I’m chattin’ with Stefanie on her magical blog about a writer’s crystal ball, Tibetan singing bowls, and having tea with Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle, and Michael Singer. Check it out …
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
My name is Camilla (pronounced like Pamela, but with a C). I have lived in Reno, Nevada, USA for the past 14 years, moving here from the Seattle, Washington area in 2006. I spent my first 18 years in the Jackson, Mississippi area and Houma, Louisiana. I’m mom to two kids, 18 year old Lillian and 14 year old Thomas. Lillian is special needs, having a chromosome deletion called 18p-. I’ve homeschooled both of them for the past 4 or 5 years, with Lillian graduating June 2019.
I became an author with the publication of my first book in 2012, D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance. I don’t recall wanting to be an author as a young child. However, I don’t remember much of my childhood, so I may have wanted this. In 2011, I simply knew after the events I experienced that I was supposed to share my life with others by writing a memoir, showing how I processed and moved through things.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I can’t remember all of them. But, I do know that I enjoyed Beverly Cleary and the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew series.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I can’t say that there is a writer whose brain I’d like to pick for advice on writing. However, I would love to have a writer’s crystal ball to help me know what and how to write the next book(s). Do you happen to have one?
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
I’d like to invite several non-fiction writers for tea or coffee to chat about life, digging deeper than what they’ve written about in their books. They would be Elizabeth Gilbert, Glennon Doyle, Wayne Dyer, Susan Orlean, Mary Oliver, and Michael Singer. I’m sure I’m leaving out some authors.
In regards to fictional characters, recently I really enjoyed the main characters in all of Phaedra Patrick’s books. I would love to meet them in their hometowns, spending a couple of days with each of them exploring the locations in the books, and getting to know them better.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
When I wrote my first book, I began to get up 30 minutes earlier than usual, take my coffee and laptop to the patio, and write with Mt. Rose as company. I did not write the chapters in order, as this is an A-Z book (A is for Acceptance, B is for Better, D is for Different … ). I wrote each section as I was inspired, with the book being written in 2 months time.
In regards to my second book, Words of Alchemy, a free verse poetry memoir; I did not sit down to create a book of poetry. One day 6 years ago, poetry just began to flow. Much of the poetry was inspired by nature photographs I had taken on walks. I would look through the photographs with the intent of landing on one that would inspire a poem. Many times, I would listen to Indian flute music, Tibetan singing bowls, or Deva Premal while the poem flowed.
With all of this being said, nature is definitely at the root of any ritual or habit while I’m writing.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Since I write non-fiction, my ideas come from my own life experiences. I’m still working through how to write about people or events that may be uncomfortable for those who were a part of it. I suppose I’ll have that figured out by the time I’ve completed the next book. HA!
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m neither of these. This may be due to the fact that I write non-fiction. I write as I’m inspired. This may also be why I’ve not written fiction yet. HA! I would love to try my hand at writing a creative non-fiction. I’m pretty sure that will be the genre of one of the next books.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I do things so different, I’m not sure I have solid tips I could share. I will say the two main ingredients are to write, and have loads of tenacity. Oh, and a third tip … WRITE, just write, no matter what comes out.
What are your future plans as an author?
I’m taking this year to let myself not write, to press the reset button, to rejuvenate myself. I’ve been on a rather long, 13 year, healing journey. I’m due for some rejuvenation! After that, I do plan on writing and publishing more books. I really won’t know until I get focused on it.
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“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.