Meet Pamela Griffin (Take 2)

Pamela Griffin lives in Texas with her family and is the author of approx. 50 books. She is published with Barbour, Heartsong Presents, Tyndale, and Summerside Press.

Congratulations on the release of your novella “Birth of a Dream” in the collection The Midwife’s Legacy. Please tell us a bit about this novella and how it came to be.

Is this your first/only release? If not, what has released recently or about to be released that our readers would like to know about?

No. Next up I have a Heartsong release called “Love Unmasked”. I am often asked what is my favorite story I’ve written, and I can definitely say that this was one of my favorite stories to write. I based the idea on the underlying theme behind Phantom of the Opera (though my story takes place in 1890s Washington State). A troubled and angry young man, hiding from everyone, wears a mask to cover a secret. The heroine is drawn to him, without clearly understanding why, being the only one who can help save him from those out to do him harm – and save him from himself. It’s a story of secrets and choices that stemmed from both love and hatred. It’s about revenge, forgiveness, and the journey to rediscover hope and find redemption.

What special something do you try to bring to every story you write?

I try to make my characters as real as I can- the good guys and the bad, all having flaws and admirable traits, since that’s how people are. I try to inspire through telling their stories, that there is always hope and nothing is impossible with God. And that while we breathe on this earth, it is never too late to find peace and unity with Him.

What’s the best part about writing for you? The hardest?

Best part: Freewriting and research.

Hardest: Editing to cut while keeping story full-bodied (with no signs it’s been cut). To do that I eliminate words a sentence at a time, sometimes changing sentence construction, with a target goal for each chapter (usually found by subtracting the amount of word count that goes over maximum allowed, then dividing that number by chapters to see how many words must be eliminated for each chapter. If I exceed the total on one, then I have less to subtract for the next chapters, etc.) It’s a pain sometimes, but necessary to keep plot from showing any lack.

What books influenced or changed your perspective on life/helped you grow up?

The Bible of course, but in fiction- when I was a wild young adult and unsaved (living with a guy and into drugs, drinking, hardcore rock, etc), my mom gave me a few Serenade Serenata books and a few Heartsong Presents books one year for Christmas. (Both of them Christian romance book clubs). The books made me really see my emptiness. I remember after reading one of them I laid on the bed and cried for a long time without understanding why. (The story wasn’t sad). But after reading the stories, I realized something was missing in my life and I wanted more. It would still be a few years before I accepted Jesus as my Lord, but you could say that those books were one paving stone on the path that led me to find Christ.

If you could go on an all-expenses-paid month-long vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? What would you do there?

Europe. Especially Scotland, Ireland, and England. I would visit the castles because I love everything historical/medieval, and the countryside with forests, lakes, etc, because I love such scenery and there is nothing modern (buildings) around for miles.

Where or how do you like to connect with your readers?

Only my website. Readers can find me through the email addy I have posted there- words_of_honey@juno.com. Please note, I only check that email account about once or twice a month, so if you don’t hear from me right away, that’s the reason.

For Pamela’s other interview here on the site, check out this link.

Every comment on a The Midwife’s Legacy post is an entry for a giveaway for a copy of The Midwife’s Legacy from Barbour Publishing. (USA only)

Excerpt: Birth of a Dream

Copyright by Pamela Griffin

Here’s the opening of the third novella in The Midwife’s Legacy.

* ~ * ~ *

A harsh pounding threatened to splinter the wood of the heavy front door.

Christiana’s cheerful humming came to an abrupt halt, and she almost dropped her mother’s good china. She spun around, her hands clutched around the plates, and wondered who could be visiting so late. Why hadn’t they pulled the bell? It must be going on half past ten! No decent time for any caller.

In immediate response to her thought, the chimes rang—followed by more frantic knocking.

Pulling in a deep breath, she laid the stack of plates on the tablecloth. She wished her parents were home and that their housekeeper wasn’t visiting her sister in Seattle.

“Stop borrowing trouble,” Christiana scolded herself. “You’re no helpless child.”

Slightly encouraged, she moved to the entry hall, her hands going to her hair and smoothing whatever stray locks might have escaped their pins. She glanced at the umbrella in the stand, a possible weapon if the need should arise.

She hoped she appeared more confident than she felt.

Opening the door, she almost got her nose rapped on by an impatient masculine hand poised for another knock. Christiana blinked in surprise. The man standing there pulled back his arm in equal shock.

The gaslight from the entryway showed her visitor to be taller than her by a few inches, wearing a black hat and overcoat, lean in build. He had a nice face and rich coffee-brown eyes that looked anxious. Her mind picked up the details in the few seconds before he spoke.

“Please, miss, I need to speak with Mrs. Leonard at once,” he explained in a rich, well-modulated tone.

“Mother isn’t here at the moment. Would you like to leave your card? I can tell her you dropped by.”

“No time for that. Have you any idea when she’ll return?”

She shook her head. “I’m sorry. She went to deliver some papers to my father for the Exposition—the Lewis and Clark one that opens soon.” She realized the inanity of elaborating; every member of the populace of Oregon and many from the entire nation, indeed, from around the world, knew of the Exposition.

“That’s on the other side of town,” he calculated aloud, “at least an hour to get there, even with taking the trolley. With all the traffic due to the Expo, double that.”

She nodded, wondering the reason for his visit.

“I can’t wait hours, not even one.” He shoved his hands into his overcoat pockets. “Can you tell me the location of the nearest doctor?”

His gruff question triggered the alarm of comprehension in her mind. “What did you say your name was?”

He blinked. “I didn’t. Sorry. I’m Noah Cafferty.”

She regarded him in surprise. “You’re related to Lanie Cafferty.”

“She’s my stepmother. The reason I’m here. Her time has come, and no one else was home when I arrived at their house.”

Instantly, Christiana’s thoughts clicked into gear. “How long ago?”

He studied her as if debating whether he should share the information. He glanced at his pocket watch. “It’s taken me twenty-six minutes to find your house with her bad directions. She, um, she wanted your mother to know. . .” His face turned a shade dark, and she sensed discussing such delicate matters was uncomfortable for him. For her, it was second nature.

“It’s all right. You can tell me.”

“She said her water broke.” He cleared his throat. “That the baby was coming.”

Christiana nodded. She could wait for Mother to arrive, though with evening traffic and the distance, it could take hours. Even with the information Noah Cafferty related, it was impossible to know how far along Lanie was without an examination. Christiana had learned that for every woman childbirth was different. Only one matter was certain: Lanie would be delivering a child soon. And Christiana was the sole person available to handle the job.

“We shouldn’t linger. I’ll just get my coat and hat.”

“Wait—what ?” He grabbed her arm. She stared at him with her brows raised in curious question. He shook his head and let go of her sleeve. “Sorry. Wasn’t thinking. This whole thing has my brain coming unscrewed.”

She smiled. “It’s perfectly understandable. I won’t be one moment.” Again she moved to collect her things.

This time he took a step inside. “You can’t mean. . .you don’t plan to take your mother’s place?”

At his clear alarm, she nodded while turning to the hat tree for her coat and hat. She hoped he couldn’t tell that she was shaking in her shoes at the idea of assuming her mother’s role in delivering a baby. And without assistance.

She felt uncertain she was ready for this, but she had no choice. Grandmother Polly had done it at her age—and all alone, on a wilderness trail, in the middle of nowhere.

Christiana could do it, too.

* ~ * ~ *

Excerpt used by permission of Barbour Publishing. Check out this page for places to buy The Midwife’s Legacy!

Every comment on a The Midwife’s Legacy post is an entry for a giveaway for a copy of The Midwife’s Legacy from Barbour Publishing. (USA only)

The World’s Fair 1905

By Pamela Griffin

The characters of my story visit the World’s Fair of 1905, informally described as such and officially named “The Lewis and Clark Centennial and American Pacific Exposition and Oriental Fair.” A grand event set on Guild’s Lake of Portland, Oregon, and spread over 400 acres, it was the international extravaganza of the year and, up until that time, was touted as no other fair ever like it.

Perhaps that could still be said.

The motto decided upon and emblazoned above the colonnaded entrance declared, “Westward The Course of Empire Takes Its Way”. A hot air balloon loomed above as a beacon for many to find the gala celebration. Visitors could reach the event by trolley or steamer, the latter for a ten cent fare.

The majority of buildings were whitewashed and designed to emulate the Spanish Renaissance with graceful domes and cupolas, arched doorways, and red-tiled roofs. They were built specifically for the fair and sat nestled among the green forested hills, filling the wide walkways.

Quoting Mayor George H. Williams, the entire panorama was like “a diamond set in a coronet of emeralds.” In the background, Mount St. Helens rose to complete the scenic picture. One has only to look at the black and white photographs and posters and mentally fill them in with color to imagine what an awe-inspiring sight it truly was.

Exhibits from all over the world each had a place. Twenty-one nations participated, Japan’s million dollar exhibit the most extensive, while Italy’s huge pavilion of statues was the largest exhibit there. Each state in America of the nineteen to attend was spotlighted to publicize for one full day.

Oregon’s day was aptly named “Portland Day,” and its official program depicted a lone Indian on horseback looking down at the fair from a distant cliff. A reminder, perhaps, of the land’s early beginnings and the leaps and bounds of progress that had been made in such a short time.

The official poster encouraged readers to “Hit the Trail” and from June 1st through October 15th, when the fairgrounds were open, a multitude of people from all over the world did just that. Over 1.5 million paying visitors attended, a boon for the city of Portland which boasted approx. 120, 000 in population at the time.

A spectacular showcase for progress, the fair exhibited a multitude of scientific and technological marvels. Included were moving picture shows (movies), motorized airships (blimps), and the wonder of electric lighting outlined the mammoth buildings, bridges, and statues like thousands upon thousands of constant fireflies in a dark night.

Power, prosperity, and progress were chief themes, and at each pavilion visitors got a satisfying taste of each. And for a true taste, food vendors abounded. Amusements had their place at the fair, including music and concerts, sideshows, and the arts. Famous artists were represented, among them, the works of Claude Monet. The fairground was also the site of the finish line for a transcontinental automobile race.

With so much going on, and I only scratched the surface in this little snippet, it’s no wonder they needed over four months for display!

For the historical enthusiasts (like me) there is still a morsel of history remaining: “Sacajawea”, one of the multitude of statues that claimed a spot at this historic fair of more than a century past are among several that still stand today. “Sacajawea” can be found in Washington Park.

Thanks, Pamela! What a great backdrop for your novella. I enjoyed the visits your characters made to the fair.

Every comment on a The Midwife’s Legacy post is an entry for a giveaway for a copy of The Midwife’s Legacy from Barbour Publishing. (USA only)

The Midwife’s Legacy

Come along on a journey spanning four generations of courageous women. Will they brave the call to help new life and seek new love?

“A Mother’s Cry” by Jane Kirkpatrick
Midwife and widow Adele Marley always wanted a child, never expecting to become the mother of a baby whose own mother died during childbirth. Then Adele catches the eye of widower Jerome Schmidt. Jerome’s a good man—and he’s fallen hard for Adele. But should she commit to a husband, or do her daughter, Polly, and her calling to bring new life into the world bring all the love she needs?

“The Midwife’s Apprentice” by Rhonda Gibson
The hardest thing Polly Schultz has ever had to do is join the wagon train that will take her out west and away from the only mother she’s ever known. Thankfully she has her mother’s journal on midwifery to help her. As Polly journeys along the Oregon Trail, Gordon Baker takes an interest in her and her work. But will Polly’s quick temper and fears keep her from the man she comes to love?

“Birth of a Dream” by Pamela Griffin
When his stepmother goes into labor, Noah Cafferty seeks her midwife but finds only Christiana, a girl of seventeen. He’s leery of her aid, but Christiana proves she has pluck and successfully delivers the baby. But as Noah’s interest in Christiana grows, can he shed his old-world views against women working outside the home and make Christiana’s dream happen. . .to take her as both his wife and a midwife?

“Labor of Love” by Trish Perry
Kendra Silverstone has been certain of her calling to be a midwife as long as she can remember. But when a local doctor campaigns aggressively against midwifery at the same time one of Kendra’s mothers experiences the loss of a newborn, her confidence is shaken. Will the guidance and blessings provided through her ancestors’ words be enough to convince Kendra of God’s will for her life?

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Please join us over the next few weeks as we get to know these authors and their novellas better! Remember that any comment on any The Midwife’s Legacy post enters your name for a giveaway of the collection. For more places to win, check the Giveaways Page.

Pinning the Stories Together: The Brooch

By Laurie Alice Eakes

Pamela Griffin first suggested the brooch as the object that ties all of the novellas together. She likes to have that continuity between each novella in a collection. “I thought Scotland, colonial, they wear plaids. . .why not a piece of jewelry that fastens it?” Pamela recalls from the frantic two weeks it took us to gather information, brainstorm ideas, and put the collection together.

That piece of jewelry would, most logically, be a plaid pin, a brooch. Pamela looked through pictures of old jewelry, and, as we put the stories together, the conformation of that brooch took on shape.

It needed to be small enough to conceal in a pouch, but large enough to be seen by someone else if dropped. It needed to be immediately recognizable as valuable.

So how would poor Highlanders get a valuable piece of jewelry? We worked that one out, too, and saying more is giving away bits of the stories.

Being the pro she is, Pamela came up with her story premise immediately. Once we had the brooch history, the rest of us knew exactly how to make it significant to our stories.

And significant it must be. We didn’t want it to be a pointless connection; we wanted the continuity to truly tie each story together. Or pin them together like a warm, woolen plaid.

The brooch shown in the book’s trailer is not quite right, but it’s close enough for the readers!

Meet Pamela Griffin

Pamela Griffin lives in Texas with her family and is the author of about 50 books. She never thought she was going to be a writer. When she was younger she planned to do something connected with art, since she’d always loved to draw. But God had other ideas and she began to dabble at writing. Her third manuscript was accepted in 1998, and ‘Til We Meet Again was published by Heartsong Presents/ Barbour in March 2000. Pamela writes both contemporaries and historicals–all different time frames–and often works on several stories at once.

No, she never thought she’d be a writer. . .but she loves it now! She also enjoys art, music, snow, reading, fellowship, and fun, among other things. Of course she loves her family, but first and foremost she loves God, and it is to Him she gives the glory for everything.

Congratulations on the release of your novella “Healer of My Heart” in the collection Highland Crossings. Please tell us a bit about this novella and how it came to be.

To kick off bringing back their novella line, Barbour wanted to do another Scottish anthology like Highland Legacy (a bestseller). Since I was part of Highland Legacy, I was invited to be in this group. I jumped at the chance, loving anything to do with Scotland. I chose the first story, set in 1739, placing my fictional main characters with the first actual shipload of Scottish emigrants that came to America aboard the Thistle to make a new home in the Argyll Colony.

Is this your first/only release? If not, what has released recently or about to be released that our readers would like to know about?

No, I’ve been writing books for over a decade. The newest releases besides Highland Crossings are The Midwife’s Legacy – a generational novella anthology that comes out this year (2012), and a Heartsong Presents, Love Unmasked.

What special something do you try to bring to every story you write?

I always seek to inspire and encourage my readers through my fictional characters’ triumphs over troubles and their heartaches and joys. I want the reader to walk away feeling impacted somehow, even if it’s just to have a warm fuzzy feeling.

What does a typical writing day look like for you?

When not on deadline (which has been rare), I daily try to write, just to keep the flow going. Writing is my day job, so I always keep at it. Family comes first, however, and housework. . .(well, we won’t talk about that. ;-)) Seriously, like so many other authors I do try to juggle all of it every day but always make writing one of those balls to juggle.

How do you deal with the stress of being an author?

I love to write, it is one of my passions. The only real stress involved is when what I fondly refer to as “The Deadline Black Hole” comes rushing at me to engulf me. During those times, I try to maintain my health – sounds strange, but it’s easy to forget to look at the clock, to eat and sleep in the last week of TDBH, (which brings on migraines) and sometimes my sons help me, remind me to go to bed, bring me a snack or cook me a TV dinner. They are both adults now, presently living at home, and are a big help during these times especially. It also helps to listen to instrumental music – worship. Also other music – Celtic Woman, Josh Groban, etc, helps me to relax. When the weather permits, nighttime walks when everything is quiet and the air is cool are also a big help. And of course, prayer and one-on-one time with God is a definite must.

What’s one small bit of you that’s in your novella’s main character?

She’s a survivor, just like I am. She may get weary sometimes, or doubt, but no matter what tremendously hard knocks life pummels her with, she keeps going forward, not willing to quit. And I’m the same way.

Where or how do you like to connect with your readers?

I have a website, but my guest book company quit and I’ve not yet found another. Readers can contact me through the email address shown on the site. If the email link isn’t working, it’s at: words_of_honey@juno.com. I try to answer all emails, though I generally visit that account only once or twice a month, so a response may take a while in coming.

Excerpt: Healer of My Heart

Copyright by Pamela Griffin

Here’s a short scene early in the first novella in Highland Crossings.

* ~ * ~ *

. . .Moving through the companionway, Colin found that a mist had moved in, obscuring objects in the distance. No matter, he could see directly in front of him well enough and strode along the deck in search of a secluded spot. He heard a few sailors tend to their duties in these early morning hours, and a sentry spoke with two men at the gangplank. All else was relatively quiet.

From out of nowhere, a hooded shape suddenly came at Colin through the mist, with head lowered, and ran straight into his chest. The impact almost knocked the slight figure off her feet, the soft exclamation proving to Colin it was a woman.

“Did I hurt you, lass?” He put his hands to her arms to steady her. In the crystalline mist he got the impression of huge eyes, their color indeterminate. But he did not mistake the long, fiery curls of dark carnelian that escaped from beneath the plaid she used to cover herself.

She gave no answer except for a quick, agitated shake of her head. In their collision, she had lost hold of her pouch and he dropped to one knee to retrieve it for her. Herbs and vials had fallen out, and he suspected her of being a healer.

Something silver and round had also rolled onto the deck and he wondered if she was a thief. The mist obscured clarity, but he got the impression of gemstones in a design from an earlier century as he picked up a brooch, wide enough to fit the circumference of his palm, just as she crouched down before him.

“Please, sir, give it back. ’Tis mine.”

Her soft voice held a spark of courage now mirrored in her eyes. This close they appeared gray-green or perhaps blue. Her plaid and dark skirts were of simple weave; she certainly didn’t look as if she would own such a brooch.

“This is yours?”

At his blatant skepticism she stiffened her shoulders and lifted her chin. “My cousin gave it to me. It has been in the family for generations.”

He narrowed his eyes, taking in her plain clothing then looked back at the filigree design of the brooch. He brought it closer and noted topaz eyes staring back in the shape of a lion’s head. As if sensing his continued doubt whether to turn her over to the captain, she spoke again.

“They are only paste. Of no special value to anyone, save for the sentiment such a piece would bring.”

Her manner seemed overwrought, but her tone bore a steady quality that suggested she was sincere. He handed the brooch to her. Quickly she slipped it into her pouch and gathered the remainder of items spilled. He watched, his eyes intent on her face.

As an agent for the Argyll Colony, he had worked to persuade disgruntled men dissatisfied with their oppressive landlords’ methods and eager for change to migrate to America but rarely had he spoken to their wives or daughters. Still, he had visited many a township and had a unique gift for recollection. Had he seen her, he would never have forgotten such a face. Oval in shape, high cheekbones, full lips, a long nose that might detract elsewhere but on her face complemented her other features, and skin the color and clarity of rich milk with lips and cheeks of rose and hair that reminded him of red-bronze fire. Even in the mist, he could discern her rare beauty, as rare as one of the gems from her brooch. He could not turn her over to the captain as a thief based on supposition alone; perhaps the piece was an heirloom. He had seen enough gemstones to doubt her claim that the jewels were paste.

“I am Colin Campbell.” He picked up a vial that had rolled near his boot and slipped it inside her pouch.

“I know.”

“You know?” He saw her wince after she said the words, as if she thought she shouldn’t have spoken them.

“I’ve heard of you. You’re in charge of the migration.”

“Aye. But how would you know—”

“If you’ll excuse me, sir”—her belongings retrieved, she moved swiftly to her feet—“I maun be going below.”

“Of course.” He also stood. “I imagine your family is wondering where you are.”

She gave a faint smile and nod of farewell before hurrying to the companionway.

Colin watched until she disappeared. Something about the flame-haired lass with the spirit to match would not let his mind rest, and as he turned his attention to the dark, fathomless sea obscured by fog he felt that the young woman proved as much a mystery. . .

* ~ * ~ *

Excerpt used by permission of Barbour Publishing. Check out this page for places to buy Highland Crossings!

Highland Crossings

Historic North Carolina takes center stage in a new collection of novellas that follows the lives and loves of four women. . .and the heirloom brooch that connects them through generations. Will Seona, Fiona, Seren, and Brynna find God’s path in a new world far from their Scottish home?

“Healer of My Heart” by Pamela Griffin

Fearing for her life, Seona is smuggled aboard a ship, bearing her cousin’s message and her brooch. In America, she finds a haven with Colin Campbell’s warmhearted cousin. But before Seona can tell Colin why she fled Scotland, another shipload of immigrants arrives with men who know part of her story. Can Colin make the colony see the truth? Or will their chance at love turn to dust before it’s given a chance to truly flourish?

“Printed on My Heart” by Laurie Alice Eakes

Now a spinster of twenty-four, Fiona sails to America to find the sister she hasn’t heard from in years and to retrieve an heirloom brooch so all will be as it was in the past back home.

But for Fiona, the New World holds more than the brooch, if she can learn to set aside foolish superstitions and to trust God. . .and the heart of Owain Cardew.

“Sugarplum Hearts” by Gina Welborn

When Scottish broker Finley Sinclair bargains he can sell Seren Cardew’s entire stock of candy for triple the selling price, she thinks he’s out of his newly-immigrated mind. But Seren is desperate to make a go of her fledgling business. With little funds left after selling a treasured family heirloom, Seren knows Finley’s proposal is what’s needed to save her dream. But on the way, he might steal her stock. . .and her heart.

“Heart’s Inheritance” by Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Niall Cameron arrives in North Carolina to claim his inheritance, but Brynna Sinclair, the local tartan weaver, thwarts his ideas of innovation in order to preserve the town’s traditions. Brynna isn’t sure she can trust newcomer Niall. Then Niall risks his safety to track down her great grandmother’s stolen brooch, and Brynna worries she’s put too much emphasis on the wrong things in life.


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Please join us over the next few weeks as we get to know these authors and their novellas better!