Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pamela Burford - HBS Author's Spotlight

Today our blog puts the Spotlight on Best-Selling Author Pamela Burford. She is the award-winning author of fourteen romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels.

Author Genre: Romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels

Website: Pamela Burford
Twitter: @PamelaBurford
Facebook: Check Out Facebook
Pinterest: Check Out Pinterest

Author Description: Pamela Burford has received four RITA and Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award nominations and is a frequent speaker at writers' conferences and workshops.

Her books have received outstanding reviews and been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is the founder and past president of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America.

Her sister Patricia Ryan, a.k.a. the Good Twin, is also a published novelist.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author

First things first. Tell us about your next book. When can we expect it in our hands? Give us a tease about the plot?

I’m changing course and working on a cozy mystery, the first in an eventual series. I’ve always loved mysteries, and of all the books I’ve written, those with mystery and suspense elements have brought me the most pleasure. I think it’s because I’m attracted to puzzles.

Writing a mystery is like creating one long puzzle, and I take delight in making that puzzle as challenging and entertaining as possible for the reader.

Like all my novels, there’s plenty of humor in my current work in progress. And although it’s not a romance novel, there’s plenty of sexual tension as my female sleuth’s affections are torn between two fellas, the proverbial good guy and bad boy.

As for a tease…the sleuth has a unique profession that brings her into constant contact with dead folks, and no, you’ll never guess what it is.

You’re one of the authors that has bridged the gap between the traditional world of publishing to the ebook environment. How has the advent of ebooks changed your publishing and writing? Can you see a change in your reading audience?

What an exciting time to be a writer! I could go on about this subject for pages, so let me just say that digital self-publishing has changed the way I publish my work, but not the quality of my writing. Readers are more savvy than ever and, as always, demand an author’s best effort.

One wonderful side effect of the digital revolution is that authors are now free to present works that might not be considered marketable by traditional publishers, who are notoriously wary of investing in risky projects. Readers now have the opportunity to discover one-of-a-kind gems that previously would have remained unpublished, as well as works of nonstandard length such as stand-alone short stories and novellas.

How did social media change your marketing? Do you still do personal appearances, book signings and tasks like that?

I still give workshops and library talks. I used to do book signings, but not anymore since most of my books are now in digital rather than dead-tree format. The world of social media is an online marketplace, information exchange, and kaffeeklatsch, all rolled into one. Facebook, Twitter, and their social-media cousins have eroded the barrier between authors and readers, and every author I know loves the change!

When you started converting your books to ebooks, did you go back and change the ebook versions?

After I got the rights back to Too Darn Hot and Snowed, and gave them new life as ebooks, I decided to let them stand on their own, with minimal changes.

I have also e-published an indie book, Snatched, which is a quirky romantic suspense. If Janet Evanovich and the Coen Brothers brainstormed a story, they’d probably come up with something like Snatched.

Basically I wrote the book I wanted to read, and boy, did I have a blast with it! In addition, some of my backlist books are being offered in ebook form by the original publisher.

Have you tried book trailers to promote your books online?

I have not tried book trailers yet. Like many authors, I find it too easy to spend enormous amounts of time on promotion, at the expense of writing time. I choose to do a limited amount of promo and concentrate on doing what I do best, and what I love: crafting entertaining novels.

Your twin sister and you make up a very talented and successful family. How did your sister, author Patricia Ryan, influence your writing? Did you tell each other stories as children? Do you share business experiences now? Do you ever plan on writing a book together?

It’s wonderful having another author in the family! When my sister Patricia Ryan (aka P.B. Ryan) and I were growing up, we constantly wrote stories and plays. Little did we know then that we would both become award-winning, multi-published novelists.

We are very supportive of each other’s writing careers and help each other in any way we can.

In the past we’ve collaborated on linked books in a series, but we both agree that we’ll probably never write a book together. We know the limits of sisterly love!

You are the founder of Long Island Romance Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. How rewarding was that experience to be associated with the group? What was the main benefit you got from the group?

Founding LIRW is one of the shining points of my writing career. That was 17 years ago, and that group has blossomed into a thriving writers’ community that offers mutual support, education, and networking opportunities.

“Founder” sounds impressive, but all I did was give it the initial nudge; the wonderful people who joined and rolled up their sleeves did the rest. LIRW is my writing family, and I wouldn’t be the novelist I am without them.

I have gotten this question from some authors. Should I belong to some of the big author groups? How big an influence on your writing and career was it to belong to some of the top groups like Authors Guild, Novelists Inc., Backlist eBooks and Romance Writers of America?

Writing is the quintessential solitary pursuit. Getting together with others who are facing the same empty page—or screen—and the same frustrations and anxieties is crucial. It’s necessary for your sanity, but it’s equally important for your craft and your ability to reach readers.

Writers’ organizations offer educational workshops and conferences, not to mention the networking opportunities that result in invaluable “face time” with agents, editors, other industry pros, and other writers.

For example, Long Island Romance Writers sponsors an industry networking luncheon every June that gives writers the opportunity to pitch their work and has resulted in many first sales. Literary greatness does not happen in a vacuum.

Author's Book List
Is an uncomplicated divorce and a fresh start at forty too much to ask? Apparently it is for Lucy Narby, whose life goes from blah to bizarro when competing kidnappers lock horns in her kitchen. And really, does the victor have to be that hot? If this is the Stockholm syndrome, it sure didn’t take her long to catch it!

Lucy’s kidnapper calls himself Will but looks suspiciously like ’80s child TV star Ricky Baines, whose acting career was cut short when he himself was snatched and held for ransom 25 years ago in a notorious cold case that remains unsolved. Will’s gang includes an aging French bombshell, an outlandish Irish giant with a mysterious past and a thing for Will’s sister, and long-lost Cousin Hal—a charming fellow who neglects to mention that he happens to be the twisted sociopath who kidnapped Will when he was still America’s favorite little star. Hal spent the past quarter century in the slammer for an unrelated murder, and now he’s out and determined to locate the $2 million ransom Will’s family paid. Someone else dug up the cash while Hal was behind bars, and that sort of thing tends to make twisted sociopaths a tad grouchy.

Fortunately (or not), Lucy’s bigamous ex is on the case. But so are a gay private eye in a fat suit and a bad-tempered parrot with an ax to grind, so no worries. Everyone has a secret and no one is who he seems when Kidnap Fever strikes.
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We’re snowed in! The last thing wealthy photographer James Bradburn expects when he turns in after his surprise birthday party is to find a beautiful woman asleep in his bed. The last thing Leah Harmony expects after fending off an attack and succumbing to exhaustion during the party is to find herself stranded for four long days—and longer nights—with the sexy, enigmatic birthday boy at his isolated Gold Coast mansion. A record blizzard has trapped them together.

Leah traveled to New York to confront the monster whose callous brutality altered her family forever. Now all she wants is to run back to Arkansas and forget she ever heard of James Bradburn. She guards a stunning secret as she struggles to resist the dangerous attraction that crackles between them. Of all the men in the world, James is the last one she should even think of that way! Little does she suspect he harbors a secret of his own.
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Too Darn Hot
Rule Number One: Never mix business with pleasure. New York restaurant reviewer Lina Holland learned that lesson by watching her beloved mentor self-destruct, and she's not about to make a similar mistake, even if the chef and owner of the restaurant she’s secretly reviewing is the most sexalicious hunk who ever seared a T-bone. It's not enough to be scrupulously impartial, she must avoid even the merest whiff of favoritism. Date a restaurateur? She can't allow herself to even think about it. Okay, she thinks about it, but that's all. Really!

Chef Eric Reid is a widower struggling to raise twin boys and keep his fledgling Long Island restaurant afloat long enough for word of mouth to lift it out of the red. Little does he suspect that the intriguing new customer groaning in ecstasy over his bourbon pecan tart is none other than the legendary Lina Holland, the reviewer whose thumbs-up could spell the difference between colossal success and the extermination of his lifelong dream. No one in the industry knows what Lina looks like, but he's convinced she's a brash, zaftig shrew who applies her makeup with a putty knife. When he finds out how wrong he is, the fun really starts!

Throw in a buttinsky roommate, a lecherous ex-husband, bribery by chocolate, and the fishing excursion from hell, and the result is, well, too darn hot!
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Fiance for Hire
The Wedding Ring: Four high school friends and a pact—every girl marries her ideal man by thirty or be prepared for matchmaking.

The Bride-to-Be: Amanda Coppersmith, successful at everything but marriage. There's absolutely no way she's going to let the Wedding Ring fix her up—been there, done that! She's determined to outwit her matchmaking pals.

The Prospective Groom: Nick Stephanos, sexy New York taxi driver and the perfect choice for phony fiancĂ©. Except there's a lot more to Nick than meets the eye—Amanda's in particular.

The Hitch: How can a simple fake engagement get so complicated? Nick is willing to be bought and everyone's completely taken in. So why is Amanda having such a hard time remembering that Nick's not really her man? And why isn't there an easy returns policy on fiancés?
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One Eager Bride To Go
The Wedding Ring: Four high school friends and a pact—every girl marries her ideal man by thirty or be prepared for matchmaking.

The Bride-to-Be: Sunny Bleecker, a woman who has waited tables at Wafflemania for twelve years…and waited the same amount of time for her knight in shining armor to rescue her from that. She's still waiting…

The Prospective Groom: Kirk Larsen is starting a new life in his old home town. Between teaching and raising a toddler, he's not really looking for romance, but being with Sunny is as easy as it was twelve years ago. Almost.

The Hitch: Sunny is dubious when The Wedding Ring fixes her up with her high school sweetheart, but her doubts soon evaporate. Sunny's suddenly walking on air, dreaming of a white picket fence and a passel of kids, but she's about to come down to earth with a crash. Because Kirk has news that she doesn't want to hear…
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I Do , But Here'S The Catch
Four high school friends and a pact—every girl marries her ideal man by thirty, or be prepared for matchmaking.

The Bride-to-Be: Carlotta "Charli" Rossi, last of a dying breed—the thirty-year-old virgin. It's love at first sight when Grant takes her out, but is it only one-sided?

The Prospective Groom: Grant Sterling, handsome, rich and worldly lawyer—confirmed bachelor. A mousy unassuming woman is exactly what he's looking for. He thinks he's got it all in Charli.

The Hitch: Grant needs a wife if he's going to make partner in his stuffy law firm. A marriage of convenience without sex or other personal involvements is the ideal answer. Never did he think Charli would turn into a sexy siren, or that he would fall in love with her…!
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Love's Funny That Way
The Wedding Ring: Four high school friends and a pact—every girl marries her ideal man by thirty or be prepared for matchmaking. The Bride-To-Be: Raven Muldoon, therapist by vocation and aspiring stand-up comic by desire, realizes her friends in the Wedding Ring have made a grave mistake…and that's no joke. The Prospective Groom: Brent Radley, a man who looks like perfect husband material—until Raven meets his sexy-as-sin younger brother…and Brent turns out to be less than devoted… The Hitch: Brent's brother, Hunter, is no choirboy, but not even he would steal his brother's woman—no matter how tempted he might be. It's up to Raven to turn the tables….
Amazon Buy Page -- Barnes and Noble Buy Page
Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the HBS Author's Spotlight plus the blog: eBook Author’s Corner. Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.


  1. Thanks James and Pam for the wonderful/interesting interview. Enjoyed it.

  2. Great article! I'm so glad I'm not the only author who didn't do a book trailer. As always, Pam, you're an inspiration.

  3. What a great interview! I, for one, am truly grateful you created LIRW!!

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