Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes award-winning mysterious women’s fiction and relationship humor books, and holds nothing back. She is known for “having it all” which really means she has a little too much of everything, but loves it: writer, mediocre endurance athlete (triathlon, marathons), wife, mom of an ADHD & Asperger’s son, five kids/step-kids, business owner, recovering employment attorney and human resources executive, investigator, consultant, and musician. Pamela lives with her husband Eric and two high school-aged kids, plus 200 pounds of pets in Houston. Their hearts are still in St. Croix, USVI, along with those of their three oldest offspring.
Her latest book is the mystery/women’s fiction, Saving Grace.
Thanks for having me! Saving Grace was a book that had to be written because the jumbie house in the story, Annalise, haunted my memories until I gave in and wrote, wrote, wrote! She – the house – was real, and I lived there on the island of St. Croix.
What was the experience like writing Saving Grace?
Writing Saving Grace was a long process that alternated between magic and pain. I love to say that it took me one month to write it, after the first five years of writing it wrong. I love the book, though, in the same way mothers love their children despite the unpleasantness of childbirth.
How did you come up with the title?
The meaning of Annalise is “grace.” Annalise is the alter ego and saving grace to the main character, Katie Connell.
Can you tell us more about your main character, Katie Connell?
Katie Connell is a high-strung attorney whose sloppy drinking habits and stunted love life collide hilariously in a doomed celebrity case in Dallas. When she flees Texas for the Caribbean, Katie escapes professional humiliation, a broken heart, and a wicked Bloody Mary habit, but she trades one set of problems for another when she begins to investigate the suspicious deaths of her parents on the island of St. Marcos. She’s bewitched by the voodoo spirit of an abandoned house in the rainforest and discovers that she’s as much a danger to herself as the island’s bad guys are. As the worst of her worlds collide, Katie drags herself back to the courthouse to defend her new friend Ava, an island local accused of stabbing the senator she’s been sleeping with.
Are there any supporting characters we need to know about?
Oh, yes! When Katie flees Dallas, she is running from the Heathcliff-like impact of Nick, an investigator who doesn’t return her considerable affection. Then there is Annalise, of course, the jumbie house on St. Marcos, and there is Rashidi, the island Local who introduces Katie to Annalise. Ava, another islander, becomes Katie’s dear friend, singing partner, and ultimately, client in a murder case.
Can you open to page 25 and tell us what’s happening?
On page 25, Katie is en route to St. Marcos for the first time, and she has traded in her Bloody Marys for rum punch.
What about page 65?
On page 65, Katie decides on a whim to ditch her disastrous life in Texas and buy the big rainforest jumbie house Annalise.
Now that Saving Grace has been published, what’s your next project?
I’m in the final stages of preparing the next book in the Katie and Annalise series. It’s called Leaving Annalise, and it will come out in October, 2013.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share about you or your book?
Although I am a former attorney, professional investigator, and native Texan who lived in the U.S. Virgin Islands for nearly ten years, I would like to assure the many wonderful people I knew there that I did not take notes for Saving Grace during that time. Or at least not too many.