Monday, January 21, 2013

Pamela Foster: Writing about ordinary people doing their best--and Bigfoot

Welcome to Pamela Foster, a bona fide member of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen. But you'll find out more about that later. 

Pamela’s first novel, Redneck Goddess, was set in south Georgia. Bigfoot Blues takes place in the Pacific Northwest. Regardless of the setting, and wrapped around the humor and the suspense and the struggles of her characters, Foster always leaves the reader with a renewed joy in the small moments in life. Her novels are a celebration of ordinary people doing their best and, in the process, often becoming heroes. 

What inspired your latest book, Bigfoot Blues? As a child, I spent summers with my grandparents in Peckwan, an isolated, rural community known for its Bigfoot encounters. People talked about Bigfoot. They saw Bigfoot.  Found footprints.  Ran from him in the woods.  There was fascination and fear and love for Bigfoot.  I swam in Bluff Creek and rode baby pigs down the poison oak slopes of Blue Mountain with children who accepted Bigfoot’s existence as a natural part of the world around them.  And I did the same.

So, when I wanted to write a novel about a young woman raised in culture of belief that set the faithful apart from most of the world, a heroine struggling to find her own path without betraying the family that raised her, I choose to create Samantha, whose father is a well-known Bigfoot hunter.  I could have made Samantha a Muslim, or even some extreme version of fundamentalist Christianity.  But the insular world of beauty and awe that I know about is the world of Bigfoot.

Besides, I loved those summers spent in the mountains of Northern California and returning to them again in my imagination, was great fun.  I set the book in my home town of Eureka (which clings to the Pacific coast at the edge of the Coastal Range) and then sent Samantha and her crew of misfits and unlikely heroes into the mountains around Peckwan and Weitchipec–Bigfoot Country.  The characters, as all good characters do, came alive and moved the book in a slightly different direction than I intended when I wrote the opening chapter.  These multi-layered, funny, down-home characters had a glorious romp and brought the story home.

What do you think your readers will like about Bigfoot Blues? The book transports the reader to a foggy, quirky land in the Pacific Northwest.  Readers feel the wet, cold beauty of the area and become believers in Bigfoot, even if that faith lasts only until they close the book.  Sense of place is strong in all my books and Bigfoot Blues is steeped in the mist and redwoods, bays and lagoons of Humboldt County.  The Holy Trinity of writing–Sense of Place, Point of View and Internalization–these are my strongpoints. There is also humor and the reader will laugh out loud as they become Samantha, the Bigfoot hunters daughter.
I’ve already written two sequels to Bigfoot Blues, so once the reader has settled into Samantha’s world, they’ll be able to visit frequently.

Is there a different genre you’d love to try to write? Both of my published novels, Redneck Goddess, Bigfoot Blues, are contemporary fiction.  My agent at Sullivan and Max is hunting a publishing home for two books, Limited Visibility and The Perfect Victim. Both of those novels are contemporary fiction. Even my non-fiction On the Move with Chesty and Rocca is contemporary.

Now I’m writing a western, Ridgeline, set right after the Civil War.  I write in first person, present tense.  I know that’s unusual, but I do it well.  The western is written in third person, past tense.  Evidently, I love a challenge.

What’s your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? I love to teach writing.  I do day-long workshops on The Holy Trinity of Writing or, for shorter presentations, break it down and teach only sense of place, or point of view, or internalization.  Since the release of Bigfoot Blues I’ve discovered that people are fascinated with Bigfoot and I’ve begun to do talks on The Big Guy.  I’m also a part of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pen–five women authors, traveling together on the winding road to overnight success. This group is a joy and we’re having a terrific time speaking and team-teaching.

Whether it’s as a single speaker or with The Sisterhood, teaching and presenting workshops always teaches me something.  I learn from those I’m teaching.  And, of course, ham that I am, there’s just nothing like being the center of attention at the front of a room and when writers get better at their craft because of something I shared, well, it doesn’t get any better than that for me.

You can find Pamela at:      
Amazon: both books are for sale in paper and on Kindle 

We too often fail to see the love and joy that surrounds us. Pamela Foster’s BIGFOOT BLUES explores this truth in a story about one woman’s search to understand the meaning of her life and her place in it. The book takes us on a wild romp through the ancient forests of northern California. We run with an array of shaggy creatures, some of them not even human, led along the way by Samantha Jean, a pistol-packing, redneck woman with a stubborn streak a country mile wide. By the end, you’ll believe in the adventure—and possibly in Sasquatch, too.

REDNECK GODDESS: A hilarious romp with a quirky Georgia family determined to stick to its “old south” ways.


This is T.W. Fendley. Thanks for reading and commenting on The Writers' Lens.You can find out more about me at

1 comment:

  1. "write in first person, present tense. I know that’s unusual, but I do it well." ... that last phrase is the epitome of writerly awesomeness!