It is my pleasure to share a guest post by author Pamela Binnings Ewen.
From Lawyer to Women’s Fiction Writer - the journey
Pamela Binnings Ewen
As a rather poor young woman entering the legal profession years ago, the most difficult hurdle I faced was balancing my time between a demanding career and family. While raising my son--the light of my life--I worked my way through the college undergraduate years and then through law school. I wanted to give my boy the sun, moon, and stars--the best of everything. But practicing law is competitive--long hours, traveling. Still, I fought not to see this as a choice.
It happened that my grandmother, who I adored, passed away during my years in college. We were close, and all my life she’d dazzled me with stories of her adventures, marching as a suffragette, and then through the decade of the 1920’s following my grandfather’s footsteps (as her custom required). My grandfather was a medical missionary, first in the jungles of Siam, and later as a physician to the royal family in Bangkok, where my mother was born. As a child I listened for hours to my grandmother’s philosophical musings, and dreamy stories of tigers and elephants and palaces and kings in Siam, later Paris, Lausanne, Rome. But a few years after she was gone, I discovered that I had never really understood her at all.
While rummaging through her old Chinese chest some years later, I came across old sepia photographs and letters and a portion of a journal from her years of travel through Siam and Europe. These revealed a woman I’d never known, a complex and beautiful young woman with great talent, trained to sing grand opera. I’d never known! The letters revealed that when my grandfather returned from the battlefields of France after WWI, she followed his dream and gave up her own, still, all the while haunted by her longing to sing. The Moon in the Mango Tree was born. (The photos are posted at www.pamelaewen.com )
The sting of truth in the story was this: our grandmother’s generation of women had no real choice when it came to careers. Despite Edna St. Vincent Millay’s lovely, lovely light, stepping out beyond social boundaries was a risk; no support networks existed in those days for ordinary women who failed. Even though women had just won the vote, in most states the law still prohibited them from serving on juries, owning separate property, or accessing credit or managing the family funds.
Our grandmothers paved the way for women today. They fought, and sacrificed. Because of them we are free to steer our own courses through life now. Today we have the RIGHT to choose our own dreams, whether our choice is to work in the home or outside, or to try to balance the two. Those old letters, those glimmering shades of the past in my Grandmother’s Chinese chest, are what inspired me to write my first novel, The Moon in the Mango Tree. Soon after, I found writing much more exciting than practicing law.
The Moon in the Mango Tree
by Pamela Binnings Ewen
The Moon in the Mango Tree is an emotional and riveting tale based on the true life of Pamela Binnings Ewen’s own grandmother. Under the glittering lights of the palace in Siam, can a woman choose between the freedom she craves and the husband she loves with her whole heart? Can she have it all--or does she have to choose? And when you choose between two things you love, must one be forever lost? If you were enchanted by The Moonlit Garden by Corina Bowmann, you’ll be caught in the spell of The Moon in the Mango Tree.
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: March 21st, 2016
Publisher: Indie Published
Print Length: 391 pages
Format: Paperback and Digital
Print ISBN: 9780805447330
The dazzling decade, the 1920's, and a beautiful young singer is torn between her fierce desire for independence--to create something of her own to give meaning and purpose to her life--and a deep abiding love for her husband, a medical missionary who will become royal physician to the court of Siam. Based on a true story, one young woman will travel from Philadelphia of the Roaring Twenties to the jungles of the Orient, to pre-war Paris and Rome, in the struggle to find her place in the world.
As her thigh rested between his legs, she could feel his excitement. She smiled to herself and decided to get a little daring. Hearing a groan come from him, a wicked grin spread across her face.
"Did you say something?" she looked up using her most innocent voice batting her eyelashes.
"Woman, you know exactly what you're doing. Don't play innocent with me." Mac had a stern but playful look in his eyes.
Available Here: Amazon
About Pamela Binnings Ewen:
After practicing law for many years in Houston, Texas, Pamela Binnings Ewen exchanged her partnership in the law firm of BakerBotts, L.L.P for writing. She lives near New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2013, Ewen’s novel, An Accidental Life, was released by B&H Publishing Group. In addition, in September 2013, an updated, second edition of Ewen’s best-selling non-fiction book, Faith on Trial, was released, including a new ‘User’s Guide’.
In addition to the new releases, Pamela is the author of four novels from B&H Publishing Group, including Secret of the Shroud, The Moon in the Mango Tree (a 2009 Christy Award Finalist), Dancing on Glass (a 2012 Christy Award Finalist, and winner of a Single Titles Reviewers’ Choice Award), and Chasing the Wind ( a Romantic Times ‘Top Pick’). The Moon in the Mango Tree was recently honored as winner of the 2012 Eudora Welty Memorial Award given by the National League of American Pen Women.
Pamela’s fiction writing grows out of her faith journey, which resulted in Faith on Trial in 1999. Faith on Trial , along with Lee Strobel’s A Case for Christ, was chosen as a text for a course on law and religion at Yale Law School in 2000. Pamela is also featured in the film Jesus: Fact or Fiction, produced by Campus Crusade for Christ. An updated second edition of Faith on Trial (September, 2013) includes a new ‘User’s Guide’.
While practicing law Pamela served on the board of directors of Inprint, Inc., a non-profit organization supporting the literary arts in Houston, Texas. Pamela has also served on the board of directors of the New Orleans Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and she is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans. In 2007 she co-founded the Northshore Literary Society. Pamela received the St. Tammany Parish President’s Arts Award as Literary Artist of the Year in 2009.
Pamela is the latest writer to emerge from a Louisiana family recognized for its statistically improbable number of successful authors. A cousin, James Lee Burke, who won the Edgar Award, wrote about the common ancestral grandfathers in his Civil War novel White Dove At Morning.
Among other writers in the family are Andre Dubus (Best Picture Oscar nomination for The Bedroom; his son, Andre Dubus III, author of The House of Sand and Fog, a Best Picture Oscar nomination and an Oprah pick; Elizabeth Nell Dubus (the Cajun trilogy); and Alafair Burke, just starting out with the well-received Samantha Kincaid mystery series.
Join Pamela Binnings Ewen and the Killion Group as we celebrate the release of The Moon in the Mango Tree with this 16 stop Book Blast from March 28th to April 1st. Included in this book blast is exclusive content, guest posts from Pamela, a spotlight of the book, reviews, and a giveaway. One GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive a $50 Starbucks Gift Card!
Follow the tour to these participating blogs for new content each day: