Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Indie View interview

Feng shui and Charlotte Nightingale

I just love Charlotte. Even when she’s not feeling good about herself, there is something charming and strong under the surface. She’s the kind of person I’d have as a friend

Pam Ferderbar – 28 June 2015

When did you start writing the book?

I wrote a short story called Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale in 1998 and sold the film rights to the short story to New Line Cinema that same year in a record-breaking $800K deal. Then I was hired to write the screenplay. In the middle of that process all my executives at New Line were fired and my project was shelved. (Classic #CharlotteMoment) I decided to write it as a novel in 2013, just before I decided to move from Los Angeles back to Wisconsin.

How long did it take you to write it?

You could say it took 17 years!

Where did you get the idea from?

I was watching the LA news on TV and they did a segment on how these big corporations hire Feng Shui consultants to either improve existing space or work with their architects on new construction plans. Companies like Sony and Disney were hiring Feng Shui people and it made me wonder, can something like Feng Shui really alter the course of a person’s life?

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

I was so lucky with this book. After seeing the news segment about Feng Shui on TV the idea rattled around in my head for a few weeks, then very early one morning, like 3AM, the character of Charlotte woke me up, sat on my shoulder and she told me her story. For real. The short story provided such a great outline for the novel.

What came easily?

I just love Charlotte. Even when she’s not feeling good about herself, there is something charming and strong under the surface. She’s the kind of person I’d have as a friend, so writing for her was pure pleasure.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

Well, they say everything we write is somewhat autobiographical, and Charlotte is no exception. As for the others…yeah, there are components of real people. I think we all know people something like these characters. That’s life!

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

Oh, boy. Where to start with that one. Old school? F. Scott! Flaubert. Steinbeck. Today I’m crazy about Anne Tyler, David Sedaris. I really liked The Goldfinch. Patti Smith wrote the most amazing memoir ever with Just Kids. My friend Samantha Verant wrote arguably the most romantic memoir ever – Seven Letters from Paris. Bob Dylan made me want to be a writer. Who ever put words in that order before him? Still takes my breath away.

Do you have a target reader?

Women between the ages of 25 and 60 seem to really spark to this book. I guess anyone who’s ever had a “Charlotte moment” can relate to this protagonist. At least that’s what they all tell me.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

When I’m “in the zone” I can write for 16 hours straight, although these days when I do that my back goes spastic. I recently got a contraption that allows me to work standing at my desk, and that has made a HUGE difference. Right now I’m doing so much promotion and marketing (first time author + small publisher = 18 hours per day of promotion!) When I’m writing writing I try to take care of myself by eating right, going to the gym and getting a little vitamin D outside, but I get lost in what I’m doing and I end up just writing writing writing. My plan on the next two books in the series is to take better care of myself.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

I’ve written dozens of screenplays, which for me at least require tons of outlining and planning. In this case on this book, the character of Charlotte told me what to write. It was some weird kind of inspiration – divine? Magical? The sun and moon? But no, on this one there was no outline.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I’m a demented self-editor. I will edit a sentence while I’m writing. It’s a sickness.

Did you hire a professional editor? (May skip if being published by a small press rather than self-publishing)

I was really lucky to have Samantha Stoeger edit this book – she’s a friend and she did me a great favor. It could have cost a LOT more!

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

Sometimes when I’m writing a screenplay I’ll listen to something that sets the tone for a certain scene, but on the book – no way. I needed to hear what Charlotte was telling me!

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

Not for this iteration of the book. I had a bad experience after I sold the film rights and it left a bitter taste in my mouth. I went to one publisher and lightning struck again.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

I read a front-page above-the-fold piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about Henschel Haus Publishing-a small but very successful publisher with several imprints in Wisconsin. I queried them, they asked for the first five chapters, I sent those off and was told they wanted to publish the book. The fact that Henschel is an indie publisher was super – I knew they’d be very hands on and supportive. I wanted to feel like family – not a little anonymous fish in a big pond.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

I had the best graphic designer I could find do the cover – and it makes a huge difference, let me tell you. You can be a brilliant writer (I’m not saying that’s me!) but I can almost guarantee you are not a brilliant writer and a brilliant graphic designer. I LOVE my covers!!! (Hardcover and paperback.)

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

Being a first time writer with a small publishing house I am doing most of the marketing and promotion myself, so I do have a marketing plan, dubious though it may be. I read everything I can about book marketing on the internet, I ask people tons of questions, and I am not afraid to ask for help. My whole life I was always the helper – really averse to asking for help myself, but since moving back to Wisconsin and undertaking this huge new endeavor, I have had to suck it up and ask. And guess what? People are so damn cool – they want to help. It’s amazing. I’m the luckiest girl on earth.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Geez, this answer should be 30 pages long. In lieu of a tome I will say that if you don’t have a day job then plan on spending 10-16 hours per day, 7 days per week working on marketing and promotion. First you have to learn to know what you don’t know. That alone is a massive amount of stuff. I knew I didn’t know much, but I had no clue how much I didn’t know. I always say “I don’t even know what I don’t know” and that makes for a radical learning curve. Give yourself a good 6-8 months to learn what you need to do, and execute your plans.

If you have a day job or a family to care for, I’d allow a solid year to get your ducks in a row.

About You

Where did you grow up?

West Allis, WI until I was 13 and my folks bought their first house in Delafield, WI.

Where do you live now?

I have returned to Delafield, where the people who might have run me out of town don’t seem to realize I’ve come back!

What would you like readers to know about you?

I’m the loudest laugher, the biggest dufus, and probably the kindest heart you’ll meet. People tend to think I’m very strong because I’m super outgoing, but I cry watching ASPCA ads and certain Hallmark card commercials. I’m not that tough.

What are you working on now?

Marketing and promotion 16 hours a day, seven days a week. I can’t wait to get out there and start meeting people. And then get back to writing. I have two sequels planned and a companion coffee table book based on people’s “Charlotte moments” complimented with original illustrations and my photography. The centerpiece of the marketing campaign is the #CharlotteMoment, where readers can post their “special moments” to social media (or email me at the website) and the moments get posted to my site in real time! Then once a month I’ll select the best (worst?) and send that reader a cool prize. I anticipate getting enough funny, tragic, ridiculous submissions to be able to put together a really fun, poignant, entertaining book.

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My Own Little Corner guest post

My Own Little Corner


Guest Post~ Pam Ferderbar

Earlier this week I shared information about Pam Ferderbar’s book, Feng Shui and Charlotte Nighingale. Today I am sharing a guest post she wrote for us. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read for her, but if her charming and witty emails are any indication of her writing style, then I highly recommend you check out her book. You can buy it here. And you can read some reviews and a little more about her here.
The Genesis of Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale

Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale was originally written as a short story/novella – 42 pages. I had given up directing TV commercials in favor of pursuing writing, and nothing was going my way. I was at the lowest point in my life – living in L.A., away from my family, struggling to make ends meet. One night I saw a news segment about Feng Shui and how big corporations, hospitals and even theme parks were using it to make people feel comfortable in the space, and a seed sprouted in my brain.
For the next 6 weeks all I could think about was this concept, and I wondered whether something like Feng Shui could change a person’s luck. One day the hapless but lovable character of Charlotte Nightingale popped into my head (or onto my shoulder) and she pretty much dictated the story to me. When it was finished a few days later I gave copies to everyone I knew in the hopes that someone had either movie or publishing connections. The next thing I knew Madonna wanted to option the material. My lawyer stepped in and a bidding war over the film rights ensued at the end of which – 72 hours later – we set a record for the sale of film rights to an unpublished manuscript by an unknown author.
In essence, I wrote a story about a girl with the worst luck in the world, whose luck changes overnight because of Feng Shui, and my luck changed overnight – because of Feng Shui! (Next I plan to write a story about a woman who can eat all the chocolate in the world and her thighs just get thinner. Let’s see how that one pans out.)
I bought a house, was hired to adapt the story into a feature film screenplay and in classic “the universe will unravel your pretty little life sweater like a demented cat” fashion, all my executives at New Line Cinema were fired and my project was shelved. (The original #CharlotteMoment.) I spent the next several years freelancing in advertising, writing screenplays (some of which were optioned and are still in various forms of development) and I got a long overdue divorce, which cost me everything I owned, but saved my soul.

Two years ago I decided to revisit Charlotte Nightingale and write a full-length novel. I finished it just before I returned to Wisconsin, and my family, in March of 2013. One day I picked up the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and saw an article about Kira Henschel and her company Henschel HAUS – a small but successful publisher. I figured, what the heck, and I sent a query email. Ms. Henschel asked me for the first five chapters that same day, and that same day she read them and agreed to publish Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale. A week or so later the contracts were signed, edits and rewriting commenced and the book will be released on June 21st of this year – the summer solstice, which I have no doubt is a very auspicious date.
I guess lightning (or at least Feng Shui) does strike twice!

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A Literary Vacation Blog by Colleen Turner

A Literary Vacation

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Q & A with Pamela Ferderbar, Author of Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale

I’m so happy to welcome Pam Ferderbar, witty author of Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale, to A Literary Vacation today! She’s stopped by to tell us a little about herself and her book. So enjoy and continue after the Q & A to learn more about Fng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale.

Hello Pam! Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale sounds hilarious! I love the idea of deciding whether our lives are ruled by luck or something else. Where did you come up with the idea?

Watching the news one night in L.A. I was taken by a story about Feng Shui and how these giant corporations like Sony and Disneyland were hiring Feng Shui practitioners to work with their architects, landscapers and interior designers to make the spaces more conducive to positive energy. I thought, really? Then I started reading about Feng Shui and I was hooked. About a week later I woke up super early, like 3:30 in the morning, and the character of Charlotte Nightingale just came to life. It was like she sat on my shoulder and told me her story. I wrote the novella in six days. Of course there were months of editing, but the story—thething was instantaneous. It’s the only time in my life that has ever happened.

What does a typical day in your life look like? When do you fit in time to write?

Right now I get up around 4 and start working on the promo and marketing of the book, and I’m still at it at midnight. Once all this book launch stuff has passed I expect things will go back to normal-ish, and I’ll be writing writing again. Since moving back to Wisconsin I haven’t actually done any real writing—it has all been book promo and marketing. I am absolutely itching to get back to writing. How do I see it panning out once all this launch stuff has passed? Ah…in a perfect world I’ll have a couple of photo assignments each week, which will take 20-30 hours between shooting and editing the images. That’ll leave me with 3 solid days to write and maybe even an afternoon off. I’ll try to make it count!

A lot of authors have become huge on social media, not only promoting their work, but interacting with their readers and offering up giveaways, book recommendations, etc. Are you a big proponent of using social media in this way? How do you prefer to interact with your fans?

I LOVE social media. I don’t know how people got close to their readers before. With social media you can be fully present and have an actual dialog with someone on another continent. And that person’s opinion matters, because if you’re writing about a basic human issue, like insecurity, grief, fear—that’s global, right? Americans haven’t cornered the market on feeling bad about themselves. Plus readers give me great ideas. Questions are the best thing ever. The more I question what I’m writing, the better I become at the craft of storytelling. Storytelling hinges on the people listening to your stories. If it’s not important or authentic to them, forget about it.

I’ve noticed that a lot of authors are also big readers. When you have time for leisure reading what sorts of books do you gravitate towards? Have you read anything good lately?

I am all over the place. People give me “dog books” all the time. I love dogs. My heart breaks over animal abuse, so I am easily sucked in to anything dog. I never thought I was a biography buff until I read The Kennedy Women by Laurence Leamer. Holy smokes, it read like the most lush, gorgeous prose ever. Could not put it down. Patti Smith’s Just Kids is one of the finest pieces of writing I’ve ever had the pleasure to read. Talk about perfection. Pure. Perfect. Writing. I loved Keith Richards’s bio Life. I found myself saying “aw” a lot. From Keith Richards yet. Who knew he was such a sweetie, right? I recently read Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants,which was funny, as expected. I also just read John Cleese’s biography So Anyway, and I was blown away by its poignancy. I love it when you learn what it is about a person’s past that forms them as the person we know. I couldn’t put Cleese’s book down. It was bittersweet. Not at all what I expected. I loved Gone Girl, found The Girl on the Train tedious until the last 20 pages or so, then it all seemed worth it—ish. You’ll have to check Amazon and Goodreads for more of my reviews. I read a lot.

Are you working on any future books at this time? If so, can you tell us a little about it?

Oh, yeah! It’s funny, people seem to have the idea that if you’re not at a computer or pen in hand, you’re not writing. But I’m “writing” when I’m in the tub, the car, staring into space, or reading. It’s those quiet little spaces in between “doing stuff” where the real work gets done. The inspiration, the epiphanies all take place in those cubbyholes of time. So while I’m going nuts trying to get Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale off the ground I’m also thinking about the next phase in her life. Plus I am working on a companion book to the Charlotte series. Yes –she’s going to be a series! The companion book is a compilation of the best (worst?) #CharlotteMoment submissions embellished by illustrations and my photography. I’m also a couple hundred pages into a novel calledMo’s Indian.  It’s funny, but more “literary” than Charlotte, if that makes any sense. That could take years to complete. Or not. You never know what happens in my cubbyholes!


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An interview with Charlotte Nightingale presented by Girl Who Reads

Girl Who Reads

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pam Ferderbar: Interview with Character Charlotte Nightingale (@Charlotte_Pam)

Feng Shui & Charlotte Nightingale

PF Charlotte, hi. It’s nice to see you again, and thanks for sitting down with me. Those are nice shoes, by the way. Jimmy Choo?

CN What is it with people and shoes? I don’t know what my shoes are, all I know is that my sister gave them to me and told me I should wear them to interviews. They could be…Carlos Santanas for all I know.

PF You know Santana has a line of shoes, right?
PF Charlotte?

CN Is there any way we might discuss something interesting?

PF I understand you visited your old friend Phyllis Schlotzky in prison. How did that go?

CN Her lawyer was just leaving when I got there. (whispering) Her prison jumpsuit was inside out. I think they worked out some sort of conjugal arrangement. She was very relaxed, which worked out nicely for me. She can be high strung.

PF You worked with Phyllis for a year. Did you ever imagine she’d do something like…

CN Honestly, I envisioned her doing a lot worse.

PF Worse than…

CN She nearly ran me over the day she went to the beauty supply store sale. I always wondered if that was intentional.

PF I spoke with your sister earlier. She tells me if it weren’t for bad luck you’d have no luck at…are you okay?

CN Can you ask the waiter for some extra napkins? The glass didn’t break, but my blouse is soaked. I’m sorry. You were asking me…?

PF Moving on. I understand that Mr. Kwan has been doing a little Feng Shui in your apartment. Want to elaborate on that?

CN It’s Kwan. Just Kwan. And I have no idea what he’s doing half the time. First he brings Chinese food I didn’t even order, and then after I’ve found the money to pay him I catch him moving stuff around in the living room. Who does that? Between you and me, I think he’s a little nuts.

PF I understand he’s quite handsome.

CN Is he? I never noticed. Then again I’m usually putting out some kind of…

PF Waiter! Fire extinguisher!

CN Geez, their candles are tippy here. Do you smell that?

PF It’ll grow back. It’s really only a couple of inches on the right side. I wanted to chat a little about your boyfriend, Frank.

CN His real name is Joey, but he likes to think of himself as a large-living, blue-eyed reincarnation of Frank Sinatra.

PF Is there any similarity between them?

CN Did Sinatra “borrow” his girlfriend’s rent money, or “sleep” with every “dancer” Hollywood or…

PF I’m getting the idea that things aren’t going well in the relationship.

CN What? No, everything’s fine. Just the way it always is.

PF I mentioned your sister before, and I was wondering…

CN Ooof.

PF What is that face?

CN I have allergies.

PF Mmmhmm. Your sister has recently become engaged to a physician. Have you met him?

CN He’s a plastic surgeon! In Beverly Hills yet! And the ring is the size of Rhode Island!

PF Wow, you’re really excited for her.

CN I was quoting my mother. If he’s anything like my sister he’s a selfcentered, superficial idiot. I’m supposed to go to my parent’s Friday night for a small family dinner to celebrate the engagement. He’ll be there. Doctor Dirk Belmont. Big whoop.

PF Who will you be wearing?

CN I don’t even know what that means.

PF Have you decided what you’ll wear to the engagement dinner?

CN The rod fell down in my closet a few days ago, so whatever I can yank out of the pile is what, or whom I will be wearing.

PF You’re a stickler for grammar.

CN Once I pay back my undergrad student loans I’m going for my master’s in library science. I love books. So, yes. I am a stickler for grammar.

PF Good luck with that, Charlotte. I think you’d make a great librarian.

CN It’s my dream job. What could go wrong?

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What if you could change your luck?



Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 10.40.15 AM

June 25, 9AM

Pam Ferderbar guest appearance on the Morning Blend, WTMJ 4, with Tiffany Ogle and Molly Fay.


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Friday, June 26, 2015

Big Al’s Books and Pals

Guest Post from Pam Ferderbar, author of Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale

I come by my ability to laugh at bad luck honestly. Not from my mom or pops, but my Aunt Marti—my mom’s younger sister. She can’t get through the story of my mom being tossed head first off a demented horse without tinkling just a little. Sure, mom required stitches, she had gravel imbedded in her chin for weeks and her glasses were smashed. All Marti saw was the trail horse my mom was riding take off like a shot when a car backfired, then as quickly stop on a dime, sending my mom over its ears like a game-winning NFL field goal. It doesn’t sound funny unless you hear Marti tell it, and you have to see her face contort in hysterics during the telling. Apparently, the whole thing happened in slow motion.
The first time I heard the story my innards seized with pity for my mom. How awful! It didn’t seem like the sort of thing one should laugh at, but my mom and her sister grew up poor, without a dad, and they never felt sorry for themselves. So I imagine they learned to laugh off a lot of stuff that would have sunk a lesser person.
That’s just something that has stuck with me my whole life. Sure, I wasn’t laughing at the time that my grandma made my two piece bathing suit for a swim meet and didn’t know there was something called swimsuit elastic, and my bottoms remained at one end of the pool as I swam to the other. I was nine. And fat. And swimming the crawl. Right about now a picture should be emerging of a big white butt rising out of the water like an albino manatee. They didn’t have prescription goggles like they do today, so I have no idea whether Aunt Marti was in the stands laughing like a maniac or not, but I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that one.
The thing is, when it happened, the world didn’t stop spinning. Nor did anyone bring me my bottoms. I hop/swam to the other end of the pool to retrieve them myself, and realized then and there it wasn’t that bad. At the age of nine, hop/swimming toward my giant white waffle-weave bottoms with yellow daisy appliques, I was already plotting how I’d tell the story. I knew that making it funny would diffuse the horror. No one would ridicule me if made them laugh first.
I rehearsed the story in the car on the way home to great reviews. To this day when my dad finds something really truly hilarious he does a crinkly-eyed, open-mouthed grimace-y silent laugh until he turns red and tears stream down his face. When I saw the grimace and the tears I knew I had him. I knew I was onto something.
Over the years many many insane things have happened to me—things that make the swimsuit episode pale in comparison. (I was only a little kid then. I hadn’t even begun to date yet.) All these instances of bad luck formed the foundation for the character of Charlotte Nightingale. I took a girl who at first blush was maybe not quite as tough as me (or my mom and her sister) and I threw everything I had at her. Then I applied the magic that I had learned that day in the car on the way home from my swim meet, and Charlotte evolved into someone I love dearly, and who doesn’t mind one bit that I laugh with her every chance I get.
Get Pam’s novel, Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale, from Amazon US (paper orebook) or Amazon UK.

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Writer’s Corner, Jencey Gortney’s fab blog, features my review of Seven Letters from Paris

7 letters from Paric book cover

Writer’s Corner

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A review of SEVEN LETTERS FROM PARIS by Pam Ferderbar

Firstly, I have to say that I know Samantha Verant. Her parents and I go way back. I knew her when she was married before, I knew her when she was divorced, and I am getting to know her now, as a happy, fulfilled, romantic and completely beloved

Any time a friend writes a book I figure I’ll enjoy it because I obviously like that person well enough to call her or him friend. So it stands to reason I’ll like what he or she writes. Then along comes a book like Seven Letters From Paris, and it’s a revelation. An eye-opener. An utter joy.

Although I adored Samantha since the day we met, I mostly viewed her through the lens of being friends with her parents. I knew her stories through them. Her sadness was their sadness. Her heartbreak, theirs. I’ve only come to really know the person of Samantha through her exquisite memoir, and as a result she has taken shape as the guardian angel of second chances, and a living testament to the idea that we deserve true, deep, soul-mate love, and should never settle for less.

Samantha is the kind woman whom other women want as their best friend. She’s beautiful, but has just enough dirt under the nails to be a real broad. You know she’d have your back in any situation and be the first one at your side in celebration and sorrow. So reading her memoir is the savory experience of sitting with your best friend (assuming your best friend is a magnetic storyteller), glass of wine in hand, and listening closely while she spins a magical tale—a true story no less, of love lost and love found. And that’s only referring to her having found herself. The part with the Frenchman is just…bliss.

“Tonight I am cooking from the heart, choosing self-belief over fear.” This is the first sentence in the preface, and it conveys the wide-eyed wonder of a woman who has decided to follow her heart come hell or high water. It’s easy to look at her life in retrospect and say, yeah, sure, of course she should have done this and that. Of coursethere was a happy ending in the offing. But we mustn’t underestimate how difficult it can be to change—to really and truly change everything about the way we are living.

As women many of us are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings, especially if that someone is the man to whom we have been married for a decade—even if it has been a loveless marriage. The bigger issue is Samantha’s anxiety about whether or not she deserves to be loved, and that is a tough thing for anyone to face. It’s a lot easier to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hoping that if things don’t get better at least they won’t get worse.

But in the back of her mind, perhaps where her family and friends had planted the seeds of worthiness, Samantha decided to reboot. And that is where her memoir begins.

As her 40th birthday looms large, Samantha faces down her fears, and after ten long years she finally leaves a loveless marriage, and the city she has called home for a decade. Penniless, jobless and feeling pretty hopeless, she moves across the country, and back in with her parents. That’s enough to make even the strongest person collapse, but Samantha started building momentum with that first step.

From there she evaluates the choices she’s made in her life, and decides to start cooking from the heart and not out of fear. She can’t escape the feeling that she may have met the love of her life 20 years earlier on a trip to Paris, but 20 years is a long time. What are the chances he’ll remember things the same way, if at all? What if she makes a fool of herself? And what if he is angry that she never answered even one of the seven love letters he wrote after they met—letters of longing, devotion, desire, and finally the last, of quiet despair.

Fortunately for us all, Samantha was not made a fool. And Jean-Luc hadn’t forgotten a thing. It turns out that for 20 years there was an ember burning in both their hearts.

Self-deprecating, joyful, hilariously funny and down-to-earth, Samantha’s memoir should be required reading for all women. The message is simple; happily ever after is a recipe that must be cooked from the heart.

And just because I can…I have to tell you that I was at their wedding, and as the French contingent and the Americans took turns reading from the seven letters, there wasn’t a dry eye under the perfectly moonlit sky. It was, and continues to be, a real life fairytale. Samantha is working on another book, Seven Hours from Paris, which promises to be as delicious and inspired as the first.



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Love, Life, Lust


Feng Shui & Charlotte Nightingale

My Review ( 4 stars ) –

First off let me tell you how much I adore this cover. It’s like the perfect mixture of geek meets chic. I Simply adore it! Now on to Feng Shui + Charlotte Nightingale…

Feng Shui + Charlotte Nightingale is down-right hilarious and dazzling to boot! I simply loved the characters, who were captivating and definitely charismatic.

The plot itself is engaging and light-hearted. I found it to be an all-around delightful read and I so cannot wait to read more by Ms. Ferderbar!

Charlotte Nightingale has the worst luck in the world. Her cluttered apartment is the poster child for *shar chi* – poison luck in the realm of feng shui. Her boyfriend s a jerk, her job sucks, she s broke and her own family seems to hate her. Every day is a bad hair day. Kwan, a handsome Chinese food delivery man and aspiring feng shui practitioner, takes pity on Charlotte. While Charlotte searches for the money to pay for the Emperors cashew chicken Kwan has delivered, he surreptitiously begins to move things around in Charlotte s apartment in accordance with the ancient art of placement – hoping to improve her life.

Charlotte’s luck subsequently appears to change in a big way. It goes from bad to worse – or so it seems. Charlotte finds a photo of her boyfriend with another woman, her car dies, she is fired from her job, the plumbing in her apartment explodes, and making matters worse, Charlotte s perfect, perky, designer-obsessed, blonde sister is about to marry a square-jawed, richer-than-god, insanely handsome plastic surgeon from Beverly Hills and the entire family loves nothing more than to rub Charlotte*s nose in it. Is it bad luck that sends Charlotte careening through calamity after calamity, or is it merely a matter of perspective?




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LUCK HAPPENS: THE LAUNCH OF FENG SHUI & CHARLOTTE NIGHTINGALE – a guest blog by Samantha Verant, author of Seven Letters from Paris

First, a confession: I’ve known Pam Ferderbar for well over ten years now. And I’ve been anxiously waiting for FENG SHUI & CHARLOTTE NIGHTINGALE to hit the shelves ever since I read an early draft of the manuscript many moons ago. A few months ago, Pam sent me an advance reader copy, reminding me why I fell in love with the story and Charlotte many moons ago. THIS BOOK IS HILARIOUS, OFF-THE-WALL, and FABULOUS. It’s no surprise New Line Cinema bought the film rights…before the book ever came to market. (We’re all still crossing our fingers they give it the green light…)

Anyhoo, FENG SHUI & CHARLOTTE NIGHTINGALE releases today, people! Today! I’m taking this opportunity to tell you all about it.

Note: This book is not recommended for people who don’t like to laugh.

“Feng Shui and Charlotte Nightingale is a fast-paced, hilarious rom-com of a romp that’s not only laugh-out-loud funny, it touches the heart. I couldn’t help but to root for Charlotte as her luck changes and, once a hot neurotic mess, Charlotte metamorphoses into a woman she is proud to be – thanks in part to a handsome Chinese food deliveryman and some on-the-sly Feng Shui. In her debut novel, Ferderbar has created a lovable and relatable heroine in Charlotte. Add in the cast of wacky characters and smart-as-a-whip wit and Ferderbar’s comedic genius shines. Get ready for a wild ride. Get ready for Charlotte Nightingale.”
Visit Samantha Verant in France. (Or on her website. It’s maybe a little easier.)

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That Time I Moved to L.A.


Welcome to Los Angeles where the local time is always PARTY and the temperature is always PERFECT.

Fair enough. It wasn’t always party time, but my 20 years in Los Angeles were filled with the kinds of ups and downs that ultimately result in great personal growth. (And provided the fodder for the character of Charlotte Nightingale.)

I met a group of women whom shall be known for all time as goddesses. Pirates. Bad asses. And the lovingest people on the globe.

My faithful companion Zelda dog accompanied me to the west coast where she instantly fit in as a Cali girl, soaking up the sun, chillin’ at the beach and proving to be an excellent wingwoman on hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. When she was very old the first of four street dogs came into my life, Sir Rookie. He was closely followed by Thelma Lou, then Señor Delgado and finally, Mr. Zimmerman. All were homeless, abandoned dogs literally dying on the street. Once they rescued me they all lived long, healthy and happy lives treated like the absolute angels they were.

I got married and divorced. ’nuff said. There was a whole lot of living crammed into that 20 years. Then in 2013 I rebooted and moved back to Wisconsin to be with my family. It has been an adjustment, mostly good. I’ve reconnected with some old friends, made some new ones and I’m rediscovering the places of my youth, which has the effect of making me feel like I’m 17 again, which ain’t all bad!

And now you’re here with me for a part of this journey. Whether we’re together for years or just a few minutes, I wish you great happiness. And good luck always.

Please let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like me to explore in this blog. Good luck, bad luck, recipes for disaster? (I have dozens.) This is all new to me and I’m just finding my way, so feel free to make suggestions!



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