Sunday, July 12, 2015

SST - Erica Cameron

Goodreads Link:

Synopsis (GR):
Nadette Lawson knows when you’re lying.

Every night for the past two years, the Balasura have visited her dreams, enticing her to enter their world. And every night she’s seen through their lies. Now, they’re tired of playing in the shadows and they begin to stalk her in the waking world. It’s no longer just an invitation; if Nadette doesn’t join them, they’ll take her family. Forever. She needs help, and the haven she’s seeking may be just out of reach.

Julian Teagan is a master of deception.

To survive, he has to convince the world his mother isn’t useless, that everything’s fine, otherwise he’ll lose what little he has left in this life. He knows the lying won’t be enough to keep him and his mother in the shadows, but it’s all he knows. The only light of truth is Orane, a Balasura who sees past Julian’s facade and challenges him to face the darkness.

Then Orane is killed, and Julian learns his mentor was far from innocent. The Balasura have hunted children like him for centuries, and their next target, Nadette is his one chance at finally being a part of something real. If Julian can just convince her to trust him…

About the Author:
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.

Her debut novel, Sing Sweet Nightingale, released March 2014 and it was the first volume of The Dream War Saga. In May 2015, Erica and her co-author Lani Woodland launched the Laguna Tides series with Taken by Chance.

What made you want to become an author?
One piece of advice that has been shoved down the throat of my generation is to find something you love and find a way to make money doing it, that way you won’t ever “work” a day in your life.

That’s why I became an author.

Who are some of your biggest influences?
Writerly influences? Honestly too many to name. I am not a very analytical reader, but I tend to absorb my favorite quirks and tricks from all of the books I read. Through something like osmosis, I guess, since it’s not something I consciously think about. The first author I ever obsessed over was Tamora Pierce. She is definitely my longest standing favorite author and, after finally getting to meet her at RT this year, she is also one of my favorite people. My first (very horrible) attempt at a full length novel was essentially Tamora Pierce fanfiction before I knew that fanfiction was a thing people did.

What are you currently reading?
I’m in the middle of beta reading for a couple of friends, actually! Tristina Wright has an amazing and wonderfully diverse sci-fi and Lori Gallagher has written a book of advice for fast-drafting! I adore Tris’s world so much (this is probably the eighth time I’ve read it) and I’m hoping to pick up some of Lori’s mojo from her advice book, honestly! I could use a new burst of speed with all the projects I have to finish before the end of the year! Next up on my TBR that you can actually read now are None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio and Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton.

Do you have plans for your next book already?
More than I know what to do with, honestly. There is a high fantasy trilogy that I would love to finish shaping (and I’m crossing my fingers that I get the chance soon), a two-book sci-fi concept that I kind of adore, an I-don’t-know-how-many-book thriller world, and a lot of different contemporary novels--most of them co-authored with Lani Woodland. As a reader my tastes are all over the genre spectrum, so my writing tends to follow the same scope.

The world you created is fantastic, how did you come up with the idea for the Dream War saga?
Thank you so much! The dreamworld evolved slowly, but it began with a single line from “Creation Lake” by Silversun Pickups: There are twenty-four parts of the day that divide me from you. My first question was, “Well, what about the twenty-fifth part of the day? What happens then?” In that instant, I had a world in which two characters could only meet once a day for a limited amount of time. The mechanics of the dreamworld--which I named Abivapna--and the personalities of the creatures who live there--the Balasura--were shaped by the needs of the story, by the movie What Dreams May Come, and by some concepts and assumptions I used in my first ever completed original novel. The rest of the Dream War universe is a twist on the Earth we know. Swallow’s Grove is based on the small upstate New York town my father grew up in (although it’s not located in the same spot) and the locations in Deadly Sweet Lies are places I’ve either lived or visited. For example, I put Nadette in the Fort Lauderdale neighborhood I grew up in and plopped Julian right off the center of Las Vegas.

For me, worldbuilding is half the fun of writing. Getting to either start with a blank canvas and play god or look at the world around me and tweak the bits I wish were different is wonderful. Luckily I got to do a lot of that for this series!

Will the conclusion to the Dream War Saga be released next year?
I don’t yet have a release date for the third book (which is not quite the conclusion of the series), but the first draft is written and was turned in earlier this year. Hopefully I’ll know soon and I promise I’ll update you all as soon as I have the information confirmed! I can tell you that book 3 will have one returning narrator and one new narrator--a character we’ve already met but haven’t had a firsthand account from yet.

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