Welcome to Day 3 of my lovely Birthday Bash! (See Day 1 here, and Day 2 here) Today help me welcome one of my favorite people, Chelsea Cameron, to my blog! She currently has 3 books published (Nocturnal, Nightmare, and Whisper) with at least 2 more set to come out by the end of the year. THANK YOU for not keeping us waiting. I for one MUST know what happens with Peter and Ava soon! (I may have an unhealthy obsession)
You can read my reviews here for Nocturnal, Nightmare, and Whisper. Read on for more about the lovely lady that has provided us with these books! (I may also be kissing up to her, to encourage her to write faster. I NEED TO KNOW!) Laura: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me today! I have read in other interviews that you now realize you have always been a writer, but just not putting pen to paper. When did you go from writing stories in your head, to writing stories down?
Chelsea: Probably in college. I had one of those “middle of the night” ideas and wrote some notes. I fiddled with it and wrote a ton and then not at all and then a ton. I worked on it in spurts and finished it four years later. At that time I was going to go the traditional route and I realized pretty quick that it wasn’t going to be easy. Then I found out about Amanda Hocking and that was it. The single greatest thing for my productivity writing-wise was learning about indie publishing. Since then I’ve completed 7 more books, had two that were halfway and 1 that is ¼ done.
Laura: Wow, that is impressive! How long was it before you actually let people read them? Before you published them?
Chelsea: Confession Time: No one other than me read Nocturnal or Nightmare before I published. I know that’s crazy, but I was soooo insecure about it that I just figured I’d put them up and see what happened. Turns out you CAN’T be your own editor. I’m in the process now of having my editor go over those two books, and she’ll be doing all my other books from here on out.
I published Nocturnal after nearly a year of editing it. I thought it was as good as I could make it on my own, and I can always upload a new version. That’s the beauty of indie publishing. If I find even a little mistake, I can fix it and re-upload.
Laura: That is something I have never thought about before. Definitely a bonus! What would your ideal date be? Where would you go, what would you do, and maybe even who it would be with?
Chelsea: I love to cook, and I think that’s really romantic, so probably making something together like pizza and watching a movie. I love doing ordinary things like that. Or maybe going to a fair and going on the ferris wheel and eating a crap ton of fried dough. I’d also love to go to a concert of our favorite bands, because of course we would like the same music. I’d be with my soulmate, true love, whatever you want to call it. I haven’t been able to find him yet, but I’ll never give up hope that he exists.
Laura: (everyone say it with me) Awww! That is cute. So, I know you have written some Paranormal YA (The Noctalis Series, and Whisper), but you are also working on another book, “My Favorite Mistake”. Which genre is your favorite to write? Why?
Chelsea: How can I choose? There are pros and cons for each. It also depends on my mood. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of contemporary, so I feel especially inspired, but there are other genres that I can’t wait to try. I have a zombie story, a steampunk story, a fairytale retelling and a couple more contemporaries on the back burner. And of course more paranormal.
I like the freedom of paranormal. While there are still rules, if I have a problem, it’s much easier to come up with a solution. There are more life and death situations that you can get away with when you’re dealing with vampires or ghosts or what have you. Then again, you have to REMEMBER those rules. I have to refer back to my other books when I’m writing a sequel to make sure I don’t make something happen that I’ve already said is impossible. With contemporary, I like that I can focus more on the people, and the situations are smaller, and sometimes more intense. I like writing about ordinary things, like getting a new roommate who turns out to be a guy that you’re really attracted to, but you also want to kick in the balls
Laura: Ha! Remembering the rules can be a bit tricky as a reader, I can only imagine the charts and spreadsheets you must have! How many books are planned in each series? Do you have any other works in progress you can tell us about?
Chelsea: There are four (planned) books in The Noctalis Chronicles, Nocturnal, Nightmare, Neither and Neverend. I don’t know what’s going to happen when I get to the last book. It’s going to be hard to say good-bye. So stay tuned. There are three books in the Whisper series, Whisper, Silence and Listen, but there will be a novella from Jack’s POV called Waiting for You. Then there’s My Favorite Mistake, which is a standalone. After that… Not sure. I have a ton of ideas, so I’ll have to see which one attacks me the most to be written.
Laura: When you aren’t busy writing things to keep me entertained, what do you like to do?
Chelsea: I’m super boring. If my life were a reality show, people would stop watching. I watch a lot of Masterpiece Theater and Jane Austen adaptations. I’ve also gotten addicted to working out, specifically kickboxing. It gets me off my bum for a while and helps get me out of the house. I tend to be a hermit when I’m writing. Every now and then my friends drag me out to a bar for drinks. It’s nice to realize that there is a civilization outside of my computer.
Laura: It is a lie! There is no civilization on the outside, only writing! What author(s) inspire you?
Chelsea: SO MANY. J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, Jacqueline Carey, Patrick Ness, Markus Zusak, Roald Dahl, Shelly Crane, J. L. Bryan, Diana Gabaldon, Fisher Amelie, Suzanne Collins, Jane Austen, Charlotte and Emily Bronte… Oh, I could go on and on.
Laura: Rapid Fire round. Name your favorite:
Sapphire Blue (my birthstone)
Red Velvet Cheesecake
I have to pick one? Can it be a tie between Gone With The Wind and To Kill A Mockingbird?
Once again, I have to pick one? Okay, tie between Gone With The Wind (I really, really love Gone With The Wind) and Anne of Green Gables (the entire 8 hours)
Song or Band
I go in cycles with songs. Right now my favorite song is “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz. Band is a tie between Muse and Neon Trees.
I had a sheltie growing up, so I gotta go with that. I also love border collies. Yay herding dogs!
Coffee or Tea
I hate coffee, even though I love the smell of it. I’m a crazy tea drinker. I have at least seven boxes of it in my pantry, and I’m freaking out that I don’t have enough.
Laura: Are any of your characters based on real people?
Chelsea: Yes and no. I didn’t use a specific person to inspire any of them (except for Hunter in MFM. He’s based on a guy I knew in college), but I use parts of different people. If someone has an interesting quirk or way of speaking or doing something, I make a note and usually a character will turn up that has that quality.
Laura: So should I be afraid of ending up somewhere? I can’t decide if that is good or bad! If your computer were to be confiscated by the police, what types of weird things would they find in your search history?
Chelsea: I did a lot of research on blood for Nocturnal. I’ve also researched how to re-attach a car door, how to hide an IP address, and lots of side effects of diseases.
Laura: Maybe you are just telling us this now to cover your tracks. You really plan to overthrow the government, don’t you? Wait, don’t answer that. I need plausible deniability! Do you listen to music as you write? What kind of music inspires you? Do you have specific songs for specific scenes?
Chelsea: I usually do, but most of the time I tune it out, so I don’t hear it, which I know sounds weird. Although, if I’m listening to something fast, that seems to help me work faster. I like rock with a good grinding beat when I’m writing something exciting, and I like something slow and romantic for romantic scenes. I do like to have a song in mind when I write nearly every scene. Like a movie soundtrack. I like to play the song on repeat when I’m writing to help me get into the right mood. I love when I find a new song that seems like it was written for my books. I know that’s not true, but sometimes things line up so perfectly, it feels like fate.
Laura: Do you have any advice for aspiring young authors?
Chelsea: Write. Even if it sucks. You can’t fix something that isn’t written. I think so many people are crippled by fear that what they write is going to be awful that they just don’t write anything. Read a lot. I don’t think you can be a writer if you don’t like books. That would be like being a swimmer but hating the water. Read as much as you can, and read outside your comfort zone. If you have a crazy idea, go with it. More often than not, it will pay off.
Laura: Do you know that we are soul twins, separated by time and space? How did you feel about that revelation?
Chelsea: I feel like it was fate that intervened that night on twitter when I asked if anyone wanted a review copy of my book. *gives fate a fist bump* I’ve been a little wary about connecting with people online (remember AIM?), but somehow we started talking and realized we are basically the same person. Except I’m in Maine, you’re in Florida and we’re a few years apart in age. I just think it’s a demonstration of the power of the internet. While most of it is a complete waste of time, it does bring people together that wouldn’t normally be able to get together. Someday I will make it down to sunny Florida!
Laura: Yes you will! And we will go to Starbucks! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and chat with me!
Don’t forget to check out Chelsea’s books. The links to them on Amazon are below.
Now, of course, the reason you are still reading … free stuff! I have several autographed Whisper bookmarks for you! AND (yes, there is an and!) an e-book of Nocturnal! Or, if you would rather, you can get Whisper. Up to you. YAY free stuff! Just fill out the Rafflecopter below, and you are entered to win! (Yup, it is International!)
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, vacuuming and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head.