Next stop on my magical mystery tour of fabulous talent, is my dear friend, DeAnna Cameron. She is best known for her historical fiction featuring feisty heroines and the art of belly dance, including The Belly Dancer and Dancing at the Chance for Berkley Books. Her latest novella Shimmy for Me is now available on Fine Skylark Media.
Her early years as a writer include working as a journalist, and a writer and editor for a number of Southern California newspapers and magazines. When she isn’t writing or having fun with her family in Orange County California, she is creating wire-wrap, bead and multimedia designs for her company Odd Alchemy Jewelry.
Who is DeAnna Cameron in a nutshell?
I’m a traditionally published author who is excited to add “indie author” to my résumé, too, with the recent release of SHIMMY FOR ME, a contemporary romance novella that launches my new California Belly Dance series.
Why do you write?
Before I was a writer, I was a voracious reader. Reading made me fall in love with meeting new characters and new places, and it taught me how transcending it could be to get inside someone else’s head and experience things I probably would never experience in my own day-to-day life. Once I was hooked on that, it was a short leap to wanting to create my own stories.
What is it you love most about what you do?
I could be flip here and say it’s pretty great to be able to work in my PJs and have a morning commute measured in steps rather than miles. And that part of the job is terrific, but what really keeps me coming back to the keyboard or the notepad is usually just one simple question: What’s going to happen next? What are these characters going to do or say next? How are they going to resolve their problems? What new situations are they going to get themselves into? It’s that constant sense of discovery that I really love.
What and/or who inspires you?
There are so many authors I admire and who have inspired me. Anne Rice, Elizabeth Peters, and Kate Chopin are a few of them.
As a local Southern California author, how are you influenced by the Orange County lifestyle?
I’ve lived in Orange County most of my life, but I’m still not sure exactly what the typical O.C. lifestyle is. People tend to focus on the pockets of affluence we have or the surf culture of the beach cities, but the truth is there is an incredible diversity here, in terms of ethnicity, economics, politics, you name it. Whatever kind of lifestyle you can imagine, you can probably find it somewhere in Orange County.
Do you have any favorite OC hot spots and/or things you like to do in Orange County?
Disneyland is hands-down my favorite place in Orange County. I go about once a year, and I always have the best time. Since my husband and I started taking our daughter when she was 3, it has been even more fun because we get to experience the magic through her eyes.
You created a burgeoning group for local authors, O.C. Writers. It is an active community of writers supporting writers. Do you think writers have an increased level of freedom and/or responsibility in this new era of self-publishing?
We certainly have more freedom than we’ve ever had, thanks to—but not limited to—independent publishing. There’s a wonderful spirit of camaraderie and information-sharing that I don’t think was present before, at least in some circles, and I think many authors now see how mutually beneficial it is to view other authors as potential partners, instead of competitors.
You have worked as a journalist and a magazine editor. Do you think that background affects story and characterization in your fiction writing as well?
In some ways, that old training was an impediment because journalists are trained to tell a story in a dispassionate, objective way. That doesn’t make for compelling fiction. So I had to forget how to tell a story to a reader, and learn how to let a reader experience the story.
Your books focus on entertainers overcoming adversity in colorful times. Can you tell us about your fascination with dancers? What draws you to these vibrant heroines?
You said it: dancers are entertaining and vibrant. What’s not to love? I also think dancing itself is not only wonderful artistic expression, but there’s something primal about it, something that resonates on a deeper level. As a species, movement was our first language, before spoken language, and I believe dancing taps into that. As far as my heroines go, whatever problems they may have, dancing is always a powerful influence in their lives. It gives them an inner strength or an inner drive that propels them in really positive way.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
The best advice I can offer is to stop talking about writing and write. Start a story, then finish it. Rinse and repeat. There are no shortcuts.
What can you tell us about your current project?
SHIMMY FOR ME is a novella that grew out of my love for the Southern California belly dance community, as well as my experience working at some of our local newspapers. Specifically, it’s about a strong young woman struggling to keep her dance studio, called the Shimmy Shop, from going bankrupt who has no time for romance, although it has a way of finding her anyway. And I’m looking forward to telling the stories of some of the other women who work and play at the Shimmy Shop with future installments of the California Belly Dance series.
One passionate night. Two lost souls. A whole world of trouble. Juggling two jobs to keep her belly dance studio afloat keeps Abby Anderson’s mind off her shattered love life—until a reawakened pain sends her into the arms of an anonymous stranger she plucks from the audience of her tribal belly dance show. No names, no strings, no romance. She tells herself it’s a harmless hookup. Until he turns up at her day job . . . Derek Collier, the sexy heir to the Collier media dynasty, just landed everything he’s always wanted: the publisher’s seat at the Orange County Herald. Except his first order of business is to sell the newspaper. Reeling from his family’s betrayal, his only comfort is the memory of that mysterious belly dancer and the perfect night they spent together. He won’t rest until he finds her again. She’ll lose everything if he does.
Book cover artist info and link:
Sommer Stein of Perfect Pear Creative Covers (http://www.ppccovers.com)
For more information about DeAnna Cameron:
- Amazon book page: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PJEEJLI
- Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/DeAnna-Cameron/610138022445751
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DeAnnaMCameron
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2751666.DeAnna_Cameron