natural to write a book about the sport; one that would interest women readers.
Are you a NASCAR fan yourself? What is the attraction?
I'm a huge NASCAR fan, right down to the autographed #16 team jersey hanging on my wall. Of course the signatures belong to friends of mine. I've known crew chief Doug Richert and his wife for nearly 20 years. Doug's driver Greg Biffle and his girlfriend, Nicole, are wonderful people and it's been fun rooting for them in recent years.
And you'd be surprised how many women enjoy the sound of race cars. There's nothing — absolutely NOTHING — like the roar of 42 cars flying down the front stretch. It'll give you chills. The drivers aren't hard to look at, either.
What opportunities does working directly with NASCAR give you?
NASCAR's enthusiasm for this project was contagious. They've also helped me with research and the accuracy of my books, something that'll really enrich the reading experience for NASCAR fans. My hope is that between NASCAR and myself, the reader will truly get a glimpse as to what it's like to work for the circuit.
Would you consider writing a romance where it's the HEROINE who is the race-car driver?
I'm not sure. We'll just have to wait and see.
You have also written a number of historical romances. Is it difficult to switch gears between writing about the past and writing about the present?
It is sooo much easier writing contemporaries! Oh my gosh, I can't tell you how much easier. The problem is that I write Regency historicals, and so that means I have to be familiar with British society — the way they talk, the social rules and manners. Sometimes, when I switch from writing contemporaries to historicals, I have to go on a movie binge. I pop in anything Regency — from Pride and Prejudice to The Madness of King George. Listening to the way the actors talk really helps me switch from a modern day "ear" to a Regency "ear."
What are you working on these days?
Another NASCAR book. Titled TOTAL CONTROL, it's the fourth spin-off of DANGEROUS CURVES, this one featuring a heroine who works for MIRACLES (based on the NASCAR FOUNDATION). The story actually starts in TO THE LIMIT and so astute readers will catch the foreshadowing in TO THE LIMIT that I did for TOTAL CONTROL. I'd actually planned to write this story for at least a year now and so I'm excited to finally get to work on it. I've already written the first three chapters and so far I LOVE it. I think TOTAL CONTROL is going to rank right up there with IN THE GROOVE (for me, at least).
A sneak peak into Pam's world
Top 10 (Vegas 2007)
Dee, Christine and Pam at the New York, New York in Las Vegas.
In The Garage at Vegas with Dee, Christine and Pam.
"Bling Bling" and Allen.
Pam Interviewing with the Speed Channel.
On Stage, Fan Forum.
Pamela Britton and Carl Edwards.
Robin Richert and Pamela
during the Busch Race.
John Cooking for us.
A moment of prayer for the 13 Team.
A Rear spoiler shot.
Pam in front of Carl Edward's Car.
Pam at the Pit Stop, Daytona, USA.
Pamela, Robin and Doug Ritchert
after Doug Drove the Tank.
Roush Racing Crew Chief Doug
Richert and wife Robin with me