Friday, March 22, 2013

#Interview ~ Pamela Lake ~ General Fiction Author

Happy Friday, friends! I have another new author to introduce you to today. Pamela Lake currently has one book available, Quixotic Ambitions, which is categorized as general fiction. Check out the description and cover.

Returning to her Putney flat after an exhausting day at the office, Katy Brennan receives a phone call which will change her life for ever.  Although she has always lived as an ordinary citizen in London she is in fact the daughter of the former king of a small Balkan country,  Maloslavia, and, as heir to the throne, is asked to go there to participate in a referendum for the restoration of the monarchy.   While training for her role as Queen,  she meets and falls in love with a crippled Orthodox theological student. Their exciting story evolves against a background of violence and corruption in a country struggling to recover after the collapse of Communism.

Now that my readers know a bit more about the book, let's move right on to the interview. Okay, Pamela, how would you describe your book in 20 words or less without using the blurb?

Unrealistic ambitions sometimes have unexpected results

I often find it interesting to see the 'why' behind stories. What started you on your journey to be a writer?

I'd had the idea for Quixotic Ambitions for some time but it was a weekly column in The Daily Telegraph called A Novel in a Year that really got me started.

I'm unfamiliar with that publication. Want to explain a little more? Is that a column prompting you to begin writing or what exactly is it? And the deeper question...were you able to write the novel in a year?

The Daily Telegraph is a leading British national newspaper and for a year they ran a column every Saturday called A Novel in a Year by a well known novelist, Louise Doughty. Each week she wrote about a different aspect of novel writing and she set exercises which you could post on a special forum that she set up. Then she commented on some of the posts she received. Her theory was that if you followed her advice, at the end of a year you would have enough raw material to be turned into a novel. The forum created quite a community of writers who corresponded with each other and was very popular. I'm afraid my novel took me around two years to complete but at the end of the first year I'd got the plot sorted out and I knew where I was heading.

Oh, that sounds awesome, actually. I'm glad it prompted you to write. I misunderstood what that meant, but two years is a very good time frame for your first published novel.

Alright, let's get to know more about you beyond the writer. What are your favorite hobbies?

I paint and I make stained glass.  I'm also a keen amateur actress and director and I love cooking

That sounds fun. Personally, I'm hopeless for anything artistic beyond writing, but I really admire people with many talents. Let's you write at a laptop/desktop or do you write freehand?

I write on a desktop.

It's so much nicer to have computers, isn't it? I love my laptop! I have a tendency to always pick a favorite character when I'm writing. Who's your favorite character in your new release?

I suppose my favourite character is Vladimir. He's idealistic and a very spiritual person but he's also down to earth, with a good sense of humour, and enjoys the good things of life - he's a great cook for example. He's fought his disability with  great courage and just wants to be treated like everyone else. It's interesting that at first he was only a background figure in the novel. In the first chapter, describing the congregation in the Orthodox church, I mention a   saintly young man holding a pair of crutches sitting by the wall.  He was only intended to be part of the description of the scene but he really took over and became the main character along with Katy.

They do that sometimes, don't they? And then you could never imagine the book without them! Did you know the title before you started writing?

No, I didn't know the title before I started writing.  In fact, I had great difficulty in choosing a title and I changed it several times. Some people think it's an odd title, others like it very much but I feel it encapsulates the novel.

Titles are tricky, for sure. Did you do any research before start or during of the writing of the book?

Yes, I did a  lot of research on the Orthodox Church which plays a significant role in the novel and on various Balkan monarchies. I also made a trip to Albania which I felt, along with Bulgaria, was the country that corresponded most closely to Maloslavia. Oddly enough when I arrived in Tirana I felt as though I was in the capital of Maloslavia, Svyatograd!

That's great that you were able to visit places to visualize your setting. What fun research!

How about your personal reading tastes? What book is currently on your nightstand?

I have finally got round to reading Orlando Figes' A People's Tragedy which is an 800-page history of the Russian Revolution from 1894 to 1924.  It's very readable and absolutely fascinating.

Where can readers find your book?
They  can order my book on Amazon or from Authors on Line.

What's your favorite place in the world?

Venice.  It's one of the rare places which is even more beautiful than you expect.

I have always wanted to go there. Maybe some day! So, are you writing something else at the moment?

Yes. I've taken one of the minor characters from War and Peace and am writing a novel about what happens to her after the end of Tolstoy's epic.

Good luck with the new project! I really appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to appear here today. 

About Pamela Lake:

Pamela Lake lives in Paris where she worked as an editor of English language publications in the Culture department of Unesco.  She speaks Russian,  studied Russian language and literature at the Sorbonne and has a life-long interest in Slav culture. The attempts of several exiled Balkan monarchs to return to their countries gave her the original idea for Quixotic Ambitions which is her first novel.   She has travelled extensively in all the countries of Eastern Europe and has drawn on her experiences to create the imaginary country, Maloslavia.

Visit Pamela's web site or send her an e-mail:

Once again, here's where you can find Quixotic Ambitions:

Another great author for everyone to explore! Happy reading and have a fantastic weekend!
~~ Chantel ~~


  1. I am reading Pamela's book at the moment and I can assure you it is an intriguing read! Thank you for posting this interview, Chantel.It's nice to read about other writers and how they tick. Thanks to you for hosting this forum. Best wishes, Roderick

    1. Thanks, Roderick! I'm excited to hear you are reading Pamela's book. It does sound fascinating! Happy reading!


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