The Millstone Times December 2021

Crescent Tales A Dream Come True Local Resident, Pam Teel, has always dreamed of one day publishing her own books filled with her children’s stories. After watching her other friends become published authors, she decided that the time was now or never. Being discouraged by stories of people waiting forever to hear back from traditional publishing companies about their manuscripts, while they lay dormant in some pile on a desk, Pam was intrigued by the self-publishing venues that allow anyone with a story to be able to tell their tales. Long ago, when the notion of self-publishing started to get popular, the word was that a reputable publishing company wouldn’t even consider looking at your man- uscript or take you seriously if you went that other route, but for some it’s the only way. Seeing your work in print is personally rewarding and for Pam it’s always been a dream of hers to share her stories. I sat down with Pam today to ask her about her journey.

When did you first become interested in writing? Since as long as I can remember. I was the girl in school who didn’t frown when the teacher assigned essays. I loved doing the factual research, and in the fictional field, I loved it even more creating my own stories. When I think about it now, the money I could have made in high school writing other people’s essays! Lol. I remember I wrote a whole book when I was seventeen, sitting at the dining room table in my spare time, just filling up notebooks. Of course, back then we didn’t have the convenience of fast computers like we do now a days. I still have the notebooks in a closet somewhere. Maybe someday I’ll go back and do something with them. Toughest part will be reading my own writing! What do you like to write about? I love writing about animals. They are so magical to me. What would be better than a talking cat or dog. Careful what I wish for, I have five cats! Don’t know if I could put up with all the complaining. Animals and children seem to be a perfect blend for a children’s story. I also like writing poetry, I do have more children’s stories, and I have two finished novels, in the romance and adventure category, that one day I plan to turn into books. What made you decide to go ahead with this project? It was a now or never decision. I’ve been writing for The Millstone Times for fifteen or so years and when covid hit, the articles decreased, which gave me more time to look over my own work, proof it, make changes, so on. So many times, I would write an article for other new authors, and in the back of my mind I always thought, I could do that too. I guess I just needed a push. My friend, Phyllis Mitchell, wrote a book last year about her coming out as a Psychic titled, Believe, -Do you? (www.Readings by I was lucky to be a part of that book. When I wrote up the article for her for the paper, I felt inspired. She kept telling me, you have to do it too. At about the same time, another friend told me about her nephew who published a comic book type novel and she gave me the name of a publishing company located in New Jersey. Did you find the process difficult? I found it very difficult to follow. I am not so computer savvy and the instructions were not so direct and they left a lot out, especially for someone doing this for the first time. Thank Goodness for my daughter-in-law, Christine, who helped me from the beginning. First of all, my computer was ancient and everything I sent to them, they received garbled and vice versa. It would have taken forever to have corrected everything; like run on sentences, scram- bled paragraphs, etc. Christine took pity on me and took it upon herself to help me see this through. I owe her a lot. The publishers seemed to assume that you already know what you are doing, and with this company, I found that you are doing all the work, formatting, and everything else. I know of some people who hire a book agent first to help them along, especially if you are new to this process. I think it’s a good idea the first time around. First time authors, especially if you are writing a children’s book, make sure you know the questions to ask. When they ask for your word count, first off, you tell them you want the pictures big and the printing big and make sure they include enough pages for the bigger type. When I got the final proof back the pictures were pretty much thumb nail. Talk about your blood pressure rising! You can’t have a children’s book with thumbnail pictures! I pretty much ranted, and for, of course, some more money, the pictures magically got bigger. However, I did not ask about the type as it was larger in the final proof than what they printed. I was a little disappointed with the size print but it was already said and done.

28 The Millstone Times

December 2021

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