We’ve got a great group of debut authors here at OneFour KidLit. Today we’re introducing Erica Cameron. One author, four questions. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
Looking back on it, I’m still not sure! The whole story is a little surreal and hard to believe, but I swear it happened!
Back in 2008, I shopped around a YA paranormal novel about angels that will probably never see the light of day. I got some interest from agents, but no official offers. So I went back to the drawing board. I wrote a YA contemporary that I still might go back and polish, but then I started working on Sing, Sweet Nightingale. I wrote it in November. It won the Marlene Award through the Washington DC chapter of RWA in April. In June, I went to BEA and a friend of mine, Lani Woodland, introduced me to my future editors on a rooftop in Tribecca during a BEA afterparty. (I wrote a whole blog post about the experience here) I pitched the book, they requested they full, and a month later the deal was done. I signed with Spencer Hill Press in July of 2012. It was a fantastic decision because the team I’m working with is absolutely amazing! I am so lucky I stumbled into them and even luckier they love the book as much as I do.
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
Sing, Sweet Nightingale is still a year away from releasing into the wild, so I can’t share too many details yet. I can share my PM announcement, though!
Erica Cameron’s SING, SWEET NIGHTINGALE, Book One in THE DREAM WAR SAGA, in which demons invade the dreams of children and create fantasy worlds in their heads; the only boy to ever escape has to show a girl that her dream is nightmare before she’s trapped forever; pitched as ALICE IN WONDERLAND meets BEETLEJUICE, to Danielle Ellison and Patricia Riley at Spencer Hill Press, in a nice deal, for publication in March 2014 (World English).
One thing I can tell you is that this story has a strange history. It was inspired by two songs playing back to back on my iPod at 7:30 in the morning while I was at work. I was half asleep and somehow the lyrics from Creation Lake by Silversun Pickups and Mariella by Kate Nash sparked an idea in my head. That turned into a short story. Which turned into two short stories. Which then combined and turned into a novel during NaNoWriMo 2012. It’s strange and beautiful and creepy and colorful and hard to explain. Which is probably why I love it so much!
What inspires you to write?
Anything and everything. Like I mentioned above, Sing was inspired by two songs playing back to back. I once drove by a hotel where an ambulance was sitting out front and two paramedics were standing there chatting with each other. I wove an entire explanation for myself about why they weren’t in a hurry and one day I hope to turn that into a creepy-cool YA mystery. I’ve been inspired by questions people ask me, conversations I overhear, concepts that I want to figure out, people I meet who are too amazing not to put in a book, art, music, experiences, and everything else. Honestly I think that’s one of the keys to turning this into a career instead of just a hobby. You have to be able to pull from the world around you or risk your well of ideas running dry.
What cool facts might readers not know about you?
I couldn’t spell to save my own life until high school. Seriously. Spelling and I have issues.
I have two younger sisters I adore even though one of them can’t sit still long enough to read anything. Not even my books. 😉
I’ve lived in Florida my entire life and still haven’t adapted to the heat.
I graduated magna cum laude with a double major in Creative Writing and Psychology and nearly went for a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology… and then realized eight more years of school sounded like absolute torture.
I want to buy an RV and drive all over the US and Canada. And then jump across the Atlantic and do the same thing over in Europe.
I auditioned for the touring cast of Les Mis when I was eight.
One of my favorite things to do is drive on an empty road on a cool afternoon with the windows down and the music blasting. Because, really, is there anything more relaxing than that?