This post is from Englanti Editing (www.englantiediting.com) an international online resource about writing.
Pamela Hart Vines – Interview & Insights
Pamela is US Army Veteran, PR consultant and writer who has succeeded at so many things since she her basic training in 1982 when she memorised the poem Don’t Quit. Read about her experiences and how she is still working on her book.
1. Tell us about yourself.
My background is in the US Defense Industry. I’m a retired United States Army Officer and former defense consultant. After 29 years, I recently decided to go into business for myself. Started my own public relations firm last year. It’s based in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area and I named the company, Troop Public Relations, as tribute to service members, past and present, who don’t have a voice in the media.
I’m also near finished working on my first novel. It’s been a life-time dream of mine to be a published author. Unfortunately, I’ve been writing this first book for the past 30 years. It’s a good thing I’ve written a timeless, character based story! I have a lot of stories to tell and I’m confident that once I finish my first project, it’ll break the mold for me and the rest of my books will come flooding out of me.
2. Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in a Western Pennsylvanian town named Aliquippa. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduation from college, I began my military career in the U.S. Army. I go back to Pennsylvania to visit family routinely, but I don’t think I’ll ever move back there permanently. I prefer a more temperate climate.
3. Have you lived in another country or studied any languages?
As a veteran Army officer, I had many assignments but never any long term overseas tours. I spent a year Korea, and about 8 months each in Bosnia and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I studied French in high school but since I don’t use the language enough, I’ve only retained a few words and phrases over the years.
4. How has that influenced you?
Traveling and living overseas; as well as serving over 20 years in the US military has been the best part of my life. I wouldn’t change a thing about my decision to go into the Army and serve my country. It’s exposed me to different cultures and a wide array of wonderful individuals.
It’s reinforced my understanding that people are good beings. We all have the same basic needs: to love, to be loved, and the yearning to do something great or leave something worthwhile behind.
5. Can you remember a learning experience or instructor that inspired you?
When I was in basic training back in 1982, my mother sent me cards and letters every day. They encouraged me more than she ever knew.
One of the cards contained a little pocket card with a poem called “Don’t Quit.” I memorized all three stanzas right away and I still recite the poem whenever I need to encourage and inspire myself.
When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Dont’ give up though the pace seems slow,
You will succeed with another blow.
Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
You may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
6. Who do you think are great demonstrators of the English language?
I’m a huge fan of Tana French. I just read her book The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad Series), as well as all her previous works. I think her storytelling and use of the language is pure brilliance. I also admire Sting, who I think is a great lyricist.
7. Name 3 books you would keep if all others were taken from you.
The Bible foremost because I’m a devoted Christian. As for the other two–, this is such a hard question. I love ALL my books in total. I’ve always said that if I had to relinquish all my possessions and start over, the only “thing” I’d want to keep are my books.
8. How do you use written English in your job or in life?
I use the written English every day all day. I’m a communicator. As a public relations professional, I’m either writing, planning, blogging, or preparing notes for speaking all the time.
9. How is your English different from others?
As an American, and as an American Soldier overseas, I have to admit that I’ve been a bit cloistered in my studies of country’s styles of English. I can say that I appreciate Great Britain’s turn of phrases and also the idioms that other countries use.
10. Do you have any tips for those learning English or wanting to improve their writing?
The best way to improve is to read a lot and write a lot. Repetition with practice and study of the craft are the only ways to improve.
11. How do you think English is evolving in the modern age? Is quality still important?
I believe English is changing a lot and I’m not sure I like the way it’s going. I just discovered that penmanship; teaching cursive writing, isn’t taught in school much at all. We abbreviate words (for brevity, convenience or laziness) and those shortened words become the norm. New words are added to the dictionary every year, reflecting our changing, modern society. We’re stepping away from quality and I think it’s a travesty.
12. What are your plans for the next 12 months?
I intend to grow my business, Troop Public Relations, seeking contracts with the federal and county government. I also intend to finish, publish and promote my novel, Born of Sin, on all the book seller sites like Amazon.com. It will be available for sale on my author site: http://www.pamelahartvines.com
13. How can people contact you if they want to know more?
I’m extremely active on social media and my blog sites. People can continueconversations with me on Twitter @The_Write_Won, and @Trooppr. People can also subscribe to one (or all) of my three blogs: http://www.trooppr.com/blog, http://www.pamelahartvines.com/blog and naturalhairconsult.wordpress.com.
What do you think?