Camille Cabrera is an American novelist and entrepreneur. She specializes in mystery and thriller novels. Camille focuses on strong and complicated female protagonists in order to create more realistic characters. Her novels are available at most places where books are sold.
Camille Cabrera fell in love with reading from a very young age. She struggled at first, but eventually came into her own. Camille loved the appeal of different worlds at the tips of her fingers. Now, she creates different realms and lives that parallel and often sharply parody reality. Camille loves writing and there is nothing else that she would rather do with her time.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
Thank you so much for having me! I am so happy to speak with you about this wild journey. Writing and reading have always been two of my deepest passions. I have always loved reading anything and everything that I can get my hands on. However, I never knew that this love would turn into a career. It wasn’t until after graduating university that I rediscovered my love of writing.
My favorite part of writing is the ability to create and interpret different worlds. I love inventing new places and breathing new life into some of my old and long forgotten concepts. Most of my favorite writing concepts come from old ideas that I left unattended in the back of my computer or crunched and crumbled in the back of my desk until the next sporadic spring-cleaning. There is no better feeling than completing a story. It’s not about the length, but the quality and vigor of the plot and protagonist. Creating has become an obsession because even when I’m out with friends, all I really want to do is sit down and write.
The most frustrating thing about being a writer is trying to remain vulnerable with the world. I view my books as a mix between a public stage and the most intimate part of my diary. It’s a balancing act between giving and taking with the audience. Each book is a new struggle that comes with different challenges depending on the intended content and my immediate environment.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Absolutely! My novels are generally cozy mystery, thrillers, and suspense. Each book focuses on a different holiday like Halloween or Christmas. I love using well-known holidays as a plot device because I love contrasting familiar holidays and rituals with the unknown of a mystery.
Currently, my books are available for sale at most retailers like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Google Play, ITunes, and more. If you would like to know more about me, then feel free to explore my website: www.camillecabrera.com.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
Currently, I have two novels set for release before the end of the year. I am also working on a third secret project that I can’t wait to share with the public some time in the near future.
My novel, The Rule of Three, is set for release this September. It was such an honor to work with my publisher in order to craft the witchcraft novel of my dreams. For those unfamiliar with the genre, think Practical Magic meets Dead To Me. It focuses on a strong-willed woman as she explores coming into her powers while also navigating the often-turbulent sea of close relationships with friends and family members.
The second novel is set for release near the end of the year. It’s titled, The Mystery of Mistletoe Motel. The book centers around two sisters that are down on their luck and desperately in need of a miracle in order to save their family business. Here is a little teaser from the back of the cover:
Promising accountant Lacy Pondwater never wanted to own the Mistletoe Motel. However, when Lacy’s mother passes away and her dad grows too old to readjust roof tiles, she scrambles, with the help of her younger sister Stacy, to keep the family business afloat. Worse, the motel has been in desperate need of an update since the ‘80s and is overlooked by travelers thanks to GPS maps routing away potential customers. On a constantly shrinking shoestring budget, Lacy maxed out every credit card and is at the end of her rope.
After a few too many glasses of wine and paranormal crime shows, Lacy embellishes the description of the Mistletoe Motel online to include Victorian era haunts and the occasional ghost encounter. Business rapidly picks up and after a few days, Stacy tells Lacy that guests have been finding their belongings in the strangest of places, like inside of the chimney. A question slowly circles around the back of Lacy’s mind. Did she inadvertently invite a haunting to Mistletoe Motel, or are her eager guests merely manifesting their own adventures? Of course, white lies always come back to bite, and when a ghost hunting television show asks to film, the sisters reluctantly agree. Only a Christmas miracle can save the motel from bankruptcy and Lacy from a life of fraud.
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
Excellent question! Personally, I find it hard to quantify my success because I believe that I am still so new to my career. When pressed, I would say that I am most proud of having the courage to start. Once I decided to find a way to write, the rest was really history. I can’t stop creating stories because I have finally found the courage to start.
People may say getting published or finding a publisher, but I say having the courage to start. It was extremely difficult for me to decide to make my works public. Often, I found myself wondering if the stories were even good enough to be shared. Luckily, I have a wonderful team behind me at every turn. Each of my achievements comes from their kindness and eagerness to help me succeed. In a way, my most significant achievement is working with a team that loves to see me succeed.
Hopefully, I will be a New York Times Best-Selling author within the nest five years. It’s a lofty goal, but I have every intention of working at it until it becomes a reality. I am no stranger to hard work, so this is a career goal that drives me each and every day to become a better writer.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
Rejection really is part of the game. Luckily, the constant rejection helped me to gain a thicker skin. I realized that some rejections come from personal perception, current needs for different genres, and other factors that are out of my control. Once I realized that I couldn’t control every factor, I was able to fix and improve what was within my own control. Now, my novels are strong and relatively sturdy when sent off for review. I take each rejection in stride, but that’s not to say that they roll off of my back. I try to learn from each rejection in order to come back stronger the next time.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
My schedule is relatively relaxed. I like to write during the night in order to have a more concentrated silence. It also helps that my days then feel separate from my nights in terms of productivity and stimulation. Usually, I also write a little in the morning, but the majority of my work gets created during the night.
Yes, I usually create an extremely rough version of an outline. The outlines tend to include the main plot points, but sometimes I even write down the major planned events within each individual chapter. It really just depends on my need for clarification when writing tricky mystery concepts.
Usually, the time that it takes me to write a novel varies. I can write a rough draft of a novel within a month, but sometimes it can take me four to five months on one project to complete revisions. For example, I wrote my first novel, Catalina’s Tide in less than a month, but it took several months in order to properly edit and review the content.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
Absolutely not! I am a firm believer that age only adds experience and wisdom to a writer. Unlike a physical competition, age tends to add power and strength with a mental contest. Meaning, the knowledge and perspective gained from living a longer life can only add to a writer’s strength.
Personally, I consider myself a relatively young writer. I can’t wait to take each and every year in stride in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world and my place in it.
8) Are you an avid reader and have you always been? What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Yes, I have always loved reading. As a child, I loved learning to read with the help of small chapter books. Luckily, my parents encouraged my curiosity by taking me to buy more books whenever I had finished reading what was at home. It wasn’t long before we started to explore the libraries in order to accommodate my voracious reading appetite. The library became a way to ensure that I didn’t accidentally eat us out of house and home with my insatiable hunger.
The first book that really struck a chord with me was Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. It had previously never occurred to me that a book could be both riveting and somewhat dark. Previously, most of the books that I had read were complete with happy endings and free from complex characters. I loved reading the drama and mess surrounding the struggling protagonist. Perhaps, that realization is what motivated me to read different genres and authors that had more complicated protagonists.
My favorite author is Agatha Christie. She is a maverick that set the bar in the cozy mystery genre. I adore how she expertly paced and plotted each of her stories.
Currently, I am reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. It’s an older classic novel, but I do believe that it still holds value for today. I enjoy a solid reading list with current and contemporary books, but I also like to throw in a few classics in order to obtain a varied literary diet.
9) The Pandemic was a challenging time for some writers and creative individuals but also for others it was time that they needed to focus on their creative passions. Which side of that spectrum do you fall on? Are there any lessons or nuggets of wisdom that you gained during the Pandemic that help you within your writing career? Did the quarantine stifle your creativity or did it make you even more driven to get things done?
The pandemic was and still is a difficult time, but I managed to find a silver lining. That discovery didn’t happen right away.
During the pandemic, I often found myself digesting extremely negative and upsetting content. However, negative content isn’t the full picture of life. It’s just the zoomed-in snapshot that we are allowed to see because corporations and entities often think of the negative and sensationalized sells. This understanding helped me to feel more positive and pushed me to stay motivated even during the darker moments.
Oddly enough, quarantine actually made me more creative. I found myself with a compulsion to write in order to put my new worlds and ideas into perspective. Creating helps me to feel motivated and safe. It’s a form of self-expression and it’s also a source of deep comfort. Perhaps, the current dark moment motivated me to add a little light through creativity and expression.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry as it is being represented today? Do you lean more towards traditional publishing or self-publishing as a preference? Does being a hybrid author interest you?
The current publishing industry is more diverse and competitive than ever. I do believe that the addition and inclusion of self-published authors has definitely changed the industry as a whole.
Personally, I view self-publishing and traditional publishing as equally beneficial. It really depends on your objectives and personal goals as an author. Yes, the idea of being a hybrid author does interest me.
Currently, I have one novel set for release with the help of a publisher. I also have one self-publish book that’s scheduled for release later in the year. I am extremely excited to compare and contrast the results.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
One quality that I enjoy about my writing is the sense of the unknown within most of my books. Each mystery novel builds with the idea that we don’t always start or even end with all of the information. I believe that this pandemic is a perfect example of how people navigate uncertainty. I like writing about the unknown because it really highlights the curiosity and ingenuity of the human spirit.
Writing is one of my most powerful and treasured tools. It helps me to organize my thoughts and emotions on paper instead of leaving them swirling and spiraling inside of my mind. Writing empowers me by giving me the clarity and perspective to move forward with courage and confidence.
Question for you Jimmetta: What motivated you to start this magazine?
There’s so many things that I want to do within my writing career and being able to shine a spotlight on other authors, in particular one’s who don’t get highlighted because they don’t have big name recognition so that in essence is how Write 2 Be came about. It actually started as a newsletter by a different name, Free Fall, that I would send out by email for a few years and in it I would also place others work, short stories, poetry, and other writing, in the newsletter. I had started it because I was so tired of getting rejected from bigger literary outlets, not because I wasn’t any good but because I didn’t have a name in terms of platform for myself and I wasn’t a big name author and I figured I couldn’t be the only one who had that issue so thus Free Fall began. A few years later, I had this newsletter, and I had my blog and my blog is actually also called Write 2 Be and I decided that I really wanted to focus on branding myself and I had to think about what I wanted that brand to look like and I truly believe that writing gives a person the right to be authentic to who they are, that writing frees you in a sort of way that nothing else does and then Write 2 Be Magazine was born.