Pandora Pine Reminds Writers to Trust Their Instincts

I’m delighted to introduce today’s author, Pandora Pine. Pandora got her start writing FanFiction and since then has self-published eight books. Her most recent, Time and Time Again, grew out of a piece of crossover fanfiction she wrote between Star Trek and Lord of the Rings. In this interview, Pandora details the process of getting a book ready to self-publish (with the help of her editor mom!), while also inspiring us all to follow our passions and trust our instincts. As you’ll soon learn, sometimes it pays to ignore friends’ well-meaning advice!

How long have you wanted to be a romance writer? When did you decide to write a book?

I have wanted to be a writer since I was in grade school. I remember being the only student in a middle school English class who was happy to get a writing assignment. Originally, I started writing Star Trek Fanfiction which led to me making some wonderful friends in the writing community. One of these amazing women decided to try self-publishing with an original romance novel and urged me to do that same. My first book was published in August of 2015!

What inspired you to write this story?

Time And Time Again was inspired by a piece of crossover fanfiction I wrote between Star Trek and Lord Of The Rings. The story ended in heartbreak and I wanted a do-over to give these characters their Happily Ever After. Not only did I get to live out the dream of writing Fionn and Carter’s story, but have turned this idea into a three book series that will feature Carter’s sisters finding their Happily Ever Afters in fifteenth-century Ireland! Time And Space and Time After Time will be available later in 2016.

Describe your process for writing this particular book.

The process starts with character bios and a bare bones sketch of the idea. Once I know where the story is going and how it will end, I go back to sketch and start fleshing it out.
I think the most challenging part of writing any book is finding your characters’ voices. It took a little while to get in the groove with Fionn especially because he doesn’t use contractions when he speaks and he can’t use modern sayings. Once I could “hear” their voices clearly, this book literally poured out of me! I wrote the entire manuscript in a month while working full-time! {Wow!}

How did you fit your writing into the rest of your life?

Finding a work/life/writing balance is honestly the hardest part of what I do. There were/are days when I give my best energy at the office and I want to sack out on the couch when I get home, but I had to find a way to push through the fatigue and get back to work on the book. When a story needs to be told, it’s relentless and I’ve learned to ride the wave. My friends and family know what the process is like and understand when I pull out my notebook and start taking notes in the middle of a conversation or leave right after the dinner dishes are done. The finished product is the book, but there’s a lot of residual guilt left in its wake that I try to make up for once I type The End!

Who gave you feedback as you worked through writing the book?

One of the things I did while writing fanfiction was to reach out to my favorite authors to tell them how much I loved their work. Through this, I made some absolutely amazing friends. I share everything I write with these ladies as they do with me. My main concern with Time And Time Again was getting the aspects of time-travel right and my ladies were a great help.

My mother is a tremendous help with my books. She is a retired English and History teacher who serves as my editor and also served as an historical advisor on this book. She never thought she’d find a second career editing MM romance novels! I couldn’t do what I do without her!

What made you decide to publish independently?

I lay all the credit at my best friend’s feet. She was going the self-publishing route herself and urged me to do the same thing. Her confidence in my words gave me the confidence to share my characters with the world!

In my mind, the best thing about self-publishing is being able to write what people want to read. I knew through my time writing fanfiction that people were interested in reading MM Romance. One particular story I wrote had seven thousand people read it in just ONE month. The other main benefit of self-publishing is that I set my own timeline and release dates.

The biggest challenges of self-publishing are the things that need to be done away from writing the book. I design all of my own book covers and it takes time to find the right image to represent the book. I also do a lot of promotion work to get the word out that a book is being published, is available for pre-order or is being offered as a free promotion.

What was the process of getting the book ready for publication?

Once the laughing and crying over finishing the book is past, I let the words sit for a few days before I go back in and do re-writes. I’m looking for incorrect POV and places in the book that aren’t as strong as they could be. Lastly, I’m looking for typo’s and consistency issues. After that, the book goes out to my beta readers who return their feedback. Once I’ve input their suggestions, the book is off to my editor/ Mom Of The Year. When I get the book back, I input her changes/ suggestions and do a final edit of the book.

As this process is going on, I’m working on designing the book cover and writing the synopsis that will appear on Amazon. Once these steps are complete, I set up the pre-order on Amazon and work on promotion dates. It’s the best feeling to finally click the “PUBLISH” button!

What would you change if you could?

I’m not a big fan of looking backward. I think playing the “what if?” game is destructive and takes time away from the creative process. Things are playing out for me and my writing the way they were meant to play out. I wouldn’t change a thing!

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

My advice to aspiring writers is to WRITE! Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do it because you CAN! Two friends of mine told me the original fanfiction story this novel was born from would never work and people would never come together from the two fandoms to read it. I took their “advice” under advisement for about thirty seconds and started writing my story. Not only did the two fandoms come together and read it, they LOVED it! This story was one of the most popular things I’ve written. Eventually, both of these ladies changed their tune and admitted their advice was wrong.

If I had followed the advice of those friends, this novel wouldn’t be here today and my life would have been a dull place to live without Fionn and Carter chatting in my ear!

This advice goes for anyone in any walk of life. Live your passion! Write, draw, act, sing, fix cars! If you love it, do it! You’ll never be sorry for turning your dreams into reality!

A love that spans centuries… While visiting the gravesite of a centuries dead Irish warrior, Bostonian Carter McCann finds himself thrown backward in time to the moment Fionn Ò Ciardha was slain in battle. Realizing he could change the past, Carter travels back to 15th-century Ireland a second time in an effort to prevent Fionn’s untimely death.

A love he tries to deny…Fionn Ò Ciardha doesn’t know what to make of the strangely dressed but handsome man who appeared suddenly outside the walls of Moone Castle. Figuring him for a spy yet unable to fight his growing desire for Carter, he sticks close to the foundling hoping to uncover the truth of why he’s come to Moone.

A love worth dying for…Unhappy with his dream lover’s mistrust in him, Carter sets out to save Fionn’s life by any means at his disposal. As the coming battle draws closer, will Carter be able to earn Fionn’s trust as well as his heart before history repeats itself?

pandora pine


Sick of the slogging rat-race of her 9-5 job, Pandora Pine put pen to paper (literally!) to make her ambition of becoming a romance novelist a reality. She cut her teeth in the dog-eat-dog world of fanfiction, still dreaming of the day when she would be a published author. She lives in Massachusetts with her blabbermouth muse and their fictional black kitten, Jack, whom you’ll meet in Pandora’s novel, Just Say Yes!

She is forever grateful to her writer friends who brainstorm with her and help her corral all her plot tribbles. They can also be relied upon to delete her eclectic internet browsing history in the event of her sudden death. Said browsing history is filled with erotic research (Read: porn!) for her next novel.

In her spare time, Pandora fancies herself an amateur nature photographer. She enjoys mucking around in swamps, hiking through the woods and crawling around on her hands and knees in her backyard seeking out the perfect shot. Pandora is a fan of roadside seafood shacks and always thinks Mexican food is a good idea at the time.

Don’t miss Pandora’s seductive new novel, Time And Time Again coming in January 2016 to an e-reader near you. Book Four of the Student Bodies Series, Brick And Mortar, will be available on February 2, 2016. Pre-Order your copy today!

Time And Time Again Synopsis:


One thought on “Pandora Pine Reminds Writers to Trust Their Instincts

  1. Pandora, thanks for sharing. I totally know what you mean when you say the most challenging part of the book is finding characters’ voices. For me that includes understanding where they are emotionally coming from from start to finish (with the start being the hardest) I’m a big Star Trek fan, but don’t know much at all about Fan Fiction. You sound like an amazingly creative person. 🙂 Congratulations on your success and your new release.
    Kimberly Keyes


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