Meet Guest Author Pamela S. Wight…

pamela-s-wight
I secretly enjoy reading . . .

oh, I can’t say . . .

Well, I’ve got to admit it . . .

I refuse to be ashamed of the fact that of all the genres I read, of all the authors I respect and sometimes try to emulate, of all the literary, historical, suspense and contemporary fiction I read, what I most enjoy is . . .

Women’s Fiction.

I fought this knowledge for a long time.

Even when I, myself, published two books that can be categorized as “women’s fiction.”

Instead, I call the genre of my novels “romantic suspense,” both words being true.

But basically, I write women’s fiction.

Why should that be embarrassing or shameful? How horrible, that I have been sucked into the male-dominated literary power structure of believing that books written for, by, and about women are somehow… LESS.

A close friend recently attended a luncheon for the celebrated author Kristen Hannah, author of the bestselling book The Nightingale. I’d read several of Hannah’s books over the years, fun easy reads like Comfort and Joy, Home Again, Between Sisters. Even though she attracted a tremendous amount of readers and several of her books became bestsellers, I never treated her books, or her writing, seriously.

After all, she “just” wrote women’s fiction.

The first book I read by Hannah, Firefly Lane, sold over 1.2 million copies. Yet a Publishers Weekly review noted: “Hannah goes a little too far into Lifetime movie territory in her latest, an epic exploration of the complicated terrain between best friends. . . . Hannah takes the easy way out with an over-the-top tear-jerker ending, though her upbeat message of the power of friendship and family will, for some readers, trump even the most contrived plot twists.”

Ouch. Not a lot of praise for this writer of “women’s fiction.”

I read these types of reviews in the past, and my distain for the genre heightened (even though I enjoyed reading the genre!).

Then, Hannah published The Nightingale in 2015, which immediately shot off the book charts. Men, women, reviewers (kind of) loved this book. Amazon made the book a “Spotlight Pick for February, 2015.” Amazon’s reviewer noted that the book is a “weeper and a thriller,” a “melodrama that combines historical accuracy . . . and social/political activism,” and is “fast-paced, detailed, and full of romance.”

Many, many literary classics can be described the same way, but with much more gravitas.

But after all, Hannah is “just” a writer of women’s fiction.

My friend reported back to me after he attended the luncheon for Hannah at a well-renowned California indie bookstore . After the chicken and rice, the author spoke to the crowd, proclaiming proudly, “I am an author of women’s fiction.”

Her vibrant fan base applauded enthusiastically.

Many of her readers call her a feminist, and now I understand why.

In a published interview, Hannah notes that “Interestingly enough, (The Nightingale) is both part and parcel of what I do . . . women’s stories are so often overlooked, forgotten or overshadowed by men’s stories, and we as women have just as many heroic, courageous stories to tell. Sometimes it’s more courageous to stay at home and try to keep your children safe, and to make the choices that need to be made in pursuit of that. It’s important that we remember the contributions that women make.”

I get it now.

Women’s fiction is a genre to be proud of.

So, I break my own ground here by announcing: I write Women’s Fiction.

There.

Phew!

Pamela S. Wight is the author of two romantic suspense novels. Her first book, The Right Wrong Man, has rave reviews for taking readers “on an exciting adventure with lots of intrigue, unexpected plot twists, and romance.” A year later, Wight published her second novel, Twin Desires. A reviewer notes: “Another page-turner by Pamela Wight! She has a knack for creating fleshed-out characters the reader develops a true affection for, nice people with vulnerabilities that not-so-nice people exploit. While, this definitely falls into the category of romance, it is much more than that. It is also a murder mystery. The characters we most care for are in real peril, and the action never stops. I lost myself in an engaging story and sighed when I flipped the final page. Read it!”

Pamela earned her Master’s in English and continued with postgraduate work at UC Berkeley in publishing. She teaches creative writing classes in the Boston and San Francisco Bay areas.

Many readers enjoy her “weekly blog on daily living” called Roughwighting

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68 thoughts on “Meet Guest Author Pamela S. Wight…

  1. Great post, and an interesting exploration of mixed feelings around this genre. I love the point about ‘sometimes it’s more courageous to stay at home and keep the children safe’. Amen, Nail on the Head, Hallelujah and Couldn’t Agree More etc etc. And thanks too for introducing me to a new author! I’ve never read anything by Kristin Hannah. Time to put that right 🙂 Raise a glass – To Women’s Fiction! Blessings, Harula x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Story always come first for me before a classification. That’s done to lead readers to the right shelves these days, isn’t it? I don’t think in terms of genre and I love women’s fiction, which shows us life in an entertaining way. You go, Pamela, and congratulations. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Whenever I pick up a new author I’m not familiar with, I truly judge the book and the story it tells, not the genre as that depends on what I’m in the mood for! And many times, especially in romance writers, it is amazing how many men write anonymously under women’s names. I do read a number of genres as I am in contact with writers of all kinds, If the story is well written and captures my attention throughout, it doesn’t matter if the author is a man or a woman. We like what we read and we write what we like. . .after all, we’re writers not labels.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “We are writers, not labels.” Hear Hear!!! And I do the same thing. When I finish an edgy, tight literary novel, I then head straight for a sweet light love story. Then I’ll go to a mystery novel, and then perhaps a novel full of family drama and revelations. Each author writes from her/his heart, and each novel is not a label, but a work of truth and beauty. Love your comments here – thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderfully articulated Pamela, reminds me of Jane Austen, who struggled to write and follow her passion despite the social norms of those times. She has always inspired me but we have come a long way, nice to be writing in this era where women writers have proved their mettle beyond doubt. Keep writing dear friend, your words evoke natural response.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post, Pam. Women’s authors, in general, don’t seem to get the proclaim that male authors do, but I think that’s changing. Being proud of what we do and our contributions is an important step. It we don’t value our own work, who else will, right? Stand tall and write and read what you love. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve always been amazed at how little recognition successful women authors receive. Look at Nora Roberts – many many people love her books of romance and suspense. She has sold many millions, yet she’s rarely interviewed in literary mags or mainstream newspapers. Then she began writing more gritty novels under the name J.D. Robb. My guy would never read “women’s fiction,” yet I gave him a J.D. Robb novel and he loved it … and was shocked when I told him that Nora Roberts, famed women’s fiction novelist, wrote the book. Ha – perhaps pen names are the way to go. Either way, the way for writing success is as you say: read and write what you love.

      Liked by 2 people

      • That’s happened with a number of fantasy writers too. Years of anonymity as a female writer and then they chose a genderless name and zoom to the top. 🙂 Times are changing though and I make a point of reading novels by authors of both genders.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. I wrote 2 unpublished novels of “women’s fiction.” They taught me how to write. Soon I’ll publish a hybrid family history. The reason it will be published is because the launch will feature 2 Seattle museum speakers about the famous father who died when I was a month old. Since I couldn’t find out much about him, a few tell me “the rest is just a personal woman’s story.” So maybe both women and men will read it

    Liked by 2 people

    • I know, Mary. I was ashamed that I was ashamed about enjoying women’s fiction. But I received my M.A. in English Literature from a university in which women’s fiction was distained. I think many professors put up their noses about literature that is accessible and about ‘real life’ issues, as opposed to eloquent, metaphorically written novels.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love women’s fiction! Especially Kristin Hannah’s novels, which I’ve been reading for over 20 years and have watched her writing mature. I love how she writes about female relationships. My favorite of her books are WINTER GARDEN and NIGHTINGALE, which will become a movie. I even love her early historical fiction/romance books. And, Kristin is such a lovely person. Had dinner with her when she was on tour for her book Night Road. She loves to connect with people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for recommending Winter Garden, Patricia. I haven’t read that one by Hannah. How very special that you had dinner with this author!! My friend who attended the (large, bookstore) lunch with Kristen Hannah found her accessible and delightful. And well-spoken about the honor of writing women’s fiction.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Say it loudly; say it proudly! 🙂 Good for you, Pam!
    I don’t think the genre matters as much as the ability to tell a good story. Keep on!

    By the way, I think many women were discouraged from writing “women’s history” for a long time.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great post, Pam! You write women’s fiction, and you do it so well! For me, God puts the stories into my heart, I’m only the messenger. If people want to criticize, I guess they’ve got to take it up with Him. Yay you! xo

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Thank you for introducing me to a new website and new authors. I am happy to see several authors I know followed you here. And I agree, nothing to be ashamed whatever our pedigree as writers. I am proud of my own tag “Mennonite with a writing habit.” Brava, Pamela!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pam, you are an inspiration! My book club (only one member knows I am a writer) calls genre fiction “fluff” and I’m afraid one night I got a little vocal about the way people think about genre fiction. It’s something every genre writer should be proud of and I’m proud of you for standing up and telling everyone!! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Believe me, Amy, I understand your reticence but urge you to speak up. I have spoken to book clubs in which 20 of the readers are cheering me on, and one or two have their noses up because my books aren’t ‘serious fiction.’ Give me a break! And interestingly, those reader DID give me a break after they read my books and enjoyed them (though secretly, I have no doubt – ha ha).

      Liked by 2 people

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