Pam Mantovani Stops by the Lair

I’m happy to host debut author Pam Mantovani today since I’ve known Pam for years and was really happy when I heard about her first sale.

Tell us about your new book.

When Army Ranger Logan Montgomery returns to his family’s ranch in western Montana to mourn the loss of his father, he discovers that his best friend had a little girl as the result of their lovemaking the night before he left to join the service.  He sets out to prove himself to her – that he’s come home to stay. Deputy Sheriff Kendall Grant has worked hard to build a stable life for her young daughter, Marissa. When Logan discovers he’s Marissa’s father, Kendall refuses to believe he intends to become a doting daddy. She’s convinced he’ll grow bored with small-town life and re-enlist. More than anything, she’s afraid this time he’ll shatter both her heart and Marissa’s. How can she learn to trust that this time it’s forever?

Author photo How did the idea for this book come about?

I am not at all ashamed to admit I went after the most popular romance themes – a cowboy and a secret baby.  I did however think I’d put a twist on the familiar by, rather than the heroine keeping the hero from finding out he is the father, instead she refused to tell their child. My critique partner is the one who gave me the idea for the beginning and with that the book just seemed to take off. I would never say the book wrote itself but every time I thought I was stuck, something would come to me and the story moved along.

Tell us a little bit about your journey to publication.

My journey has been long, in some part because there were years when I didn’t actively pursue publication as much as I could have. At times this journey took a circular route as I tried to find not only my voice but where I felt I was best suited. It seemed, however, that I always came back to a more traditional, contemporary romance. 2013 RWA National in Atlanta began on my birthday, a significant one. I’d pretty much decided after the conference was over, that I was done. I’d given the pursuit of publication all I knew how to do at that time. Then, miracle of miracles, Deborah Smith bought my book while I was at the conference!

bracelet photo for TrishWhen did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Like so many other authors, I was a reader at an early age. Every time I would read a book, I would reach the end and think, “Oh, I wish I could write.” It simply never occurred to me to consider that I could do so; I thought you had to “born” a writer. Shortly after I decided to try my hand at writing, I recall reading a book where the author said he was always surprised that people think nothing of believing a person could learn to be a doctor, in fact expect it, but never considered that a person could “learn” to be a writer. It was an eye-opener for me.

Is there a book that you read that really had a big impact on you and/or made you think, “I want to be a writer”?

The book that comes to mind that I read about the time that I decided to try my hand at crafting a story of my own was Nora Roberts’ All The Possibilities, which is part of her beloved McGregor series. I remember immediately finding every book that I could by her. I’ve read everything she’s written, most at least twice and several of them three or even four times. Once, when my chapter in south Florida invited her to present a one-day workshop, I got to go to dinner with her – which involved parallel parking on Miami Beach on a Friday night!

CowboyOnHerDoorstep200When you’re not writing, what do you like to do for fun?

I quilt, although I don’t actually piece together all those square a triangles. Deb Dixon and I actually have a quilting partnership in which she makes the top and then I do a hand-stitched design. The husband and I have a rather large yard, including a garden pond, which require quite a bit of gardening and care. We also love doing home improvement projects. I can handle a pretty mean scroll and jig saw if I do say so myself.

How can readers connect with you via social media?

Facebook Profile

Blog

Twitter

BelleBooks

Pinterest

Newsletter

Pam will be giving away a copy of Cowboy on Her Doorstep and a bracelet she’s made to one lucky commenter today. What would you like to ask Pam?

Comments

59 Comments

  • Jane says:

    Congrats on your debut release, Pam. Can you share some fangirl moments from RWA or any other conferences?

  • Amy Conley says:

    Congrats Pam. Other than NR, who are some other authors who have influenced/encouraged you?

  • Cathy P says:

    Hi Pam! Congrats on your first sale! You said your writing journey has been a long one. What made you decide you wanted to become a writer?

  • Hi Pam!

    So great to see you here as it gives me a chance to say CONGRATULATIONS!

    We all hear when we start out writing that perseverance in critical to a writer’s success…and then the years roll by and we really begin to understand how important that quality is. Glad you hung in there. Looking forward to Cowboy on Her Doorstep (great title BTW). WIshing you mega success.

  • flchen1 says:

    Happy congrats on your debut, Pam! And wow, you know your way around woodworking equipment? A woman of many talents! Is there anything you’d love to learn to do at this point?

    • Pam says:

      Obviously I Need to become more computer savvy as I just now spotted this oh-so convenient Reply button on each of your comments 🙂
      My husband, whom I refer to as The Craftsman, is such a perfectionist when it comes to woodworking and I enjoy it – except for the sanding. Otherwise I think I’d like to learn to knit. For one thing I’d like something that is a little more totable, quilting requires too much space, for when I travel and such. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and chat.

  • Mary Preston says:

    Hi Pam,

    with your quilting and sewing couldn’t you find the lovely man on the cover any buttons for his shirt?

    Not complaining mind you!!

  • Helen says:

    Hi Pam

    Huge congrats on the release I do love the sound of this one and well done for keeping at it I had never thought that someone could learn to write a book great thinking there.

    Have you travelled a lot to help with story ideas

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Pam says:

      Helen, when I decided to go with the ‘tried and true’ and do a cowboy story of course my first thought was Texas. There are times however when I rebel against the norm. That said, I did nothing more than look at a map and say “Okay, Montana works!” Thank goodness for Google, as I was able to research things like weather, barrel horse training and even those lovely wildflowers that Logan picks for Kendall 🙂

      • Montana is just gorgeous. My sister lives there and I was able to go out and visit for a week this summer. I’d been there a few times before, having driving across the whole state a few times. The sky really is so incredibly wide there.

  • Shannon says:

    You said it was a long journey. Several questions, how many times did you stop writing? For how long? And what was one of those moments that got you going again?

    • Pam says:

      Oh Shannon, I stopped so many times – almost as many times as I started a new book! The longest time I ever stopped was a little more than two weeks. Then my mind started thinking, imagining and I was off again. There have most definately been times when I didn’t work at my craft as hard as perhaps I could have, certainly times when I chose family over the career. Do I regret that? To be honest, yes at times. I look at the success of some of my friends and wish I had that …. OTOH I have wonderful family who has supported me and some lovely memories.
      The latest time I nearly quit it was my critique partner, Christine Glover, that got me through…not that she badgered me or anything like that 😉 Seriously, all she did was encourage and tell me she believed in my writing ability. She’s the biggest asset I have

  • Pam says:

    Jane, well obviously the RWA National where I sold my first book would top my list! The other first that stands out in my memory was my first RWA. When I walked into the literacy signing, it was Sunday that year if I remember correctly, there was NO ONE standing in front of Nora. Now here I was standing in front of my idol, and had plenty of time to chat with her. She was very gracious

  • Pam says:

    Amy, There are two authors who have had a huge influence on me. The first is Joan Johnston. She has been a wonderful mentor to me over the years , introducing me to so many professionals in this industry. The other is Heather Graham, who is just about the loveliest person you’d ever want to meet. She was in Atlanta when I won my first Maggie and bought a bottle of champagne for us to celebrate. I was blown away when she honored me with the cover quote for my debut novel

  • Pam says:

    Cathy, As I said I
    whenever I would finish a book I’d wish I could write but never had the courage to try. Without getting all detailed, let me just say my childhood was without encouragement. So, I have to say it was and continues to be my husband who gave me the courage to actually try. I can still recall sitting in the car returning home from a family visit and literally taking pencil to paper to begin my first endeavor.

    • Having a supportive husband is so invaluable, isn’t it? Mine is even involved in my business now as he formats books, designs covers, books ads, helps me brainstorm. He’s just awesome. 🙂

  • Pam says:

    Thanks for the welcome Donna! And thank you to everyone who is taking the time to spend with me today.
    I probably should confess that I’m at the beach – not that I’m bragging 🙂 just explaining that the WiFi at the condo might make some of my comments appear a little slower.

    Donna- yes I loved the title as soon as it was suggested! Thanks for your good wishes.
    And no doubt pure stubbornness has held me in good stead.

  • sandyg265 says:

    What’s the biggest home improvement project you’ve ever done?

    • Pam says:

      When we lived in south FL, shortly after Hurricane Andrew hit, we decided to move to another area of town. My husband found this home in really bad condition. It was a great price sure but there was no way I could imagine living under those conditions – with 3 children! So he looked and found another house..one that we knew going in would need an entire kitchen remodel.
      So, we bit the bullet and took it on. The Craftsman and his father did most of the work, with me as their trusty assistant. It took two weeks but by the end I had a wonderful kitchen. Unfortunately 6 months – yes! 6 MONTHS – later he was transferred and we sold the house. I still love that kitchen

  • Pam, huge congratulations on your debut. It sounds great – and as you say, definitely has themes that hook the reader in like a stitch into a quilt (see what I did there? LOL!). Trish, thanks for bringing Pam to us today.

  • Tina M says:

    Congrats on your book. What’s your writing routine like? Do you need quite or do you like music?

    • Pam says:

      Thanks for asking Tina. I know several authors come up with play lists for each book but I’m one of those who gets distracted by the music – sometimes I can turn on soundtracks and move along. For some odd reason though the soundtrack to The Piano stops me everytime. Weird.
      For the most part I’m a morning/early afternoon writer. Evenings are reserved for quilting, promo, social media

  • pearl says:

    Congratulations on your release which sounds captivating. Do you travel and so yo have a favorite destination?

  • Caren Crane says:

    Pam, it’s so great to have you here with us! You know how very adored you are in the Lair. 🙂

    I LOVE the secret baby trope. Matter of fact, my current WIP features a secret “baby” (who is actually in college during the book). What made you choose western Montana as the setting for this particular story? It’s a great, wide open canvas for it, for sure. Just curious why Montana and not, say, Wyoming or Utah or South Dakota!

  • Debbie Oxier says:

    Love the cover of your book. I have several stories I’ve started but never finished. Don’t have anyone to read them and tell me if they’re even any good. None of my family and friends read. Amazing but true. It doesn’t stop me from putting ideas on paper, mainly for myself, I guess.

    • Pam says:

      Debbie, one of the best blessings that has recently come into my life is my critique partner Christine Glover. Like me she writes contemporary romance and has a great analytical eye for any holes in my plots. She’s also a great cheerleader. There’s nothing wrong with writing for yourself – we were/are all readers.

  • Minna says:

    Congrats on the release!

  • elaina says:

    Have you met many cowboys? Love to hear.

    • Pam says:

      Unfortunately not a single one! There is a yearly rodeo near my home town but so far conflicting schedules have prevented me from going. I will say that whenever there’s a rodeo on TV he always watches it -and tells me I should pay attention!

  • ellie says:

    Congrats. I enjoyed your post and learning about your handyman skills.

    • Pam says:

      Thanks Ellie! I wish I just had more time to do all the things I’d like to do around the house…the list is never ending, the cash with which to complete the projects? Not so much 🙂

  • Pam says:

    Is there a home improvement project any of you would like to see done around your place?

    • I wish I could snap my fingers and have a totally updated interior design, especially since we’re going to be putting our house on the market.

      • Pam says:

        I hear that Trish! If only it were as easy as they make it look on HGT – or is I just want some of those good looking guy hosts they have?

  • Laney4 says:

    I read on your blog that you garden, paint, and do carpentry work on weekends, plus you quilt during the evenings. Does that mean that you schedule your writing time weekdays? Do you find mornings or afternoons work best for you? If you have, let’s say, a funeral go attend one afternoon, do you write in the evening to make up for that lost time? How do you balance all this and more?

  • Pam says:

    Laney, I do most of my writing during the weekdays. I started that from the beginning, mostly because when I first started writing I was a stay-at-home mom and I could write while the house was empty. Now it’s harder since I have a day job. The weekends are still, in my mind, for family and all the other assorted chores related to having a home. But, lately I’ve tried to give at least a couple of hours during the weekend to writing. Balance is so hard, especially with all the social media and promo demands…which I’ve found to be the hardest to adjust to since publishing

  • bn100 says:

    Has a cowboy shown up on your doorstep?

    • Pam says:

      So cute! My husband and I met on a blind date so yes I guess you could say yes! Or at least the King of my Heart did

  • catslady says:

    Congratulations! Are there any other genres that you’re interested in?

    • Pam says:

      In terms of writing, no there are no other genres that interest me – at this time. As far as reading, I love suspense, thrillers, historical, even some fantasy. I find especially in audio books I’m willing to try something out of my ‘normal’

  • Becke says:

    Congratulations, Pam,

    Glad your dream finally became a reality.
    b

  • anne says:

    Congratulations Pam! Do you do house calls? Writing is intense. How do you relax?

    • Pam says:

      Anne, what is this relax you speak of?
      Actually I find the repetitive nature of quilting to be very relaxing.

  • Pam, welcome and congratulations!

    How did you get into quilting? What’s your favorite quilt that you’ve made, either with Debra or on your own?

  • Pam says:

    Nancy, I got started quilting mostly because I was tired of cross stitch. I started with just stitching around a piece of printed fabric, then moved onto stencil designs on plain fabric. I learned as I went along. My favorite quilt? Well, I think the one that Deb made at my request….it’s a family tree…all the names of everyone in our family I stitched onto the leaves she quilted. It’s very beautiful and was a gift to my mother in law, who is proud of it.

  • Pam says:

    I want to thank everyone who stopped by to visit, comment and offer me such warm regards. I’ve had a lovely time today chatting with all of you. I especially want to thank Trish for giving me this opportunity to connect with some new friends. I hope it’s not the last time we get to chat.
    CONGRATS ELLIE – your name came up in a random drawing as the winner of Cowboy On Her Doorstep and the bracelet I made. Email me at: pammantovaniauthor@gmail.com with your complete name and mailing address and I’ll send you to right away.

    THANKS AGAIN EVERYONE!
    Best
    Pam