Pamela’s journey to novelist started with an honours in drama studies from UKZN. It has taken her via Aids counselling, educational theatre, stand-up comedy, university teaching, TV directing and script-writing, to a masters in creative writing which she earned in 2006. Her first book, Ms Conception, began as part of her masters’ report and was published by Penguin in 2015.
Pamela is currently a script writer and editor for the popular SABC 2 soapie Muvhango. She jokes that she ‘fell’ into TV writing after her son’s music teacher watched a musical she wrote.
Pamela lives in Joburg with her husband and two children. Things Unseen is her second novel.
Clockwork: Things Unseen is quite a departure from your debut novel, Ms Conception. What made you change direction for your second book?
Pamela: I actually started with a kind of funny take on Fifty Shades, but ran out of steam after about 20 000 words. The problem with chicklit is that you need to have a fresh idea or it feels like you’re writing the same novel over and over.
I love reading psychological thrillers, so I thought I would give one a try. I started writing it in 2010. My mom had just died, then six weeks later my nephew contracted cerebral malaria and was in a coma. In times of crisis I write! I wrote about 10 000 words before it also got abandoned.
In 2014 Gail Schimmel, Casey B Dolan and I did something called Writers’ Gym – we would check up on each other every Sunday night to see how we were progressing and give each other a little push. It was a great exercise, and I finished the rest of the book then.
Clockwork: Give us a little idea of how you’ve gone about spreading the word about your books.
Pamela: Oh, you mean my brilliant marketing spiel: “I’ve written a book, but I don’t think you’ll like it,”? [Laughs]
I’m not particularly good about spreading the word about my own books. I love writing books, but it actually freaks me out that people are going to read them and see into my twisted little mind!
What I am good at is talking about other people’s books and movies and projects. And I think people have got to know about my own books from that.
I’m also a complete and utter Twitter addict! I reward myself with Twitter: edit one script, spend ten minutes on Twitter. Okay, okay! Edit half a script, spend two hours on Twitter!
Clockwork: What has been your absolute favourite part of becoming a published author (aside from holding the physical book in your hands …)?
Pamela: I’ve found my tribe.
I just adore the book community … the writers, obviously, but also the editors, the book sellers, the marketing peeps (especially my work husband!), the bloggers, the publishers … I think I’m in love with the whole lot of you…
Books in Store
Delilah Now Trending
With all her hopes and dreams pinned on her daughter’s success, Delilah is astonished to learn that her daughter, Daisy, isn’t made head girl. Rosie Roberts, Daisy’s nemesis, is crowned instead. When Rosie is pushed off the second-storey balcony at school, accusing glances are cast at Daisy. Did Daisy push Rosie, and to what lengths will Delilah go to clear her darling daughter’s name?
Emma’s quietly unsatisfying suburban life is thrown into disarray when she finds her mother beaten to death, her knickers around her ankles, in the mansion Emma shares with her husband in Westcliff. Emma’s search for the truth leads her to discover that trust is a fragile and elusive thing.
Jo de Villiers has a three-year-old son, a six-month-old baby and a husband who’s feeling left out. Her marriage to Nick and her job as a scriptwriter for a local soapie both seem to be heading south, along with her breasts. With the help of her George Clooney-lookalike therapist Jake and best friend Jasmine, Jo discovers an unusual remedy for an ailing relationship