A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.
A voracious reader of romance since her teens, she even named her daughter after a heroine in her favorite romance novel. An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.
Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.
Some of Collette’s favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely!
When she’s not teaching or writing, she is a content and copy/line editor for an Ebook publisher, enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.
What inspires you to write?
I have a love affair with words!
All these story ideas are bouncing around in my head, demanding they get their opportunity to become a novel too. How can I refuse?
Once I started down the writing journey, I was hooked. My poor hubby looks at me hunkered over the computer every free minute I get and just shakes his head.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a linear pantser. In other words, I write from beginning to end, but I don’t always know where I’m going, how I’ll get there, or where I’ll end up. I do have plot points and certain details I include in my stories, but I don’t outline. The closest I get to plotting is completing a goal, motivation, and conflict chart for my hero and heroine, as well as a 50+ question questionnaire for each of them.
I also scribble notes constantly. An idea will pop into my head or an answer to a plot problem will occur to me so I jot it down. Right now, I’m literally looking at a couple dozen sticky notes and other notes plastered on and around my computer.
I write best it the morning, and I have to have complete silence when I write. One of my mini doxies, Ayva, usually sits on my lap part of the time. I generally start off with a nice steaming cup of coffee flavored with crème brulee creamer, but inevitably, it gets cold as I lose myself in my writing.
I’m writing my third book and I’ve selected the title differently for each book. I picked a title for Highlander’s Hope (May 2013) before I wrote it, but when the story was half written, I decided to change it. I changed it once more after the first draft was done.
My second book, The Viscount’ Vow (September 2013), I picked the title after writing the first page and never changed it.
I was five chapters into The Ear’s Enticement, my current WIP, before I finally decided on the title.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Not really. Because I know them so well before I start writing them, I understand them very well though. I do sometimes mimic the physical actions or facial expressions I write for them, to see if they work.
What advice would you give other writers?
I think critique partner’s a must. I didn’t have any for Highlander’s Hope and it believe I would have been saved a tremendous amount of rewriting if I’d had some. I have three now, and their input is invaluable.
I’d also encourage writers, especially new ones, to get involved in writing groups, attend workshops, and read about the craft. Building up a network of other authors who support you is a must. I’ve found other authors to be a treasure trove of information and tremendously generous with advice, tips, and encouragement.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I knew absolutely nothing about self-publishing when I wrote Highlander’s Hope. So, I chose the traditional route. You know, the whole query, wait, submit partial, wait, submit full, wait.. . . I decided to go with a small press to get my foot in the door, and it’s worked very well for me. I don’t have an agent, though I’m seriously considering acquiring one after my third book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I love the diversity available to authors today!
There was a time you couldn’t get a contract without an agent, and if a book was self-published, people tended to think it was inferior in quality. That simply isn’t true anymore. Some of my dearest author friends are very successful self-published authors (Many were traditionally published first) and some have their own consortium.
I have author friends who are published with the well-known large publishing houses, and many that prefer the camaraderie and closeness of a small house. And because there are more viable options to authors and writers today, that makes the entire publishing industry, from cover design artist to agent, a very interesting place to be right now.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Historical Suspense, Regency, Highlander
What formats are your books in?