Name – Ailsa Abraham (Cameron Lawton)

Age  57

Where are you from  – Hard to remember. I was very nearly born on a train and seem to have been travelling all my life ever since. My family are from Edinburgh but I have deep ties with Cornwall where I grew up and London which is my spiritual home.

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  – Fairly conventional education despite changing schools so regularly. The headmistress of my all-girls school went a bit potty when I announced I wanted to be an actress so I got myself into London University studying Drama & English plus Teaching on my own. It was tough doing two degrees at the same time but I’m really glad I did it.

I’ve lived in France for the last twenty-odd years, first in Brittany and for the last ten in the east, not too far from the Swiss border. I’m with my third husband, a retired Royal Navy officer and we currently have two dogs but we’ve been a clearing house for the RSPCA (French equivalent) most of our 18 years together.We live in a 300 year-old farmhouse known as the Bingergread Cottage which is very traditional but with all mod.cons. Our village is tiny and in the middle of nowhere which is great but I could sometimes wish to be nearer a bit of culture.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

  I wrote Shaman’s Drum from the point where I first saw the flash “scene”which started it all going in my mind. Unfortunately, that meant there was a huge amount of back-story that readers wanted to know. The prequel is now finished and awaiting edits with my publisher Crooked Cat so that should be released in 2014. As Cameron Lawton I have another title to submit to MLRPress which will be the next in my series of army detective fiction. I’m looking forward to that as another gory murder rather than paranormal adventure with a huge dollop of romance.

As if that weren’t enough, my husband and I are starting a promotion business called PandA Promo, specialising in authors wanting launch parties and videos which is yet an other of my interests. We shall be open for business from 4th January and hope that everyone will come to our FB launch party.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Professionally, do you mean? I’ve always written for my own and friends’ amusement but it wasn’t until I got my first piece accepted for cash that I felt I could call myself a “writer”. That was a short story for Metro Fiction and shortly after that MLRP accepted a novella but asked for a longer work with the same characters. That was the moment when I was definitively “writer”.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?

 Not at all. I am a complete genre slut. I sometimes play games with my author friends who give me a genre to try out and bet me I can’t. I suppose my “voice” is light with touches of humour and very visual. I try to avoid pretentiousness and flowery prose. I have no literary delusions although I am a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association which is an honour.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? – In both genres I write from my own experience. Witchcraft, shamanism, pagan practice and the study of all religions have been part of my existence for as long as I can remember so it was natural to write  Shaman’s Drum around those topics. I also served in the Royal Air Force for four years which is what prompted me to set Rory and Jack’s adventures in the military when writing as Cameron Lawton.

Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 No, not for the books but I travel a great deal for fun. We have a beat up old Renault Trafic that my husband kitted out as the smallest camping car in the world plus a caravan that is in line for a telegram from the Queen. We go all around Europe exploring and that is one of our major hobbies. We do this because our family is us and two hounds. Hotels tend to take a dim view of woofers who like to sleep on beds. The alternative is camping which suits us all fine.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 Strangely, I do. It was at infant school and the first words of it were “Come, Tip. Here, Tip, Come here, Tip”. I can still see the illustration at the top of each page. I read it in about half an hour and threw it down in disgust saying “I hope I get a new one tomorrow ‘cos I done that one.” The next –  I didn’t like the ending so I re-wrote it and that may be when I started to be a writer.

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

 Masses! I’ve already mentioned making videos and running promotion. I also have three motorbikes which are my passion in the summer. Wintertime is for knitting, crochet and other crafting which qualify as my main occupation. I nearly always end up giving my creations away and make lots of things for charity. Animal welfare is an obsession with me so much of my work is donated to sanctuaries or raffles to that purpose. Recently I’ve taken up music again. I’m a decent singer but also enjoy playing the Native American flute, penny whistles, recorder and for Christmas I was given my first transverse flute (Chinese bamboo) which will be a real challenge. I also go a bit wild on drums as part of my shamanic practices.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

 Unsurprisingly, I adore TV detective shows. They are probably responsible for my decision to write in that genre. Comedy obviously, and I’m a complete culture vulture where history is concerned. My happiest evening is with a good “historical mystery uncovered” programme while knitting. I have Radio 4 on all the time except when I change over to Gold for the Oldies to sing along to.

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

 I’m vegetarian. My favourite food is pasta. Colours? I wear black a lot but that is part of my goth/punk persona which I borrowed from Riga, a character in Shaman’s Drum. Colours aren’t as important as textures. I love to mix up silk, leather and denim (potty about denim). I’ve got a collection of leather belts with massive buckles and my real weakness is boots. I can’t wear heels due to a completely knackered spine so I compensate by wearing the fanciest boots I can get my paws on. Music? Again my tastes are totally catholic – from classical through Celtic rock, folk, golden oldies, heavy metal… I really don’t have a favourite.

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

 I’ve been extraordinarily lucky. All the things I desperately wanted to do, I’ve had the chance of doing. I’ve been a vet nurse, survival instructor and flown planes for fun. I enjoyed teaching English to adults in France but my life now is ideal.

Thank you so much for inviting me over and I do hope you’ll return the favour and come and visit us at the Bingergread Cottage soon.

My blog is http://ailsaabraham.com/

and the new one for my business is http://pandapromo.co/

My Amazon Author Page is http://https://authorcentral.amazon.co.uk/gp/profile
And my Cameron Lawton books can be found here. http://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowAuthorBooks.php?list=_ABKLIST110&author=Cameron!Lawton