Pamela Freeman (also known as Pamela Hart) never ceases to amaze me. I've known her for the past 16 years, first as a brilliant author, then she became a presenter of our creative writing courses at the Australian Writers Centre. And then she took on the role of Director of Creative Writing here as well.
Pamela (pictured at left above with her HarperCollins publisher Nicola Robinson) has now published her 40th book. Yes, you read that correctly – her 40th book! Her novel, Digging Up Dirt, is published by HarperCollins. It's set in contemporary Sydney and focuses on a woman, Poppy McGowan, who is at the centre of a murder.
In the industry, this book is classified as a ‘cosy mystery'. However, a recent review by Dymocks Melbourne described it as ‘charming crime fiction', which we think is a far better description – and we anticipate this brilliant book will spearhead this new category!
As an author, Pamela is known for her incredible ability to cross genres. She started as a writer of children's books, has penned epic fantasy novels including The Castings Trilogy (Blood Ties, Deep Water and Full Circle) and several non-fiction books.
More recently, she moved into historical fiction under the name of Pamela Hart, writing the wonderful books The Soldier's Wife, The War Bride, A Letter from Italy and The Desert Nurse – all published by Hachette.
However, there is no doubt that this woman is one of the most productive – and talented – authors on the planet. While some authors are too scared to stray outside of their genre, Pamela has never been one to be defined so singularly. Digging Up Dirt once again proves her skill as a writer, storyteller and keen observer of the nuances of human behaviour.
Pamela also draws on many aspects of her own personal life so this book can probably also be considered one of her most revealing stories to date!
While I have no doubt that you are going to enjoy the book, my point is to highlight the importance of exploring different aspects of your creative journey. Like Pamela, you might want to colour outside the lines and experiment with a genre that is not the one you're most comfortable in.
Because stepping outside of your comfort zone can often lead to unexpected creative discoveries. And it can also lead to publishing success.
You can find Digging Up Dirt in all good bookshops and also here.