The Write Focus

3:31 / Interview with Pamela Ebel / Mixed Miscellany Summer Series

July 27, 2022

From mainstream mysteries to weird and wacky and on to true crime with paranormal, Pamela Ebel doesn’t hesitate.

Direct from Pamela:

Groups for Crime Fiction Writers

  1. Short Mystery Fiction Society  A wide network of members with years of experience and success in writing crime fiction short stories and novels
  2. Mystery Writers of America: They publish monthly newsletters with articles on writing and marketing Markets

Writing Tools

  • I do not use any of the numerous writing programs and formats on the market. I start all of my works on a legal pad. When I get to a point where I know the rest of the story will go, I move to the computer and use a basic Word program.
  • I am a ‘pantser’ and let the story tell me where it wants to go. However, once the first draft is done, I do go back and look carefully for the elements of a plot and whether my characters are getting us where we need to go. I have Beta readers (several of whom also clean up spelling and grammatical issues for me.).

Maintaining Productivity

  • By education and profession (BA, MA in Rhetoric and Public Address and 48 years of teaching communications courses at the university level and with a Law Degree and a solo practice, then 15 years as associate dean at a law school) both writing skills and my organizational skills were set long ago. I use an old-fashioned desk calendar with the month, weeks and days to keep track of my obligations.
  • I use the same suspense system I used in law practice to keep track of deadlines for works in progress – 60 day notice of impending deadline; 30 day notice; 15 day notice; 5 day notice and prescription date.
  • I also lead a critique group of four writers (covering a variety of genres and styles) that meets at my home every other week. I receive their stories ahead of time, write and return my written critiques to them, and then they have each other’s works that they critique at the gathering.
  • I also teach a course on “Writing and Marketing Short Stories”  Both of these activities keep me involved with others who have my passion for writing and that keeps me writing also.

Publishing Decisions

Whether to seek a traditional publisher for your work; a hybrid publisher or self-publishing is a personal decision that should be made based on

  • the amount of time you are willing to expend seeking a brick and mortar publisher (usually requiring an agent),
  • 2) how much time you wish to tie up your work with a traditional publishing time line,
  • 3) how much money your are willing to come out of pocket to get your work published,
  • and 4) how much of your own money and time you can afford to market your work.

My bottom line is that whatever decision one makes in the journey to having your novel, novella, anthology or short stories or poetry see the light of day for the reading public is personal and valid for the author.

Do not let ‘the in crowd’ tell you what you ‘HAVE TO DO’ to be successful. Have a serious talk with yourself and your family and then do what satisfies you.


  • 00:52 Opening for Pamela Ebel, into her fifth career: writing
  • 2:00 Avoiding the word genre
  • 4:18 Flash Fiction
  • 6:16 Offering fiction for free on her website
  • 7:40 Finding Turners ~ a series with retired circus animals
  • 9:20 Writing a short story a week
  • 10:45 Submission process advice
  • 16:00 Finding markets
  • 18:40 Best Help for Writing
  • 20:45 How to find her work
  • 21:50 Writing vs. social media; her story “Dead Men don’t Text” is upcoming on her Facebook page (link below)
  • 23:30 Investing in your own writing
  • 25:00 Novel vs. Short Fiction
  • 27:25 When disasters affect the writing
  • 29:35 Finding a short story in a novel
  • 31:11 Avoiding boredom with the writing
  • 33:30 Best Writing Tool
  • 37:13 Never wait for validation from others
  • 39:20 Closing



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