[Note from Jessa: Amok on Mondays is my semi-regular visit with writer friends. Collette Cameron is a member of my local Romance Writers of America chapter. I love my chapter because I meet writers from every branch of romance. Where else would dark paranormal and “divine encounters with love” come together except in the halls of romance novels? Read on to learn more about Collette and her stories.]
Thank you so much for hosting me, Jessa. I loved your unusual interview questions.
Which is your favorite myth, legend, urban legend, Aesop fable, fairy tale, or superhero, and why?
The Ugly Duckling is my favorite fairy tale. I’m a sucker for the underdog, for anyone or anything being bullied or abused. I also place more importance on character and decency than outward appearance. Even as an adult, I have a sense of satisfaction when the swan’s beauty is revealed, because physical attraction is so subjective. It reminds me of adolescents who think they are all that in high school, but at their ten-year reunion, those girls, now young adults, pale in comparison to some of the “ugly ducklings” they scorned and shunned.
Which Disney princess are you most like? Or least like? Personalities aside, whose hair would you want?
Aurora, I think. She’s gullible, always believing the best in people. I tend to do that. Aurora has a playful side too, which I refer to as my quirky sense of humor. She’s a nut about wildlife as am I, and she sings; I used to. What else? She’s fiercely loyal to her “aunties” though she has three, and I only have two I’m close to. And my aunts are tiny too, just 4’11” tall.
I’d want Aurora’s hair as well. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve wanted long, flowing, golden blonde hair.
Which romantic lead tropes do you find yourself returning to in your stories?
So far my male characters have all tended to be the hardened, polished exterior type of hero. As we know, that persona is really just a front to conceal a sensitive man, who cares deeply for his family and others in his inner circle. For all of his bravado, he’s not all that confident and self-assured when it comes to a serious relationship with the woman he loves.
My heroines are all soft-hearted and searching for acceptance.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you do with all that free time?
I’d teach, because that’s what I do. I’m an elementary teacher. Seriously though, I’ve been considering teaching some writing workshops and perhaps even a course or two at the college level.
I also love to bake and garden, but since I started writing, I don’t indulge nearly as often as I used to.
When did you realize you were a writer? What was your inciting incident?
My inciting incident was when I wrote “Highlander’s Hope,” and even though the first draft wasn’t publishable, it wasn’t heinous either. Or maybe it was during the rewriting process, and as I read some of the text I’d written I found myself saying, “I wrote that?” or, “I wrote that!”
As any writer will tell you, writing gets in your blood; it becomes an addiction. I spend every free moment I can squeezing in writing.
Not including the obvious (guns, knives, etc.) which object nearest you would make a suitable weapon in the event of a zombie-ninja-robot invasion?
Okay, I’m looking around my shabby chic writing room and other than smothering them with lace or blinding them with an excess of décor, I’m not sure there is anything. No wait. I can use the lamp on my desk. The tasseled pink shade would blind them, as I wacked them with the scrolled lamp base. It even has a nice indentation my hand can fit around perfectly. And if I leave it plugged in and the bulb breaks—
Does anyone know how zombie-ninja-robots respond to 110 voltage?
What do you like best about your current work, published or not?
I love my cover! Cobalt blue is my favorite color and meshed with the gold details, I think it’s strikingly elegant. As for “Highlander’s Hope” the story itself, I like my rather large cast of characters and their personalities. Most of them get their own book—eventually.
A life-long Oregonian, Collette was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, thirty 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. 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. 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.
Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, hasn’t dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago. He’s determined to win her heart and make her his own. Heiress, Yvette Stapleton, is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn’t recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London’s docks, but Lord Sethwick’s passionate kisses soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, Ewan draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, “I do.” Will Ewan’s manipulation cost him her newfound love?
A sharp rap echoed at the door. Yvette breathed a sigh. Thank Goodness. Lord Sethwick wouldn’t have to answer the question after all. She raised her head and forced her gaze from the document in his hand.
He stared at her intently, then called, “Enter.”
“Lord Sethwick, please excuse the interruption,” a deep voice greeted. “‘Tis urgent I speak with you.”
Half-turning to look at the newcomer, Yvette could not contain her frightened gasp. She shot halfway out of her chair before Lord Sethwick’s hand snaked across the table and grasped hers, restraining her.
“Ewan!” In her panic, she addressed him by his given name.
“Miss Stapleton, Mrs. Pettigrove, may I introduce my associate, Trenton Carmichael?” said Ewan. “You know him as Nigel Collingsworth.”
Yvette sat down so hard her bottom smacked the chair with a stinging thud. Despite the day’s promise to be quite warm, she shivered, chilled to the bone. Searching the viscount’s face she repeated, stunned, “Your associate? I don’t understand. He was chasing me yesterday.”
Mrs. Pettigrove’s gooseberry eyes were round as the moon watching the exchange. “Mr. Collings, er, Carmichael was chasing you, Miss Stapleton?”
No one responded to her probing.
Holding Yvette’s hand, Lord Sethwick explained, “He wasn’t chasing you. Trent was trying to protect you by catching the man who was chasing you.”
“A different man was also chasing you? Whatever for?” Mrs. Pettigrove sounded envious.
Everyone ignored her.
Mr. Carmichael addressed Yvette. “I regret frightening you yesterday. It wasn’t my intent.”
Another knock sounded.
“Come in.” Lord Sethwick was less gracious this time.
Yvette managed not to gawk at the two men who entered the chamber. At least she thought she did. Faith, what handsome men. They must be friends of Lord Sethwick’s. Nobility no doubt.
“Sethwick, you rogue, keeping the arrival of your lovely bride-to-be a secret,” teased a tall gentleman dressed from toe to top in black.