Pamela Clark on Writing about the Past
and the Importance of Dreams
“I believe we must document our past; this tells us who we are and where we came from.”
Pamela Clark had a colorful career in engineering construction and commercial banking before retiring and deciding to write her first book …but they call me Sonny
, a memoir about her dad’s search for his own dad.
“I worked in road construction and in the water supply industry for the first half of my career. Wanting out of what I thought was the “cold world” of construction I regrouped, and moved on to what is called the “white collar” world. I joined the professional world of banking,” Ms. Clark revealed.
Ms. Clark has since retired, bringing a wide range of knowledge that helps her immensely with her newfound writing career. Her personal views helped influence her writing. “I believe our world constantly changes, and because of this, so much is lost. I believe we must document our past; this tells us who we are and where we came from.”
Her debut book …but they call me Sonny stemmed from Ms. Clark’s own experience looking for a father she never got to know since her father died when she was three.
“I had all the facts, and I had all the stories, yet two things still haunted me. On his own with no rules, I needed to know how my dad developed his values; and then if I did find out, how I could present them. Then it came to me, I had to look for the thread that ran through his life.”
The memoir traces the life and times of his father Sonny during the Great Depression. She thoroughly researched history books and carefully recreated the events through creative inferences. Reading her book is like taking a mental vacation, visiting a place where you have time to get to know and form a bond with those in the book, which leaves you with a true sense of the world in which her characters lived.
“I wrote the story to capture what went on as Sonny searched for his dad. True, times were hard… but I wanted to impress the positive side of the depression too, a place where there was time to stop and talk, a place to laugh and find ways to have fun,” Ms. Clark added.
Ms. Clark declared her favorite parts of the publishing experience are the friends she met and the first time she saw her book. She relished the feel of holding her book, which she described as the feeling of “holding her dream in her hands.” “If you have a dream, don’t lose it…dreams do come true,” Ms. Clark advised.