Monday, 15 August 2011

Interview with Cameo Renae, author of In My Dreams

*When did you discover you wanted to write and publish books?
I've always had a love for reading and writing, for as long as I can remember. There was something about writing that made me happy, but I never really took it seriously. About seven years ago, I decided to take a writing course. I had to come up with stories based on pictures, and prompts, and I had a blast seeing what my feeble mind could create.
Then, I found a writing community online. I joined that and began sharing my short-stories with other writers. We all read and critiqued each others work, and I actually won a short-story contest. Yay! I had so much positive feedback from everyone that I decided that I'd love to try and take on a novel.
I first started with a children's fantasy novel, as C.S. Lewis was my favorite author growing up, but that is still sitting un-finished on my computer begging to be completed. I promised myself that I would try and finish it in 2012. :) 

*How long did it take to write In My Dreams?
Because life happens... it took two years to complete, but for one of those years it sat untouched. January 2011 ~ My New Year resolution was to finish In My Dreams, and proudly, a few months later... I was done! :)

*What inspired the novel?
There were many events that inspired the novel. First was the passing of my mother-in-law. Cancer stole her beautiful life much too early. It was devastating, especially to my husband who was a momma's boy. Some of her last words to me were, "Keep writing, Cam." And I have.
Then, we began to watch shows like Lisa Williams, and John Edwards - Crossing Over, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures and Paranormal State, and the movie "Ghost" with Patrick Swayze came on.
But, the main thing that inspired the movie was a dream I had, which was more of a nightmare. I woke my husband and told him all about it. He thought it was cool... I was trying to figure out what it meant. But, the next morning, I turned on my computer and began writing my dream. It became the first part of Chapter 1 of In My Dreams. (I did have to add a few extra's for it to make sense.)  

*Is there anything in particular you want readers to take away from reading In My Dreams?

I'd like to think that our loved ones still hang around us when they pass; check up on us from time to time, and give us signs that they are near. That's a wonderful thought, and something I hope might bring some comfort to those that have lost loved ones. 

*Do you have a routine you go through to get in the 'zone' to write? Or do you let it come as it may?
Well... there are days when I'm totally not in the mood, and then there are those days when I am excited to write. On those excited days... I brew my pot of coffee, make sure my laptop is fully charged, get to my happy spot, and write away.

*Are there any experiences or characters based on real life?
All of the characters were made up, and so were most of the experiences. I did live in Alaska for two years, so the locations are pretty accurate, and I did go to Hatcher's Pass and sled down the hill at mile marker 16... That was an adventure gone bad. A story all of it's own, and would take up too much space for this interview.

*Has In My Dreams been the success you hoped it would be?
In My Dreams has actually superseded my expectations. I really didn't know what to expect from readers. I mean... who am I? Really... nobody knows Cameo Renae, and I was one-in-a-gazillion of debut authors. I didn't have a website, I wasn't connected with the social network, and I didn't know the first thing about blogging, or even what a blog was. I learned from researching. I knew that if I didn't promote, my book would be lost in a sea of great books. Along the way I've met some great new friends, that have read, and loved In My Dreams, and have helped me spread the word. For that, I am eternally grateful. (Thanks, Casey! ;)) 
Anything I can do to help a fellow writer!

*I know some writers who map out a timeline for a story, and then fill it in, and then some of us just let the story tell itself, and are just along for the ride. Do you identify with either of these styles, or do you have a style completely different?
In My Dreams had a mind of its own. Really, it just took over and wanted to practically write itself. I didn't have a timeline, an outline, or characters. I just wrote and everything just seemed to fall into place. I'd say I was pretty lucky.
But now... I've learned to become a whole lot more organized. The next novel is a bit more complex. More character's, locations, etc... I had to make sure everyone was detailed and looked the same throughout the story.

*Is there an author who you see as a mentor?
Oh boy... there are so many authors that I love. Too many to name. But the one that made me want to read more as a child was C.S. Lewis and his Chronicles of Narnia. Loved them.

*When it comes to reading for pleasure, what is your favourite genre? Who is your favourite author?
My favorite genre right now is YA Paranormal Romance. Love reading it, and love writing it. My new favorite author is Jayde Scott. I just finished reading her novel, and she's an awesome writer.

*Do you have any other projects in mind?
I'm working on finishing my next novel, which is set to be a YA Paranormal romance trilogy. I should be finished in a few weeks, then the dreaded editing! Ugh! :D
I highly anticipate this trilogy!

*What would be your advice to aspiring authors?

Write what you love. Magic happens when you write about something you're passionate about. Make sure you let you're readers feel, smell, taste, and touch your words. Don't tell them a story, make them live it. (I have to remind myself of this all the time). And then... edit, edit, edit. My favorite part ~ (NOT!)

*What do you do when you aren't writing?
Working. My family calls me a work-aholic. I have two jobs. Great jobs, but they keep me VERY busy. First, I book reservations for Pony Express Tours, which is a horseback riding tour company that takes you down into the Haleakala crater (Our dormant volcano), and across the Haleakala Ranch.
Then, I book weddings for my husband, who is a Hawaiian officiate. He performs weddings on the beaches of Maui, and boy... he's in demand! He averages about 30 weddings per month. My phone and calendar are practically glued to my hip. ;)
Oh... and of course... I love to read. When I have the time. ;)
Both jobs sound wonderful. I would love to go to Hawaii and book a riding tour through you, sounds like a dream for a horse lover and budding photographer like me!

Thanks again, to Casey of Phoenix Photography and Writing for being a great host! :)
You're more than welcome, Cameo. Had a wonderful time reviewing, and reading your answers. Yet another thoroughly enjoyable read and interview, thank you for not giving up on In My Dreams!

Details of the giveaway shall be posted soon (just regarding how the winner is chosen), but the "conditions" are the same as last time: Comment (either on here or the event's wall on Facebook) what you found most interesting about this interview. One lucky winner shall receive a copy of this beautiful story, In My Dreams. Good luck to all!

1 comment:

  1. I apologise for the change of colour between blue and orange. Blogger seems to disagree that all of Cameo's answers should be the same colour.