Pamela Tracey

Suspense novelist Pamela Tracy lives in Arizona with a newly acquired husband (Yes, Pamela is somewhat a newlywed. You can be a newlywed for seven years. Ack, we’re on year seven!), a confused cat (Hey, I had her all to myself for twenty years. Where’d this guy come from?), and a preschooler (Newlymom is almost as fun as newlywed!) She was raised in Omaha, Nebraska, and started writing at age twelve (a very bad teen romance featuring David Cassidy from the Partridge Family). Later, she honed her writing skills while earning a BA in Journalism at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas (and wrote a very bad science fiction novel that didn’t feature David Cassidy). She’s written for both Barbour and Kensington and today writes both suspense and contemporary romance for Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired line.


It was a dark and stormy night as the Rabid Reader climbs the trellis outside the suspense novelist’s home. Looking right and left, Rabid Reader assures herself that she hasn’t been seen. Good. She has trained for this day. Dressed in black, she feels a bit like a cat burglar. Only it isn’t jewels she wants; it’s information. Once she climbs through the conveniently unlocked window and lands quietly on soft carpet, she tiptoes across the bedroom and looks down the hallway. There, two doors down, comes a soft light. That is the room! The office where Pamela Tracy works, writes stories—stories that have driven Rabid Reader to tonight’s deed.

Pamela: Ouch! Hey, what’s with the rope?

Rabid Reader: I’ve tied you up. Now you won’t be able to type another word until you tell me all your secrets.

Pamela: Secrets? Me? I’m on deadline. I’m too tired to have secrets.

Rabid Reader (waving the cover of Pamela’s upcoming August release, Fugitive Family from Love Inspired): It’s all your fault. I start these stories, and I have to read them in one sitting because I have to know whodunit.

Pamela: And you’re telling me this . . . why?

Rabid Reader: So I can finally wake up in the morning with more than five hours sleep, so I won’t be looking at my clock all day and thinking when can I get back to the book, so I won’t be at work and wondering if I’m—like the heroines in your book—just one step from the extraordinary, so—

Pamela: I get it. You’re wondering how a suspense writer works? Specifically, how I, a wife, teacher, mother, friend, come up with these plots that keep you guessing until the end?

Rabid Reader: Yeah.

Pamela: Untie me and I’ll tell you.

Rabid Reader (picking up a bookmark and aiming it at Pam): No, I don’t trust you.

Pamela: Good, never trust a suspense novelist. We just might put you in a book.

Rabid Reader: That would be grand. I love all this characterization stuff you guys do. Just what do you do?

Pamela: My heroines are always one-third me, one-third someone I know, and one-third spunk. My heroes depend on the book I’m writing.

Rabid Reader: What are you working on now?

Pamela: Revisions for December’s release. It’s called Clandestine Cover-Up. My hero is a handyman. He’s really Vincent D’Onofrio from Mystic Pizza, only he’s a handyman who’s afraid to commit but not afraid to come to the heroine’s rescue.

Rabid Reader: Oh, I wish I could meet him.

Pamela: Buy the book in December.

Rabid Reader: I will. Hey, you have a television in your office. Way cool. What are you watching?

Pamela: Bones.

Rabid Reader: Is that your favorite show?

Pamela: No. I do like it, but I watch it for mood only. You can’t trust it for fact. See, the investigators on the show have way too much freedom with crime scenes. When I write, I have to pay attention to what my readers will believe. Personally, I don’t believe all I see on Bones. I actually am really into The Gilmore Girls right now. On DVD, of course. During their heyday I was much too busy meeting deadlines to watch it.

Rabid Reader: Judging by your books, I’d not take you as a Gilmore Girls fan.

Pamela: My critique group actually made me stop watching it. They said I was starting to put cutesy stuff in my suspense novels.

Rabid Reader: Where’s your critique group now? If they were loyal writer buds, they’d be here rescuing you.

Pamela: They’re too busy to rescue me. We all have a three-pages-a-day goal. Then we meet once every two weeks for critique. They’re brutal, which a suspense writer really needs.

Rabid Reader (waving Fugitive Family around again): You mean, you wrote this book in just three pages a day?

Pamela: Well, I wish I’d written it in three pages a day increments. But really, I have a full-time job (college professor), a husband (Don), a son (Mikey, age four), and so many other things to do (clean house, attend church, judge contests, stare at bank mirrors) that I’d start with my three pages a book goal (Did you know that at three pages a day, you can write three books a year?), but eventually I’d be behind and start trying for five pages a day, until I’d be really behind and then I’d try writing ten pages a day for ten days. It works. By the time I get to the last one hundred pages, I’m flying.

Rabid Reader (frowning at book): Wow, a college professor. Do most writers have day jobs?

Pamela: Yeah, I’m pretty sure.

Rabid Reader: Do you get your ideas during your day job?

Pamela: No. The book you’re holding, I got that idea while standing in line at the bank. I was looking at the mirror that shows the customer line, and I thought to myself, “Ummm, do I really look like that?” I’m pretty sure I also thought to myself, “Ummm, no more candy for me!” A whole book idea came from that moment.

Rabid Reader: A whole book idea?

Pamela: And you’re holding it in your hand.

Rabid Reader (staring at book): So, the idea came complete, all you had to do was write it?

Pamela: In Fugitive Family, a dead body is discovered in a deserted farm house, warnings are posted on blogs, snow storms, people getting followed, stolen identities. Oops! I’m telling you too much. I need you to buy the book and then read it. Oh, and I also research. I found a bank manager and investigated what his life was like, because I made the hero a bank manager. The heroine is a teacher. Then I also researched things like masks and flowers and the missing children's network and—

Rabid Reader: Stop! All of those things are in here! In one little book. See, that’s why I broke in tonight. You put all this great suspense in a book, and then I buy it, and pretty soon I’m losing sleep because I try to read it in one sitting.

Pamela: I think you lose sleep because you’re reading and training to be a cat burglar when you should be sleeping.

Rabid Reader: Do you have a cat?

Pamela: I used to.

Rabid Reader (studying the walls and pictures in Pamela’s office): Do you have any jewels?

Pamela: Hey, I thought you were here to find out how I wrote books.

Rabid Reader: Yeah, but you just told me that most writers have day jobs. I’ll be a cat burglar by night and a writer by day. Thanks for helping me out.

Fugitive Family