Televenge by Pamela King Cable

Welcome to Author Pamela King Cable

Pamela King Cable was born a coal miner’s granddaughter and raised by a tribe of wild Pentecostals and storytellers. She is an award-winning, multi-published author who loves to write about religion and spirituality with paranormal twists she unearths from her family’s history. Married to a megachurch ministry team member as a young adult, she attended years of megachurch services. Pamela studied creative writing at The University of Akron and Kent State University. She has taught at many writing conferences, and speaks to book clubs, women’s groups, national and local civic organizations, and at churches across the country. Nearly a decade in the writing, Televenge is her debut novel. She lives in Ohio with her husband, Michael, and is currently working on her next novel.

Interview

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.

Televenge is a powerful story of faith and unconditional love, as well as a vivid portrayal of heartbreaking loss and incredible courage, transporting you into a world of the sublime and the bizarre.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
The book I’m currently working on is titled, Bitter Homes and Gardens, a story of the Rubber Companies in Northeastern Ohio and their founding families. (Think– Downton Abbey.)

After publishing Televengein October 2012, the book I’ve just completed is called The Sanctum:

Neeley McPherson accidentally killed her parents on her fifth birthday. Thrown into the care of her scheming and alcoholic grandfather, she is raised by his elderly farmhand, Gideon, a black man, whom she grows to love. Neeley turns thirteen during the winter of 1959, and when Gideon is accused of stealing a watch and using a Whites Only restroom, she determines to break him out of jail.
The infamous Catfish Cole, Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon of the Carolinas, pursues Neeley and Gideon in their courageous escape to the frozen Blue Ridge Mountains. After Gideon’s truck hits ice and careens down a steep slope, they travel on foot through a blizzard, and arrive at a farm of sorts—a wolf sanctuary where Neeley crosses the bridge between the real and the supernatural. It is here she discovers her grandfather’s deception, confronts the Klan, and uncovers the shocking secrets of the Cherokee family who befriends her. Giving sanctuary, the healing power of second chances, and overcoming prejudice entwine, leading Neeley to tragedy once again but also granting her the desire of her heart.
The Sanctum  is a coming-of-age Southern tale dusted with a bit of magic, and set in a volatile time in America when the winds of change begin to blow.
What inspired you to become a writer?

My dad was and is a storyteller. This strange and mysterious talent was somehow passed on to me. Because my maiden name is King, my dad, a man far ahead of his time in his thinking, told me when I was just a bitty thing that I was related to the great Martin Luther King. Which I learned later wasn’t true. (Smile) But Dad had a way of teaching me that I should respect every man and woman no matter the color of their skin. He taught me to think for myself. From that moment I wanted to be like him. To follow in his footsteps.
My mother was also a skilled storyteller without even knowing it. All I wanted to do when I was a teenager was to duplicate my mother’s life. I loved the way she talked to my grandmother; I felt neither imprisoned by it nor put off by her Southern accent nor that of any of my relatives. What I didn’t know is just how much I would treasure their accents someday. How they would become a part of me, part of my very existence as a writer. But Mama did nothing in moderation. I, like my mama, was a drama queen.
I listened to every word my parents said, to their many stories, and eventually I became like both of them. A storyteller. With a love for the written word, be it the Word of God or Mother Goose. I read book after book as a child, and then one day, I picked up a pen in the sixth grade and began to write.
What inspired you to write full-time?

It didn’t begin in the 6th grade when I wrote that first story, or during years of writing in my journal, or pounding out short stories on an old IBM typewriter. For me, it began one day in 2002, when the man I was about to marry looked up form a manuscript I’d written and said, “This is a great story. Let’s find a way for you to do this full-time.”
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.

My interviews with Vipp Jaswal, Fox Radio News in New York City. http://radio.foxnews.com/2012/11/07/is-there-a-darkside-to-mega-churches/

What is your dream cast for your book?

Andie Oliver – Taylor Swift or Amanda Seyfried
Reverend Calvin Artury – Leonardo DiCaprio
Joe Oliver – Jake Gyllenhaal or Ryan Kwanten
Dixie Parks – Holly Hunter or Sissy Spacek
Bud Parks – Paul Giamatti
Mavis Dumass – Beyonce Knowles

What was the most discouraging thing that has happened to you in your creative life?
Divorce. Losing my husband, my home, my way of life, and my business within three short months. It knocked me to my knees and stilled the muse inside me for a time. Finally, I began to write to heal. It worked. Living through the heartbreak and the pain of divorce and leaving my church gave me plenty to write about.
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
First define your passion. What are you passionate about? What comes out of your soul like a rocket? Write that. Don’t write just what you knowabout, but what you care about. I was told it takes ten years to become a breakout novelist. I have to agree. In the end, there is a simple formula to follow. Read. Write. Never stop. Read. Write. Never stop.
What is your favorite Quote?

Sorry, I have three powerful ones I quote continually:

“Everything I know, everything I put in my fiction, will hurt someone somewhere as surely as it will comfort and enlighten someone else. What then is my responsibility? What am I to restrain? What am I to fear and alter—my own nakedness or the grief of the reader? I want my stories to be so good they are unforgettable; to make my ideas live and my own terrors real for people I will never meet. It is a completely amoral writer’s lust. If we begin to agree that some ideas are too dangerous, too bad to invite inside our heads, then we stop the storyteller completely. We silence everyone who would tell us something that might be painful in our vulnerable moments.” Dorothy Allison, New York Times Book Review, Sunday, June 28, 1994
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.” Helen Keller
“It is not merely enough to love literature if one wishes to spend one’s life as a writer. It is a dangerous undertaking on the most primitive level. For, it seems to me, the act of writing with serious intent involves enormous personal risk. It entails the ongoing courage for self-discovery. It means one will walk forever on the tightrope, with each new step presenting the possibility of learning a truth about oneself that is too terrible to bear.” Harlan Ellison.

What genres and authors do you most enjoy reading?

Well, that’s an easy one. Southern fiction is my favorite. Sue Monk Kidd, Kathryn Stockett, Joshilyn Jackson, Charles Frazier, Barbara Kingsolver, Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Siddons, Lee Smith, and Jill McCorkle.

The South and its history, religion, food, the significance of family, and its dialect continues to grab hold of readers from every walk of life, all over the world. I don’t believe that fact will ever change. New writers will forever emerge on the scene with fresh new voices and stories about the South and its traditions.

But I also believe we’ll see a revival in Southern writers from the past. Eudora Welty, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, Katherine Anne Porter, Harper Lee, Robert Penn Warren and William Faulkner to name a few. As many of us were moved by these legendary greats, we will continually refer to their writing, inspiring a new generation of writers, as well as readers, to delve into the stories of these Southern literary giants.

Southern fiction is not for the faint of heart.

For me, I like Pat Conroy. Pat breaks all the rules. (I like writers with a rebel spirit. A rebel spirit with the craft and within their prose.) Pat’s novel, Beach Music, is one of my favorites. He’s what I call, a well-seasoned writer. I can always tell when a writer has been around the block a few times. When they’ve had their share of hard knocks. When they write fearlessly. Read the first few paragraphs in South of Broad. His poetic prose is awe-inspiring. His novels are long and rich, filled with drama and suspense. When you buy a Pat Conroy novel, you get more for your money. Again, he breaks all the writing rules so eloquently, and I simply love that about him. Another absolute favorite would be Dorothy Allison who wrote Bastard out of Carolina.

Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Absolutely. Andie Oliver … isme in so many ways. Especially in her early years.

A fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.

I change my accent like I change my socks. I switch on my Southern accent once I cross the Mason Dixon line. My folks are from the South. I was born in the South but raised in the North. I recently lived in the Carolinas for over a decade. But when I speak to groups in the North, my accent changes. I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s a natural process. Happens all the time.     
Something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
I can’t wear a watch, because they all stop within days of purchase. My husband’s GPS on his Smart Phone doesn’t work when I’m in the car. When I was writing Televenge, strange things happened. I was writing late at night and suddenly, the hair dryer in the bathroom started on its own. I walked past the television and it turned on by itself. Twice. I got locked in the bathroom even though the lock was on the inside. We had to take the door completely off to get me out. I can tell you the sex of your children-past and future, and I’m spot on. I’ve only had one family member who I was wrong about. Maybe it has something to do with the fact I was born Friday the 13th. Who knows? But if you think this is strange, you should listen to my mother’s “experiences.” Maybe it runs in the family. Does it bother me? Scare me? Concern me? Not at all. We’ve learned to laugh about it in our house.
How do you react to a bad review?
Nobody likes unfavorable reviews, no matter the thickness of your skin. When you pour your broken heart and scraped-thin soul into your work, you don’t want bad reviews. No writer is ever prepared for a bad review. But a bad review isn’t the end of the world. To say the least.
Reviews sell books, good and bad ones. You take the bad with the good and hope for the best. My husband who lost his 18 year-old daughter to a childhood illness in 1997 is also a recent breast-cancer survivor. At one point in my life, my children and I were homeless. There are a lot worse things than bad reviews.
Do you prefer to write in silence or with music?
Music without words. Here is a typical play list on my Itunes:

Solace by John Adorney

Road to Perdition Thomas Newman

The Horse Whisperer Soundtrack

Hatfields and McCoys Soundtrack

Gabriel’s Oboe by Ennio Morricone

Ethereal by Amethystium

Carribbean Blue by Enya

What do you think of book trailers?
I’ve seen expensive book trailers done poorly. So be careful. I worked with a professional on this one, and loved the experience. Book Trailer: http://www.televenge.com/trailer.html
But I also worked with my computer-savvy niece on this one, and love it just as much: Book Trailer: http://tinyurl.com/televenge-thestory
How did you go about publishing your book?
In 2008 Julie Murkette, Publisher at Satya House, bought the rights to my first book, Southern Fried Women. She then spent several days immersed within the pages of Televengeand immediately began a quest of her own: to publish my second book. She never gave up. Her pursuit, diligence, and understanding the incredible amount of blood, sweat, and tears that went into the story, convinced me she was the one. The small but mighty publisher sent me the contract December 2011, and I signed it. Happily. I have no regrets. I think we’ve made history, actually. And who knows, there may be a sequel in the works.

What inspired your last book?

Inspired by my spirituality and my own story, I wrote Televenge after surviving life’s heartaches and hardships. My mother says I cut my teeth on the back of a church pew. I grew up first as a Baptist and then as a Pentecostal—a fundamentalist, attending revivals in tents, tabernacles, and clapboard churches. Eventually, I became an evangelical, joining a church where I experienced a world that encompassed both the sublime and the bizarre. For twenty-five years, I was a member of that megachurch operated by a TV evangelist. As part of its inner circle, I was married to a ministry team member who traveled with this televangelist, holding mammoth faith-healing crusades all over the world. Under much distress, I left the church losing everything in the wake of my rebellion, including my husband in a bitter divorce.
I began to study televangelism markets more closely and the devastating effects of some megachurches, interviewing more than a hundred people who broke away from the church they attended for many of the same reasons that I did. Some I knew personally, some I didn’t, but a similar thread ran through our lives. We got sick of gulping the dogma, and when we broke free we suffered unbearable losses. We were in a tug of war with the pastor for our loved one who felt if they left the church, they were bound for Hell. Many families were split apart because we had become “an apostate.” Those who left also endured horrific personal trauma and ruin, feeling void of hope, of help, and of God. And of course my own experience, living in the world of an evangelical cult and breaking out of it, gave me plenty to write about.


What is your favorite scene in the book? Which scene or characters were the most difficult for you to write and why?
It’s a chapter in Televenge titled, The Barrel’s Bottom. It cut too close to home for me; one of those times a writer has to bare their soul, and yet it’s my favorite. The tears flowed. I felt like I had opened a vein on that chapter, as well as the few chapters that followed.

What’s your favorite word?
SANCTUARY

What makes your novel standout from the crowd?
The truth behind the high-stake events in Televenge underscore the extremes to which some spiritual leaders will go for money, power, and fame, and the horrors many suffer to be free of religious legalism. There is nothing quite likeTelevenge. Nothing before Televenge has told a story about evangelicals like this one. Nothing.

What is your view on self-publishing?

Thank God it isn’t what it used to be. But those who self-publish and/or utilize small presses have a tough time competing with the powerhouses in New York City. Social media and the blessings of Amazon are not enough. Those may be tough words to hear, but it’s true nonetheless. The market is saturated with books (print and ebooks) and if you can’t afford a major publicity campaign, you’re fighting an uphill battle. Many self-published writers launch books that should’ve gone through several more drafts or edits by a professional editor. That hurts every writer who self-publishes. Study the industry. It’s changing. That’s a good thing and we must change with it. But make sure that final manuscript is squeaky clean before you put it into your reader’s lap.

140 Characters or less Tweet about your book

A woman battles the dark side of televangelism when a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men lures her husband into employment on the megachurch ministry team.

Do your friends or enemies ever find themselves in your books?
I’m sure they think they do.

Do your characters really talk to you?
Absolutely.

Are you for or against books being made into movies?
FOR it. The best movies have come from novels. Novelists should, however, be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as the screenplay writers, if their book has been optioned for film.

What drives you insane about the writing process?
What comes after it. The publishing and publicity process.

About how long does it take to write a book?

Depends. Televenge was ten years in the writing. It all depends on the research, the story, and writer’s process. And if there’s a deadline looming.

What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?

When the perfect word comes to mind. When the stakes are raised and the scene fits. When I break the writing rule blaring inside my head, and it works.
What makes you unique as an author?

Born in the South and raised in the North, my influence comes naturally from both regions. I find that if you say you’re a Southern writer, people think you only write about the South. While most of my writing does gravitate to Southern states, folks everywhere identify with it. Working and living in both the North and South—it’s given me a broader view of both. A richer impact to my writing. Who I am influences me as a writer. Not where I live. I cannot deny the Northern part of me, any more than I can deny the Southern blood that runs through my veins.
Why should readers pick up your books?

Simply because once you do, they become a part of you.
“Pamela King Cable’s debut novel breathes good and evil, frost and fire. You can finish it, but it won’t let you go.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard, NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of The Deep End of the Ocean

“It’s impossible to deny the magic of Pamela King Cable’s prose. Televenge is an extraordinary look at the evangelical church. A journey of love, pain, and redemption with the most heartbreaking heroine to come along in years. If you read only one book this year, this is it.”

Dena Harris, author of Who Moved My Mouse?

Televenge is “ … an emotional rollercoaster that ends as intensely as it begins  . . . those who commit to Cable’s tome will find themselves captivated and deeply devoted to Andie. Fans of Fannie Flagg and Janet Evanovich will be hooked on this saga of religion, romance, and crime.”
Library Journal Editor’s Pick BookExpo America 2012
Shannon Marie Robinson, Library Journal

“A captivating, beautifully rendered, unforgettable look at a world so few of us understand. Ms. Cable has courageously opened the door…and my eyes.”

Lesley Kagen, NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of Good Graces
TV or Movies?

MOVIES

Night owl, or early bird?

NIGHT OWL

Print or Ebook?

PRINT

Chocolate or Vanilla?

VANILLA

Horror or Romance?

ROMANCE

Action or Drama?

DRAMA

Pizza or Pasta?

PASTA

Summer or Winter?

BOTH. WINTER FOR WRITING, SUMMER FOR LIVING

City or Country?
COUNTRY

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
PLANNING, DEFINITELY

PC or Mac?

PC

Beach or Mountains?

MOUNTAINS

Shoes or Sandals?

NEITHER. FLIP FLOPS

Apples or Oranges?

APPLES

Old or New?

OLD

Cause or Effect?

CAUSE

Heads or Tails?

HEADS

Truth or Dare?

DARE, THERE’S ENOUGH TRUTH IN MY FICTION

Text or Talk?

TALK ALWAYS

Introvert or Extrovert?

EXTROVERT

Antiques or Modern?

ANTIQUES, VINTAGE DEFINITELY

Designer Labels or Walmart?

WALMART, TARGET, GOODWILL


Favorite Literary Characters

Atticus Finch, Claire and Jamie Frazer, Aibileen Clark, Andie Oliver and Mavis Dumass.


Books You Are Dying to Read
Bring Up Bodies by Hillary Mantel

Those Who Saved Us by Jenna Blum

Higher Ground by Carolyn Briggs

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Places You Would Most Want to Travel To
The English Countryside

Favorite Movies
Color Purple

The Mission

Mona Lisa Smile

The Horse Whisperer

Words you try not to use
Would, was, and suddenly

Words you love
Sanctuary, unconditional, manifestation, and fearless.


Books they should make into movies

Outlander (although I think it’s in progress)

Beach Music

Televenge



Guest Post: 
A Writer Remembers
Swarms of finches, wrens, and other tiny birds peck and hunt for food at feeders that hang outside my kitchen window. Even when I forget to fill the feeders, the birds arrive each morning, hoping to discover their next meal. These tiny birds never give up. They are constant, vigilant, driven. Despite the odds and possible dangers, the birds return every day.
Writers are like tiny birds. We beat our heads against one roadblock after another, writing against enormous odds, hoping and believing our next book will land in the laps of readers and on bestseller lists across the country. But even after decades into our career, we discover we must sometimes recall what made us write in the first place and the courage it took.
My granddaddy was a coal miner, but my father escaped the mines, went to college and moved his family to Ohio to work for the rubber companies. I spent every weekend as a child, traveling back to the West Virginia Mountains. My memories of my childhood run as deep as the Appalachian creeks and swimming holes I swam in as a child. My career as a writer was born in the dust laden coal towns of the early 60s.
For me, it is within sanctuaries of brick and mortar, places of clapboard and revival tents transcending time and space, that characters hang ripe and ready for picking.
From the primitive church services of mountain clans to the baptisms and sacraments of robed priests in great cathedrals and monasteries. From hardworking men and women who testify in the run-down churches of coal camps to the charismatic high-dollar high-tech evangelicals in televised mega-churches of today. Therein lie stories of unspeakable conflict, the forbidden, and often, the unexplained.
As a writer, it is my desire to transport a reader’s mind—but my deepest passion is to pierce a reader’s heart. The topic of faith, for me, has a way of doing that like nothing else.
My mother says I cut my teeth on the back of a church pew. I grew up in revival tents, tabernacles, and eventually in grand cathedrals with TV cameras rolling. In the early days, revivals were as exciting as the carnival coming to town and evangelists were royalty. I experienced a world from the sublime to the bizarre. It caused me to weave religion, spirituality, and the mysterious into my stories. Stories that hint to an ancient bridge where the real and the supernatural meet.

Many of my stories are based on truth, shreds of truth, people I’ve known, places I’ve been, and of course history plays a great part in some stories, like Coal Dust On My Feet; a love story set amidst the longest and most violent coal strike in the history of our country. It is truth and fiction.

Mother was a skilled storyteller without knowing it. All I wanted to do when I grew up was duplicate her life. I loved her southern accent and heritage and I felt neither imprisoned nor put off by it. But the most precious gift she gave me was a love for the written world, be it the word of God or of Mother Goose. Mom was my inspiration, and one day I picked up a pencil in the sixth grade and wrote my first story. I haven’t stopped since. The next forty years played into my storytelling, and after surviving life’s heartaches and hardships, it gave me plenty to write about.

A writer’s life is a solitary life. We hope we possess raw talent, unique originality, and gut emotional appeal. We raise the stakes on each and every page and hope, and pray, and believe that some day we’re blessed a bit of luck.
Is it worth the struggle? You bet it is. All you need, is the courage of a tiny bird.


Remember when you tackled that first story, essay, article, poem? That was courage. Courage is not confidence, nor the opposite of meekness. It’s feeling a measure of confidence, and then acting on those feelings. It’s a quality of spirit that enables you to face the moment, whatever comes, and keep going.

Courage allows you to see, hear, smell, and taste things as they really are. Courage makes you face facts, unfiltered by rosy daydreams. Courage frees you to be creative. It pushes you to prepare for the unknown without obsessing over it. To be open to what may come.

A writer can’t be open to new ideas if dazed and confused by fear. Courage enables you to be prepared and wide awake in every situation.

There were times in my youth I didn’t write because I was afraid of failing. I didn’t prepare for success because I was afraid it might happen. I didn’t look, really look, into my past because I was afraid of what I might find. As I grow older, I don’t give myself those options. Not anymore.

Fear is passive-aggressive. It’s the lazy writer’s excuse for not moving forward. It’s a great immobilizer, an avoidance technique. Fear puts the focus on what we might encounter, distracts us from what’s actually there. Courage empowers a writer to pay attention.


In the end, a writer can do without a lot of things. Remembering your journey is not one of them. Courage is the other.
Excerpt
Click here for an excerpt:

You can also hear me read the first scene of Televengehere: 

Televenge

Andie Oliver is a faithful woman–to God, to her handsome husband Joe, and to televangelist Reverend Calvin Artury, a Godfather in a Mafia of holy men. Raised in the 1970’s to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South, she becomes a prisoner of that tradition. As a reluctant member of Artury’s evangelical megachurch, the House of Praise in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Andie’s dream of children, home, and marriage falls apart after Joe is hired by the ministry team.

Vivid and tragic, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover their destiny in unconditional love in a world fraught with fear and intimidation. Fighting for redemption for her family and herself, Andie confronts the very definition of evil personified. Evading ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to protect Reverend Artury, Andie battles the darkest side of televangelism. With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge takes you from the Piedmont South to the Hawaiian Islands, to Nigeria, and back to the high country of North Carolina.

In pitch-perfect voices, Pamela King Cable’s emotionally rich debut novel creates four extraordinary characters. Suspenseful and deeply moving, Televenge will be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Televenge
Open to US only
Ends 1/27/13

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