Sunday, October 9, 2011
Awe-Thors Blog Tour - Interview with Skyla Dawn Cameron
Thank you very much for having me, Jana!
Jana: When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Skyla: I never wasn’t writing—when I was about eleven, I was writing YA horror novels. It wasn’t until high school when I realized I was wasting my time taking law and science and a million other classes when my natural talents lay elsewhere, so I began pursuing writing as a career when I was eighteen.
Jana: What genre/genres do you write in? How/why did you choose these genres?
Skyla: I write primarily urban fantasy and I’m not sure why as my first love for my entire life was horror. But UF itself is such a wonderful mix of genres that I was immediately drawn to it. I think everything I write—except for a trunk novel I wrote years ago that was a thriller—has a paranormal bent of some sort. My personal taste in films, books, and music varies widely, so I like to try everything.
Jana: If you could write a new book in any genre you haven’t written in before, what would you choose?
Skyla: I’ve finished eighteen novels and have another fifteen or so in various states of completion, so I think at this point I’ve tried everything I want to.
Jana: Where did the idea for your latest Mundania release come from?
Skyla: The first book in my current urban fantasy series, Bloodlines, had a snarky, violent, promiscuous vampire as a narrating character. I wanted to try something totally different and outside of my comfort zone for the second book, so I decided to write about a demon hunting nun in Hunter. I’m still undecided as to whether it was a good idea or not.
Jana: How do you research? Internet, interviews, books, etc.? Do you like to research?
Skyla: I do a lot of reading online because my budget is limited. Perhaps my favourite thing to do is to just ask random questions of friends and family who might know the answer. “So let’s say that a large Biblical demon caused an earthquake and destroyed a high school: what would be the procedures for setting up a temporary school?” “It’s winter and I need to raise zombies from a cemetery: exactly how deep is the ground frozen?” (This actually had a fascinating answer, as my friend’s father used to work in a cemetery.) “Let’s say I shot you in the shoulder...”
Jana: What interests and hobbies do you have, aside from writing?
Skyla: I run, bellydance (some tribal fusion and hip hop fusion, and I totally suck at it), cook/bake (primarily vegan), and I do some indoor gardening as I live in an apartment. Generally my time is pretty split between the day job and writing. I sadly even have very little time for pleasure reading because I have to read so much for work. I also have five cats and a dog, and they keep me rather busy. Oh, but video games! Some people meditate, I game; it’s the only time I can shut off my brain and relax. I schedule regular time for gaming as it’s one of the few things that keep me sane.
Jana: What’s next for you? Tell me about your next or newest release?
Skyla: February (tentatively) marks the release of the third book in my current series, called Lineage. It’s about a sociopathic, suicidal quarter demon out for revenge, and is filled with car chases, explosions, magic, conspiracy theories, and very morbid humour.
Jana: What are you working on now – your current WIP?
Skyla: I have several. I’m finishing Lineage then I’ll be working on the fourth book, Exhumed, to release at the end of 2012. I’m also working on the fifth book in a very dark YA paranormal (unpublished) series, the first in an urban fantasy post-apocalyptic urban fantasy series, and the first of a dark paranormal horror comedy trilogy. Among others.
Jana: Why do you write?
Skyla: Because I have to. It’s pretty much like breathing at this point. Also, it helps me process and deal with things in a way that won’t lead to me being arrested.
Jana: What does your writing schedule/routine usually look like? Do you write a little every day or do you block out large chunks of time to devote solely to your writing?
Skyla: It’s common for me to work eight to ten hours a day at the day job plus another three or four on extra stuff (like editing or reading submissions), so I basically write whenever I can. A couple hours late at night when my brain isn’t fit to work on other people’s stuff is when I work on my own, and I *try* to devote my weekend evenings to my work (which doesn’t always happen). I used to work in short, creative bursts of two weeks and I had trouble finishing books if I couldn’t in that amount of time; I’ve now disciplined myself to stick with projects for longer periods of time as I can’t devote thirteen hours a day to writing anymore.
Jana: What is the biggest compliment you’ve ever received about your writing from a reader, editor, reviewer, etc.
Skyla: It may sound the opposite of most people, but actually my mother reading and enjoying my work is a big deal to me. I know many writers whose family shows no interest in their work or make no effort to discuss their work, so I’m very grateful. My mother, for example, read a WIP of mine last year and the end made her cry—that was a huge deal for me. And just last week she finished my latest release (Hunter) and remarked that she both thought it was my best book to date (I think only her and I share that opinion, as most people preferred the first in the series) and that she couldn’t “hear” me in the book and forgot I wrote it while she was reading. This tells me I did my job as a storyteller taking a totally different point of view, and my mother isn’t a writer/editor/etc, but one hundred percent a reader, so her opinion is very important to me.
Jana: How can readers connect with you online?
Skyla: I’m just about everywhere but I’m primarily on Twitter at twitter.com/skyladawn. On Facebook I’m at facebook.com/skyladawncameron. You’ll also find me on Google+ and GoodReads to a far less extent. My website is at http://www.skyladawncameron.com/ where I sporadically blog, and I blog every other week at http://www.evilwriters.com/
Skyla lives in Southern Ontario where she dabbles in art, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. She’s naturally brunette, occasionally a redhead, and will probably go blonde again soon. If she ever becomes a grown-up, she wants to run her own pub, as well as become world dictator.