Posted by Juliet Madison
To celebrate my new releases THE JANUARY WISH and FEBRUARY OR FOREVER, the first two books in my small town series set in Tarrin’s Bay; The Town of New Beginnings, I’m running a special interview segment called ‘At Home With…’
Today, we’re paying a visit to Pamela Cook, author of Australian rural fiction…
Hi Juliet, thanks for having me on your blog and congrats on your new release! I live in the southern suburbs of Sydney where I have lived all my life (in a few different locations) apart from a two-year stint overseas in my twenties. I’m also lucky to have a ‘home away from home’ at Little Forest, near Milton, on the gorgeous south coast. Not too far from where you are 🙂
[Juliet ~ The south coast is a beautiful place! 😉 ]
2. What do you love about the place you call home?
My house in Sydney is about as country style as a city place can get. It’s actually an old poultry farm and a few of the rooms still have the original timber panelling and ceilings. It also has a gorgeous carved timber fireplace. Being a country girl at heart I’ve tried to keep it close to the original style. Sadly that includes all the horse gear and feed that clutters the front veranda. No matter how I try I just can’t seem to keep it clear for more than a few days at a time.
3. Do you have a favourite local cafe, restaurant, bar, club, business, or store? Give them a plug here!
Since I spend so much time in Milton I’m going to give a plug to a couple of my favourite locals down there. First of all there’s the fabulous Pilgrims – a vegetarian burger place and café that does THE best milkshakes on the south coast. Their Bliss Burgers are to die for. Great Mexican food too. And I have to give a shout out to my friends Gary and Michelle at the Harbour Bookstore in Ulladulla. Such a great selection of books combined with friendly service. Definitely pay them a visit if you’re in the area.
[Juliet ~ I will have to pay them a visit!]
That makes me laugh. We have a menagerie that includes a dog (we used to have two but that’s another story) Bridie, Kiara the cat, Harley and Pepper our two rabbits, Charlie the ringneck parrot that meows and a tankful of fish. We also have 6 horses but sadly they don’t live with us. My handsome boy is Morocco, a quarter horse gelding.
[Juliet ~ Wow. So just a small few then. 😉 ]
5. What is your favourite room in the house and why?
I have two. One is our lounge room with the fireplace. There’s no TV in there so it’s a great place to chill out or tinkle around on the piano. I also love my study. It has grape coloured panelled walls, floor to ceiling bookshelves, all my favourite knick-knacks and a giant gold framed Moulin Rouge poster bought in Paris. Unfortunately at the moment it’s full of clutter but writing this has inspired me to go tidy it up!
6. If you had to evacuate your house, what three items (apart from people and pets!) would you take?
Now that’s a tough question. Definitely my laptop with my writing on it. As many photo albums as I could carry. And maybe the crystal horse work colleagues gave me when I finished teaching to write full time. It’s a great symbol to me of following my dreams and continually looking for inspiration.
7. If you had a magic wand, what’s one thing you would change about your home or your town?
Definitely the constant clutter. With three not very tidy girls that magic wand would come in very handy!
8. It’s movie night at your place, the popcorn’s out, and everyone’s nabbed their favourite couch corner or armchair… what movie/s will we watch?
I love the old rom coms like Sleepless in Seattle, Notting Hill and You’ve Got Mail. Never get sick of watching them. We’re also big fans of animations like Ice Age and Toy Story.
[Juliet ~ Love those movies!]
9. Imagine you have the luxury of a chef for a night and you’ve invited people over for a dinner party, what would you have the chef cook?
A sumptuous Indian banquet would go down a treat.
10. Name three books on your To Be Read bookshelf or e-reader:
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, Eyrie by Tim Winton and Ember island by Kimberley Freeman. If only there were more hours in the day.
11. Name something unique or uncommon that you have in your pantry or fridge:
Nothing exotic I’m afraid although I do like to keep a bottle of champagne on ice.
12. If you could live anywhere for one year, where would you go?
Definitely Paris. I was just there for a week over the Christmas break and didn’t want to leave. I’ve been there a few times now and never tire of the buildings, the light…etc.
13. You’ve just received a phone call from a friend or relative, and they’ll be arriving in five minutes for a visit. What do you do?
a) Relax on the couch until they arrive.
b) Put the kettle on; place some (probably homemade) snacks onto a tray; set the table; put flowers into a vase; and light a candle (and maybe even make some place cards with your super calligraphy skills).
c) Put the kettle on; tip out a few cookies onto a plate; check your reflection in the mirror, and wait.
d) Freak out; shove excess household clutter under beds, in cupboards, drawers, and the garage; trip over something in the process; hold an ice pack to your bruised forehead while swearing profusely; check the mirror to see if you’re still in pyjamas; frantically change into suitable clothing whilst simultaneously holding ice pack to your head; fall over again; alternate ice pack between head and location of new injury; then shove ice pack under bed and greet visitors with the fakest smile of pure calm you can muster.
I’d like to say C but I know it would be B!
>> Even though Pamela would probably love you to pay a visit, why not visit her online right now?
>> And help her pay for that in-house chef (or housekeeper) by buying a copy of her book here:
A captivating story of family, love and following your heart, from the author of Blackwattle Lake.
Miranda McIntyre thinks she has it all sorted. A successful lawyer, she s planning her wedding and ticking off all the right boxes. When searching for something old to go with her wedding dress she remembers an antique necklace from her childhood, but her mother denies any knowledge of it. Miranda is sure it exists. Trying to find the necklace, she discovers evidence that perhaps the grandmother she thought was dead is still alive.
Ignoring the creeping uncertainty about her impending marriage, and the worry that she is not living the life she really wants, Miranda takes off on a road trip in search of answers to the family mystery but also in search of herself.
Ultimately, she will find that looking back can lead you home.
Posted by Juliet Madison
In this segment, authors will be subjected to a list of awkward questions that may reveal more about themselves than they really wish to share, and they will receive a score on the ‘Braveometer’. If they choose to answer only five questions, they are a ‘Brave Author’, if they answer 6 to 9 questions they are a ‘Mega-Brave Author’, and if they answer all 10 questions they are an ‘Ultra-Brave Author’!
Please welcome Australian rural fiction author, Pamela Cook!
1. If only one of your books could have been / could be published, which one would you choose? (C’mon, I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I love them all, there’s no way I could choose.’ Time to be ruthless, these are the Ten Awkward Questions after all!)
As I’ve only had one book published so far that’s a tricky question but … in an ideal world I would have chosen the first book I wrote. It’s Literary rather than Genre fiction and closer to my heart, probably because it’s the first one and I spent so long on it. The same reasons why it hasn’t been published to date – it’s easier to be ruthless with writing you’re not so attached to. Having said all that I am over the moon about having Blackwattle Lake out there on the bookstore shelves. And to be working on my next book.
2. Okay, now which one of your children/family members would you… nah, just kidding! Which of the following words most accurately describes your best personality trait (you must pick only one!):
Punctual. Good listener. Neat. Graceful. Generous. Cheerful.
You certainly make it hard Juliet! I’m rarely punctual (just ask my friends), I’m certainly not neat. I’d like to think I’m graceful, generous and cheerful (at least most of the time) but if I have to pick one it would be that I’m a good listener.
3. Which of the following words most accurately describes your worst most challenging personality trait (even if you’re perfect, you must pick one):
Always late. Blabbermouth. Slob. Complete klutz. Scrooge. Grumpy pants.
Definitely the first – I’m always late. For pretty much everything!
Absolutely. I adore Jack from Blackwattle Lake. He’s handsome, down to earth, has a great body and a killer smile. But he’s also scarred by his past which makes him vulnerable and in need of a hug. Although I have to say that Vincent, a character from my current wip could soon take Jack’s place in my heart.
5. When writing an important scene, do you act it out to allow you to better describe what’s happening?
I definitely act it out in my head but I often sit at my computer making crazy arm gestures and pulling bizarre faces to try to get the movements and expressions of the characters right.
6. Do you talk to yourself when writing or coming up with plot ideas?
I certainly do! Thankfully my study, where I write most of the time, is tucked away in a corner away from the main living areas of the house. My family already think I’m a nut case – they don’t need any more ammunition.
7. Who would be ideal to play YOU in a movie of your life?
The toughest question yet. I have to say a movie about my life would be very dull so whoever played me would have to be expert at making the mundane seem extraordinary. Based on that criteria I’d go with Nicole Kidman. Not that we look alike (I wish) but she’s an amazing actor, I know she can ride horses and is a city girl who loves the country. Like me!
8. If you could be any book character for one day, who would you be and why?
I would be Elizabeth Bennet, after her marriage to Mr Darcy. Do I really need to explain why?
9. You’re about to be left on a deserted island for a year, and while your basic food and water needs will be met, you can only bring one extra thing from the following. Which would you choose?
a) A pen and notepad that never runs out
b) An unlimited supply of books
c) An unlimited supply of chocolate, coffee, or alcohol (your choice)
d) A gorgeous man/woman depending on your preference
As much as c and d are appealing it’s definitely between the first two. And although I’d love a whole year to read as many books as possible without being disturbed the thought of having total solitude and an exotic location to write in is irresistible.
10. If you had the attention of the whole world for two minutes what would you say?
I know I’d be tongue tied so I’d read one of my favourite poems, something by Robert Frost or Mary Oliver. Perhaps even Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese. You can hear Mary Oliver reading it herself right here:
Thanks for having me Juliet. The questions were a lot of fun. 🙂
You’re welcome, Pamela… and you have been awarded Ultra-Brave Author status on the Braveometer!
You can visit Pamela on the web: