Pamella Bowen is a published author of 6 books and an Author Audience Academy member. She is our featured author this week for the Author Spotlight.
As I like to say, congratulations, Pamella, on giving birth to your “book babies.”
Share the title(s) of your published book(s)?
- Folding Memory: an Alzheimer’s Story
- Faith and Grace Say Their Prayers
- Pray for the World
- Old Vine and Little Branch/ Vid Viejo y Ramita
- Jesus in Jeans Journal
- A Doubter’s Devotional: Judgment-free and Jargon-free
Did you always dream of being a published author or is this something new for you?
I believe God intends me to be a writer. I wrote plays for my friends to act in elementary school. I wrote love stories about the Beatles in junior high. I wrote poems and parodies in high school.
However, I was told that I couldn’t make a living by writing, so I trained to be a teacher. Now that I am retired and the publishing world has changed, I am able to live out my dream and God’s by self-publishing my own books. I feel I have come into my own, at age 66.
Before joining Author Audience Academy, what was your biggest obstacle?
My biggest obstacle to writing when I was teaching was the lack of energy and lack of time. After retiring, my biggest obstacle was my ego. I tried writing country then Christian song lyrics and was crushed by the rejection I experienced.
I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole since I have no musical training and am not a performer. I had to reach out to others to “musicate” my lyrics, which was good since it took me out of my introverted comfort zone.
When I decided to focus on non-song writing, I still had to ask myself “why?” I realized that all my efforts up to this point were to aggrandize myself, to prove that I was special. I was trying to overcome obstacles through my own effort, alone. I had some success, but not what I dreamed of.
What prompted you to become a part of Author Audience Academy? Specifically, what were you looking for?
I joined Author Audience Academy because I loved Shelley Hitz’s videos I saw online. I’m not sure how I saw the first one, but there was something about her personality that drew me. I wasn’t ready to commit to membership, but I went to the [last?] Colorado retreat, met Shelley and her husband CJ, as well as her mom and step-dad. I felt accepted and valued by them and the other writers on the retreat. I joined after that, to be part of a supportive community of writers on the same journey as me.
There are other writer communities online, but this one adds the faith element which appeals to me. My creative journey and my spiritual journey are linked, so I wanted a group that acknowledged God’s action in our creativity.
What has been your biggest “Aha Moment” for you while in the program?
I have had several Aha! moments since being in the group. Probably the biggest is the realization that I don’t have to write books to please God or earn His favor. I am doing his will by using my gifts—any of my gifts. I could just as well bake wonderful cakes.
It’s my choice to write, and it’s my choice what to write about. But I do better when I relax and take it slowly. When I rush or strive to meet some imaginary deadline I have set, my work has errors—sometimes big ones. When I walk along in the process, I enjoy it more and the result is better. I guess the slow walking is more in tune with God. He likes to see me working but happy—not freaked out and panicky.
What would you say to encourage other writers who are currently in Author Audience Academy along their journey? To writers considering becoming members?
I encourage others to take advantage of the resources AAA offers. I know we have a pretty big membership, but only 3 or 4 people join in on the Writers Block and Virtual Retreat sessions. Those are really productive and make me feel supported and affirmed. Same thing with the Prayer Calls. I haven’t been in very long, so I haven’t implemented all of Shelley’s strategies yet, but they are practical and available to all. Use the benefits you are paying for, and you will feel strong and validated.
What’s next for you in regards to writing, publishing and marketing your books? What are you dreaming of and moving toward in this upcoming season?
My self-publishing business has existed for only one year, and I spent the first year investing in making books and learning. I want to do better at marketing in this second year. I would like to break even at least at the end of 2019.
However, I still have new books partly finished or cooking in my mind, so I hope to release four to six new books this year, too. I know “breaking even” doesn’t sound like I am “dreaming big,” but I am moving forward in the process.
Who knows what may happen? I’d like a mailing list of a thousand subscribers and nice, fat royalty deposits coming in monthly. Really, though, if one lost sheep were awakened to the Christ living within, my dream would come true.
Find out more about Pamella and her books here: https://greenandpurplepublishing.com/
Join Pamella and hundreds of other Christian authors inside Author Audience Academy here: http://authoraudienceacademy.com