Monday, December 10, 2007

Pam Halter: A Kid Who Grew Up to Write for Kids

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Pam with her dad and the "huge, smelly" flounder he caught.

(Her Dad was a SCUBA diver and would catch both flounder and lobster)

 Pam Halter was born on February 14 and her mom often said she was the best Valentine she ever received. Growing up in South Jersey was good. They had plenty of fresh fruits and veggies to choose from every summer, and lots of snow to play in during the winter.

Her neighborhood consisted of mostly boys, and she grew up as one of them. They made up games, built forts and filmed their own movies. It was a creative kid’s paradise. Pam says, "Little wonder I wanted to be a writer."

Like most writers as kids, she read under her covers with a flashlight so she could keep reading after bedtime.

Pam is a mom and grandmother and is busy with family and manuscripts, reading, cooking, sewing, baking, playing piano for church and local summer children's theater and tap dancing! Even though her peers awarded her with Miss Congeniality way back when, she still holds this title, as she's purty nice, if you ask me!

Grandmom and Kendall
Her favorite place to be is the Jersey shore.

Let's find out about Pam and what turned her into the writer who she is today:

 

Childhood Ambition: 

To be a writer and a mom, but I also entertained thoughts of tap dancing and acting in horror movies.  Quite the combination!
Today, I am a writer and a mom  ... and I'm starting my third year of tap dance lessons. I've given up the horror movies.


Fondest Memory (then): 

When the Halloween skit I wrote for Girl Scouts went exactly as planned.  I had arranged special effects, costumes and make up.We were out in the woods, so no electricity. We did, however, have flashlights aplenty, costumes and make up.  The play started, and everyone did their part. When I came through the woods with the flashlight under the chin, etc, the younger girls cried. I have to confess, when I was young, I enjoyed scary movies and writing scary plays. My goal was to make the little kids cry, and I was successful every time. I feel bad about that now and am thankful God didn't leave me there, but matured me and grew me into a writer that wants to encourage and entertain kids.  It's a great feeling when what you see in your head works
out just the way you planned.  That's true of a book as well as a play.


Proudest Moment (then):  

This has nothing to do with writing.  I won the Miss Congeniality title for our town's first Miss Septemberfest Pageant in 1978.  For me, it was better than winning the title and crown because the girls in the pageant voted for me - not the judges who didn't know me.


Biggest Challenge as a Child or Teen:

Hmmmmmm, either math or gym. Oh, and
controlling my temper.


My First Job(volunteering counts):  

I did a lot of volunteer activities
with Girl Scouts, but my first paying job was a short-order cook.  Talk about juggling a lot details!  Give me a plot and characters any time.


Childhood Indulgence:   Reading.

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Pam in her favorite watermelon outfit


Favorite Outfit as a Child: 

I had a salmon-colored pair of pedal pushers and white top with fruit on it.  I loved it because it had a watermelon on it.  I'm wearing it in the picture with my dad and the flounder.


Favorite Childhood Movie and/or TV show: 

  Saturday afternoon, 2:00pm, Dr.Shock hosted classic horror movies. Ah, Boris Karloff, Vincent Price and Lon Chaney!  I never missed it.  As a youngster, my favorite TV show was Batman,
and I wrote many-a episode for the neighborhood kids to act out.  With costumes, of course. (I played Robin.) As a teen, I enjoyed Dark Shadows
reruns and Monty Python.  Laugh-In was a regular, as well as The Carol Burnett Show. And I watched Laurence Welk with my grandmother.  Yep, I was
an eclectic kid.


Favorite Childhood Book:  

Miss Osbourne, the Mop.  I found a copy of it at alibris.com a couple of years ago.  It was still as wonderful as I remembered it.

 


Favorite Childhood Activity/Pastime:   

Reading or hanging out with the guys. My neighborhood consisted of almost all boys, and for years, I believed I was a boy. Well, not really, I just wished I was a boy. They had all the great toys. And anything they could do, I could do. I still believe I grew up in the best neighborhood in the world.


Childhood Hero:  

My next door neighbor, Todd Waddington.  He was one of my best friends and the most creative person I knew. Todd created really cool games, like "A Hand in the Dark." Very scary, of course. His 8mm movies were great fun to film and even more fun to watch. He introduced me to Alfred Hitchcock, Judy Garland, Janice Joplin and Bette Davis.  We baked cookies and did chemistry homework. We laughed ourselves silly. Todd was never afraid to be himself.  He was always there for me. I will never forget his rendition of "Mama, Look Sharp" from the musical, 1776.


    

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Pam, Mrs. Congeniality

Anything else you want to share with your readers/parents about your childhood and how it relates to the type of writing you do now?

I don't really write the stuff I enjoyed as a kid.  But everything I did prepared me for writing.  Before I could write stuff down on paper, I was
making up stories for my little sister.  I wrote most of the skits for our Girl Scout troop and church youth group.  When I couldn't find a Christmas
pageant for our small church, I began writing them. My favorite subject in school was English. Looking back, God was grooming me for a writing career.


Life interrupted my writing dreams for a while, and I took the long way to get here, but God doesn't waste anything.


If I may address parents who are reading:

"Please don't ever discourage your child's dreams no matter how far out they may seem. Most of us will grow out of "childish" goals, but you never know what God has planned.  His plans and purpose will stand regardless, but the best thing you can give your children is encouragement. I tell my daughter, if you don't dream big, nothing big will ever happen to you."

Check out Pam's books and see the blog of the illustrator of her book, Kim Sponaugle:

doll

Written by Pam Halter
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

Christianbook.com Price: $5.49

Concordia Publishing House
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 32
Publication Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 057007116X
13: 978-0570071167

Synopsis:

The Adventures of Beatrice teaches little girls to see God in life's difficulties. Let's see what happens to her today! Beatrice is sad. The children at school laughed at her, and it hurts. God takes care of her every need, just like the lilies in the field. But her mother has a surprise to help Beatrice. Beatrice has a special message at the end of this book about Jesus. Watch for it!

PURCHASE ONLINE NOW

The Adventures of Beatrice: Beatrice Loses Her Doll

Want to have a chance to win THIS BOOK? Pam has generously donated an autographed copy of this book, Beatrice Loses Her Doll. To be entered into the drawing, leave a comment below for Pam by naming ONE challenge she had as a child. I'll draw a winner on Saturday, Dec. 15th!


Written by Pam Halter
Illustrated by Kim Sponaugle

Christianbook.com Price: $5.49

Concordia Publishing House
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 32
Publication Date: 2001
ISBN: 0570071178
ISBN-13: 9780570071174

Synopsis:

The Adventures of Beatrice teaches little girls to see God in life's difficulties. Let's see what happens to her today. Beatrice has looked everywhere! Under her bed. In the closet. In the toy box. Dolly is missing! Where could Dolly be? As Beatrice searches, she remembers how Jesus, the Good Shepherd, loves and protects her. Beatice has a special message at the end of this book about Jesus. Watch for it!

PURCHASE ONLINE NOW

2 comments:

Trudy said...

Very interesting! :-) One of Pam's challenges as a kid was to control her temper. ;-)

Rose McCauley said...

Another challenge was math. I know she was good in English and writing because I met Pam at GPCWC and she gave me some good advice! I'd love to win this book for my 2 granddaughters! rose