Thursday, April 26, 2012

TELEVENGE, the Dark Side of Televangelism

... is now available for PREORDER on
From the Publisher:
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 to be subservient and submissive in the tradition of the Bible-belt South of the 1970's, 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 when Joe is hired on the ministry team.

The charismatic Reverend conducts faith-healing crusades, creating the largest religious television audience in the world, surpassing the income and followers of Oral Roberts and Billy Graham. Working limitless hours, Joe is sucked deeper into the ministry while Andie attempts to free him from the Reverend's control and far-reaching influence.

But it is Mavis Dumass, Andie's best friend since birth, a sassy, gorgeous African-American woman and aspiring recording star, who holds the secrets to Reverend Artury's carefully veiled debauchery. Fiercely protective of Andie, Mavis is just as fiercely disdainful of both Joe and Reverend Artury. What happens to Mavis leaves Andie near mental collapse and struggling for freedom from the cult's grip.

Andie is still unaware of the extreme danger their pastor wields until she witnesses the murder of a church member. Fearing for her life, she plummets from a dreadful existence into a horrific one as she uncovers Reverend Artury's long-hidden truths, and loses everything, including her children. But she strikes back, threatening to expose the Reverend to the world.

Raised by two psychopathic aunts, Reverend Artury reverts to the twisted "cleansings" of his childhood. As his mental stability declines, Andie quickly realizes she must go into hiding. Fighting for redemption for her family and herself, Andie confronts the very definition of sin and shakes the Christian evangelical world to its core. Evading ruthless adversaries who will go to any lengths to protect Reverend Artury, Andie battles the darkest side of televangelism, forever changing a nation of evangelicals.

Vivid and tragic, Televenge exposes chaos in the megachurch, and embraces those who discover unconditional love in a religious world fraught with fear and intimidation. With more twists and turns than the Blue Ridge Parkway, Televenge takes you from the Piedmont South to the Hawaiian Islands, to Nigeria, Africa, 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 who will stay with the reader long after they finish the book. Suspensful and deeply moving, Televenge will be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Pink Ribbon For A Broad-Shouldered Man

I asked him, "When did you notice it?"

"It's been a little tender," he replied. "I thought it was just a pimple."

A month ago my husband had a routine chest x-ray prior to cataract surgery. The cataract surgery was cancelled because they found a small nodule in his right breast. After a mammogram, an ultrasound, and a biopsy, it was discovered that my precious husband has stage 1 breast cancer.

Breast cancer. Isn't that a woman's disease?

Apparently not. Although rare in men, it happens. He was scheduled for a mastectomy on Friday but has since been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 8th, to give the doctor adequate time instead of squeezing him into a packed schedule. I suppose we just have to wait, although we're mentally prepared.

Or is one ever mentally prepared for this sort of thing?

But the prognosis is excellent. It was caught, thank God, very early. It's small, and there is a good possibility he won't even need chemo. All he'll have is a scar. "Women like scars," I told him. "Maybe you can get a tattoo there in a few years." We're bathing ourselves in prayer, and my friends and family have jumped into the pool with us. Including my Facebook Friends. :-)

It's a scary word. But we are people of great faith. It surrounds us like tinted windows, we can look out, but nothing can penetrate. Michael's life is a testimony to the human spirit. From his early days in the military to the death of his daughter and the years of struggle that followed, until now. I just may have to write a book about it. Someday.

And Michael may have to wear a pink ribbon on his lapel the rest of his life. But at six foot two with broad shoulders, he is very much a man's man. He's never been one to fear his feminine side. Pink ribbons? He'll wear them proudly. I assure you.

I can also assure you, Michael Cable will beat this monster, just like he's beat every other monster in  his life. And I will continue to be blessed by this man. Thank you all for your continued prayers, and I'm sure we'll be able to give you a good report in a few short weeks.

Blessings to you and yours.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

What Do You Hold Back As A Writer?

One of my favorite quotes, a quote I often recite when speaking to groups of writers, is the quote by Dorothy Allison from the New York Times Book Review, Sunday, June 28, 1994: She said, "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."

I remember being told that God doesn't just tickle our ears with sweet scriptures. I have reasoned that God not only reveals Himself through miracles, but also through our realities. What is real. What we know.

As a writer, I decided a long time ago that whether or not it sounds like something a "Christian" would write, I would write what is real. I would be a fearless writer. Come what may.

My characters are not all God-serving men and women. They don't all live within the sheltered walls of christian schools, homes, and they don't all spend their weekends at choir practice or church socials. They don't say "shoot" when they mean, "shit." They're real. They have a voice, and I won't betray that, any more than I would betray the voice of an evangelist. My stories and novels are not written for the Christian audience, but my message of faith is clear. I like to think that I roll the camera, recording the scene exactly they way the characters react and speak.

Life is messy, gritty, dirty, and dark. But out of that comes pin-pricks of light and hope.

I feel like a pioneer of sorts. I can't write any other way. There is no condemnation heaped upon my shoulders, and yet I'm quite sure the message of love and redemption is apparent, to the point it jumps off the page and pierces the reader's heart.

Wishy-washy? Compromising? Some might think so, I suppose. I prefer to think of it as a double-edged sword. It cuts quick, before you know you even know you're bleeding. I think the world is ready for reality-based writing. For somebody to write stories off the straight and narrow, and yet never losing sight of the truth and the way.

A bit too open-minded for some, maybe, but I like to think God made me this way. He's just been waiting to see what I do with it. Televenge will be available to the public in October. A novel not for the faint of heart.

And like Dorothy Allison ... I held nothing back.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pez Dispensers Full of Antidepressants

Sometimes I think being a writer during this time of flux in the industry is enough to drive most of us to carrying around Pez dispensers full of antidepressants.

I wonder how Eudora Welty would react if her publicist (if she even had one) told her to learn how to Twitter. Do you think William Faulkner would spend an hour a day on Facebook? I doubt if many of great writers of the last century worried over book tours, book festivals, and book returns. They turned in their manuscripts, and were off to writing their next novel.

My, how things have changed.

The publishing industry has gone through so many changes, I wonder if it even recognizes itself. The number of experts offering me words of wisdom pop up in my email every day. You have to weed through them. Find the ones that need pulling, and take time on the few that spark your interest. Most of the time I delete them.

I would like nothing more than to bury myself in a good book, sit in the library for a whole day, and develop characters and scenes just for the fun of it. Writers don't have those by-gone luxuries anymore.

I'm getting ready for the upcoming promotion surrounding my novel, the book signings, the speaking engagements, and the traveling involved. And really, I don't mind it. I enjoy meeting my readers, getting inside their heads, finding out what they're reading these days. Connecting. Writers have to connect with their readers more often than they used to. Technology demands that we do.

E books can be read overnight. Stories are shorter. Reviews are plastered over the Internet so readers can make intelligent choices. It's enough to give Margaret Mitchell a migraine. I'm not sure the writers of yesteryear would know how to handle it. I wonder if they'd embrace it, or give up in the midst of such fierce competition.

I'm in the midst of a countdown. There are lists of preparation. Each month before the novel is released to the public, the writer, publisher, and publicist have their work cut out for them. I'm about six months out from pub date, and every day my list grows longer. Even though I have a great team behind me, my list remains long and detailed.

I don't have a Pez dispenser full of antidepressants, but I am considering increasing my coffee intake.

Blessings to you and yours.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Have You Earned Your Social Media Merit Badge?

How many of us sit at our computers and decide we're going to take over the world with social media? We're going to blog every day. Set aside time for tweeting. Dive into the depths of our Facebook account. Build our writing platform come Hell or High Water!

And then you look up from your desk and it's already noon and you've got to get something out of the freezer for dinner; fold the clothes in the dryer before they wrinkle; talk to your mother who complains you never call her, and run to the store for eggs and toilet paper. Before you know it, it's time for the kids to come home, or the dog has escaped and your neighbor is calling you to get Barney out of his flowerbeds.

Or maybe the warm spring air is calling you outside, and you notice how awful your own flowerbeds look from the winter, so you dust off your garden tools and dig up a few weeds. Before you know it, it's time to pull dinner out of the oven, eat, clean up the kitchen, on and on ... and there's always that novel on your bedside table staring at you. The one you fall asleep reading five minutes after your head hits the pillow.

The next morning brings new resolutions, or pretty much the same ones you made the day before as you sit at your computer, staring at your list of things to do you should've tackled the day before.

Come on. Admit it. How many of us really want to spend time on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In and all the other sights designed to suck time away from us. How does one successfully find the excitement in it? The feeling of accomplishment? All while knowing we need to start the next book, outline, research, edit, and query? I think maybe it's that we use time as an excuse. Think? The fact of the matter is ... we really don't want to do it. So the question becomes, what can we do to make ourselves want to spend the time tweeting? Facebooking? Caring about every Linked-In email that plugs up our Inbox?

Sure, sure ... we've heard it all before ... it's something we have to do to be successful. So you wonder how many tweets are sincere and how many are working toward their Tweetie Bird Merit badges? "How many followers/friends do you have?" Na-na-na-na na, na.

I'm finding too many people whose lives are wrapped around their Facebook account, when really, they desperately need to mow their dang yard, play with their kids, bake a pie for their sick neighbor. There's got to be line drawn somewhere in all this. Any ideas?

Blessings to you and yours.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

There's a Price to Pay for Your Memories

They say when you're born, you begin to die. Not something we want to think about. But I sat at the funeral of my ex-mother-in-law last Friday and thought about that very fact.

I was close to this amazing woman. She was a mother to me in so many, many ways. I knew her from the time I was eight, married her youngest, and spent most of my young adult life at her feet. She was my spiritual mentor in my youth. So many memories ...

I think Martha and I talked long into the night on countless occasions, about God and church and Heaven and family ... I was Ruth and she was my Naomi. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God. Well. Anyway, I can still smell her pies baking in her yellow stove. Smell the coffee and bacon frying in her old and dated kitchen; and if I try hard enough, I can still taste the roast beef Sunday dinners. The hot air on a summer night, eating ice cream from the Dariette, sitting out under that old shade tree in her backyard. Feeling the wind in the breezeway, the sinking mattress in the old spare bed in the back room, hearing the sound of the trucks at night on the highway. Precious memories, how they linger.

I washed more loads of clothes and diapers with Mom than a body has a right to. That ancient wringer washer, hoo-boy, I wouldn't take a million dollars for that memory. Totin' loads upstairs and out to the miles of clothesline that zig-zagged across the backyard by Dad's shop.

I still have dreams about that old homestead. Who wouldn't? My entire youth is tied up in that place. But, ah, time heals wounds, and for that we should all be grateful. Unconditional love is the thread that binds this family. I'm more than thankful for it.

We're all going to miss her. God is so good to fill in those cavernous gaps and put the joy we so desperately need at this time into our hearts. Yes, it is a very sad time, but it is a tremendous time of celebration. A circle unbroken.

Martha was 89. She raised five children, (six, including me) and influenced her nine grandchildren in ways I never knew until the funeral this past Friday. It was a crazy week of
family and friends and laughter mixed in with the tears.

And then, yesterday, my dear, sweet current mother-in-law, ends up in the hospital. So, we are on another wait-and-see, moment-by-moment, stand-by-the-phone kind of thing. Bobbie Sue is a real sweetheart, as well as a true Southern broad. I'm sure she's giving those nurses plenty to laugh about.

All of this has made me think about the passage of time, and how quickly we can go from a little girl in pig-tails, to a wrinkled woman in a nursing home. But for those of us who believe in the promise of Heaven ... it's just a little easier to take when it's over.

So I've been away from my computer for a week. It's good to be back.

Blessings to you and yours.