January 5, 2011

Made It Moment: Pamela DuMond

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 6:00 am

Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys

I am very excited to welcome author Pamela DuMond to the blog. Pam’s debut mystery is just that wise combination of wit and tremor that keeps the genre fresh. And her Moment is full of wisdom (as well as perhaps a touch of much-deserved snark).

Another reason this post is special is because we are doing an especially cool giveaway (had to try and keep up with Lois’ unique gift idea from yesterday)!

If you leave a comment, you will be entered to win one of two prizes. The first is a copy of Pam’s book. The second is a Q&A session with the very cool publisher of her book. Krill Press is one of a handful of presses that I think may be poised to take the reading world by storm–finding fresh, new voices and giving them entry. Details will follow for the winner! Thanks for stopping by, and now…read on.

Pamela DuMond

Thank you Jenny Milchman for inviting me to share my “Made it Moment” with your readers. You are a peach!

I spent eight months querying my novel, Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys, when I got the call from a super cool agent at the Very Reputable Agency, (VRA). This had to be my, “Made it Moment.” Break out the champagne! Shout Hallelujah! Go eat a big fat juicy burger with fries, because in that moment there couldn’t possibly have been calories. You get a great agent, and the battle is won, right?

I adored my Agent. She was smart, energetic and loved my book. She took it out wide to Mystery Editors. They turned it down. Hmm. New strategy. She took it out to Women’s Commercial Fiction Editors. They turned it down. Huh? At that point I was working on three other book ideas with my Agent. She thought I should re-write Cupcakes to be more of a romance. Okay. Let’s do it.

I stopped work on my other projects, stuck my nose to the romance grindstone, (no pun intended,) as I tried to make my comedic mystery a little more touchy-feely. I’d been re-writing for about a month when I decided to check in with my agent. I liked to look at the VRA’s website. I found it comforting. Like a big strong guy who could lift heavy furniture and kill bugs. Re-assuring. Not. The weekend in June 2010 that I checked in with VRA’s site, it was down.

Was VRA redoing their site? Merging with another agency? I shot an e-mail to my agent. I didn’t hear back. No problem. It was the weekend. That didn’t stop the panicky feeling. I went on Querytracker’s site. It said as of two weeks prior, my agent was no longer at the VRA. That had to be a mistake. Someone from VRA would have contacted me, right? I decided to call. The voice on the other end said my agent no longer worked at VRA, and any questions should be directed to She Who Dispenses Bad News, (SWDBN).

I called SWDBN on Monday, and learned that I was agent orphaned. Didn’t matter that we were working on a re-write and 3 other books. But I could feel free to re-query VRA in the future. I curled into a nauseated ball on my couch and cried. Then I called a friend. She called her Editor at Krill Press, an Indie Publisher. He was closed to submissions, but gallantly said he’d take a look at Cupcakes’ first three chapters.

I decided to write book #2, and get a new agent. That’s when I got an e-mail from Krill’s Editor. He wanted the full ms. About two weeks later I got the call. He loved Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys. He offered to publish it, but encouraged me to find a bigger publisher, as he felt the book was commercial and he did not have huge distribution like a big publisher or even a bigger indie publisher.

I thought about it and researched. One bigger indie publisher required you to submit, give them a four month exclusive and if you never heard back, that meant they weren’t interested. No thanks. Krill Press published Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys in trade paperback, Kindle and Nook, November, 2010.
Regrets? I miss my agent and will be looking for a new smart savvy person to guide my writing career in the future. My Made it Moment? Holding my very beautiful book in my hands and having people tell me how much they loved reading it. That is priceless.

Pamela DuMond was born and raised in the Midwest. She moved to Los Angeles for love. When that tanked, she stayed for the beautiful weather. Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys is her debut novel; she has also contributed essays on intuition to Soul Moments: Marvelous Stories of Synchronicity – Meaningful Coincidences from a Seemingly Random World, edited by Phil Cousineau.

She’s edited more than her share of self-help books, and discovered and pitched Erin Brockovich’s life story to a production company. Erin Brockovich the movie was nominated for four Academy Awards; Julia Roberts won her first Oscar for portraying Erin. With Joe Wilson, Pamela co-created Celebrity Jar of Air, the internationally acclaimed comedic jar that may or may not have contained air molecules breathed by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

Pamela is an author, writer, chiropractor and cranio-sacral therapist. She loves reading, writing, the beach, yoga, movies, animals and her family. She lives in Venice Beach, California with her furballs. She’s currently writing the second mystery in the Annie Graceland series, as well as a YA para-normal romance. She lives for a good giggle.


  1. Well, Hello, Pamela! I am also from the midwest, and also had an agent quit on me without telling me…for months! I found out from another one of the agency’ clients. Fun, huh? Crazy business; I swear, any other industry would go under if it acted as stupidly. Congrats on your success! And, yes, please enter me in the drawing, thank you! All my best.

    Comment by Savvy — January 5, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  2. Love your story, Pam! And I’m for any book that has the word Cupcake in its title and puts a CHOCOLATE one right on the cover! Congrats!

    Comment by Judy — January 5, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  3. Congratulations on “making it,” even though it didn’t sound easy. I, too, know the excitement of obtaining an agent only to have her disappoint and disappear.

    Good luck in your future writing endeavors. Your book sounds like a real hoot.

    Comment by Kari Wainwright — January 5, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  4. Way to keep going in spite of setbacks, Pamela!

    Comment by Stephen — January 5, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  5. Pamela believed in her story, with good reason, and when the time came, she didn’t give up on it. That’s why she gets to hold her very beautiful book in her hands. Yay for Pamela and her cupcakes!

    Comment by Ramona — January 5, 2011 @ 11:48 am

  6. Somehow, I linked to some other Ramona’s website. Sorry, Other Ramona.

    Comment by Ramona — January 5, 2011 @ 11:50 am

  7. Way to go, kid! Way to win not just the battle, but the war. You done good. Proud of you!


    Comment by Julie — January 5, 2011 @ 2:04 pm

  8. Thanks Savvy, Kari, Judy, Stephen, both Ramonas and Julie! Yes it has been a ride. Best, Pam DuMond

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — January 5, 2011 @ 3:36 pm

  9. http://www.amazon.com/gp/new-releases/books/9810/ref=pd_ts_b_mte

    How strange! Just discovered Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys is in the #2 slot on this Kindle List. I feel like Alice in Kindleland… It must be your blog, Jenny!

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — January 5, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  10. I’m a Krill author (The Big Grabowski and Sometimes a Great Commotion) and proud to be part of the Krill Krowd.
    Mike and I had similar experiences with agents before we got discouraged and set these books aside for a few years while we worked on other projects.
    When I heard about Krill, I thought it would be a good fit for books set on the Pacific Coast and arranged to meet the publisher and persuade him he couldn’t live without the quirky characters from Devil’s Harbor.
    It’s great to see other authors finding Krill and finding so much success!

    Comment by Carolyn J. Rose — January 5, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

  11. Pam, you rock–amazing!!!! I am hoping for more and bigger success to come your way yet!

    Comment by jenny — January 5, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  12. Ooh a new book for me to check out!

    Comment by Erin — January 5, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

  13. Read the beginning of this book, and it’s great! Will be buying it, it’s fun! Good luck with your future in writing, can’t wait to read more of your work!

    Comment by Grace — January 5, 2011 @ 5:02 pm

  14. Congratulations, Pamela! Cupcakes, Lies,and Dead Guys sounds like a book I would really enjoy!

    Comment by Carol M — January 5, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  15. Good choice, Pam–bigger isn’t always better! The book sounds like a fun read. Hope more success comes your way!

    Comment by Sara — January 5, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  16. Carolyn – your book is so much fun! Erin, Grace and Sara – thank you! Facebook me should you wish! Jenny – you rock! Keep reading people. Best,

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — January 5, 2011 @ 6:26 pm

  17. Sounds like a great book! I’m always looking for new authors and this sounds right up my alley! Good luck with the next! Sandy Woood

    Comment by Sandy Wood — January 5, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

  18. Interesting blog. Sounds like a good book, would love to read it.

    boots9k at wowway dot com

    Comment by shirley nienkark — January 5, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  19. Thanks for sharing your story of finally getting published. Those of you who write to entertain the rest of us have great stamina and I sure do appreciate it. Love the book title and can’t wait to read it.

    pennyt at hotmail dot com

    Comment by Penny Tuttle — January 5, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

  20. Sandy – I’ll take all that luck! Thanks Sandy, Penny and Shirley! Best, Pamela DuMond

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — January 6, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

  21. I admire your tenacity, and the book sounds mysteriously delicious!

    Comment by Pattie @ Olla-Podrida — January 6, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

  22. Great story.
    Please enter me in the contest.

    Comment by Carol-Lynn Rössel — January 6, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  23. Thank you Pattie and Carol-Lynn. Yes, this is an exercise in persistence. Best, Pamela DuMond

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — January 6, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

  24. I am a “friend” of Pamelas on facebook. Have heard good things on the book from Joe Wilson wish her best of luck in all she does and would love to read her book!

    Comment by jessica parker — January 7, 2011 @ 3:11 am

  25. That cover is amazing with the giant cupcake on top of the man. Would love a poster of it. I am also from the Midwest, came out to LA when my husband got a new job. Now with a much better 2nd husband. I love the combination of witty and terror. Hope to read anything you have written soon.


    Comment by Carol Wong — January 7, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  26. Congratulations to the winners who have been chosen at random today!

    Erin, you have won a copy of Pam’s debut mystery, CUPCAKES, LIES, & DEAD GUYS. I will be contacting you to get mailing details. Enjoy–this is one book that should jump to the top of the Pile :)

    And Kari, you have been selected as the winner of the Q&A session with Pam’s way cool publisher, Krill Press. I will be contacting you with guidelines for this prize.

    To everyone, thank you so much for participating and please come back–we will be having giveaways and interesting contests all winter long.

    By the way, the session with Krill Press will be posted as a blog entry here when it takes places! I for one can’t wait hear every Q and every A.

    Comment by jenny — January 7, 2011 @ 7:45 pm

  27. Congrats Erin on winning the book, Kari – the Q& A with Krill, and to Carol Wong – Thanks! I love the cover too.

    I’d like for anyone who participated in this blog contest to feel free to FB me. Or I’ll try and hunt you down. Thanks again Jenny Milchman!

    All my best,

    Pam DuMond

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — January 7, 2011 @ 11:23 pm

  28. I’m showing up too late for the contest, but I have to say I enjoyed reading your piece so much, Pam! I’ve heard similar agent stories from other writers, unfortunately. I think you made the right decision.

    Comment by Kaye George — January 9, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

  29. [...] Pamela DuMond’s terrific Made It Moment and the prize the cool indie publisher of Krill Press was generous enough to [...]

    Pingback by Suspense Your Disbelief » And the winner was! — January 17, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

  30. Loved this blog piece. I could so relate to the situation with the agent. I have had agents and editor disappear into the netherworld in the middle of projects. So glad your story worked out with such a positive outcome. I hear a lot of good things about Krill Press.

    Comment by Maryann Miller — January 29, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

  31. The title alone grabbed my attention. Oh, we’ve all been through stuff like this. Agents and publishers not bothering to even send a standard rejection. I had one rejection by email a half hour after I sent the query. At night! I sent the query at 9:45 and by 10:15, I have the rejection email. Congrats.

    Comment by Stephen Brayton — February 11, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  32. [...] DuMond shared her Made It Moment here last year and today she is back to update us on how her writing life and dreams have evolved since. [...]

    Pingback by Suspense Your Disbelief » Guest Post: Pamela DuMond — March 6, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

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