Saturday’s Pick is Inspirational Author Pam Gossiaux.
Pam Gossiaux is an inspirational Christian speaker and the author of four books, including a new release, Good Enough. She is also a freelance writer and journalist and works from home. Pam shares the laughs from life’s fun, turbulent, and sometimes difficult journey.
She is married to husband Duane, and they have two sons and three cats.
In Pam Gossiaux’s words:
I’ve “been there, done that”, as they say. After battling chronic and sometimes near-terminal illness, marriage challenges, financial trouble and job losses I knew that I had to learn to laugh through the tears if I was to survive.
But life is good and sweet and we are only “just passing through” so we must try to enjoy it to it’s fullest.
I painted the words “carpe diem”, which is Latin for “seize the day” above my front door to remind me of that every day.
Pam Gossiaux loves gardening and photography, but her real passion is writing and horses. She and her husband met in an art class where they were challenged to draw each other. They’ve been laughing together ever since.
After years of writing non-fiction, Pamela Gossiaux finally put her Creative Writing degree to work and completed Good Enough. It debuted in December 2016. The story is about Amy Summers. Amy is a big-hearted heroine whose simple life gets turned upside down when she finds a winning lottery ticket worth millions…but should she cash it?
In reality, Amy Summers has it all: the world’s best job, an awesome boyfriend, and a happily-ever-after in sight. Then, in one very bad day that involves burnt toast and a police arrest, she loses everything – except for a winning lottery ticket, her ex-boyfriend left behind.
Then, in one very bad day that involves burnt toast and a police arrest, she loses everything – except for a winning lottery ticket, her ex-boyfriend left behind.
After losing her job and failing at a relationship your heroine, Amy, says this: “You are enough. You do enough. You have enough. That’s going to be my mission statement.” This character appears to be in close step with your personal beliefs. What message are you sending to the women who read this romantic comedy?
We as women wear so many hats. I also think many times we are our own worst critics. There’s a temptation in our culture to continue to try to improve ourselves. In itself, this isn’t a bad thing, but there comes a point when we have to step back and say” I’m doing the best I can,” and let that be good enough. I’m a perfectionist by nature, a type-A personality. It has been very hard for me to learn to “let go.”
Between juggling a career at home, raising two energetic boys (and a foster teen girl we took in for awhile), and a chronic illness, I’ve had to learn to focus on what’s really important. Maybe some days we have sandwiches for dinner instead of a warm roasted chicken with all the sides…or heaven forbid, cereal!
Last summer I didn’t garden for the first time EVER. It seemed so weird, but picking up my veggies from the local co-op gave me time to attend all my boys’ baseball games. You pick and choose. Some of us want to do it all, but we just can’t.
In what ways is Amy challenged by the world, which can be a bit tough on all of us?
Amy has to be vulnerable to succeed. She has to tell Josh the truth and that could end her relationship with him before it ever starts, but it’s a chance she has to take or there can never be more. Will she have the courage? It’s sometimes hard to face the truth and especially to share it if it exposes a part of us that we want to keep hidden.
Has Pamela Gossiaux incorporated any of her challenges into this character?
Even though I had a college degree in writing, it took me awhile to be able to find work at a job I loved. I was a waitress, a secretary, an office assistant, and more before I was able to support myself full-time writing. Then, I had to prove to people that I could do it, which meant writing for free until I had enough clips to show to a newspaper editor. I like to think that I have some of the same spunk that Amy has, in that neither one of us is willing to give up on our dreams.
And yes, I’ve also had days like Amy’s day in the beginning of the book when everything goes wrong! LOL!
If someone wants a signed copy of this new release, is there a link they can use?
The best way to get a signed copy is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That way I can sign it and send it to you personally.
Pam Gossiaux has written a blueprint for aspiring writers called Six Steps to Successful Publication. Chapter topics include: Treat Writing Like a Business, Create a Platform and Market Your Book, Know Your Material, Know Your Audience, and Your Publishing Options.
As a published author and award-winning journalist for over 20 years, what is the one thing every new author should avoid?
Procrastinating! When I teach, I tell new authors to WRITE. I use the term BIS, which means Butt In Seat. LOL! Just sit down and do it. There is only so much research, note-taking, and reading about the craft you can do until eventually you just have to put the time in. If you can only write one page a day, that’s 365 pages in a year, and that’s a novel!
Writing is like anything else, the more you do it, the better you will get. Don’t worry about what others will think when they read it, or about what is hot on the market right now. Just follow your heart and WRITE.
Write that first draft like nobody else will read it. You can edit later. I know so many authors, including myself, who have written books that no one will ever see. But then your next book gets better. If you are dedicated and put in the time, you will eventually have a book you are proud of.
So Pam, if you could go back and do everything over again, would you have started publishing your books sooner?
I wish! But honestly, I don’t think I was as good of a writer then as I am now. Yes, I had to put in my time. It took me longer, because I had to work for a paycheck. I used my evenings to freelance for newspapers so that left little time for writing books, although I did pump out a few over the years. (Those are the ones that no one will see!)
In a perfect world, I would have graduated from college and began my graduate degree, while churning out novels. That was my plan but we all know how life can throw you curve balls. I also think that living life gives us more to write about because the joys and bumps along the way give us perspective.
What do you believe prevents people from following their dream of becoming an author? Did that delay your entry into the field?
I think fear is the biggest thing. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. People are afraid they aren’t good enough, or along the way, someone has told them they aren’t and they believed it. What if they put in the time to write a book and it stinks? But failure just teaches you a lesson—what didn’t work—and you pick yourself up and try again.
A friend of mine said ‘Your dreams should be so big that your friends think you are crazy.’
As for your question, did that delay me? Not at all. That wasn’t what held me back. I’ve never really been that concerned with what others think, and I’ve always been pretty certain that if I can dream it I can do it. Also, I think with enough hard work and effort, most people can make their dreams a reality.
There a Lemon in my Fruit Salad? How to Stay Sweet When Life Turns Sour presents a humorous look at Galatians 5:16-23. So tell us, Pamela, how do you stay so sweet when life turns sour?
Ha! Well, don’t ask my family about that one! They’ll tell you how I react under stress when we are late getting out the door for school and the toast burns and sets the smoke alarm off and the cat gets sick and the car has a flat tire. It’s not a pretty sight!
But honestly, in life, we need to try to see the sweet side because there is so much bad stuff out there. I lean on God and my faith. Also, I’ve come to learn that it is possible to be peaceful when your life is full of chaos and that you can truly find joy when your circumstances aren’t happy. It’s what’s in your heart. Your circumstances don’t have to define you.
I have the words “Carpe Diem” stenciled above my front door. That’s Latin for “Seize the Day” and it reminds me every day when I walk out the door to make the best of it because tomorrow is no guarantee.
Are there days when you want to throw down your adult duties, say “ta-ta” to your to-do list, and be a kid?
What if you could live “the perfect childhood”, where you feel safe, trusting and secure; where someone bigger has all the right answers, where you can sleep peacefully and safely in your soft comfy bed at night?
Is it possible to abandon the anxiety and pressure of your adult life and live like a carefree kid again?
It is. That is God’s perfect plan for your life.
Read this book and learn how to hope in the Lord when all hope seems lost. Learn to trust God – your Heavenly father – for all the right answers, and learn how to rely on Him for all your physical needs.
Whether you had an idyllic childhood with a father who set a godly example, or a childhood with a frightening or abandoning father, now is the time to let God love you as only a Heavenly father can.
It was difficult for me growing up to know I couldn’t trust my father. So many times, I recognized and let my inner child come out. We all need to find our “Childish Heart” to reduce the anxiety in our lives. What do you do to find those peaceful moments?
The first thing I do when my alarm goes off in the morning (after I groan and silence it!) is sit up in bed and pray. I take about 10 minutes to count my blessings, literally. I go through my list of all I have to be thankful for:
- The fact that I was able to sit up in bed because there have been times when I couldn’t.
- For my house, and my warm bed.
- For the cats curled up next to me, and for my husband who has already left for work to help pay the bills.
- For my kids.
- My parents.
- The list goes on. Then I briefly ask God to watch over us all and I get up and start my day. I find that focusing on the good stuff right away keeps me from grumbling and it’s just a good way for me to start my day.
I’m also a big believer in stopping to take a few calming breaths throughout the day. And I take several breaks from writing to do some yoga stretches to keep my shoulders from cramping up. I’m also a big prayer – I’m always talking to God. “God, did you see that guy just cut me off on the road?” “God, I’m really freaked out right now about _____.” “God, PLEASE let this test come back okay.” Stuff like that. J
Pam Gossiaux, how much of your book came from your own heart and childhood?
It’s pretty autobiographical. That and “Why Is There a Lemon In My Fruit Salad” are both stories from my life. I am a control-freak and really struggle with trusting God to handle things that I think I should be able to fix myself! Ha! But I have learned to rely on Him in so many ways, and that He is the perfect parent, and those very personal lessons are in Kid at Heart.
What would you say to someone who is struggling to believe again?
I’d say don’t give up on God because He will never give up on you. Ever. There is no failure, no sin, no thoughts, NOTHING that God isn’t willing to take on for you, and already has through Jesus. He is on your side 100% and willing to stand beside you and carry you if you let Him.
Sometimes it’s hard to trust Him. He has let my loved ones die too young and has brought some really scary things into my life and I’ve seen my kids struggling, but just when I think He’s forgotten me, He shows up.
So if you are struggling to believe again, in yourself or in God, get down on your knees and tell Him that. Be totally honest, and share your fears and your anger and your anguish. He’s big enough to handle it and if you are open to Him, He will meet you.
Is there anything Pam Gossiaux would like to share with our readers that I may not have asked?
I guess it would be to thank everyone who has read or purchased one of my books. Also, I am so blessed to get to write for a living and I don’t take it for granted. I couldn’t do it without my readers. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thank you, Pamela Gossiaux, for joining us here today! Your writing has been a blessing to those who struggle and need to rely on someone else’s voice to give them strength. We all look forward to more books from your talented hand!
I have a new book coming out this summer called “Mrs. Chartwell and the Cat Burglar.” It’s a romantic mystery with a librarian who falls for a Shakespeare-quoting thief. It should be a lot of fun!
You can learn more about Pamela Gossiaux by connecting with her below: