I’m so excited to have the awesome and talented Chelsea M. Cameron stop by today! I have read 3 of her books and LOVED them: Nocturnal and Nightmare from the Noctalis series and Whisper from the Whisper Trilogy. If you haven’t read this books I highly recommend you do.
♥ I’ll start with a little background….You are from Maine? (yay, a fellow New Englander) Have you always lived there? I also see you are a vegetarian, how long have you been one? (me too!). Have you always envisioned yourself becoming an author? I saw you went to school for journalism.Yes, I have always lived in Maine. I think I’ll be a lifer. I always imagine living in other places, but they just wouldn’t feel like home. Although, I absolutely HATE the winters. I would do anything so that I wouldn’t have to deal with them.Let’s see, I’ve been a veggie since my sophomore year in college, so about *counts on fingers* 6 years? I’d tried to do it many times before, but I finally decided to do it, and I don’t see myself going back. Vegetarians rock!I have not always wanted to be an author (she admitted shamefully). At different parts of my life I have wanted to be an actress, daycare owner, marine biologist and when I was five I wanted to be a ballerina. I decided on journalism because it seemed more respectable than English (sorry English majors, but it’s true), and I’d always gotten good grades in English. Pretty dumb reason to pick a major, but I’m so glad that I did. I think I learned more about writing by taking those classes than I would have by taking a lot more literature classes.
♥ So I have read the first 2 books in your Noctalis series (vampire-angels) and the first book in your Whisper series (ghosts). Both supernatural, but definitely different.What made you decide to make the female the immortal one and the male the supernatural being in both your series? Was it coincidence?
Complete coincidence. Although, I do feel that it’s easier for the reader to relate to a human character than a supernatural one. I do have an idea that I hope to work on next year that has the girl as the supernatural one. I don’t outline, so whatever the story is, it is. I can start out with a concept, but if the story and characters decide to take me in another direction, I go with it. Even if that means I have to throw away a hundred pages. The important part is to stay true to the story.
♥ What has been easier with the second and third book? What has been harder? Has it been different for both series or a similar process?
I know the characters and their voices, so that’s the easy part. Getting into their heads. EVERYTHING else is hard. You have to build on what you’ve already done, and remember the little nuances and quirks and the mythology you’ve created. I wish I were more organized about this, but my beta reader catches a lot of my inconsistencies. I wrote Nocturnal, Nightmare and Neither one after the other, with time in between, but I wrote the Whisper series all at once. I don’t recommend that, because now I have to go and re-write the second two because I changed something in the first.
♥ When you finished writing your first book, Nocturnal, did it turn out the way you expected it to? Was the cover what you envisioned?(I loved the book, I loved the cover–gorgeous!!!)
My books never turn out the way I think they will, but that’s true with anything creative, I think. Most of the time it turns out better than I expected. When it doesn’t, or it doesn’t feel right, I change it. In the first draft of Nocturnal, Ava’s mother was already dead. The story wasn’t flowing or feeling right, so I went back and re-wrote it with her mother alive, but terminal. I still don’t know how the series will end. I’ll find out when I write it.I did the cover myself, which was an interesting experience. I knew NOTHING about graphics editing at all, so it was a huge learning curve. I’ve tweaked and worked with it a bit and I’m finally happy with the result. I’ve also grown to love graphic design and someday I want to learn even more and maybe help other indie authors do their own covers.
♥ I totally connected with your characters even though I personally wasn’t going through it.(Ava’s mother dying of cancer and Anna’s label as someone with mental illness).How do you create such realistic characters?
When I decided I wanted to write books, I wanted to avoid the other pitfalls I saw in the YA genre. Absent and oblivious parents, backstabbing best friends, insta-love. I wanted, more than anything, to have someone feel like my stories could be real, even if there were vampire angels or ghosts in them. I watch people a lot. Creepy, right? I study people and how they talk and move and act and put it all down in my mental notebook. Above all, I want them to be real, because they’re real to me.
♥ Do you have ideas for other series? Do you think you’ll always want to write stories that have supernatural elements?
If you only knew. I’ve got files and files of story ideas. Some of them I’ll do and some I probably won’t. Most of them are clamoring around in my head, yelling at me. I have an idea for a zombie book (probably a stand-alone), and a few fantasy (think fractured fairytales like Ella Enchanted) and even a steampunk idea. I’m currently writing a new adult contemporary romance that will be out on September 29. I’ve also got a few contemporary ya ideas as well.
♥ How many drafts did you have to write for your first book?
Oh, my first book. It took me four years to write and will remain un-published. I re-wrote it at least six times. I’m not talking a few pages; they were entire re-writes in several different genres. There’s a soft spot in my heart for it, but it’s just not good enough to see the world. It was the book that taught me how to write a book, and that’s all it will ever be, but that’s okay. There’s always another.
♥ What is your favorite genre to read? Who are some of your favorite authors? What was the last book you’ve read and what book are you dying to read next?
I love YA. So. Freaking. Much. I also love the new genre of New Adult. I’m a sucker for anything with romance, be that paranormal or otherwise. I LOVE steampunk. I’m also an old-school Jane Austen/Bronte sisters girl. I love Victorian Gothic literature. I’ve also been known to read an interesting non-fiction book about Victorian life, or Medieval weapons or something like that. Favorite authors: Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, J. K. Rowling, Lia Habel, Shelly Crane, Gail Carson Levine, Jacqueline Carey, Robin McKinley, Markus Zusak, Patrick Ness, Stephenie Meyer, Roald Dahl.
It’s been so long since I read a book that wasn’t mine, I’m ashamed to say. I used to read two books, at least, per week, but it’s been so long now. The list of books that I want to read is a lot longer than the books I’ve actually read. I’ve got Beautiful Disaster, Slammed, Divergent, Beautiful Chaos, Clockwork Prince, Easy and On The Island on my TBR pile right now that are all BEGGING to be read.
♥ How has your fan base surprised you?
The fact that I actually have fans is something that astounds me every single day. That people would actually pay money and take time out of their days to read my books and follow me on twitter and Facebook or write me an email is astonishing. Every. Single. Time. It’s all very surreal, this experience. I don’t know if it will ever really sink in. I kind of hope it doesn’t
Now on to the giveaway! Ms. Cameron is giving away 2 ecopies of Whisper ~ so kindle or nook format ~ your choice!
People think I’m crazy. Maybe I am, since I’ve been able to talk to spirits for as long as I can remember. They are the forgotten, the souls who have unfinished business and can’t cross over. I help them, or at least I try to. There’s this one in particular, Jack, I call him, who’s been following me around a lot. Usually they tell me what they need to do and move on. Not him.
It isn’t until he brings another spirit, Tracy, the victim of an unsolved hit-and-run accident, that I know for sure he’s something more than just your average spirit. Then I start seeing him. And feeling his touch. And falling for him.
In our quest to get justice for Tracy and help her move on, Jack and I become something more than just a dead boy and a living girl. I’m just waiting to see what happens next…
Thank you so much, Chelsea, for stopping by and for the awesome giveaway!