Interview with Suzanne Jenkins, author of 'Pam of Babylon'

Suzanne Jenkins lives at the west Michigan lakeshore with her husband, two dogs and two sheep.  Her latest books are Pam of Babylon, Don’t You Forget About Me and Dream Lover.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you so much. As odd as it may sound, the idea for Pam of Babylon began with the title.  I immediately opened a word document. As I began writing in earnest, the inspiration to tell a story about an older woman who discovered her beloved husband’s infidelity after he died came from out of nowhere.  Pam of Babylon simply appeared in my consciousness and I wrote it as I thought of it.  Later, a quote by E.L. Doctorow would confirm my writing style was not unusual.  He said, “Writing is like driving a car in the dark.  You only see as far as the headlights go, but you can make the whole trip that way.”  Those words validated me.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

Because it was my first book, I did struggle with issues like tense, and keeping the story in the correct chronological order. There are many characters and twists and turns that I had to keep straight.
          My advice would be to tell writers to write! The more you do it, the better you get.  And by all means, when you think of something, quickly write it down. I’m over sixty and I have to be careful not to let a brilliant thought slip away thinking it will wait.  I did lose something that was quite wonderful by waiting and when I sat down to put into the story, it was gone!

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I chose self-publishing, simply because I didn’t want to wait.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Writing the book and having it published may be considered the easy part.  I was surprised at how difficult it is to proofread your own work. Pam of Babylon is being reedited because I want it to be as perfect as it can be. Also, even authors who are represented by agents and have publishers must market their own books. Marketing is extremely important and I devote a good part of my day to it.

Q: Can you describe the feeling you had when you saw your published book for the first time?

Seeing my book in print was thrilling!  I love the covers and seeing the book covers for the first time confirmed that I was doing the correct thing by putting forth the effort to write and self-publish.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I currently have the three Pam of Babylon books in print; Pam, Don’t You Forget About Me and Dream Lover. The fourth book in the series, Prayers for the Dying, will be out this summer, and the fifth and final, Come Back to Me should be released next fall.
            The Greeks of Beaubien Street, a story about a Greek family from Detroit, will also be out this summer and is going to be a series, as well.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

Although I didn’t set out to give a message, one has yelled loud and clear to women.  Make sure you know what is really going on in your house! As a reviewer from Kirkus Newsletter said about Dream Lover, “[Sends] a gritty, realistic portrait of the aftermath of deceit.”

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I would simply tell writers not to censor themselves, to quote my son! Thank you!

To get your copy of PAM OF BABYLON by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon:
To get your copy of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon:
To get your copy of DREAM LOVER by Suzanne Jenkins at Amazon:
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Pick up your copy of DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME by Suzanne Jenkins at Barnes & Noble:
To learn more about Suzanne Jenkins, visit her website:
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