Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Interview With Josephine Cameron!

I'm happy to present an interview with Josephine Cameron today! Ms. Cameron is the author of the Middle Grade book, Maybe a Mermaid, which releases March 26th.

The bold font are the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font are my comments about her answers.

1. Would you please describe your debut book, Maybe a Mermaid, in seven words?
Summertime! Mystery, new friends…maybe a mermaid!

2. Have you always wanted to write Middle Grade books?
I remember having a discussion with a college professor who asked if I’d ever considered writing middle grade novels. He may have noticed that I took all my study breaks with Prince Caspian and Gathering Blue. Or that all the protagonists in my “adult” literary fiction short stories were aged 10-13 years old.

I told him I would LOVE to write middle grade but I couldn’t possibly. It was too hard. You had to be so concise. You had to have a compelling voice. You had to break hearts and make people laugh all in one shot. I thought maybe I could pull off being a writer, but I would never be a good enough writer to write middle grade.

It took years after that conversation—years of bringing great books like Savvy and Elijah of Buxton to read during lunch breaks at my office jobs, years of writing and studying and writing some more—before I got up the guts to try a middle grade novel. And before I could start it, I had to promise myself I’d never have to show it to anyone. It could be my secret project, and if it was horrible, no one would ever know. But once I started, I couldn’t stop. I felt like I hit my stride. Writing middle grade is so FUN!!

That's a great answer! :)

3. Random Question! Do you listen to music while you write?
Never. I’m a musician and I teach piano and guitar to K-8 students for my day job. If there’s music playing while I’m trying to put words on the page, I feel like my brain is split in two. In fact, I’m typing these answers in a coffee shop that is playing the Talking Heads and The Police and even though I love those bands, I’ve had to plug my ears several times already so I could read through a sentence clearly!

4. What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Try to pay attention to what you love. And don’t put limits on yourself. Not everyone has this problem, but if you’re like me, you idolize the authors you love and when you approach a project of your own, your mind is filled with a running list of all the ways you could ruin it. That makes it really hard to start. As much as you can, ignore that voice. If you have to, remind yourself: no one has to see it. Give yourself permission to fail. More importantly, give yourself permission to try.

That's good advice! :)

5. What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in 2019? And if you’ve already read some ’19 books, do you want to mention them?
I was super lucky to get my hands on an advance copy of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart. Coyote’s voice grabs you immediately and there are so many quirky, well-drawn characters who will pull you along and have you rooting for Coyote all the way to the end.

I’ve got a top-secret copy of Quinn Sosna-Spear’s time travel adventure, The Remarkable Inventions of Walter Mortinson, on my kindle (a perk of sharing an agent with authors who write books you are impatient to read) and I can’t wait to dive in!

And there are so many other middle grade books I’m looking forward to… Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson (luchalibre!) Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord (friendship and bunnies!), Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai (secret cake baking!), My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D Vilanueva (a race against an omen!) and so many more. I will never have enough time to read all the great books in the world, and that’s both a good and a bad problem to have!

I haven't heard of all these books, I need to look them up! And 2019 looks to be a great year for books! :)

Thank you to Ms. Cameron for participating in this event and letting me interview her! :)

Author bio: Josephine Cameron received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame. She lives in Maine, where she writes, sings, and teaches music to kids. Maybe a Mermaid, her debut novel, will release on March 26, 2019 with Farrar Straus, and Giroux Books for Young Readers (Macmillan).

Here are a few links:


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It makes me smile! : )