Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Murder on the Down Low Blog Tour

Meet Pamela Samuels Young, author of Murder on the Down Low

Pamela Samuels Young is a practicing attorney and author of the legal thrillers, Murder on the Down Low, In Firm Pursuit, Every Reasonable Doubt, and the forthcoming, Buying Time, A desire to see women and people of color represented in today’s legal fiction prompted Pamela to start writing despite a busy career as an attorney. The former journalist and Compton native is a graduate of USC, Northwestern University and UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. Pamela is the fiction writing expert for and is on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Tell us about Murder on the Down Low.

In Murder on the Down Low, a brazen gunman is targeting African-American men on the streets of L.A. and police are completely baffled. The victims are all quintessential family men. Well-educated. Attractive. Successful. But appearances can be deceiving.

At the same time, attorney Vernetta Henderson and her outrageous sidekick, Special, lead the charge for revenge against a young lawyer whose deception caused his fiancĂ©e’s death. For Special, hauling the man into court and suing him for wrongful death just isn’t good enough. While she exacts her own brand of justice, a shocking revelation connects the contentious lawsuit and the puzzling murders.

Soon, Special’s quest for payback goes way too far, and this time . . . it appears that not even Vernetta can save her.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

I often have a hard time recalling exactly when or how the idea for a particular novel originated. For the most part, the concept simply pops into my head from some unknown place. That’s not the case with this book. I have a crystal clear recollection of watching an Oprah show featuring J.L. King, author of On the Down Low. As I listened to his insider’s account of the mindset of men on the down low, I was completely stunned. My emotions during that sixty-minute program went from shock to anger to fear. Within 24 hours, I had sketched out the plot for Murder on the Down Low. Smart, successful, attractive African-American men are being gunned down on the streets of L.A. and nobody knows why. As it turns out, they all share a dirty little secret.

Who are your main character(s)?

My main characters are two lawyers, Vernetta Henderson and Nichelle Ayers; Jacee, a police detective, and Special, the best friend of Vernetta.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

My favorite would have to be Special. She’s an attractive, caring, outspoken woman who is determined to avenge her cousin’s death. In the process, her actions land her in quite a bit of trouble.

Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?

I devoured lots of magazine articles, books and website information about men on the down low, and talked to gay men about their experiences with “straight” men. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find anyone on the down low who was willing to talk to me. I did interview men who dated guys on the down low and that was an eye opener. I also did a great deal of research on HIV and AIDS.

What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading Murder on the Down Low?

I want readers to understand that the shocking HIV infection rates will continue to climb until we decide to do something about it. While AIDS is not curable, it is completely preventable. We can’t continue to sit back and wait for someone else to tackle this crisis that is devastating the African-American community. We must do it.

Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?

I think reviews are extremely important to help create buzz for a new book. While a lot of African-American writers don’t have an opportunity to be reviewed by the major players (e.g., Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, major newspapers, etc.) reviews by online sites can also help. I always urge my readers to go on to Amazon and other sites to post a comment about my book. Many people will buy a book based solely on the reviews.

Follow the rest of Murder on the Down Low Blog Tour at

For more information about Pamela, visit her at

Murder on the Blog Tour GiveawayPlease leave a comment to be eligible to win an autographed book and a 25 dollar gift card from Pamela Samuels Young. One winner will be chosen each day for a total of FIVE winners.


August 17 - Black Authors Network (9:00 pm EST)

DAY 1 Monday, Aug 17

All The Buzz Reviews
AAMBC Book Tours Reed

DAY 2 Tuesday, Aug 18

Simply Said Reading Accessories DeChantal

DAY 3 Wednesday, Aug 19

Black Pearl Magazine
Urban Reviews

DAY 4 Thursday, Aug 20

RAWSistaz Literary Group
Joey Reviews

DAY 5 Friday, Aug 21

Vanessa Richardson's Report
Britni Vigil


Ty said...

Thanks for participating in the Murder on the Down Low Tour with Pamela Samuels Young.

Renee Williams said...

Great interview. Looking forward to the read.

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