Off the Beaten Path with Pamela Morsi!

Here we are again at Off The Beaten Path!  A once-a-month opportunity to get to know a very special romance or women’s fiction author, in a fun and hopefully interactive way.   We all like to get to know our favorite authors a little better, and I want to make that fun for everyone.

This month, I’m so excited to have the fabulous Pamela Morsi here!!

Pam and I were separated at birth—I’ve decided this.  We both love to write about small towns, we have a similar writing style in my opinion (or maybe wishful thinking), and we both have the most unappealing brutal writing process EVER.

And I was so fortunate and excited to meet Pam in person in California this past July, at the RWA Writers Conference.  She and I both belong to the RWA-Women’s Fiction chapter, and had conversed many times online, but there’s nothing like one-on-one to really get a sense of someone. 

And we had a lot of one-on-ones on the patio. LOL.

Pam’s voice in her emails and in her books is exactly the person she is.  Now that I’ve met her, I hear her voice as I read her books.  Such fun and snarky wit—I’m telling you, she’s supposed to be related to me!

So—instead of me waxing on about that, I’ll let you get to know her too.

*  *  *  *  *

What top three words would you use to describe yourself?  

Sweet, mushy, sentimental . . .and most people would use “too” as a modifier for all three of those.  But I can also be snarky, self-centered and sarcastic if the occasion calls for it. 

I love your snarky-ness, Pam!  It’s what makes anything you write so much fun!    Okay….I’m a scent person.   Do you have a favorite scent of candle or lotion or perfume?   


Oh, I totally should have gone there.  I would say bathe me in popcorn…  So, next.   What is an odd or quirky trait about you that we would never guess? 

I am an incredible doodler.  For years I saved all my notes from school and college, just for the artwork.  Now I do it in business meetings and writer’s conferences.  If you see me with a pen in my hand, you can be sure I’m not making notes for my next novel.  Somehow it helps me listen to draw weird shapes.  My work is kind of like Kandinsky… if he were stoned on acid and had a broken hand. 

(Seriously?  Me too!!!   I’m slapping my head.  Right now.  Separated at birth, I tell you!!!! )

Okay…If you could go back and tell your younger self one important thing, what would it be

I doubt seriously if my younger self would have listened.  And I’m not sure what I would even say.  Things have turned out well for me, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.   I dated a few idiots that might have been avoided.  But without those idiots, I might not have recognized the value of the wonderful husbands I found.  I might have chosen to give birth to more children, but the ones who’ve shown up in my life are as dear to me as those that share my genetic material.   I could have started writing earlier, but my life experience gave me better things to say.  I guess that good or bad or indifferent, I wouldn’t change a thing.  Though I might tell younger Pam to value her time, it goes by pretty fast.

I know what a wine connoisseur you are.  🙂   What are some of your favorite wines?

  • Writing is hard work!   I never have time for friends!  Why am I not famous!
  • Oh wait, you said “wines” not “whines”.  Sauvignon Blanc

Tell us about your grandchildren!  And what do they call you?

I have 9 smart, beautiful grandkids that I adore.  All of them are some version of step-grands.  But the goods new is that they are mostly unclear on the concept.  I’m called Grandma Pam or simply Pam. 

If you could pick a dream vacation where money was no object, what would it be? 

I’d like to do the Orient Express from London to Beijing.  Get off for a few days where it looks interesting.  Get back on when I want.  Slowly take it all in, the people, the architecture and the history.  All with the guy I love in the seat beside me.    We often talk about getting away for a summer.  Renting a house in Delft or New England or the Canary Islands.  But we have my special needs daughter, Leila, who thrives on routine and needs to do the same thing every day, go to the same places, hang out with the same people.  So our summer in Provence stays strictly in the realm of fantasy. 

Is there anyone you would be a total crazy fan girl over if you met them in person? 

I have totally fan-girled in person.  Fortunately, I’ve met most of my favorite writers.  And George Harrison is no longer with us. 
What is your favorite curl-up-on-the-couch-and-hibernate comfort food? 

I really do make a fabulous meatloaf.  It tastes as good as my mom’s.  And that is very comforting.  Unfortunately when I think of curling up on the couch, I want someone to bring me food, not to make it myself.  If you will bring it to me, I will be happy with anything. 

What is your favorite all time movie that you could watch over and over?

I’ll watch almost any romantic comedy.  And I love LITTLE WOMEN with Susan Sarandon as Marmee.   I also like FOOLS RUSH IN, because it’s a mixing cultures romance.  And it has one of my favorite lines:  “You’re everything I never knew I always wanted.”  But the one program what I can watch infinitely is the A&E version of PRIDE AND PREJUDUCE.  If I’m sick and stuck on the couch, that’s the DVD playing on the TV. 

Do you have a favorite teacher or mentor from your childhood that shaped you in some way? 

I was so fortunate growing up in a small town full of interesting, caring people who continue to impact and influence me long after they are gone.   The members of my family have a nice tendency to live far into old age.  So I had the story directly of my Grandma Vonnie coming to Oklahoma in a covered wagon and my Grandpa Bob moving around the country with his uncle, a Traveling Penman.  Then there was Old Pap, who left home at age 12 to start his own hack business in Wetumpka.  And Corrine who was orphaned at 14 and continued to run the farm and take care of her siblings.  The elderly storytellers in my life have inspired my love of history and sparked my imagination with possibilities.  Truth is very much stranger than fiction.  Which is why a writer can whisk up one little dust mote of an actual life and construct a huge book from it. 

Oh my God, I love that!!!!  What amazing family stories you have.

Pam, you totally made me laugh today, and I enjoyed having you here SO much.   Now it’s everyone else’s turn to have a go at you!!  LOL!

Pam was kind enough to offer a signed giveaway of her latest book, THE LOVESICK CURE, to one of you lucky lucky commenters!  

 Woot!  I’m reading this now in my 3-minutes-a-day of free time, and loving every bit of it.

So leave your comments, feel free to chat with Pam today, and a winner will be chosen tonight!

Good luck and have fun!!


About Sharla Lovelace

Writer of romantic women's fiction. Wife, mom, and wonderwoman...without the boobs. National Bestselling Author of THE REASON IS YOU, BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and the e-novella JUST ONE DAY. Lover of anything red.

Posted on October 10, 2012, in Sharla Lovelace and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Lovely interview 🙂 I also love the Little Women movie version with Susan Sarandon!

  2. laughing! Love the “wines/whines” – 😀

    fun interview! And so glad I was able to get here to comment.

    (Sharla, the computer still hangs up when I click on your link to your blog – still don’t know why-, but, since I have a new laptop and new system, it didn’t hang up as long and I was able to at least get in here and comment, something I haven’t been able to do in a long long time! wahooo!)

  3. Love getting to know Pam even a little bit better. And I think she should share the meatloaf recipe. 🙂

  4. Being a useless facts geek, I may have an answer for why you doodle (I’m a doodler too). In the book Leadership and the Sexes by Barbara Annis and Michael Guerin they explain that physical movement like doodling or tapping a pen keeps the brain engaged. It tends to be more predominate in men who have more gray brain cells than women. The book is fascinating and goes in depth to explain physiological reasons why men and women are different and how to best manage and motivate them. It’s also good reading for a writer to enhance characterization. See? Useless fact!

    Loved the interview!

  5. Wonderful interview, Sharla and Pam!!
    As for Pride & Prejudice, it’s my all-time favorite story, so I may just join you on the couch and watch it with you, Pam. I’ll bring you any dessert you want if you’ll just make your tasty meatloaf ;).

  6. GREAT interview! A fun read. I love when I find other people who have the same crazy likes as me… doodling and meatloaf and family and hanging out on the couch and being sentimental/snarky. Fools Rush In is my all time favorite movie! (along with Harry & the Hendersons and The Santa Clause) I can’t wait to read The Lovesick Cure!

  7. Sharla – Wow thanks for a great interview and such funny response. You better hope that we weren’t separated at birth because if we were, dadgum, you’re a lot older than you look!
    The meatloaf recipe is not a secret, but it does lack things like measurements (I was never really good at math). But I’m happy to share. Especially if Marilyn brings the dessert.
    Pam, thanks for the doodling info. I’ve heard stuff about that before, including the news that Ronald Reagan doodled in national security briefings. (!!) But it is great that it helps us to think.
    MY TWO THINGS! Yikes. My mom was most annoyed about me for 1. daydreaming and 2. stupid scribbles everywhere. So it turns out that the latter has helped me figure the world out and the former has become my chosen career path. : )
    Oh wait, I can hear Mom calling from the other side. She’s saying, “Nevermind.”

  8. I’m laughing because I used to get in soooo much trouble for doodling. We had, of course, the big fat black rotary dial phones that are hard wired into the wall, sitting on a countertop with a stool there to talk on the phone…yanno…before you could actually move around to talk on a phone. Under that phone was a big pad of paper…sometimes a calendar….it was supposed to be to write important dates down…take messages, whatever. It was my personal sketch pad and EVERY time I picked up that receiver I’d also pick up a pen and start doodling things till the whole page was covered in crap. Not even realizing I was doing it. Used to piss my Mom off royally. LOL. thank goodness for cell phones and talking on the move, because to this day if I sit and talk on a phone….something is getting graffitied!

    • speaking of rotary dial phones and doodling… did you ever stick your pen inside the rotary dial, and draw your way around the numbers? …I got in so much trouble for that! LOL

  9. Pam I love that you get ideas from stories you heard growing up. Both of my grandmothers were 1-room school house teachers and I listened to tales until they were gone. Those stories always keep them close to my heart. 🙂 I’ve always loved history.

    Sharla, so glad you invited Pam to share. Thanks.

  10. Pam – again you made me smile – your relatives were quite an interesting group – I feel fortunate to have known them.

  11. Hey Teresa! Teresa is from Big O, like me. Our parents were buds. But she, like Sharla, is a lot younger than me.

  12. Evie, I totally remember drawing the line on the rotary phone. It wasn’t bad when it was a black phone. But when my mom (who’d worked during the war at the phone company and still had friends there) got us an exciting new BEIGE model she was crazy that anyone might get a pen mark on it.

  13. Yes I’m with you, Sharla, if I’m talking on the phone I am creating a masterpiece. In fact, I try to use the blank side of old copies so I don’t “illuminate” all my fancy post-it notes.

  14. Maria – – When the LITTLE WOMEN movie came out a friend who saw it first said, “She hated it.” That is was nothing like the book and Orchard House was nothing like that. So I almost didn’t go to see it. So glad I did. It was exactly how I remembered things. And although I imagined Orchard House differently, a visit up to Concord showed that it was exactly like the interior of the actual house. I was always crazy for Alcott. Still am. When I was in Concord, I took a thank-you to her grave.

  15. And Katmagenie; Thanks for making the extra effort to comment and with little or no wine/whine-ing.

  16. Great interview, Pam and Sharla. I hope to be able to meet both of you in-person at next summer’s RWA conference. I am now wondering about my doodles. They are most often building blocks or boxes climbing the sides of the page. Any diagnosis?

  17. Wonderful interview, guys. Two great writers in one post. Yay!

  18. Pam – The Orient Express looked really exciting until I realized there were no shower/bath accomodations for 21 days. I’m going to have to go back and check on getting off the train to roam around and get back on a few days later. The daily shower has been my hold-out up to this point. I love that pizza fragrance:)

  19. Thanks for the peek at Pam’s fascinating world! Loved the post and the ensuing discussion. Cool!

  20. Oh dear Wise Woman, Pam … how sorry I am to be late to comment. Cliche alert … better late than …

    Love your witty and snarky approach to everything, always love reading your comments on the loop and your writing is another example of how our voices find themselves in between the lines and define us.

    Thanks for the feature, Sharla … yes … soft, powerful voices do indeed resonate with both of you 🙂

  21. Oh I love these interviews! Pam, it was so great to learn a little bit more about you. I’m still laughing over your favorite scent … pizza. Thank you so much for sharing these bits of yourself!

  22. Lorrie’s got blocks climbing the side of the page. That really sounds like progress in comparison to the bubble-like shapes and multi-legged creatures that show up on my scrap papers.

  23. Sheri – Thanks for the reality check about the Orient Express. Hmm. Seems like a stinky proposition. Got some gorgeous photos yesterday from a friend who lives in Canary Islands. Maybe I’ll switch fantasies.

  24. Barb, Betty, Sheila and RFTLeft – Thanks for posting and the kind words. It’s amazing how a little positive feedback can brighten a writer’s day. And this group is great about turning the sunlamps on. I was a little reluctant to take on the Wise Woman job, for obvious reasons. But it has been a great experience getting to know you all. Truth is, I will miss it when my term is done.

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