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Archive for February 19th, 2018

Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. She set giant-sized goals and used her talent, tenacity and positive outlook to accomplish them. Pamela consequently achieved success in both the corporate arena and literary world simultaneously.

An author, attorney and motivational speaker, Pamela spent fifteen years as Managing Counsel for Toyota, specializing in labor and employment law. While still practicing law, Pamela began moonlighting as a mystery writer because of the absence of women and people of color depicted in the legal thrillers she read. She is now an award-winning author of multiple legal thrillers, including Anybody’s Daughter, which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction, and her new release, Abuse of Discretion, a shocking look at the juvenile justice system in the context of a troubling teen sexting case.

Prior to her legal career, spent several years as a television news writer and associate producer. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC and earned a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of teen sexting, child sex trafficking, self-empowerment and fiction writing.

Would you call yourself a born writer?

A born writer, but not a born fiction writer. I was a journalism major in college and worked as a TV news writer before becoming a lawyer. I published my first book, Every Reasonable Doubt, a month before my 48th birthday. So I was definitely a late bloomer when it came to becoming a novelist.

What was your inspiration for Abuse of Discretion?

I was talking to a law school classmate who was lamenting the fact that he had yet another teenage client facing life-altering consequences as a result of sexting. He’s a criminal defense attorney and he explained to me that children as young as 13 and 14 were being prosecuted for distributing child pornography after taking naked selfies and sending them to a classmates. I was floored when he told me that these children faced the possibility of having to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives if convicted. I immediately knew this was a topic I wanted to address in a legal thriller and Abuse of Discretion was the result.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

I don’t explore themes as much as social issues. My books have discussed sexual harassment in the workplace (In Firm Pursuit), gender discrimination (Attorney-Client Privilege), the HIV epidemic among women (Murder on the Down Low), paternity issues (Lawful Deception) and child-sex trafficking (Anybody’s Daughter).

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

It took me about a year to complete Abuse of Discretion, which is typical for me for a full-length novel. I just released my first erotic romance novella, Unlawful Desires, under the pen name Sassy Sinclair, which took me three months to write.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I’m pretty disciplined in the home stretch of the novel. Once I have a first draft and I’m three months or so away from my publication date, I’m pretty consistent.  The real writing is in the rewriting and I need about three months to tinker with the book. I’m a morning writer, so I like to get to the computer by 7 a.m. I typically write until about noon, then break for lunch. If the writing vibe is strong, I’ll start up again around 2 p.m. and write until about six or seven.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The research for sure. I’m a lawyer, but I’ve never practiced in juvenile court. It’s a totally different world from civil court and employment law, which is my expertise. Luckily, I had several juvenile criminal attorneys and a juvenile judge who helped me out quite a bit.

What do you love most about being an author?

The freedom to educate as well as entertain through my books. After reading Abuse of Discretion, I hope parents sit down and talk to their teens about sexting. Education and frank conversation are key to saving our children from very devastating legal consequences.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

My first two books were traditionally published. My third book, Murder on the Down Low, was rejected by nine publishing houses, which forced me to self-publish. I’m now a successful indie author with ten books to my credit. When two major publishers who rejected my earlier books later solicited me, it truly validated my decision to take charge of my own writing career. It was also quite validating when Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Fiction against four traditionally published authors, including New York Times bestselling authors Walter Mosley and Terry McMillan. In the words of Tyler Perry, “We don’t have to wait for someone to green light our projects. We can create our own intersections.”

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pamelasamuelsyoung and

Twitter: www.twitter.com/pamsamuelsyoung

 

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