Award-winning author and attorney Pamela Samuels Young writes mysteries that matter. Dubbed “John Grisham with a sister’s twist” by one reviewer, Pamela’s fast-paced novels tackle important social issues.
Her most recent legal thriller, Failure to Protect, takes on the bullying epidemic and its devastating aftermath. Pamela won the prestigious NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction for her thriller Anybody’s Daughter, which provides a realistic look inside the world of child sex trafficking. Her courtroom drama Abuse of Discretion centers around a troubling teen sexting case. #Anybody’s Daughter and #Abuse of Discretion are young adult editions of the two books. A young adult version of Failure to Protect goes on sale in December 2019.
Pamela also writes erotically sassy romantic suspense under the pen name Sassy Sinclair. A natural hair enthusiast, Pamela share her own empowering natural hair journey in Kinky Coily: A Natural Hair Resource Guide.
The Compton native is a frequent speaker on the topics of sex trafficking, bullying, online safety, fiction writing, self-empowerment, and pursuing your passion. To invite Pamela to your book club meeting or to read excerpts of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com and www.sassysinclair.com .
BPM: Please, share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.
I love hot yoga!
BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Spiritual, tenacious and fun-loving.
BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
In Failure to Protect, the mother of a nine-year-old sues her daughter’s elementary school after the child is viciously bullied. The school’s conniving, narcissistic principal denies that any bullying has taken place and is determined to derail the lawsuit.
Two determined female attorneys take on the case and from the start, they face more than an uphill fight. As the battle enters the courtroom, the attorneys fight hard to expose the truth. But a massive coverup threatens to hinder their quest for justice.
Failure to Protect is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks. A young adult version and audiobook version will be released in December.
BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
I intentionally set out to make the school’s principal my villain. You’ll love to hate Darcella Freeman.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
Dre, one of my favorite characters, is special because even though he has a criminal past, he also has a sensitive side, something rarely portrayed in black male characters. I enjoyed delving into his emotions and making him human.
BPM: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Yes, Dre holds a special place in my heart. I love writing male characters and I wanted to show Dre’s vulnerability and his determination to get justice Bailey.
BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
When I initially approached this this project, my focus was totally on bullying and child suicide. But I soon learned that childhood depression is a major issue that often goes unaddressed because we don’t recognize it as an illness particularly in the black community.
BPM: When developing a new book, what comes first, the plot or characters?
Plot always comes first. When I read about the deaths by suicide of two 9-year-old black girls in Alabama, I immediately knew this was a topic I wanted to address in a legal thriller. I started researching bullycide lawsuits and from there began outlining the plot.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from?
Often from something that shocks me. Learning that the suicide rate for African-American kids under 12 was twice that of white kids compelled me to write about this topic.
BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing and developing the characters for this book?
I enjoyed making the principal a character you love to hate.
BPM: Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
Absolutely not! I love the solitude of writing. I often go away to Palm Springs by myself to write. I never feel lonely because I have my characters with me.
BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand?
I start with the plot, which I always outline. I visualize the book as a movie. I see each chapter as a scene in a movie. It may take a couple of months to roughly outline the plot. Only then, do I begin writing. I definitely use a computer.
BPM: When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene how do you get in the mood?
I had to write an emotionally tough scene in Failure to Protect that involved, my main character Bailey. I just powered through it as if I was in the room with her when everything was happening. When the scene was done, I stepped away from my computer and returned to the book the next day.
BPM: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips self-care for creative folks?
Yes, get plenty of sleep and regular exercise. I often neglect my power walks when I’m in my writing cave. But I get more done when I make exercise part of my daily routine.
BPM: How do you personally deal with emotional impact of a book as you are writing the story?
I power through it, then step away from the book for as long as it takes me to center myself again. That can be a day or a week.
BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book in general?
All of my planning is done during the outlining phase. I don’t begin writing until I have a solid outline. The finished book is often very different from the outline. I use the outline as a roadmap and always give myself permission to take detours.
BPM: How long does it take to complete one of your books?
From concept to having the book in my hand, about a year.
BPM: Have any of your books been made into audio-books? If so, what are the challenges in producing an audio book?
All of my books are available in audio format. The challenge is finding a great narrator. R.C. Bray, who narrated all of my mysteries, wasn’t able to do Failure to Protect. I’m really excited about his replacement, actor Larry Herron. The audio version of Failure to Protect goes on sale in December 2019.
BPM: Do you have any new series planned?
I plan to write a new series featuring the character Special from the Vernetta Henderson books. Next to Dre, Special is my most popular recurring character.
BPM: Do you find it more challenging to write the FIRST book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?
I think writing the next book in the series is most challenging. I always fear that it won’t be as good as the previous one.
BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project when so many ideas are running together?
First, I’d say prepare an outline. Second, I say make sure you know the time of the day and the place that works best for you as a writer. I’m an early morning person. So getting up at four or five in the morning is my optimal. Writing in my home office or at Panera Bread provides the best writing vibe for me.
BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
Right now, I’m working on the young adult version of Failure to Protect. I also plan to release another legal thriller in the Vernetta Henderson series next year as well as my third erotic romantic suspense novel under my pen name, Sassy Sinclair.
BPM: Do you have a Goodreads and/or BookBub™ or Facebook community?
Yes. Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48471021-failure-to-protect
BPM: Pamela loves to hear from readers! There are a multitude of ways to connect with her.
“Mysteries That Matter!” by Pamela Samuels Young: https://www.smore.com/p1mhr
Tour Page for Sassy Sinclair: https://www.smore.com/46rck-novellas-by-sassy-sinclair
Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48471021-failure-to-protect