Name: Pamela Courtney
What you Write: I write picture books in the following genres: Historical Fiction, Fiction, Non-fiction, and Poetry. I am currently working on a Middle Grade novel in verse.
Agent: James McGowan
Why BookEnds?: With your thoughtful, educational, and oh so personable YouTube videos, you’ve set yourself up as the GO TO resource for writers. They’ve become part of the craft-share sessions for one of my critique groups. Your award winning booklist alone has garnered amazing respect. I respect the reputation of this agency.
James: I am overjoyed to be welcoming Pam to the BookEnds team. Her work is incredibly moving, lyrically written, and really swept me off my feet. I am honored to be a part of bringing it to shelves, and cannot wait to shout about her books from the rooftops.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write?
My writing process begins with opening the curtains (rainy day writing is my favorite), looking out from my office (the dining room table), and onto our backyard. For fifteen minutes I watch our nature friends visit each other. Then more procrastinating, I mean, contemplation as I visualize the specific scene I’m working on, mentally creating my “emotional” word bank.
At least 3 times a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays without fail), I get together with a group of writers for a Writing Cafe’. We bring our favorite beverage, log in to Zoom, type “hello” in the chat, put on our favorite music, and together we write for 2-hours. I also have the reward of writing with my homeschooling kinfolk (I homeschool my niece, and 2 nephews). They love Writing Cafe hour too.
What do you love about writing?
It is an extension of the oral storytelling I grew up hearing. It’s as if I’m carrying on with tradition. I also love sharing the mystery in the history of my beloved Louisiana. Stretching, twisting, molding raw information into an emotional, lyrical work gives me such joy. Additionally, sharing little known historical events that are intricately woven into the sturdy cloth of America’s unique tapestry inspires me.
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen? I’ve worked in the field of Early Childhood and Elementary Education for over two decades. Introducing picture books with images that mirror those of my young learners is paramount. My duty is great. I am a writer who teaches. I am a teacher who writes.
What is the hardest part about writing KidLit?
I love finding a unique concept and turning it on its ear. However, I’m raising my right hand and declaring: “I’m a pantser” and I struggle with opening lines. Even after my bowl of brain food (those who know me KNOW it’s ice cream), I have to work hard at delivering an opening line I’m proud to call my own.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Ahhhh! At first I thought a month long stay at Highlights. Ohhh but my dream writing location would be at my villa in Italy, out on my veranda (yeah, I know veranda it’s Portuguese and I don’t own a villa).
Do you belong to any writing organizations?
I am a member of SCBWI, a fellow with the Highlights Diversity Fellowship program, WNDB alum, and in an effort to hone my craft; I created fiction, nonfiction, novel in verse critique groups.
What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents?
Why did you choose to represent me?
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
Ready? I still don’t think my story is ready. Does any writer truly feel that? It wasn’t until other agents shared their thoughts on my work, that I felt confident in my decision to send it on submission.