Tag Archives: Pam Phree

5 Question Friday With Jack Cameron

Jack Cameron At Owen Beach

Hello. Typically, every Friday I ask someone in Tacoma five questions. It’s a holiday week. So just to be different, we’re turning the tables. Instead of me asking someone five questions, I had Pam Phree, co-author of Betrayal, Murder, and Greed, ask ME five questions for 5 Question Friday.

1. You report on homicides/crime in Tacoma, do you remember any crime or crime scenes you witnessed when you were growing up?

I grew up on South 40th and Fawcett in Tacoma. It wasn’t the worst neighborhood, but it was far from the best. I was used to the sounds of sirens and distant gunfire. (So much so that I had trouble sleeping when I wasn’t home.) I had a collection of shell casings I’d pick up walking around the neighborhood. There were a handful of street drug dealers in the area. And drive-by shootings were not uncommon. That said, I can’t say I remember any crime scenes that I came upon when I was a kid.

2. What or who inspired you to be a writer?

It’s my third grade teacher’s fault. Mrs. Hixon. Whitman Elementary School. I had written a story for class. She called me up to her desk and said, “You should write more.”  I thought she meant that it wasn’t long enough. She was the first person to give me the idea that I could write for something other than schoolwork.

3. What type/genre of books do you like to read?

I read a lot of nonfiction. The last three books I read were ‘Everyone Loves You When You’re Dead’ by Neil Strauss, ‘Stories I Only Tell My Friends’ by Rob Lowe, and ‘Typography For Lawyers’ by Matthew Butterick.  When I read fiction, it tends to be crime fiction just because that’s what I write and what I enjoy the most. I’m straying a bit from that right now and reading John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War simply because I love his website and haven’t read a sci-fi book in a while. Next up I’m back to the crime novels with ‘So Much Pretty’ by Cara Hoffman. (Also looking forward to George Pelecanos’ next novel, The Cut)

4. What are you working on now?

I’m just finishing up a crime novel. It’s called A Better Lie. It’s set in Tacoma. It has sex, violence, guns, and flowers. Lots of flowers. I’ve sent the manuscript to a few close friends who are good enough to tell me when something sucks. Once I hear back from all of them, I’ll work on a final draft and send it on to my editor. My hope is that it will be ready to sell before Christmas.

5. If you were going to give new writers advice, what would that be?

Outline. Write. Complete. Outlines will save you every time. You don’t have to religiously follow them, but trying to write a story with no outline is like going on a road trip without a map. It might be fun…until you get lost.

Even when you’re not working on any big writing project, write. No books, classes, seminars, or websites are going to help you more than just writing will. Write something every day. A journal entry. Something random. Whatever. Even the busiest person can take ten minutes and write.

Last, and just as important, complete what you work on. A lot of beginning writers get stuck trying to make whatever they’re working on absolutely perfect. The results tend to be that they never get it finished. No one is going to read 2/3rds of a novel. Get it finished. Then get it perfect.

Thanks to Pam Phree for helping me on this week’s 5 Question Friday.

As always, if you think you or anyone you know would be a good for 5 Question Friday, email me at jackcameronis@gmail.com

5 Question Friday With Betrayal, Murder, and Greed’s Pam Phree

A while back I read a book called Betrayal, Murder, and Greed by Pam Phree and Mike Beakley. It’s a non-fiction account of the bail bond and bounty hunter business and it all takes place in and around Tacoma. Since then I’ve had the chance to meet with the authors personally and I was happy when Pam agreed to be part of 5 Question Friday this week.

1. What is Betrayal, Murder and Greed?

Betrayal, Murder and Greed—those three words—sums up what our book is all about. There is a lot of filth, dirt and corruption in the world, in every industry including the Bail Bond Business. My co-author and Bounty Hunter, Mike Beakley and I, the Bail Agent, opened our personal case files to reveal our most interesting and dangerous cases. Since the book literally details true stories of Betrayal, Murder and Greed, that seemed an appropriate title.

 2. What are its ties to Tacoma?

Both Mike and I were born and raised in Tacoma. Mike was a Tacoma Police Officer for sixteen years—on the SWAT team and working undercover narcotics before the shootout that ended his police career. Afterward, he met me and became a Bounty Hunter. For over twenty years, Mike and I have worked in Tacoma for various Bail Bond Companies. Many of the stories in the book happened in and around Tacoma. Our hometown is liberally featured throughout the book.

3. Do you think crime is different in the Pacific Northwest and if so, how?

Sadly, crime is everywhere in every town, in every city. I wish I could say we’re safer living in the Pacific Northwest but that wouldn’t necessarily be true. Every city has its own set of challenges. I’d venture to say we’re no safer—but certainly not more dangerous—than any other city in the US. Fortunately, we have dedicated, hard-working police officers like Paul Pastor and prosecutors such as Mark Lindquist who are making a real dent in cleaning up the crime in our area.

4. What’s coming up in the next book?

Betrayal, Murder and Greed: The True Story of a Bounty Hunter and a Bail Bond Agent, our first book, introduces Mike and myself. Our personal story of how we got into the Bail Bond Industry is told as well as illuminating some of the cases we’ve worked on throughout the years.

Book 2, tentatively titled, “Shocking True Stories by a Bounty Hunter and a Bail Bond Agent”, tells the stories of our clients; those I’ve bailed and those Mike have had to chase after they jumped bail. The reader is introduced to characters from all walks of life, hears their own personal stories of Betrayal, Murder and Greed and over the course of twenty years, sees where life ultimately takes them. Some live, some die. Since these are true stories, the endings aren’t predictable. Readers will be surprised to learn who survives and who doesn’t.

5. What’s been the best experience since releasing the book?

Mike and I have been privileged to appear on television, film a book trailer and meet a lot of interesting radio personalities that otherwise we wouldn’t have met. But hands down, the best experience we’ve had since releasing the book is meeting other writers/authors in our area. There are a lot of interesting, creative, talented people in the writing business—such as yourself, Jack, that when we get together and talk ‘shop’, is exhilarating. That’s one of the reasons Mike and I jump at the chance to meet other writers at every opportunity. It helps get our own creative juices’ flowing with ideas for subsequent books.

Once again, I want to thank Pam for stepping in at the last minute to do this. I’ve been incredibly sick during the last week (thus the lack of updates) and I only got the questions to her this morning so I really appreciate her help.

Mike and Pam are selling and signing their book at the Tacoma Mall this Saturday, April 16, 2011 from 11am – 4pm outside Macy’s. If you’re in the area, you should drop by and say hello. 

For more information on their book, go to betrayalmurderandgreed.com

– Jack Cameron