About Pam

Pam Dehnke

Pam grew up in Santa Monica, California, which is the setting for her Court Reporter Mystery Series. She enjoyed a career as a court reporter in the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas. Upon retiring in 2014, she purchased Nightingales Bed-and-Breakfast in Ashland, Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and began her new career as an author.

The Making of an Author

I went to Santa Monica High School in Santa Monica, California, where my English class overlooked the ocean, an incredible view for a dreamer and writer.  My teacher submitted one of my stories in a contest, and, lo and behold, I won. My story was published and the writer was born. I attended college and did some writing for publication, but my career aspirations eventually took a turn, and I became a court reporter.  I loved reporting so much I headed down that path and never looked back.  Court reporting is basically playing a word game all day and getting paid tons of money.  Now, who wouldn’t love that?  However, after 35 years of reporting depositions, because I traveled to various locations every day, the traffic finally wore me down.  So, in 2014 I purchased Nightingales Inn and moved to Ashland, Oregon, where I began to write again.

To test my rusty writing skills, I wrote some articles that were published in our local paper and received raving reviews.  People called me to tell me their personal stories, and I was even asked for my autograph while sitting in a bar enjoying a Manhattan.  I began to write a book, but that darn thing had a mind of its own and turned into a play.  Upon completion, it had a reading, which seemed to be fairly successful.  One always wonders.  Following the reading, there was a compelling discussion in which attendees related their stories and observations.  The play involved a crazy family and issues such as elder care, the health care system and the legal system, so of course everyone had something to say.

Just before the play was completed, I attended a writers’ retreat in Healdsburg, California, hosted by the lovely author and journalist Phyllis Theroux. Because of her journaling background, I tossed a box of my journals in my car just before taking off on the drive down south. I began to read them the first night I arrived and became totally immersed in my own journals.  I decided I wanted to write a work of fiction in diary format. Thus began The Diary of an Extraordinarily Ordinary Woman. While writing about Leslie’s adventures, Deedee popped her very cantankerous head out of the woodwork, and suddenly there was an addition to the title, …and Her Rather Eccentric Sister. I am continually asked if this is a memoir. It’s a testament to my writing skills that I can have the reader believing that they are actually reading a woman’s diary. However, the answer is that it is loosely based on my life, but it is definitely a work of fiction.

In Memory

My brother, Dale Dehnke, died while serving in the MACV-SOG, Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group. May 18 marks the anniversary of his birth and death.

Dale and Pam, Detroit, MI
Dale after his first solo flight in a Cessna
Dale and Kimberly, 1969