Name: Camilla Patterson
Where are you from:
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc :
I was born in Missouri, but grew up in Texas, then later, Oklahoma. Because we moved around a lot, my mom homeschooled me and my sister and brothers until we got to high school. Because of that, we’re all pretty close. Right now, I’m going to college for a degree in English and Psychology with a minor in Graphic Design. Random, I know. But, I really love all three subjects.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am currently finishing up the editing on my debut novel, A Moment for Eternity. It’s a young adult novel with some strong messages attached to it. I’m pretty excited about it. I wanted to write something that will give readers something to think about, and I hope this novel does just that.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as soon as I knew how. My mom has some journals from when I was in 1st and 2nd grade where I filled the pages with children’s’ stories. They’re pretty embarrassing actually. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t write. I’ve always craved reading and writing. But, I didn’t pursue publishing until a few years ago. 2014, I think. That’s when I began writing seriously.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer around 2014. Maybe a bit before then. I mean, I had always considered myself a recreational writer. But, it wasn’t until then, when I decided to pursue this passion of mine, that I actually considered myself a real writer, in the professional sense of the word.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A lot of things, actually. This idea for this book has been swirling in my brain for a few years now, but I didn’t want it to seem clichéd – girl meets boy, they fall in love, blah blah. Don’t get me wrong – I love those stories. But, I didn’t want my book to be just another meh story that the reader returns back to the shelf. I wanted it to stand out. Be thought-provoking. I got some real inspiration for this book when one of my close friends decided (for personal reasons) to create a bucket lists and accomplish everything on the list in a year (We’ll call my friend Lauren). Lauren enlisted the help of me and a couple of other friends and we pooled our money together to complete a list not all that different from the bucket list of my main character, Tennessee. That got me to thinking: why do we wait until something tragic happens to do the things we want to do? Why do we waste life waiting? So…yeah.
I’m a horrible friend and turned Lauren’s life into a story (well…part of her life, anyway). It’s all good.
She gave me permission. *Laughs* Come to think of it, she’s really proud of her part as inspiration.
Maybe I shouldn’t have told her. She’s got a terrible ego. 🙂
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m more of a contemporary writer, though I have a nasty habit of writing like the author I last read. (For example, the day after I finished reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, my writing voice began to sound like Carroll’s and I had to pause to get my natural writing voice back). I had a couple of teachers say I write like H. P. Lovecraft. I’m not sure. I love his writing style, so if that’s true, then that would be the best compliment.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In the story, Tennessee Evans has this desire to capture moments in time so she can keep them for eternity and relive them over and over. Unfortunately, this isn’t possible (as time travel has yet to be invented), so Xavier, the person who is helping her accomplish her list, records all their special moments together on paper. He folds up each moment and places them in jars so that anytime Tennessee wants to go back to a special moment, she just has to open the jar and read about the moment, be mentally and emotionally transformed back in time, even though she can’t go back physically. Therefore, she has all these moments she can keep for eternity. Hence, A Moment for Eternity
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think that it’s important to live your life to the fullest. Life is shorter than we think and I want to encourage my readers to do something that matters. However, I also know that life isn’t all fun and games and sometimes, you need to grow up and face your problems head on. These are just a couple of lessons my characters learn throughout the novel as Tennessee is a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of gal, and Xavier is a very let’s-schedule-everything type of person. I’m sure many can relate.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Aside from the bucket list, not much else is real-life experiences. Except for the eating disorder that is briefly addressed in the book. I had another friend (one of the girls that joined Lauren in her quest to complete her bucket list) who struggled with bulimia most her life. She was a sweetheart whose greatest influences in life subtly put her down and shunned who she was at every turn. She died from health complications, and my heart breaks for her every time I think about her. I didn’t want to center this book on eating disorders (that’s another story for another time), but I did want to pay tribute to the young girl who died of a breaking heart. So, I created a character much like my friend, whose story wasn’t all that different.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Ooh…that’s hard. I could go on for hours about which books have played a part in who I am and what
I do. Right now, the ones that come to mind are Alice in Wonderland, Blink by Ted Dekker, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Cinderella by Colleen Hoover, 1984 by George Orwell, the Narnia series by C. S. Lewis, anything by Erynn Mangum. I could go on and on. I’m sure I’ll come up with twenty more later and think, “Oh! I should have said that book/author too!”
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I recently read Courtney Cole’s Nocte Trilogy and was blown away. The way she beautifully illustrates everything as well as the mind-bending, ever-twisting story that she so craftfully concocted is amazing and I absolutely loved reading her books. I also read Marie Rutkoski’s Winner’s triology (have been since book one came out) and would recommend those books to any young reader in a heartbeat. She’s a fantastic writer and her stories transport you to another realm entirely. Like Cole, Rutkoski has an art and I love how she creates a different era with applicable lessons.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My best friend’s little sister. She and I share a love of reading and writing and she has hands-down been the most supportive person in my writing life. She’s extremely talented and has taught me so many things about writing and people. She’s like my sidekick. Or my Yoda. It depends. 🙂
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I encourage others to do what they love and make a career of it. That’s what I’m trying to do. But, it’s hard and tedious and takes an extreme amount of endurance and patience. In the end, though, I truly believe it’s worth it. Is it a career? If you want it bad enough and work hard enough for it, yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m not sure. As I said before, I’m still in the editing process, so there are a lot of things I’m changing
(but I can’t tell you, ’cause it’s a secret). I’ll let you know when the book is completed. 🙂
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Honestly, I don’t. From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved reading and writing. I can’t really remember a time that I didn’t. I didn’t get it from either of my parents, as neither of them are big on writing, so I’m not really sure.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A Moment for Eternity is the story of a girl who wants to compete her bucket list, but has no money to do so. So, she enlists the help of a rich stranger and together they not only complete her list, but learn some life lessons along the way. Tennessee Evans is a bright-eyed, energetic young woman and a seemingly nuisance to Xavier Thomas – a young man who hates chaos and disorder. When they travel to Scotland together to visit the Fairy Pools (a location on The List), they realize that not only is the other person not as bad as they originally thought, but that they might be able to learn something from each other. This story is laced with comedy and a bit of romance, but underneath it all is the begging question: how much of life do we waste? And is it too late?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Finishing. I’m a chronic procrastinator and winding up a story without rushing it is a task. I tend to be long-winded and then become mentally ready for the book to be done when it’s not even finished.
So… yeah. I guess completing my story and tying up the necessary ends can be challenging for me.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really. Not yet, anyway. I’m sure there will be more in the future, but for now…sadly, no.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Since I’m getting a degree in Graphic Design, me and a classmate of my collaborated to create the covers.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The accents. Tennessee and Xavier travel to Scotland (per Tennessee’s bucketlist) and meet many different people. I’m trying to accurately write what a Scottish accent sounds like in English and it’s very tricky. Sometimes, I find myself writing a British Cockney accent instead of a Scottish one. Which is crazy because the two are not the same.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Don’t try to force the story. So many times, there’s a story you’ve got in your head and when you begin writing, another story starts to emerge. And many times, instead of going with the flow of the new story, we writers try to force our original story and it gets messy. It doesn’t flow as well. The story becomes choppy and stilted and leaves much to be improved. So, instead of trying to manhandle your way through your story, kill your darlings. Let go, and follow the current of the story.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
This one is a tricky one. I have a mental image in my head of what Tennessee would look like, but I’ve avoided attaching a real-life person to her so I don’t get caught up in appearances. I want my readers to draw their own conclusions about what she looks like rather than me just straight-up telling them how she looks. BUT, if my book was made into a film…I would choose…Erin Moriarty. I would want a talented, young, new face to play the lead.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write everyday. Even if you think it’s inconsequential or is stupid. Write it down. Keep a journal. Catalogue what’s happening in your life, regardless of how mundane it is. This will strengthen your writing skills. After all, practice makes perfect.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The best thing I can think of that will sum up most of what I want to say to my readers is a quote by
Benjamin Franklin: “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am actually between books right now. I haven’t decided what I want to read next. I’ve been so preoccupied with editing my book the last 24 hours that I haven’t picked my next book. Any suggestions?
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Vaguely. I remember my mother reading me a book about a little boy in red boots playing in puddles with ducks. I can’t remember the title since I was only three or four when she read it to me. But, I remember loving that book to death.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at comedy that’s witty and slathered in intelligence. Crying…well… I try to avoid that. But, when I do, it’s usually because the guy is trying to be strong and has just broken down in tears. I always break when the guy breaks.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet John Green. I love his vlogs, I love his CrashCourse videos, and I love his books. He’s also a massive nerd and I think we would get along great. I’d love to have a discussion with him about … almost anything. It’ll probably end up in a debate. Because that’s what us NerdFighters like to do – discuss topics heatedly. I also want to meet his wife. She must be awesome. Like, I really, really want to meet her. I get the sense that John Green and I are so alike, that I might get along better with his wife.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I want the quote by A. A. Milne from Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to reading. Also, I write music, play piano, guitar, hang out with my friends, and eat extraordinary amounts of junk food. And I work out. Because I have to. I also love binge watching good tv shows, which is why I avoid Netflix if I can. If I get stuck in that vortex, you won’t see me for a week.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Sherlock (BBC), Doctor Who, Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Peaky Blinders, New Girl, Galavant, Nikita, Alias, Quanitco, 10 Things I Hate about You, The First Time, Top Gun, Total Recall (2012), and all things Star Wars and Star Trek.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I will listen to literally anything. It all depends on my mood. Right now, I’m alternating between Of Monsters and Men, Billie Eilish, and Birdy. And Arctic Monkeys. My favorite color is light turquoise or mint green. I love burgers, frozen cheese-trio pizza from Red Baron (that stuff is like crack), and bacon. And chocolate. If chocolate was a man, I would probably marry him. After all, he’s rich, dark, and soft on the inside. 🙂
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I wasn’t a writer, I’d like to be a field operative for the CIA. There’s just something about the thrill of being a spy and having to figure things – and people – out that really appeals to me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My readers can find me at www.cpattersonbooks.wordpress.com . I also have a facebook page, a twitter, and instagram.