I truly think that the paranormal and romance genres are two of the best genres, but mixed together they are a potent mix. For me, paranormal fiction comes naturally, whereas romance may be lacking. Hopefully our discussion will help myself and other writers out there to better their writing and expand their genre’s.
Why don’t you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
Oh gosh, I hope I don’t bore them. Now’s the time to get some coffee!!! Lol There really isn’t anything exciting about me. I was born in California, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and now live in Alaska. I’ve always had a wild imagination, and a love for fantasy. As I child I constantly drew unicorns, and loved fairies, and elves. My favorite books growing up were the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. His stories swept me away on an adventure I never wanted to return from, and inspired my love for reading and writing. Writing, because I wanted to create my own fantasy worlds to get lost in.
When did you decide to be a writer? Did you always know it is something you wanted to pursue?
I never imagined I’d become a “real, published” writer. I decided to take the plunge when I was living in Alaska. I had two kids in school and wanted to see if I was good enough, so I joined an online community where I began writing and sharing short-stories. I had a great response from the community that I decided to try a full length novel. At the time, I didn’t even know where to begin, so I went to the internet. Google became my best friend and I slowly taught myself. Lol I never dreamed I would become a writer, but after giving it a shot, there is really nothing else I’d rather be doing. It’s a dream job, and I’m enjoying every moment of it.
What is life like as a published author? Is it all you have expected?
The first moment I pressed the “publish” button on my debut, my stomach began twisting with anticipation. Would readers love or hate my writing? You are literally throwing yourself out there to get critiqued by the world. The journey has been a crazy one, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I’ve gained some amazing friendships, and learned so much about this business. I hope to continue to grow every day. I still get the same butterflies every time I publish a new book.
What has been the most exciting thing that has happened to you in your writing career?
I think the most exciting thing was making it into the top 100 (overall on Amazon). Knowing thousands of readers were downloading my books was mind blowing. It still is, and I am constantly blown away by the wonderful responses of my readers.
Firstly, would you like to tell us a bit about In My Dreams? I noticed you dedicated this to your late mother-in-law, I can imagine this book must be very special to you.
In My Dreams is a very special book. It all started with a dream, and after I shared it with my husband, he pushed me to write it down. That dream became the first sequence of the story, and the rest of the story and characters just flowed from there.
The emotions of loss and grief were injected from the passing of my mother-in-law. I had so many questions bombarding my mind. Questions we can’t really answer. What happens after we die? In My Dreams is… I guess… my rendition of what I imagine it to be like.
You have stated on your website that In My Dreams is the inspiration for your famed Hidden Wings Series. I am dying to know what inspired you to write this amazing book?
Yes! The Hidden Wings Series was definitely inspired by In My Dreams. I loved the idea of the Guardians so much, and knew I needed them to have their own story. Readers have fallen in love with them and the story, and that makes me one of the happiest girls on the planet.
For your fans who have read the Hidden Wings Series, how does In My Dreams compare with your long running series?
They love it. They are completely different, but also share some of the same characteristics, so readers can relate the two. Also, with this last revision of In My Dreams, I’ve connected the two stories (at the end), and the readers of the Hidden Wings Series appreciated that. :)
Your writing and vision comes out so clearly in your writing. When I read it I was so engrossed within the scene and I could see everything I felt like I was there. Do you have any tricks to ensure you are paining the world you have created in detail?
I am a VERY visual person. When I step outside, I am in awe of everything around me. The details of the snow-covered mountains against a baby blue sky, the newly bloomed leaves in different shades of green. It’s something I don’t take for granted, and try to inject into my writing. I’m constantly reminding myself to show the readers my world, through words, like a painting. It’s not easy, but so worth it.
I admire the young and exuberant voice you have given Liz. It makes her so realistic and relatable. Is there a process you go through to make her seem so real?
I wanted to use a non-complex, teenage voice. While writing In My Dreams, I had a houseful of teenagers, so the voice was pretty easy for me to write. Plus, I still haven’t grown up and still use a lot of the simple language. Lol
Michael is my heartthrob! You have made him a beautiful young man who every girl would give their heart to. I was wondering how you make the reader fall for the love interest and what makes a swoon-worthy main man?
Awww!!! I love Michael. Michael was injected with many characteristics of my husband, so making him a heartthrob was pretty easy. I had a great example right here.
There are so many beautiful moments in Liz’s dreams with Michael. How did you create that deep sense of love and commitment that you could feel coming out of the pages? How did you create those deeply emotive scenes?
Their lives were torn apart so soon, so I wanted them to still have some loving, memorable moments. Things they planned to do in the future but couldn’t. I loved the idea of having them in her dreams, because there, they are able to do what they want… no holds barred.
I don’t really have a trick. I just throw myself into the situation, and remember the feelings and emotions I had.
I noticed, you kept Liz and Michael’s relationship very virtuous and that they were waiting for marriage. I found this very amiable and I feel like it is such a good message for girls these days. Is there a reason behind this?
I have a lot of younger readers, and wanted to let them know it’s okay to be virtuous and keep yourself for the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. I wanted to share the message because it’s what I wanted for my teenage daughter.
I kept wondering how you went about writing people’s reactions after various events happened? For instance, the night Liz was kidnapped and then when she was in the hospital the next day. What process did you take to gauge how they would be feeling?
I knew it would be a very difficult thing for everyone around her to deal with. They didn’t know the details of what happened to her, only that she was kidnapped and escaped. So, I thought having them be more supportive towards her was the best route to go.
How can a writer tell if they are overdoing the lovey-dovey stuff?
Haha Good question! I love the lovey-dovey stuff, but I know sometimes it can be overdone. I try to read through my scenes a day after and if it’s too much, I’ll start adding it to the chopping block.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
If you have a passion for writing… do it. Sit down and write and see what comes out. You just might be surprised. I know I was. I try to write a little every day, even if it’s just a few sentences. Before you know it, those sentences add up and you’ll end up with a novel.
I love how Michael is still in the picture at the end as Liz's guardian. What made you keep him in the story rather than letting him "cross over" as I had originally anticipated? I was so happy that it was this way, because personally I didn't want him to leave, I wanted him to be with her forever.
I knew Michael would have to “cross over”, but wanted them to share a last “good-bye”. I also knew it would be emotional. I bawled while I wrote the last scene, but I was happy with the outcome. He was finally at peace, and she knew he would always be there, watching over her.
I really like where the book is hinting of going with the battle against good and evil. What can we expect from the next book? Will Michael still have a big role to play?
Without giving away too much, Michael will be there in some form. I haven’t started that story yet, but I have some notes kept for it, and can’t wait to get started on it.
Now, I know that books need some drama. What can we be expecting to happen within Liz's life apart from the realisation of her gift. Please do not tell me she gets a love interest! It is too soon, for her and for myself!
Haha! We’ll see. I can’t say right now. I have something in my head, but my characters always love to change things up as I start writing. So I never know what to expect. Sometimes I’m just as shocked as readers are. It’s great though. I absolutely love being a writer.
I really hope that you all enjoyed this interview with such a talented writer as Cameo! If you want to follow her you can find her on:
- Instagram: @cameo_renae
- twitter: @CameoRenae
- Website: www.cameorenae.com/