Pamela Fagan Hutchins

Holding Nothing Back

Pamela Fagan Hutchins - Holding Nothing Back

Freak Show

Nothing says love like promising to make your teenage daughter a t-shirt that says Pin Cushion on the front and Freak Show on the back, does it? Because that’s what I’m going for, for Susanne.


Petey missed Susanne, but he was happy to roll with the windows down to feed the cows with “Dad.”

I wish I could say things had gotten better for her (and us) this week, but this time she ended up admitted to the hospital. And since it turns out that she has an illness normally seen in 6-year old boys, and then only rarely, she was quite a hit with the residents and med students. Samantha has HSP (read about it here), which is rare, even rarer for her age and gender, and rarer yet to involve intususseption (explained at the link). No idea of cause. Virus? Food sensitives? It’s a misfire of the immune system, however it comes about. The illness lasts about six weeks, and she’s endured four. The flare-ups should get less severe each time. It recurs in people her age within four months about 50% of the time (oh joy). The long term issue is kidney health so we’ll do a lot of testing over the next year, but 95% of people recover with no long term impacts, and we like those odds. She tolerated the endoscopy and colonoscopy pretty well, although the post-anesthesia barfies have, I think, dispelled any glamour that hospital procedures had for her.

sleepy in hospital

Tired parents.

hospital bracelets

Matching hospital bracelets.

But since Susanne was stuck with needles roughly 15 times in 24 hours and because there was an endless parade of young doctors and med students through her room palpating her lesions and hanging on every word of her story, we think the t-shirt is in order. Don’t you?

Meanwhile, the awesomeness kept coming from well-wishers, prayer warriors, friends, and even book bloggers. Yes, book bloggers. Because Going for Kona came out a week ago. Check out Miki’s Hope: HERE, comment, share, and help this book blogger spread the word about the book.

Continued prayers for Susanne’s recovery and long term health are greatly appreciated! And that I get some sleep :-)

That’s all I’ve got.



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In search of Anne M. Stasny

So you guys know I don’t actually read reviews, right? I just can’t. Whether they’re good or bad (and they’re 99% good, thank God), it oogies me out. My husband Eric summarizes them for me. When I need to copy them, I literally disassociate my eyes from the text and copy/paste.

Yes, that’s a little extreme, I know.

Another thing I don’t do is respond to reviews. Ever. When a book blogger reviews one of my books, I thank them for reading and featuring my book, but I don’t comment on (or read) the review. When a reader posts a review online, the most I ever do is paste it to social media or this blog (eyes averted).

The reason I don’t respond to reviews is three-fold:

1. It sets a precedent that I might not always choose to continue. That tends to result in disappointed people.

2. I don’t want reviewers to feel overly visible, and hearing back from the author can freak people out. I’ve seen it happen. I think that it’s hard for some people to leave reviews, and I want it to be a safe way for them to leave honest feedback, whether positive or negative.

3. And if it is negative, the worst thing I could do would be to respond. If I said thanks, like I would normally, I’d sound sarcastic. If I said anything else, I’d sound argumentative. I think it is seriously bad juju to respond to a negative review in any way. But if I’m responding to all the positive ones, why would I single out a negative one to ignore? See #1, precedent.

Recently, a reader posted this lovely review, and chose to include her real name (as many people do), which you can click to read full size on Amazon:

anne stasny

Eric told me she was reading the book for her book club’s March pick. He posted it to Facebook:

eric re anne stasny

He’s right. I would. If they weren’t in my backyard, I would Skype with them. I love doing that. It’s one of those special joys that every author should grab with both hands if given the opportunity. But I don’t know Anne Stasny.

“You should just respond to her review on Amazon and tell her you’d do it,” Eric said.  Quickly he added, “But I know, I know, you don’t respond to reviews.”

Because I don’t.

So, there you have it. Now you know why I don’t respond to reviews.

But should I?


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A Full Slate


A last look at me before my head spins off my neck over the next month.

Are you going to be in or around Austin this weekend? Come see me this Sunday October 27th, between 2-5 pm at the Texas Book Festival. I’ll be with the Mystery Writers of America, and we are on Colorado street near 12th Street close to a concession stand. Our booth is in Exhibitor’s Tent 3, booth #320. I’ll be signing books, and Eric will be there looking good and lifting heavy things.

Saturday I’m speaking at the Houston Writers Guild monthly meeting, on “Building a Strong Writers Community.” It will be awesome (and much needed).

I have so much going on my head is spinning:

Next week I’m doing the Houston Book Rave on Friday and Saturday Nov 1 & 2, but squeezing in a speech for the Hotze Health and Wellness Center Saturday morning.

Then the following two weeks will just be INSANE. I am featured on Kate Eileen Shannon’s book blog, Rantin’, Ravin’, and Reading. She is reviewing Saving Grace and running a (pretty funny) interview of me while doing a giveaway too, then turning around and reviewing Leaving Annalise a week later. She writes the Brigid Kildare serial mysteries. I’m reading Social Insecurity after I finish the other 30 books on my TBR list.

Thanks to Jeannie Walker, who just reviewed Leaving Annalise and put it up on Amazon. She is the author of the Texas-based true crime thriller Fighting the Devil, also on my TBR list.

Finally, the powerhouse, the superstar, the fantabulous Renee of Reading Renee fame and her peeps are going to feature the relaunch of Leaving Annalise and promote the 99 cent sale of Saving Grace Kindle version on their websites from Nov 8-15th.  Hold on to your ass, Fred.

Right smack in the middle of all that, I will do a re-launch signing/party at Barnes and Noble in the Woodlands on Sunday November 10th from 2-4 pm. Whew!

Oh, and did I mention that Ashley and I finished the audiobook for Leaving Annalise? We did. And it will be available for purchase by the time all this awesomeness happens Nov 8-15th. Woot!


So, here’s today’s post –  Proud to be a Member of the Club:

When I first ran across Author Marketing Club, I resisted. I mean, come on, free stuff is good, but I’m getting nickel-and-dimed all over the place for paid services that will help me sell my books.

But Author Marketing Club didn’t promise to help me sell my books. Instead, they offered me services to make doing what I already knew I needed to do easier. Whether or not the book sold would still be up to me.

The services sounded good. Their review grabber. Their Enhanced Description HTML Generator for a jazzed up Kindle page on Amazon. Free Book Cover Art. They sounded really, really good. I read their free download, Sell More Books With Awesome Amazon Descriptions. It was amazing.

I’ll cut to the chase:

Visit Skip all the Jack to read the rest of Proud to Be a Member of the Club.

Purely gratuitous photos of my beloveds:


Not me, Mom. I didn't chew up the fluffy toy.

Not me, Mom. I didn’t chew up the fluffy toy.

A girl and her cow.

A girl and her cow.


Oh so many years ago, a girl and her lamb.

Oh so many years ago, a girl and her lamb.


Sasquatch sighting in our living room

That’s all I’ve got.



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Where oh where did my little week go?

Poor neglected blog. Poor neglected friends. Lo ciento. My day job flared with a vengeance this month. Good news: I’m done with it until September! I simply can’t believe I just typed that.

Awesome things afoot. Marie has 2/3 of the tour locations locked down, which is a major feat since most stores want to book about four weeks before an event, and we’re asking for dates through August 15th. All told, so far she has confirmed 25 Barnes & Nobles, 14 Hastings Entertainments, and 1 Barbara’s Book Store (a Hudson Books-owned sister store of Vroman’s in SoCal), with a generous handful of additional B&Ns and Books-a-Millions pending confirmation.

The Bookmobile is looking sweet and ready to eat up some miles.

32200 driver side

32200 back side

Saving Grace is on shelves now in LA Barnes & Noble locations, like this one in Irvine Spectrum (thanks Rebecca W!):

la bn sg best

Random people (like Rhonda E!) report receiving email recommendations from Amazon, like this one:

amazon recommends

Reviews of Saving Grace on Amazon are up to 97 with an average of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. I’m told 100 is the magic number and even more great things happen than just these recommendations emails.

Won’t you help a girl out and leave your review, if you haven’t already? (see below for links)

Oh! And Saving Grace got its 1st 1-star review out of 195 ratings. Well, two other people that were mad at Amazon left 1-stars, but they were unrelated to my book. And, of course, while Amazon has removed 10 reviews from people who ACTUALLY rated and reviewed Saving Grace, it won’t remove the unrelated 1-stars. * But I digress. * The person called the book “lousy” and filled with “derelicts.” I love those words. I would use those words. Maybe they want to write for me? Anyway, that monkey’s off my back now, and I didn’t even vomit.

To leave a review for Saving Grace, click on

  • Amazon  (scroll to bottom of page and click “write a review”) and
  • Goodreads (where you simply can click in the star of the level of rating you want to leave).

My Dropbox is filled with chapters of audio books for review this weekend. Oh my gosh, the talent! These voice-over artists are so good! In an ironic twist of fate, I did voice-over myself this week for anti-harassment training classes for a client. Someday I’ll narrate one of my books myself, when I have all the snazzy recording equipment.

And for our final bit of news for the week, it turns out Daisy Duck is a boy named Duke! Here’s a picture of him in his new habitat, with Susanne in the background. We think she’s looking at pictures of ducks on Instagram.


Have a great week, y’all!


p.s. Darnell says hi.


p.s. Be first to hear about new book releases, 1-2 times a year (don't worry, I won't use your email for anything else)! <-- click here

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