Sketching Character- Author Interview with Pamela Lynne and Giveaway!

I’m so excited to have Pamela Lynne here today! I first got to know her on a JAFF forum a few years ago and have absolutely loved her first published work, Dearest Friends. I’m really looking forward to the release of her next novel, Sketching Character. Look for it on Amazon on release day September 28th and paperback on other retailers soon afterwards!


sketching character resizedWhat if a tragic event involving a beloved sister shatters Elizabeth Bennet‘s confidence in her ability to accurately judge a person’s character? When she leaves Longbourn for Kent, Elizabeth’s heart is full of worry for those she left behind. She carries a secret that would ruin her family if exposed and she must deceive the ones closest to her to conceal the truth.

She unexpectedly encounters Mr. Darcy on her journey and his gentlemanly behavior confuses, yet comforts her. Their daily encounters in the woods surrounding Rosings soothes Elizabeth’s weathered conscience and she soon falls in love. Her doubts, along with the well-placed words of another, threaten to destroy the peace she finds in Darcy’s company and she wonders if she has again failed to correctly sketch his character.

When the truth behind her deception is uncovered, will Darcy shun her as Elizabeth fears, or will his actions prove that he is the very best of men?

Now, let us attempt to sketch our author’s character. Grab your coffee or tea and settle in for this interview.

I love Dearest Friends, it’s one of my go to comfort reads. How would you describe Sketching Character? More or less angst for our couple than your first release?

Thank you, Rose! I always love to hear that, especially from another author. Sketching Character is far more angsty than Dearest Friends. There are some sweet and funny moments, but overall, SC is more serious. We have supporting characters, but pretty much all the action centers around D&E.

One of my favorite jokes in Dearest Friends is about a family prevalence for an “inner Fitzwilliam” trait of sexual awareness and appetite. That aside, the Fitzwilliam family is pretty accepting of Elizabeth in the book. What are they up to in Sketching Character?

In DF, the Fitzwilliams were loveable in spite of their faults. We see a different family dynamic here. We don’t see much of Matlock and Lady Catherine. The reader will be thankful for that, I think. That’s all I can on that subject. 😉

While we’re on the subject of minor characters, if this were the Oscars, who would get Best Supporting Actor and Actress?

Richard and Lydia are the ones we see most but all the usual players are there.

This is silly, but I’m in a silly mood. I once found a website that generated suggestions for a Romantic hero’s scent using two nouns and based on his name. So, what’s Fitzwilliam Darcy smell like to you?

LOL. What would Darcy smell like in two words. That’s hard! No, that’s not my answer. The first word that comes to mind is woodsy. The next is hero. So, Woodsy Hero.

As a fellow writer, I know characters can surprise us. Did that happen with this book? Do you find it more frustrating or freeing when the story takes its own life?

After my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants experience with DF, I decided SC would be more purposeful. I knew the characters well when I sat down to write their scenes, so I didn’t have very many surprises. There was some adlibbing and many of the romantic lines between D&E were spontaneous, but everything else was pretty well thought out.

What was your favorite part of writing this book? What was your least favorite?

My favorite part is seeing Darcy as the hero. In DF, that role was spread around. Here, he really shines. My least favorites are how long it takes me to write and much I have second guessed myself with some things.

Do you have a special process or routine that helps you write?

I wish I did. Having one might make the whole process easier.

How do stories come to you? A full thought out scene/outline? A flash of an idea?

DF started with a flash of an idea—what if Bingley insisted Darcy marry Caroline after she faked a compromise. SC came from several different places that I wove into one story.

Is there a particular moment in Pride and Prejudice or one of your books when you fall in love with Darcy?

In P&P, it’s definitely the letter. On the surface, it’s just a relaying of events. When you look deeper, however, you see how much of himself he exposed there. That’s part of the genius of Austen—to take a simple statement of facts and turn it into something profound. Her simplicity is rarely simple.

Who is your favorite literary male and why? If it’s Mr. Darcy, do you have another one?

It’s definitely Darcy. No other romantic hero can compare. He loved Elizabeth and showed it through his efforts with Lydia and Wickham. It was his respect for her that caused his introspection, I think. What woman wouldn’t love a man who both loved and respected her, especially in those times.

I also love Laurie in Little Women and have actually put a little of him in Bingley. As far as my own writing goes, nobody has captured my heart as much as Sebastian.

Who is your favorite literary female? (It’s ok to list Elizabeth Bennet here. I feel like the world doesn’t talk about her enough. Lol.)

I do love Elizabeth and related to her a great deal when I first read P&P. My favorite heroine (currently) is Jane Eyre. This was a woman who was not loved in her life. She had one friend, who died, and lived a very harsh existence. Then, she is presented with a deep, passionate love from a man who should have been out of her reach. She was finally wanted. But, there’s an insane secret wife hidden in the attic. Even through such heartache, she remained true to herself and that inner sense of what’s right. She was not a woman who would carry on an affair in the name of love. Elizabeth didn’t like Darcy when she rejected him. Jane loved Rochester, but she had the strength to walk away. You have to admire that.


Pamela Lynne is offering a special Vanity and Pride Press Prize pack along with a copy of the book for US entries and an ebook for international entries. To be considered for the giveaway please ask a question for Pamela in the comment section below. Entries close Monday, September 28 at 11:59 EST.

About the Author

Pamela Lynne grew up in the American South, surrounded by Southern Gothic works by Faulkner, O’Connor and the like. These authors helped shape her evolving mind and continue to influence everything she produces as an adult. It was a Regency-era wit from across the Atlantic, however, who seeped into her being.

She often describes her developing years as “Longbourn, The White Trash Version,” and credits Jane Austen for what little sense she brought away from that time. She has met her share of Willoughbys and Wickhams, Bingleys and Tilneys, and writes about them all.

Pamela currently lives among the rolling hills of Tennessee with her husband of more than a decade, three kids, two cats and one very blond dog. She is still a Marianne hoping to grow into Elinor, or Clairee from Steel Magnolias.

Other books by Pamela Lynne

dearest friendsDearest Friends: Amazon, Nook, Barnes & Noble

80 thoughts on “Sketching Character- Author Interview with Pamela Lynne and Giveaway!

  1. I have Dearest Friends and really enjoyed it. Do D&E get together quite early in the new book? I hope so as I prefer them to face problems together. If not a warning would be good so I can be prepared. Looking forward to reading this. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If Richard is cast as the supporting male is there any chance that you would write a book where he is the main character?
    Really enjoyed reading Dearest Friends, so looking forward to this one

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Vesper! As much as I like Richard in general, I don’t think I would write him as a main character. I would love to read that book, though, and I believe I know at least two talented authors who are working on Richard centered stories. Thank you so much and good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I loved your question, Vesper! I know several authors who love writing minor characters and I’m a bit envious. It doesn’t come as natural for me but I’ve fallen in love with quite a few minor character stories lately.


    1. My favorite part of writing P&P what-ifs is exploring the nuances of the character’s personalities and taking a particular action from the original and running with it. For instance, the fact that Darcy tried to get Lydia away from Wickham first, before he arranged the marriage, really influenced SC. Good luck!


  3. With three young children, when do you find time to write? What is your favorite/least favorite part of the writing process? Do you need complete quiet or background music when you write?

    Oh – am I only allowed one question? So not sorry! Chuckle/Snort!!!


    1. It is so hard to find time to write. I am fortunate that my 9 and 7 year olds truly love their baby brother and will play with him while I try to get things done. My husband is also great about taking care of things while I lock myself away on weekends, though it is wearing on him. I try to get up early, around four, and when I do, I get my best writing done then, when the house is quiet. My least favorite part is me and how hard it is for me to get the words out, even when I know what I want to say. I would prefer complete quiet, but it rarely happens out side of those times in the morning. If I have music going, it’s to drown out all the other noise! Thank you, Joy. ❤


  4. I love “Dearest Friends” do you ever think about to write a sequel about the Matlock family like? or even what happen with Jane and here mother?
    thanks for also offering a ebook for international readers


    1. Hi Nicole! I am writing a sequel! In fact, it was supposed to be my next book, but Sketching Character decided to wake up from a year long nap. I’ll get back to work on Family Portraits in January. Thanks and good luck!


  5. Thank you for this giveaway!
    If you were to write about another Jane Austen heroine
    or hero, which one would you
    choose? (Any about whom you know you could not possibly EVER write?)


    1. Those are good questions! The second one is easy. I have no interest in writing about Kitty Bennet. N-O-N-E. Honestly, I’m not sure if I would write about another hero, but the rogues do interest me. Willoughby, Tom Bertram, the ones that could be redeemed. I think some stories could be developed there. Thank you!


  6. I too love Sebastion, what is it about him that you love? So looking forward to reading Sketching Character as I love Dearest Friends.


  7. Hi Pam! I am really excited about your new book and can’t wait to read it!

    I would like to know if you have another story in the oven? And if it is a P&P fic?

    Lots of success to you on your new book!!!


    1. Hi Daniela! I’m going to finish the sequel to DF next. I do have a couple of bunnies hopping around, but I’m not sure where they will go at this point. I’ll let you know when I do! Thank you!


  8. I have read other JAFF authors indicate that they have lots of future story ideas, and just need the time to write them. What about you? Do you have more JAFF ideas, or do you need to wait for them to present themselves?

    The description for this book is very intriguing, indeed! What is the tragic event, and why does it need to remain a secret? I look forward to finding out!


  9. I am curious about how the editing process of a book ever reaches a conclusion. It seems there must always be another way to say something or a different word choice that might be “better”. How does one ever stop editing?


    1. I have a very, very bad tendency to edit as I go, which really slows down my writing. However, it does make the serious editing time easier. It also helps to have cold readers and editors that you trust, so that when they tell you it’s good (or not), you believe them.


  10. Hi Pamela! Sketching Character sounds wonderful! I’d love to win a copy. 🙂

    Which is more difficult for you to write….a love scene, or an angst-filled emotional scene?

    Thanks for the lovely giveaway!


    1. Love scenes–hands down. It is so easy to cross the line into cheesy, especially if it is physical. I cut the wedding night from SC for that reason. Angst is hard too. I’ve found getting the body language right in those scenes to be difficult. Thanks, Pam. Good luck!


  11. Loved Dearest Friends. I love books where Darcy and Col Fitzwilliam have a close, almost boyish relationship. Is that true in Sketching Character?


  12. When your muse goes on vacation what do you do to get it back up and running? What is your favorite time of day to write and do ypu hsve a favorite place where you write? Dearest friends is on my TBR. I am looking forward to reading it.


    1. Most of the time, when my muse is hiding, it is because I put too much pressure on myself and then I start freaking out. When that happens, I have to back away and turn to the things I loved before JAFF, like cooking or watching my favorite episodes of Mad Men. It also helps to have someone tell me I don’t suck. I prefer to write very early, before the rest of the house wakes. My laptop has been on the kitchen table rather than in my desk for months now. When I got serious about SC, I could sit here and enjoy a nice sunrise while I had my coffee and typed. Now, the sunrise is spotted with construction trucks and a new light post in the soon to be filled condo parking lot that’s being constructed in my line of sight. I’m a little bitter. 🙂 Thank you and good luck!


    2. I took some notes off Pamela’s answer! If anyone sees my muse, send her back please! I’m about to put her on a milk carton. So sorry your beautiful view is ruined. I have a lovely field with mountains in the background…and a gigantic cell phone tower in the middle of it.


  13. Excellent interview. Claree! LOL. So, if I ask a question, I can maybe win a book? Hmmm.
    Truth be told, I can’t wait to be surprised when I read, so here’s my question: What’s for dinner?


    1. Lol! This interview has been so interesting! We’re more alike than I ever imagined! My husband’s been out of town a lot and he always does the dishes for me so between that and the kids not eating actual food (you can live off gold fish crackers and pickles, apparently) I haven’t been cooking much lately either. I don’t remember how to cook for just one person….and I just *really* loathe dishes.


  14. My question is actually related to DF….are you sure you don’t want me to take out Mary’s husband and Sebastian’s wife? I’ll do it…no problem. Won’t even bother my conscience! 😉 You said that you were more purposeful in writing SC. How so? Did you outline, or make timelines, or anything like that, or did you just have a stronger idea in your mind about what you wanted them to do and where you wanted the story to go? Thanks for the giveaway, by the way! 😉


  15. Dear, sweet Zoe. You really do have a taste for blood. 🙂 I wrote the complete outline for SC nearly two years ago. The first few chapters were a little tricky as I worked a few things out, but after that I pretty much knew what was going to happen in nearly every chapter. I didn’t let the characters run wild like they did in DF. I did have some surprises in the end, mostly by way of deletions and the epilogue did not come out of the original outline. It came from Bingley and one line that popped in my head shortly after I started writing his scenes: “I want to marry her, Darcy.” That was probably the most spontaneous line in the book. Thank you, Zoe. I’ll let you know if I need help offing poor innocent characters. 🙂


    1. I love your writing dearest friends was fantastic. I can’t wait for the sequel.I look forward to the new book also. my question is since this book seems so so sad . do you get emotional when you’re writing those chapters? Love to win a copy . thank you for the chance.


      1. Oh, many of my highest rated books have been “many tissues” books…sometimes I even state how many tissues in my reviews, as it can be a situation of # of tissues = # of stars…LOL

        My daughters now curse me in that they seem to have inherited that trait. Did you know that if you clear your throat you can halt the urge to cry?
        Sometimes more than one clearing of the throat is necessary.


  16. Great interview, Rose! You asked some good questions. I loved all your answers, Pamela. It was an interesting interview.

    Joy asked a question similar to what I had in mind. Where do you write and in what type of atmosphere? Maybe a better way of stating it would be what is the most conducive atmosphere or place for you to be inspired to write?


    1. I write in chaos. Even when the house is quiet, there’s laundry and dishes and a snoring husband and cats who lick plastic and a dog that goes nuts when we let him in at night. I have no idea what an ideal atmosphere is. I have always just adapted to whatever our life was at that time. I wrote at least 1/3 of DF between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am, in between newborn feedings. This time I was working around several failed attempts at potty training. Somehow, I do find inspiration in it all. Thank you, Janet!


    2. Thanks, Janet! Apparently not thinking too hard, as I’m super frazzled right now, worked well. 🙂

      I’ve loved reading Pamela’s answers to everything though. Writing a novel with a newborn? You’re my hero!


  17. I loved DF, it was a great story and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel. I wish you all the best with your new book ‘Sketching Character, though I’m sure you won’t need it as it, like DF, will be a great success and I’m looking forward to reading it. You mentioned not wishing to write about Kitty or Colonel Fitzwilliam, but would you consider writing a story about any other relations of Darcy and Elizabeth?


    1. The sequel will center on the families as much as D&E. Kitty even gets mentioned. 🙂 As far as writing a completely new work with one of their relations as the main character? It’s possible. Those works are gaining in popularity, it seems. The thing is, I don’t think I could do better than Mary and Sebastian. I might embarrass myself if I tried. Thank you very much, Lis. Good luck!


    1. Hi Patty! I hope you like DF. Well, S&S and Emma are my next favorites, but if I were to do another novel, I’d want it to be a challenge. I can’t wrap my head around Anne in Persuasion or Fanny in MP. Maybe I’d give them a shot just to see if I could relate to them more in the end. Thank you. Good luck with the giveaway!


      1. We should set up a short story challenge for that. I just read Persuasion cover to cover for the first time last month and really had some issues with fully grasping Anne at times. Before writing JAFF, I thought I had a good handle on P&P but my study of their characters got so much deeper once I began writing, so it may be to take on a Persuasion variation as the only way I can really be bothered to get more into Anne’s head. I haven’t got to Fanny yet. Soon! Either way, I’d look forward to anything you write for either book!


      2. Just re-read Half Agony Half Hope in which, like Scenes that JA Never Wrote, Maria Grace adds some scenes and this one does take in more as far as points of view. You may want to read that for more insight…but that’s just my opinion.


      3. I see value in every Austen heroine and I think at the end what I took away was that for *Anne* she made the right choice, even if she also regretted how it had to resolve at the time. It’s just something that I identify less with. Feelings and emotions are not universal. If I were in her same position (kind of was by modern standards), I would not have made the same choices, but that’s ok. We don’t all have to be the same. I just identify more with Austen’s passionate heroines like Marianne and Elizabeth, or even Emma. Age and experience has tempered it some but I don’t have the same reserve as Anne/Elinor/Fanny. Should I ever write a Persuasion story my goal would be to not change Anne’s nature. Like Elizabeth Bennet, I have had to learn to make sufficient allowances for temper.


  18. I have often wondered how all JAFF authors come up with their imaginative ideas for “What if?”. And, like Joy, I wonder, “Where do you find time to write?” When my children were young I know I usually only found time to read when they were in bed…with just a little time to read before I had to do chores or while they were taking swim lessons or at hockey or football practice and I had to sit and wait for them to be finished. But I had no time to write, even in a journal, much less a book. But then when my kids were young….we didn’t have a computer until they were older…so it would have been longhand entries…tedious and with no SPELL CHECK. I already won an e-copy of this newest book but had to leave a comment. Looking forward to reading it.


    1. I’ve never just sat and tried to think of a plot. It’s a matter of lightening striking then running with it. It can be very difficult to find the time. I haven’t worked outside the home since my oldest was three months old. This unintended career has definitely changed things. I’m taking a break for the rest of the year and I hope to have a better plan for next time. I could not do this if my husband didn’t take up the slack. I’m very fortunate in that area.

      When I first read Jane Eye as a teenager, I didn’t get that aspect of it at all. It took growing up to understand what a power Jane had inside of her. I wish my English teacher would have taught it that way. Thank you so much for commenting!


      1. Your comments about Jane Eyre also make me see her in a different light! We read the book during summer assignment and therefore discussed it very little with no guidance from the teacher. All the print versions were checked out from the libraries so I got the audio and flat out fell asleep at some point and woke up to her being rescued by St. John. 😉 I’m not sure I really like Rochester still, but I definitely wasn’t giving Jane enough credit. For better or worse, she loved him and she had to walk away from that- not only with no promise of financial security but never knowing if she’d be loved again for she didn’t really have much reason to think it given her experiences in life.


  19. OH, and I have to add that I have read Jane Eyre at least 8 times. She had such courage to walk away with no resources and to start over with nothing. Just watched one of the many movie versions of that story last night (Charlotte Gainsborough and William Hurt). I own about 6 versions.


  20. Wonderful interview. I had fun reading through the comments so far as well. My curious questions were answered as I went along. Thank you for the giveaway! Congratulations!!


  21. The interview was very insightful to read. I have one question that I would to know the answer to. How long did it take to write DF and SC? I mean from the first time the idea pop into your head, writing the first draft, editing and making it ready for publication.

    I would like to be entered for the international drawing.


  22. Hi Luthien! I’m a notoriously slow writer. My fellow author friends have heard me complain about this time and again. I posted DF on a fan fiction site as I wrote. All together, from initial thought to typing the end, it took close to a year. Then, it sat around while I toyed with the sequel and SC before I finally published it a year later. I got the idea for SC as I was finishing DF. I wrote the prologue and first few chapters early in 2014, but got discouraged and set it aside, occasionally typing out scenes as the muse dictated. In March, I decided to commit to it again. So, two years total with about seven months of serious writing and editing time. Thank you for the great question and good luck!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s