My biggest feat in life is being the mother of four kids ages five and under. It’s the hardest job I’ve never gotten paid for, but it’s the most rewarding one too. I’m also a wife to Superman, and I’m an editor for a prominent publishing house. I write in my free time—which doesn’t exist, so my husband helps me make free time. That’s why he’s Superman!
Tell us about your latest book.
My romantic suspense novel, The Admirer’s Secret, is about a woman, Haley, who falls desperately in love with the wrong guy—and I mean desperate. She gives up her writing dreams for him and he ends up betraying her. She’s had more than a rough life—the loss of her father at a young age, her best friend’s suicide… and the one thing she longs for is out of reach. It’s a journey of true love, healing, and hope for the weary… with a significant suspense element thrown in as a character with a mental illness enters stage left.
From where do you draw your inspiration?
The Admirer’s Secret is autobiographical in many ways, sharing an experience I endured a few years ago. In fact, writing it was my therapy after a trauma I experienced, and giving Haley closure and renewed love at the end of the story helped evolve my own closure. My writing tends to depicts elements of my own life, since life itself is my inspiration.
Do you ever base your characters on real people in your life?
Absolutely. Haley, Marc, and Allen, all characters in The Admirer’s Secret, are based on real people in my life. Haley’s father is based on my own memory of the loss of my grandfather and how it later impacted me. Real people in my real life help me create real characters with emotions, dreams, desires, and pain.
How have your real life experiences influenced your writing?
Several years ago I was traumatized by a stalking incident that escalated into a flood of threat letters, mysterious phone calls, and a police investigation. Afterwards, I needed something to help me move on, and that’s when I started writing The Admirer’s Secret. The companion novella that I wrote, A Fatal Affair, uncovers more about the mysterious character Allen Michaels, and much of it is also based on the real life of someone I knew.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Along with going prematurely gray from stay-at-home parenting four little ones, I am an animal enthusiast. We have rescued three horses and are in the works of starting a horse rescue, along with being the caretakers of our very own mini-zoo with a dog, cat, guinea hens, and fish.
What was your road to publishing like? Tell us about it.
With my background in in-house traditional publisher editing, I knew a thing or two about the industry and was able to get picked up by a fairly popular traditional publisher… which I later regretted. They gave me very little attention since I was new, and as soon as my contract was up my husband and I decided to start our own publishing house and my books would be our first venture. It’s still in its early stages, but it’s been an amazing learning process navigating the whole publicity element. My sales have been more than I ever saw with the larger house I had been with and I’m so glad I decided to take the leap.
Pamela Crane is a North Carolinian writer of the best-selling novels The Admirer’s Secret, A Fatal Affair, and A Secondhand Life. Along with being a wife and mom of four rug rats, she is a wannabe psychologist, though most people just think she needs to see one.
She’s a member of the ITW, ACFW, and EFA, and has been involved in the ECPA, Christy Awards, and Romance Writers of America. Along with delving into people’s minds—or being the subject of their research—she enjoys being a literary reviewer and riding her proud Arabian horse, when he lets her. She has a passion for adventure, and her hopes are to keep earning enough from her writing to travel the world in search of more good story material. Grab a free book on her website at www.pamelacrane.com.
Author of The Admirer's Secret, A Fatal Affair, and A Secondhand Life
Westfield, New York—both home and prison to Haley Montgomery, a woman crippled by the death that hovers over her. After the loss of her father and best friend, Haley grapples with the loneliness of her small-town existence. But when her solitary life is upended by the man of her fantasies—the rugged, charming Marc Vincetti—her dreams quickly twist into a nightmare.
A secret admirer’s eerie love letters threaten to uncover Haley’s dark past, unraveling a haunting childhood secret that decades later consumes her. Soon the quest for the letters’ source sends her on a dangerous personal journey that could cost her life. As the layers of her troubled existence peel away, everything Haley thought she knew about love, and herself, testifies to the brokenness that lurks within the human psyche.
The Admirer’s Secret is a standalone novel, but I wrote a companion novella, A Fatal Affair, at the request of readers wondering more about Allen Michaels, a darkly puzzling character with an obscure past.
Have you won any awards for your writing?
My first writing award was bestowed on me for a poem I wrote about my grandfather back when I was eight years old, followed by an award for a short story I wrote titled Weedlia’s Fate. I won a whopping $200, which my mom made sure I didn’t blow on candy. This was the first time I realized I could earn money doing something I loved—writing—and I was hooked.
Which of your characters is your favorite and why?
Haley is my favorite character because she’s broken yet beautiful. She longs for the same thing we all want—love. I get her, and she gets me. We’re the same in so many ways. Although at first her dreams may not be with the right person, eventually she discovers her own path that takes her where she belongs. It’s a journey we must all take in our own time and in our own way.
With many publishing routes available today, which felt the most reliable to you when it came to the many choices?
As a publishing house editor and now a writer, I believe that every publishing route has its merits based on each author’s desires. Traditional houses know how to publicize and have the financial backing to do it well, which makes them a solid choice. But many great books are overlooked or undervalued by traditional houses, and that’s when self-publishing can give a book a chance to find its fans. But no matter what route an author chooses, quality is a must. A creative cover. Well-written marketing text. And a thorough edit (I’m an editor—of course I’d say that!). In order to take pride in a book an author must consider it an investment and put everything they have into making it pristine and marketable.
When did you know you truly wanted to give writing a shot?
I was eight years old when I wrote my first story about animals… a very Richard Adams-esque type of story about talking dogs and bunnies. I ended up writing poetry and short stories from then on, as well as loads and loads of diary entries, becoming reliant on writing to get through the slew of emotional angst a teenage girl endures. When I landed an editing job after college I navigated away from writing for a while, but I eventually found my way back when I started writing The Admirer’s Secret. I’m now completing my fourth book.
What is your favorite quote?
“Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.” E.L. Doctorow wrote that, and I love it because it’s true. I become a different person when I write, following the orders of the characters in my head. This is the only time it’s perfectly “normal” to have voices in your head.
Do you have any advice for other writers and what is it?
Don’t quit. Keep writing. If it’s a dream that you’re passionate about, but perhaps it’s not coming easy for you, try harder. Learn more about the writing craft. Keep putting books out there. Writing isn’t an easy, get-rich-quick scheme. It takes perseverance and sucks everything out of you, but it’s its own reward when you finally leave a small part of yourself with your readers, a legacy of your thoughts and creativity.