• Gaby Triana

A Chat with YA Author ERICA CAMERON

Today on the blog, I talk with ERICA CAMERON, who's not only a versatile and super-talented YA author but one of my SCBWI Florida peers. Erica and I hang out whenever we have the chance and talk books, what it's like being a loner, and all that trial and tribulation stuff regarding publishing. She's awesome!

WH: Hi, Erica! Great to have you on the Witch Haunt. In just 5 years, you’ve authored 4 YA series. What is your writing process like that allows you to be so prolific?

Although I would still write even if it wasn’t something I’d chosen as a career, it is a job, and I try to treat it like one. Setting daily word count goals helps, and so does paying attention to your own habits of productivity. Where do you work best? On what device? At what time of day? Tracking output in a notebook with notes about some of these factors can help you spot trends. Then, you can try to arrange things to maximize your own writing. Personally, I need change, so I move between various places in my house as well as some local spots like Starbucks and Panera (caffeine and free wi-fi is always a winning combination).

WH: Sounds like me. One day, it's the desk. Another, the Barnes & Noble down the street. Other times, I write in my car. :) If someone was new to reading Erica Cameron, which series should they start with?

Part of what I love about writing is that I can play in so many different worlds, so what I recommend first depends on what genres a reader prefers. The Ryogan Chronicles is the fantasy series I’ve been wanting to write since I was fifteen, and it’s full of sorcery, swords, and secrets. The Assassins duology is essentially my love letter to action movies, and there are reams of car chases, sarcasm, explosions. The Laguna Tides novels, which I co-wrote with the lovely Lani Woodland, are more traditional contemporary romances, and they’re about love, family, and finding someone whose issues neatly align with your own. Then, finally, my debut series, The Dream War Saga, is about demons who come into your dreams when you’re sleeping and steal things out of your brain. So, really, it all depends on the mood someone is in when they ask!

WH: I love that you cross genres and just write basically whatever the heck you want. What can you tell us about the PAX NOVIS novels coming out soon?

So much space! We originally pitched it as Star Trek: Voyager meets The Expanse, and it’s a far-future sci-fi. Human colonies have spread across the Milky Way and have been at war for centuries. Everyone depends on the resources carried by massive Pax Class Cargo ships, the PCCS, including the stowaway teens hiding on-board the Novis. No one knows it, not even the stowaways themselves, but they may be the only hope when Pax ships start to vanish.

I don’t have a release date for the first book yet, but I’ve seen a draft of the cover and OMG. It’s stunning. Possibly my favorite cover yet!

WH: Sounds amazing, and I can't wait to see that cover. Tell us, which books are you most proud of?

Although I deeply adore all my books for different reasons, there’s something special for me in The Ryogan Chronicles. I grew up on fantasy of all kinds Princess Bride and Willow to The Hobbit and everything by Tamora Pierce. When I was in high school, the book I tried my hand at writing was an attempt at my own fantasy world. It was thinly veiled Tortall fanfiction (before I actually knew what that was), and it didn’t go anywhere because I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t figure out how to build the deeply complex world I had dreamed of until very recently. What I ended up with is a trilogy full of magic and heroism that will always be incredibly special to me.

WH: "Magic and heroism." Love it. How have you changed as a person from your early life until now?

In some ways? Drastically. In others? Not in the slightest!

Life is always going to bring hardships and trials, and weathering those storms will change angles and aspects of a personality, sharpening some points and softening others. There was no way an implosive divorce followed by the discovery of and identification with asexuality weren’t going to shift who I was as a person. They’ve definitely altered how I approach certain events and aspects of life. Overall, though, I’m still the introverted book geek who will happily spend all her time making up her own stories and consuming other people’s. Definitely not much has changed there!

WH: If only we knew everything about ourselves at the start of life, we'd wreak less havoc later on, but it's from that havoc that beauty is born. Okay, I ask everyone this...how do you like your coffee? Do you have a favorite libation? What’s your favorite dessert?

To taste almost nothing like coffee! Although caffeine is a necessity to keep me from turning into a narcoleptic gremlin, I don’t actually like the taste of coffee. I get the ridiculous lattes or something more soothing like a green tea latte, a Refresher, or a chai.

WH: What is the witchiest thing about you (we’re all a little witchy and well, this is a witchy blog)?

When my hair changes color, it’s not because of dye, it’s because of MAGIC. Clearly. :D

WH: Ha! I've loved the blue tones you've had lately. What is the most awesome thing happening in your life right now that you’d like to share with us? What’s next for you? We can’t wait to see what you have coming up!

Thank you! Well, I’ll definitely be working on the Pax series for quite a while (there are three books planned in the saga at the moment). In between those books, I’ll be tinkering with several other ideas and projects. One is a standalone I’m co-writing with Cait Greer, a queer, science fiction, young adult retelling of a Shakespeare play no one in YA has played with yet. When finished, it will be bloodily beautiful, and I’m enthralled with the concept. Hopefully, Cait and I can do it justice and send it off into the world some time this year! Wish us luck. :D

WH: GOOD LUCK! And I love Cait. Hope to have her on the blog soon as well! Well, it was great talking to you, Erica. Can't wait to delve into all the amazing new worlds you're creating. Thank you for your stories.

To follow Erica, click on the links below:

* Website: byericacameron.com/

* Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Erica-Cameron/e/B00F3BVU28?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1551224612&sr=8-1

* Latest release: War of Storms, Ryogan Chronicles #3 -- http://byericacameron.com/wp/books-and-stories/war-of-storms/

* Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/byericacameron/

* Twitter: https://twitter.com/ByEricaCameron

* Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/byericacameron/

After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University. She’s worked as a dance instructor, research assistant, pointe shoe fitter, pizza delivery girl, editorial assistant at a yachting magazine, bookseller, and English literature teacher at a residential rehabilitation center for teens. Now, she has written several series for young adults and contributed to various online blogs and publications. She is also an advocate for asexuality and emotional abuse awareness. She currently lives in South Florida.

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