Pamela Olson's Blog (9)

On Leaving the Boring out of your Book

Confession time: I come across in my memoir as more collected and clever than I really am, and my life seems more exciting and interesting than it actually is.

This is due not to dishonesty — everything in the memoir is true. It’s because of the nature and structure of storytelling. Unless there’s a…


Added by Pamela Olson on November 18, 2014 at 3:14pm — 3 Comments

The First Draft as Scaffolding

After finishing a memoir, I had the crazy idea to write a novel next, which is basically the opposite of a memoir. Memoirs have all the raw materials in place—the characters, the settings, the action. The writer ‘just’ has to string them together so they express some idea or lesson or theme. In fiction, you start with…


Added by Pamela Olson on November 11, 2014 at 1:00am — 6 Comments

Book Tour USA: Week One (+Giveaway)

It’s Day 4 of my book tour, and I’ve slept in a different bed every night so far. A leaky air mattress on a floor in Mountain View, a couch in Marin, and a comfy spare bedroom in San Francisco. Luckily my other hubs will involve only two or three cities near each airport instead of seven!

My first event was basically a warm-up, a talk over dinner with some Stanford students at a co-op house where 50 students live. Half the students left as soon as they finished their vegan burgers…


Added by Pamela Olson on March 18, 2013 at 12:30pm — 4 Comments

Nationwide Book Tour: A Peek Inside the Sausage (+ Giveaway)

When I heard the words “nationwide book tour,” I used to imagine working an hour or two every day for several weeks and spending evenings in fancy hotels, all the while being hounded by adoring fans. Sounded pretty sweet.

Well, it may be that way for the superstars, but for the rest of us, a spring book tour begins in November, with planning, research, pitch letters, and reaching out to friends and contacts in various cities.

So there I was in November staring at a…


Added by Pamela Olson on March 10, 2013 at 11:30pm — 18 Comments

From Self-Published to Published: A Highlight Reel

It’s possible I got published because I liked somebody’s hat.

Let me back up a little.

I was 23 when I unexpectedly found myself in Palestine. Two years later, when I returned to the US, I was desperate to write about my experiences. But every time I thought about sitting down to write a book, I felt like I was standing at the base of Mt. Everest staring up into the the vastness. And the task was not to scale the mountain but to eat it.

Two years later I was…


Added by Pamela Olson on March 3, 2013 at 11:30pm — 30 Comments

Early reviews of my book, Fast Times in Palestine

 The first reviews of my book Fast Times in Palestine have been coming in, and I always cover my eyes a little bit, wondering what each verdict will be. Luckily it's been mostly good news so far.

Publishers Weekly calls it one of the…


Added by Pamela Olson on February 14, 2013 at 12:36pm — No Comments

"Simple eBook Formatting for the Technophobic Author" is FREE today!

Get it here:

It's a lean, simple guide to formatting, publishing, and managing beautiful eBooks, and the only prior knowledge required is a working knowledge of Microsoft Word and web browsing. And it's FREE today!

Please partake and enjoy...

Added by Pamela Olson on March 16, 2012 at 11:03am — No Comments

Happy Birthday to YOU

I just took the plunge and signed all six of my eBooks up for KDP Select. It's my birthday this weekend, and I made all six of them free for parts or all of this weekend as a little birthday present to the world. Please feel free to partake in the freebook feast :)

Here are the titles, for reference:

Fast Times in…


Added by Pamela Olson on January 21, 2012 at 10:39am — No Comments

Fast Times in Publishing

In January 2008, I sat down to begin the book that would define my young adulthood, a memoir about a two-year period in the Middle East that challenged everything I thought I knew about politics, war, and human nature.


The problem is, average Americans don’t read much serious journalism about the Middle East. Who can blame them? It's mostly depressing, polemical, hard to relate to, and full of…


Added by Pamela Olson on January 19, 2012 at 8:30pm — 1 Comment


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