1. Tell us a bit about Abuse of Discretion and the inspiration behind it.
I was talking to a law school classmate who was lamenting the fact that he had yet another teenage client facing life-altering consequences as a result of sexting. He’s a criminal defense attorney and he explained to me that children as young as 13 and 14 were being prosecuted for distributing child pornography after taking naked selfies and sending them to a classmates. I was floored when he told me that these children faced the possibility of having to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives if convicted. I immediately knew this was a topic I wanted to address in a legal thriller and Abuse of Discretion was the result.
In the book, Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen year old. The naked picture that police find on his cell phone leads to his arrest and a journey into the criminal justice system that could change his life forever.
2. As a young person, who did you look up to most?
I don’t think it was any one person. I looked up to my parents and teachers. I can also still remember reading The Blues Eyeand I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. They were among the first books I read that had African-American characters. So I’d have to say Maya Angelou as well.
3. What were your hobbies as a kid? What are your hobbies now?
I was an avid reader as a kid and I continue to love books. Nowadays I mostly “read” audio books. It allows me to enjoy a book while I’m driving and working out. That continues to be my number one hobby.
4. Where do you write your books?
I have a pretty cool home office with bright yellows walls, inspirational words and a huge MAC screen. Outside my home, my favorite spot is at Panera Bread. I burrow into a corner and can write for hours.
5. What is the best advice you have ever received about writing?
If you want to be a writer, then write.
6. What do you do when you get writer’s block?
I turn to research or I read like a writer, meaning that while I’m reading, I examine the writing, the story structure and focus on things I like and dislike about the book.
7. What would your readers be most surprised to learn about you?
That I love crocheting. I picked it up less than a year ago. It calms me down. So far, the only thing I know how to make is a scarf. LOL!
8. Silly-Game question: From Abuse of Discretion (with your eyes close) could you please leaf through the pages and point at a random place. What is the full sentence? And what is the page number of this random sentence?
Page 107: Snatching a child is one thing, but kidnapping an adult—a lawyer no less—could present a whole host of problems.
9. What do you hope readers will take away from Abuse of Discretion?
My primary goal in writing Abuse of Discretion was to educate parents and grandparents about the teen sexting epidemic and the very serious consequences our children face. Based on the book’s early reviews, I’ve achieved that goal. What I really want is for parents to sit down and talk to their teens about sexting. Education and frank conversation are key to saving our children from devastating legal consequences.
10. In promoting your book Buying Time at The Mo’Nique Show (www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com/show/index.html), how was your experience at the show overall? Did you talk to Chili from TLC after the show?
The experience was amazing. I was nervous and worried that I would freeze up once the cameras were rolling. But Mo’Nique immediately put me at ease and it all went by in a flash. And nope, I didn’t get a chance to talk to Chili after the show. The audience was mobbing her.
11. Congratulation for your book Anybody’s Daughter NAACP Image Award (Outstanding Literary Work), what did you do to celebrate? Where did you currently put your trophy?
My trophy is in my office, inches away from where I write. I enjoyed a great dinner with one of my best girlfriends.
12. Your novels will make excellent movies on the big screen (and on television); have you contact anyone in the industry to option any of your stories?
I’ve been approached a few times, but nothing has materialized so far. I’m hopeful that once my books are better known, I’ll be able to sell TV and movie rights.
13. You stated in your website that Tyler Perry’s 2010 NAACP Image Awards quote inspired you to self-publish your book; is there any other quote that has inspired you in general that you would like to share?
My favorite quote is “Dreams don’t work unless you do.” That says it all.
14. If Mr. Tyler Perry was interested in making one of your novels into a movie, which novel would you give him to do first?
Anybody’s Daughter for sure. I really want to shine a light on child sex trafficking. It’s going on all around us but most people don’t realize that.
15. Do you have any pet? If so, which type?
Sorry, no pets.
16. Last question, if you were forced to listening to one song, nonstop, for a whole day in your writing room, which song would you choose?
Queen Latifah’s version of California Dreamin’.
All the best to Ms. Pamela Samuels Young and all her writing endeavors for this new year. I hope you guys put this novel on your to-read pile this year. I really hope her works get noticed and perhaps adapted on the movie screen or television. Thanks once again for visiting my blog to read this interview. Take care and I hope you have a wonderful, blessed day.