Name : I’m Gerry Cameron, and my published book is under the name Alicia Cameron
Age: I try not to remember.
Where are you from:
I’m Scottish, I come from Glasgow, but have lived in the North of Scotland, a Hebridean island and France. There were books in every nook and cranny of my home.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Clarissa and the Poor Relations by Alicia Cameron was launched on January 15th and the audiobook is being produced right now by the wonderful Heath Miller. It will be out at the beginning of April, but to hear the first chapter go to http://bit.ly/1TlyU2m and sign up to hear it for free.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always written, my first novel was started at about 10 years old, but I think I began finishing about 10 years ago.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finished my first book – Divining Murder by GM Cameron. It’s out soon. I thought it finished 8 years ago, that was before I understood what editing really entailed.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Clarissa was written for my family as we are all Georgette Heyer fans. (she writes the wittiest of Regency Romances) As usual, I didn’t finish it, but in a break from editing DM, I wrote the end. It was written to make my family laugh and I have been so happy that loads of readers think it’s a hoot, too.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I write a Glasgow crime series with a bit of the supernatural, a super-Scottish cozy mystery series with my niece The Case of the Curious Kilt – it is meant to be more a comic novel, and the romantic Clarissa. What links them all is humour, but the styles are very different.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
‘Poor relations’ in upper class families always seemed so sad to me. They were women, forbidden to have a job like their brothers, but without husbands were considered a burden to their relatives. Clarissa is a girl fighting to overcome this fate and so the name was born.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s really for fun. But the women in the book, whilst they meet their romantic matches also do other useful things.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
I think the people are real.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Em, no. except the camaraderie between the characters.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I loved Austen and Georgette Heyer. I love PG Wodehouse and Dickens for their humour. I read Jung’s complete works when I was 13 (It was an affectation- I understood only about a third of it) Those and the Sacred Books of the East will do for now.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am always rereading a Phil Rickman or two. Listening the The Intruders by Michael Marshall. Scary.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Love Sophie Hannah, Michael Robotham, and Linwood and Harlan obviously. Denise Mina is often great.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Getting the Glasgow witch book Divining Murder ready to go and a final edit on The Case of The Curious Kilt, A Tattie Scone Mystery. By Jemima Wallace (me and my niece Germaine Stafford) This last is so ridiculous that you’ll laugh your socks off, we hope.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Editor Helen Bleck was very encouraging to me at the writer’s day at The Wigtown Book Festival – she recommended me and got me straight on publisher’s desks.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It is my joy and it is beginning to come with financial reward.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Edit more. I really put it up as an experiment and I regret the lack of proper preparation. I’ve written a blog on gmcameron.co.uk detailing my failures so that others can avoid them!
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading. When you run out of stories, you tell them to yourself.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
http://amzn.to/1O6TJv8 You can open the book to read the beginning.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
At the moment, it’s Phil Rickman. His Merrily Watkins series about a woman vicar who is a Deliverence Minister (exorcist) for the C of E is really wonderful . There is great suspense. But he has a way of writing thoroughly lovable, breathing people. I so want to emulate that.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I go to writers events as an audience member Last year I went to Charroux literary festival (in France), Wigtown Book Festival and Bloody Scotland (crime) festival within a couple of months.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Karin Skold designed Clarissa
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Pulling all the strands together at the end.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I started really finishing projects when I wrote every day, or at least most. Just turn up at the page every day. Don’t try to be good, you can fix it later, just get it down.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I say it in the books
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Old Curiosity Shop was read to me very young.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laughing is more my thing. Seeing the ridiculous in most situations.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
My sister, I miss her.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Why are you here? Go and have fun.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’ve had lots of creative hobbies, but writing is eating them.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Loving Orphan Black at the moment. But it’s going to go on forever. I love 3 part dramas that tell one whole story. And The Big Bang Theory, obviously.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Being a writer lets you do anything you chose.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website?
If so what is it? www.gmcameron.co.uk