Inside the Literary Mind of Pamela Fagan Hutchins

My goal as a writer is to make a novel easy to read on the surface yet deceptively nuanced and complex.
Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes overly long e-mails, the What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mysteries, and (possibly) hilarious nonfiction. She resides deep in the heart of Nowheresville, Texas and way up in the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship as well as hiking with her hunky husband and pack of rescue dogs, riding her gigantic horses, experimenting with her Keurig, and traveling in the Bookmobile.
If you like Sandra Brown or Janet Evanovich for fiction or Erma Bombeck for nonfiction, you’re going to love Pamela.
2016 WINNER USA Best Books Fiction: Cross Genre (Hell to Pay)
2015 WINNER USA Best Books Fiction: Cross Genre (Heaven to Betsy)
2014 FINALIST USA Best Books Fiction: Cross Genre (Going for Kona)
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Quarter-Finalist (Finding Harmony)
2013 USA Best Books Business: Writing & Publishing (What Kind of Loser Indie Publishes)
2012 Houston Writers Guild Ghost Story (Leaving Annalise)
2012 USA Best Books Parenting/Divorce (How to Screw Up Your Kids)
2011 Houston Writers Guild Novel (Finding Harmony)
2010 Writers League of Texas Romance (Saving Grace)

Visit her website, or follow her on Twitter (@PamelotH) or Facebook To learn more about her fellow SkipJack authors, visit:


Question: Tell me about your newest book and what was the inspiration behind your writing it?

Pamela: My new release is Fighting for Anna. I was buying a white linen nightgown at an antique store. The woman who had brought it in stepped up to talk to me about it. It had belonged to an art gallery owner from Houston who had been moved/dumped in our small town after recovering from health issues.

She owned a little dog, and one day the dog broke out of her house through a window to run for help when she became sick again. The story touched me, and I wore the nightgown to channel it while writing the first draft.


Question: Why and when did you decide to become a writer?

Pamela: Third grade! Because my awesome teacher Mrs. Tavegie told my parents I’d be a novelist some day. Actually, I didn’t like the idea at first. I liked reading, not writing. But her words stuck, and I guess she was right after all!


Question: What book has been the greatest influence on you and your writing and why?

Pamela: Probably Lonesome Dove, because a) I love it b) McMurtry does setting like nobody’s business and c) he creates a wonderful ensemble cast of characters that leaps off the page. Now, I write romantic mystery. Lonesome Dove is about as far from that as you get. But I learn from all types of writing.


Question: Where do you find ideas for your books?

Pamela: Real life. I am a transcriber of reality, and all I do is reimagine it a little bit. Well, maybe a lot. But I start with something that actually happened, and I ask all the little Why, and What if, and Why not questions that turn nonfiction on its head. By the time I’m finished with it though, it’s an alternate reality J


Question: Where do you find ideas for your characters?

Pamela: I find characters all around me every day. Yesterday I was driving down a farm-to-market road in rural Texas. A two-lane highway, if you will. Coming toward me in the other lane at a very fast pace was a wild-eyed, high-stepping red horse, and on its back, an African American man of about fifty or sixty years of age. The man held his arm out to signal a right turn, and he and the horse disappeared from my view. I could hear the horse’s hooves clippety-clopping in my mind (I didn’t hear them in reality). I couldn’t stop thinking about his “turn signal” and the seventy-five miles-per-hour traffic on the road.

Life is full of characters with great stories. As a writer, I just make a habit of staying plugged in to what is going on around me, and I take great notes.


Question: How would you describe your writing style?

Pamela: My goal as a writer is to make a novel easy to read on the surface yet deceptively nuanced and complex. I think you’d have to classify my mysteries as character-driven, often closer to literary or women’s fiction than mystery, but the mysteries themselves are complex and satisfying, or so I am told.

My female sleuths are real women—amateur sleuths—with real lives and real problems, so they’re very relatable (and a little kick-ass). The romantic elements play out over three-novel arcs, so romance readers have to defer the pay-off of that element of the books.

I also believe the power of a reader’s imagination and experiences should interplay with the book, and I try to leave as much as I can up to them, especially when it comes to sex.


Question: What do you consider the most difficult part of writing a book?

Pamela: FIRST DRAFTS. I have started digitally recording my first drafts while I am walking my dogs. It helps me get through the pain faster and allows me to achieve two priorities at once. I’m a Capricorn and quite into goal achievement.


Question: What are your current projects?

Pamela: I’m in rewrites on a prequel novella to my What Doesn’t Kill You series that is a gift to my fans. It will be 100% free and sent out to current newsletter subscribers and be given to new subscribers as well.

It’s an ensemble featuring my six female protagonists (some of whom lead novels that have yet to be released) at a point in time where their lives all intersect, whether they realize it or not.

When I finish it, I’m finishing the first draft of my third Michele novel. I’m also brainstorming and outlining my Ava novels, which I will write in 2017 and 2018. Phew, did that sound like a lot? Because it felt like it.

Please click HERE to purchase Fighting for Anna.

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