Name Collette Cameron
Age Ancient! I’m 54.
Where are you from
I was born and raised in Seaside, Oregon.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have a Master’s Degree in Teaching which I didn’t get until my mid-forties. I’m the mother of three amazing adult, have been married over 30 years, and am nuts about dachshunds and just about anything cobalt blue.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released (December 2, 2015) my 10th novel, Heartbreak and Honor (Book 3 in the Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series.)
I have two boxed sets, Once Upon a True Love’s Kiss (1/4/2016) and Passionate Promises 2/15/2016) as well another Waltz with a Rogue Novella, and book two in my Conundrums of the Misses Culpepper series, Schemes Gone Amiss, releasing early 2016,
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing my first book, Highlander’s Hope in February 2011. My youngest had just gone off to college, and I was substituting part time. I had a bit of empty-nest syndrome going on and I needed something to keep me busy.
So, I decided to indulge in a whim I’d toyed with for years…writing a book.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Hmm, I think after my third book releases, I finally felt comfortable calling myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had a scene running around in my head, and I wondered if I could write an entire book around that scene. I did!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t think I do have a specific writing style. I’m not a plotter, though I always know who my hero and heroine are. After my second book, I started completing a character questinairre for each (over 50 questions) so I really know them and their backstory.
I also complete a Goal, Motivation, and Conflict chart for each to give me some back ground and to get inside their heads. Sometimes those change as the story progresses, but at least I have a launching point.
I do write beginning to end, and I always have a few plot points I want to include. I also know the ending, but I’m not always sure I’ll get there.
For my last three books, I’ve tried writing a summary ahead of time. So far, I’ve only hit about half of the beats, because my stories are character driven, and what they want, they get. Within reason!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I usually have title before I start writing the story, especially with series. I had to come up with 6 titles for my Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series and 5 titles for my Conundrums of the Misses Culpeppers series, all in advance.
My titles for my Castle Brides Series developed as I wrote the books, as have the titles of my Waltz with A Rogue Novella series.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Nope. I don’t have any hidden messages, or subtle themes other than a light inspirational thread.
Mark Twain says it brilliantly, ““Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
I strive for historical accuracy including everything from traditions, customs, manners, to lexicon and expressions.
My characters are fictional, though I might reference a real person who live during the Regency era.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not usually. I have included some small things. For instance, I have a couple of books with fires in them, and I have lost three family members in two separate house fires. I also named a dachshund in one story after a beloved pet of mine.
Oh, and occasionally a villain is written with someone in mind, but I’ll never tell who.
I do have readers who insist I’ve modeled a character after someone, but I haven’t.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I don’t have any specific books that have influenced me. I’ve been a voracious reader since my early teens, and think many books have influenced me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Nothing. I just finished a book and am taking a break for a few days to catch up on other things. The holidays are always so busy.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love Christi Caldwell, Julie Johnstone, Samantha Grace…I could go on and on.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m finishing up with Schemes Gone Amiss and then I’ll start the 4th book in my Highland Heather Romancing a Scot series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
RWA has been fabulous, The Beau Monde Chapter particularly.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. I’ve all but stopped teaching now. This school year, I’ve only taught 2 half days and after the first of the year, I don’t plan on teaching at all.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Hmm, I don’t think so, not in Heartbreak and Honor. I would change some things in my first books, though.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think my interest started because I was, and am, an avid reader. Writing has always come easily for me, though academic writing is vastly different than writing for publication.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure, here’s an unedited snippet.
“Look at the cherubs and nymphs.” Her voice low and colored with amused embarrassment, Brette elbowed Blythe. “They’re everywhere and completely naked.”
They were indeed.
As the majordomo announced them in an onerous monotone, Blythe answered the smile of a striking man who dipped his curly, sun-kissed head at her. Broad shouldered, with a sculpted face, and attired in the height of fashion, he was quite the handsomest man she’d ever seen.
Merriment lit his features, and his smile blossomed into a satisfied grin. His fawn-colored gaze lazily traveled from her insignificant bosoms to her toes then trekked the reverse journey to once again hover on her breasts before boldly meeting her eyes. His pleated at the corners again, a testament to a man accustomed to smiling often.
Her stomach reacted most peculiarly, all floppy and churning.
And her breasts?
Why, under his appreciative regard, the dratted things swelled and pebbled proudly. Quite forward of them given their unimpressive size. Warmth skidded up the angles of her cheeks, and she averted her gaze.
First time she’d ever blushed or had her bosoms betray her. Next thing she knew, the perky duo would scramble over the top of her bodice’s gold-threaded lace and wave a jaunty hello.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I’m not a super fast writer, mostly because I edit the previous day’s work before I move on. I’ve been told several times not to do that, but it helps me focus for the current day’s writing.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I don’t have one favorite now, but when I was much younger, I loved Kathleen Woodiwiss. She was a pioneer in romance writing.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but I do have a trip to Scotland planned to research for a series.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have four cover artists, some via my publisher and some for my self-published books.
I really like the personal input I have with my self-published covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Editing. Something is always missed, no matter how careful I am or how many editors go through the manuscript. It drives me nuts.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’m always learning something, because I write historicals. That’s one of the things I like the most about writing them. I get to dig up all sorts of odd trivia.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never stop trying to improve your craft.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I love my readers!
I have been so blessed. I have an amazing street team and such supportive readers. They are the reason I write!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Hmm, not the title but I know the first romance I read was a Barbara Cartland. I friend gave it to me to read in the 8th grade.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a wicked sense of humor and can find humor in almost anything. I cry at cruelty to animals or children.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I’d love to meet Beau Brummel to see if he was actually as debonair as history portrays him.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Ha! Hubby would say, “Here Lies the White Tornado—She Loved a Clean House”
I’ve never really thought about it. Perhaps something about affecting others lives in a positive way.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I do! I love to garden, hike, and bake. Oh, and I’m also a certified interior decorator.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The only TV I watch is shows like Poldark, Three Musketeers, Outlander, and The Last Kingdom.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love fettuccini and spinach tortilenni in Alfredo sauce. I’m crazy about anything pumpkin too.
I’m a freak about cobalt or royal blue! I like all sorts of music except hard rock and rap.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d be teaching full-time, which is what I thought I wanted to do until I dabbled in writing.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have both!
Blue Rose Romance Blog: http://collettecameron.com/blog
Thanks so much for interviewing me!