We are closing June’s author interviews with Chelsea M. Cameron. I got to know her work recently through Violet Hill, a series of adorable novellas with F/F pairings and have been following her work since then. Chelsea’s stories are great and I’m happy I had the chance to talk with her so we could introduce her work to even more people.
Q1: Your Violet Hill series is all about cute F/F romance which is something that I adore. Did you have any inspiration or something that ignited the idea of this series?
I really wanted to write about a safe queer space, so I had the idea for the café first. I knew that people would say having such a huge queer community in small-town Maine was “unrealistic” which is one of the reasons why I did it. After I had the idea for the café, the other stories came from there. Mostly when I write queer stories, I like to take a trope that’s been done to death in non-queer stories and then do that. Because I can 🙂 So I took the idea of the “best friends to lovers” and did it with two girls.
Q2: When did you start your writing journey? Do you see a big difference in the author you were when you started and the author you are now?
Well, when I started indie publishing in 2012, I was still living at home, working days at a bank, and desperately trying to find a boyfriend. Things have changed a LOT since then. I was just out of college back then, and dealing with a lot of stuff. I wrote because it was a form of therapy back then. My early books were full of my own demons, and pretty raw. Even the “fun” ones were full of darker moments. I still have that, but I like to think I’ve learned a little moderation. Of course I also think my writing has gotten better, just because I’ve got more experience under my belt.
Q3: Are there any books that inspired you in your own writing?
Oh, absolutely. Some of my favorite authors include: Neil Gaiman, Robin McKinley, Jacqueline Carey, Tahereh Mafi, Lisa Kleypas, Jane Austen, Christina Lauren, J. R. Ward, Gail Carson Levine and so many others. Reading other author’s books can often help spark an idea for my own work. I try to read widely, and out of my comfort zone. I think of reading as filling a well. I can’t write words if my well is empty. Reading is absolutely essential to my writing process. When I find it hard to write, or I’m burned out, I’ll just take a week and binge-read. That helps re-fill my well.
Q4: Is there some trope or genre that you still really want to write with an F/F couple but didn’t have the chance to yet?
Fantasy. Fantasy, fantasy, fantasy. I have an idea for one, but the world-building is intimidating. I’m still going to do it, but right now it’s on the back burner. I also have several tropes to tackle: marriage of convenience, enemies to lovers, boss/employee, bad girl/good girl, etc. All the tropes! I’m going to do them all.
Q5: Are you planning more F/F novels to be published soon or projects you’re currently working on?
Absolutely! Right now I have an idea for a collection of f/f erotica stories that I hope to work on VERY soon. In addition, I’ll be working on the third Violet Hill book, Second Chance, and Chord, the sequel to Style. I’ll also have an announcement for a whole new series of romances that centers around a group of queer writers!
Q6: Do you have any advice for LGBT+ authors who are just starting to write their stories?
It can be really hard to write something that is so close to your heart. The stress about “getting it wrong” is huge. Here’s the thing: your experiences aren’t wrong. They might be different from someone else’s, but that’s life. I’ve known authors who have written #ownvoices and had their work lambasted for being “wrong” representation or “no queer person does/is like that” and it’s ridiculous. Don’t listen to those people. Because there WILL be at least one person out there who will read what you write and say “oh, this is ME!” and that is worth it.
About the Author:
Chelsea M. Cameron is a New York Times and USA Today best selling NA/YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting (this one time, she was tweeted by Neil Gaiman and nearly died). She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, these people turn out to be just as weird as she is.
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