Author Interview: Pamela Hutchins on Hell to Pay, writing, and more…

Heya reader!

I hope you are in as happy a mood as I am as I write this!

I don’t do too many author interviews. Usually, it is the same set of questions that I have and I don’t find the thought too interesting. But when I read Pamela’s Hell to Pay (What Doesn’t Kill You, #7) there was so much that I wanted to ask her (You can read my review of this book here to know how much fun I had when read it!). And I am super-glad that Pamela did this interview with me. Read on…

Nikita: How did writing happen?
Pamela: I’ve always expressed myself through writing. My husband believed I had a knack for it, and he pushed me and pushed me until I gave in. In fact, he was on a trip to Jamnagar, and I wrote a novella to get him off my back. When he came home, I presented it to him. And he said, “More, more!” So much for getting him to stop, right? Anyway, that novella became, many iterations later, Saving Grace.

Nikita: Did you always want to be an author?
Pamela: No! I wanted to be a reader 🙂 And I am a reader. I’m a huge fan girl of soooooo many writers. But my third grade teacher predicted I would be a novelist. She must have seen something.

Nikita: It always fascinates me to think about how an author thought of a story and its characters. Can you tell me a little something about how this story was born?
Pamela: I learned about a crazy cult operating out of my hometown, and it made me disgusted and angry. I decided to deal with them in a novel, since it would be illegal to in real life.

Nikita: Tell me something about Emily Bernal; as her creator, what is that one trait of Emily that you are proud of?
Pamela: Emily is brave and physically tough. She’s smart, but unlike most female protagonists, she combines her brain and her physical skills to save the day, not just for herself, but for her male counterparts as well. I love that she does this authentically without losing her femininity.

Nikita: Emily’s braces certainly qualify as one of the leads! How did you think about bringing them in?
Pamela: A childhood friend of mine got braces when she was forty-five. She’d always had this adorable gap, but she decided she had enough with it. Her stories about being an adult with braces were hilarious, and I hoped I would find a way to use them some day. In Emily’s case, she is moving from a place of low self-esteem and insecurity about her looks, to a place of confidence and acceptance. (Go Emily!)

Nikita: You’ve also got books with Katie and Michele in the leads. How did the idea for the series come about?
Pamela: The first novel I ever wrote was a Katie novel, and in it, Emily and Ava popped up. The second novel I wrote was a Michele novel, and she had a connection to Katie. From there, I realized that I enjoyed writing a couple of books for each protagonist, enough to give them intriguing character arcs, but that my interest wandered after that. I could let them play supporting roles as I moved through the cast of characters. So I guess what I am saying is that it all started with Katie. (Ava will also have three novels, as will a character from the Michele novel I’m working on right now; who knows who else will enter the What Doesn’t Kill You world and capture my imagination.)

Nikita: Which one of the three is your favorite-Katie, Michele, or Emily?
Pamela: Michele is the most like me. Katie gets to live the life I used to (so I am a little jealous). Emily is the most kick ass. Emily. Definitely Emily.

Nikita: Which one is your favorite scene in Hell to Pay?
Pamela: When Emily shows off her snake handling skillsto her fiancé Jack’s parents! I just cringed writing it.

Nikita: What’s next?
Pamela: Another Michele book: this one is called Going by the Book, and here’s the blurb:

Michele retreats to the country for peace and quiet while her teenagers are away for the summer, hoping to learn how to be alone in the wake of the death of her husband. But when her elderly neighbor Gidget—a Houston art gallery owner whom Michele is assisting in writing her memoirs—dies and leaves everything to Michele except a bequest to a daughter no one knew existed, it seems like half the state shows up: some to help, some to contest the will, and others to make sure the mystery daughter is never found alive. 

It’s nearly done!
Also, I have a prequel novella coming out exclusively for blog subscribers (free) in the fall of 2016. All my protagonists appear in it and take turns telling the story.


And now for a rapid fire (I love these questions and the little things they tell about a person!)

Nikita: Your favorite book?
Pamela: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty

Nikita: Your favorite author?
Pamela: Pat Conroy

Nikita: A book you wish you’d have written?
Pamela: The Great Santini

Nikita: A book of yours that you wish to adapt into a movie?
Pamela: Saving Grace

Nikita: Your favorite time of the day for writing?
Pamela: Afternoon

Nikita: One peculiar habit of yours, as a writer?
Pamela: I record my first drafts on a hand held device while out walking with my pack of rescue dogs and goat. 🙂


I hope you enjoyed reading this interview as much I and Pamela enjoyed coming up with this. If you’d like to know more about this book, you can read my review of Hell to Pay (What Doesn’t Kill You, #7) here.

Stay happy,

Nikita 🙂

Interview: Aditi Chopra of The Imperfect Series

The super-talented Aditi Chopra is on my blog talking about… Well, talking about what I wanted her to talk about 🙂 . Much thanks, Aditi!

In your latest book, out of the three women which one is the closest to your heart and why?

Great question, I would say out of all the three heroines, Nikki Desai’s character in House of Love is closest to my heart. Nikki is an ambitious real estate agent and is very successful and efficient at what she does. Her brother wants to learn from her and appreciates her professionalism. Nikki has built a good client base in the city of Dallas and doesn’t compromise with her career. Incidentally, I have always been career focused myself, hence the connection is strong.

What was your inspiration behind these stories?

For good or bad, I have always been trying to be a perfectionist and also expecting that same behavior from others. However, with time, I have realized humans cannot be perfect. I remember distinctly, one of my seniors had said to me – don’t let perfect stand in the way of good! These three stories revolve around imperfections in contemporary relationships.

If you could rewrite one of these stories, what would you change and why?

You know, a writer always has this feeling when they look at their work later on that they could have done things differently. I too get this feeling from time to time especially since I have the tendency to be a perfectionist. But then, I always tell myself, there was a reason the story was written the way it was and I don’t need to change it! With that thought, I feel content with my work. Of course, I do take input on the craft of writing and keep improving that over time.

If any one of your books had to be turned into a movie, which one would you want it to be and who would you cast in the lead roles?

Wow, a great question! Who wouldn’t want their book to be turned into a movie? I would have to say my debut story; LOST IN LONDON is a great candidate for a Bollywood movie. It is my definition of true love and has all the right ingredients for a movie. I would cast Ranbir Kapoor as Rahul, Deepika Padukone as Priya and Bipasha Basu as Mona.

What are you working on next?

Right now, I am working on another contemporary romance series which will have three distinct stories revolving around destiny. Destiny plays a big part in our love lives, career and so on and so forth. There is a certain romantic aspect to how destiny changes our life path at times. I will be exploring the role of destiny in the lives of three different couples and hopefully give readers something fun to read.