Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Member Interview: Pam Gonzalez

This month, we welcome Pam Gonzalez to our interview series. Pam is a SCBWI volunteer and has devoted many hours to help with our annual conference this year. As a Special Education teacher for 26 years in the Austin Independent School District, Pam brings a wealth of experience with children to her stories. Thank you for all your good works, Pam!

Main Questions:

What is your volunteer role, and what does it primarily entail?

My volunteer role right now is the lead volunteer on the Silent Auction for the SCBWI Conference May 1st and 2nd, in Austin/online. I lead with 2 volunteers who are contacting people for donations, entering donations on the auction web page, contacting winning bidders and collecting payment.

What initially interested you about volunteering for SCBWI, and what has the experience brought to you?

I have been a member of SCBWI for a little over a year and am always looking for ways to volunteer. My first volunteer experience was to help set up our booth at the Texas Librarians Conference last year. It was fun to meet other published members and see their books in print. It gives me hope that that will be me someday.

We have a wide range of volunteers, from those just starting out in writing to published authors and everything in between. Where in the writing journey are you?

I am not published yet in my writing journey, but you can view my background on my website and my Facebook page.

What surprises you most about this writing life?

What surprises me most about writing in this current market is how much harder it is since I started in the ’90’s. Technology has made it both easier and harder. It’s easier to submit, but harder to get the attention of publishers and editors because thousands more people can easily submit their work online. I think technology has made it harder for publishers and editors also because they are overwhelmed with submissions.

Do you have any favorite writing books, courses or resources?

I have enjoyed the resources of the national SCBWI. I have participated in Zoom webinars by published authors and have learned valuable information that will guide my writing. Each new learning experience helps me get one more step closer to publication.

Other superb resources:

  • *Jon Bard and Laura Backes of The Children’s Book Insider and Writing Blueprints
  • *The Institute of Children’s Literature, also known now as The Institute for Writers, where I got my writing career started
  • *Highlights Foundation

What was your favorite childhood book? Have you read it again as an adult?

My favorite stories as a teenager were the James Herriot series (All Creatures Great and Small, etc.) because I was going to be a veterinarian. Yes, I have re-read some of his works. And no, I didn’t become a vet. I became a Special Education teacher, now retired.

Quick-Fire Questions:

If you are reading a book you don’t like, do you read all the way to the end?

If I’m reading a book I don’t like…

  • *sometimes I stop and don’t finish.
  • *sometimes I skim through it to see if it gets better.
  • *if it doesn’t get better, I stop and don’t finish.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

I like to quote from movies/TV if they fit the situation:

  • *I’ll be back. (Terminator)
  • *That’ll do pig. (Babe)
  • *But I was going to go to Tashi Station and pick up some power converters! (Star Wars)
  • *What are you doing in Canada? (That 70’s Show)

Would you rather plant a garden or visit one?

I would rather plant a garden. I love gardening. It’s a hobby of mine.

Who is or was one of your heroes?

  • A real life hero – church youth director – Bev Richardson
  • Rock Star hero – Pat Benatar
  • Cartoon hero – SpongeBob