Nashville, Tennessee. What an experience. I had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of so many wonderful authors and indie creators, and KT Webb was one of those lovely people. I've been following her social media platforms and she's got a lot going on...ladies and gents, KT Webb :)
1. So, your new romance series is set in Chicago. Tell us what you love about that city? Favorite places there...
I love the buildings. The last time I visited Chicago, I felt like I was at home just staring at the skyline. I also really enjoy Grant Park, and visiting Buckingham Fountain. [I have to agree with KT. Chicago looks like an amazing city!!! #chicago
2. Loved your blog on how writing is hard! What are your current struggles with your WIP? And what do you have planned this coming 2017?
Thank you! I think so many people think it's easy to just "sit down and write", but they really don't understand how much of yourself you pour into your books. My current WIP is The Last Coven: Awakening; the first book in my new series. I think the biggest struggle I've faced with this one so far is how to translate all my ideas and research into story form. I'm about 13,000 words into it, but I have to keep stopping and refocusing myself to make sure I am staying on track. [You go girl!! <3] In 2017, I plan to release the final novella in the Chicago Love Story collection, and the full-length novel featuring the couples from the novellas, The Last Coven: Awakening, and I also plan to release a stand alone fantasy.
3. You’ve been diligently recording your getting health journey. KUDOS! What keeps you motivated? Do you have any fitness inspirations? What are your healthy go to meals and snacks? And how do you find the time?
I've always struggled with my weight. My doctor had brought up the possibility of weight loss surgery a few years ago and I shot her down. After trying multiple different weight loss programs, I started doing some research. I finally talked to my doctor and made the decision to move forward with surgery. In July, I had the Gastric Sleeve procedure done and I don't regret it in the least. I have now lost 68lbs since beginning this journey. [Congrats!! That is an accomplishment :)]
My go to meals are different than most people would think because of the procedure I had. Protein is key to the success with this life change. My "go-to" is deli meat, deli cheese and crackers.
4. If you were stranded on an island for a month, who would you want to keep you company?
Do I just get one? If I only get one person, I think it would be my best friend, Madee. We always have a blast and I know I'd never get bored. [BFFs are the best thing since chocolate.]
5. What is your favorite classic book? And why did it become your favorite?
Jane Eyre. It actually became my favorite after I read the book The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I went back and re-read Jane Eyre and fell in love all over again. That Rochester..... [I am personally thanking you for making me look up this gif. Holy Cow!!!]
6. Do you have a favorite series on television? or film? Do tell.
Television series: Once Upon a Time and Supernatural.
Film: Pitch Perfect 1 & 2
7. How do you balance being a writer, work life and family?
I have learned to write while watching television, with children on my lap, on my lunch break...you name it, I have to be very flexible to make everything work. There are definitely days when I don't think I'm doing a very good job, but I wouldn't trade any of it for anything.
8. How would you describe your writing style? Your process?
I'm a reformed pantser. [Someone who writes by the seat of their pants.] I used to just sit down and write. Now, I write chapter summaries and put important notes on a cork board that hangs in my writing cave. I still write by the seat of my pants sometimes, I have to or my characters won't get to do their own thing.
9. What are you top three mythological/supernatural beasts/beings? [STOP!!... and pause for the loveliness of these creatures.]
10. At the end of all things, what’s the only thing that’s real?
Just kidding! Love (and maybe cake).
I went a little GIFY on this interview :) haha
Pretty and prolific in a tiara...
I can't remember when I started following and chatting with Cameo on Facebook...it's been a while. She has always been a positive voice in the writing world. She's approachable, funny, and #damndaniel is she a prolific writer! She recently went to PennedCon and won YA Author of the Year 2016! A huge congrats to you Cameo. So without further delay, here is Cameo:
1. You moved from Maui, Hawaii to Alaska. That is quite a move. What is it like in Alaska? Is it really like the movies...wildlife running around? How do you sleep when it's light? Or wake up when it's dark?
I did, and a lot of people ask me...WHY? I actually LOVE Alaska. The scenery is gorgeous and I feel like I can breathe here. Don't get me wrong, Maui is gorgeous as well, but I was getting rock fever. I mean, you can only travel around the island so much before it gets boring, and I spent most of my life there. Plus, it was hot all the time and there are no seasonal changes. That's one thing I love about Alaska. I love watching landscapes change with the seasons. We do get to see moose, squirrels, and the occasional porcupine squished on the road, but I still haven't seen a bear. That's a good thing, but one of these days I'd like to see one from a safe distance, and get a photo for proof! haha!! As far as sleeping, I have no problem. We have black-out curtains for the summer, and during the winter...well it's really hard to wake up.
2. I see you like the 1980s. What's the draw? What's your favorite movie and song from the 80s?
I was in middle and high school in the 80's. I did the whole break-dancing thing...or at least tried. I had the crazy hair and crazy clothes with accessories. I really don't like to look back at those pictures because I know I look completely ridiculous. As far as songs...gosh, there were so many good ones. I listened to a lot of Def Leppard. Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi...etc.
3. You've got 2 really cool series: The Hidden Wings and After Light Saga. What inspired your vision of each world you created?
Well, thanks! I love both of those worlds. The Hidden Wings world was inspired after I wrote In My Dreams. I loved the idea of having guardian angels, and knew there were some that had a story to tell. I was surprised at how easy the world building was, and how loud the characters were. It seemed to flow for me. I really miss the characters now that the series is over, but I might go back and revisit them with a few spin-offs in the future.
As for the After Light Saga...my husband and I love to watch those survival and prepping shows, so I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could create a post-apocalyptic world with survivors. I wasn't expecting it to really go anywhere, but it's turned into something larger than I expected. It's been a lot of fun to write Abi's story, but the world building is a lot harder! Because there are scenarios, which could actually happen, I had to do a lot more research. I wanted suspense, but didn't want zombies, so I created the Arvy's - genetically mutated humans that survived the radiation, but are still smart. They also have a burning hatred for the survivors, who left them on the topside to suffer all those years. So now, those returning to the topside not only have to survive the planet, they have to survive the mutants who are dead set on killing them. [...like smart zombies!!! Holy crap!]
4. What are your writing rituals? You're a mom, too. How do you write and balance your family life?
Balancing writing and family is hard, but I always make sure that my family comes first...unless I'm on a deadline. Then everyone has to fend for themselves. haha!! I usually write at night, when everyone is quiet and asleep. I NEED my headphones on with music, and coffee and peppermints are a must! I don't know what it is, but they help. [She's a woman after my own heart! The coffee...]
5. OOH!!! You have a short film coming out based on ARV-3. I'm excited about this!! Tell us all about this project?
YES! Well, I was lucky to have a cousin who is married to an independent film-maker. (Timid Monster) After she read ARV-3 she told her husband that he should do something with it. It started with talks of creating a book trailer, but as it started progressing, it turned into something bigger. I was lucky to have been able to be a part of it. They're still working on perfecting the short-film, but I'm so excited to share it once it's finished!!! It's AWESOME!!!
6. What is it you like about the dystopian genre? Is there a message about humanity in there you'd like to share?
The dystopian genre is pretty oppressive, but also exciting. Because of the world we live in, survival shows have become a "thing". It's exciting to watch someone being thrown into a situation, with no food or water (and sometimes naked), and watch them survive. I try to instill hope and love into all of my stories. If we all stick together, helping each other, working through the differences while surviving, there is hope for a better future.
7. So, you've just begun writing your first contemporary romance. How's that going? How is writing this different from your usual genre work? Tell us all about it. Who are you collaborating with for the anthology?
Oh boy. I was scared at first because there is really nothing to hold up the story besides the romance and whatever revolves around that romance. Writing paranormal or sci-fi, you can do whatever you want with the world and it's okay. Like throwing in mutants, or angels, or demons, or scary made-up creatures. But as I started writing this contemporary romance, I began falling in love with the two main characters and their story. It's going to be part of the Love in the 80's Anthology.
Here is the info:
Love in the 80s: A New Adult Mix is a collection of ten contemporary romance, new adult, stand-alone novellas set in the 1980s. Written by award-winning and bestselling authors, one digital novella will be released on the last Friday of each month January - October in 2016.
The title of each love story will be a hit song from the year that the novella represents. The totally awesome authors include: Casey L. Bond, Lindy Zart, Cambria Hebert, Amber Lynn Natusch, Misty Provencher, Rebecca Yarros, Rachel Higginson, RK Ryals, Cameo Renae and Chelsea Fine.
Love in the 80s: A New Adult Mix was created by UTOPiAcon founder, Janet Wallace, and is co-produced with award-winning book cover designer, Regina Wamba (together they are WaWa Productions).
8. Who has influenced you as a writer? And if you could only have one book on a deserted island for a year, which book would it be?
I would have to say C.S. Lewis was my first huge influence. The Chronicles of Narnia swept me away into an imaginary world that I was lost in. I was with the children on all their adventures and never wanted it to end.
And...yikes! If I could have one book on a deserted island for a year, it would have to be something long that I haven't read yet. I have Stephen King's Under the Dome sitting on my shelf. It's huge, so I would probably take that.
9. Recently, you celebrated your 25 wedding anniversary. CONGRATS!! Can you tell us your "how we met" story? And what's the secret to love?
THANK YOU! Yeah, 25 years is a long time!!! We actually grew up in the same church together, but he was 11 years older than me. It's actually funny, because while I was in children's choir, he was the president of the sanctuary choir. It wasn't until I was a senior in high school that we connected. His sister took a few of us over to his house, and I remember thinking...HOLY CRAP, he's so handsome! Months later, he and another guy started a youth ministry at my Grandma's house. It was fate. It was pretty obvious I had a crush on him, and was later shocked that the feeling was mutual.Whenever I saw him, those crazy butterflies would go wild in my stomach, We would talk on the phone (a real phone) for hours. I remember falling asleep and waking up with him still on the other line. He'd say "good morning" before he left for work, and I couldn't wait until the end of each day to talk to him again.
We ended up eloping, which didn't go well with my family, but we made it work and now they LOVE him. I think the secret to staying love is making sure it's unconditional. Never take the other person for granted and never take things too seriously, because that's when things start to fall apart. Be silly. Laugh a lot. Make time for each other. Remind each other how much you love them, even if it's in the littlest ways. When I'm in the writing cave, on a deadline and tired, he'll sometimes bring me coffee or my favorite snack. My husband is my best friend and my biggest fan. We stay up late and watch movies together, talk about our future, and try and get through this crazy adventure called life. But through the trials and fires, and ups and downs, we both know that when all else fails...we still have each other.
10. At the end of all things, when light fades to darkness, what's the only thing that's real?
Love. It transforms and transcends. And knowing that you loved deeply, and were loved as deeply...makes it all worth it.
Find Cameo Renae at all these media spots :)
I wish I could date Achilles!! He’s strong, golden, fierce, HOT as f@ck and...a little bit ruthless. He’s the bad boy of Greek myth and the tragic hero of the Iliad (maybe this is what’s wrong with my love life!). As I began the Homeric Chronicles years ago, I realized that the story I wanted to tell was bigger than my skills at the time. I wasn’t ready. I had to get some writing under my belt, some serious reading done, and get over my fear of writing steamy sex scenes alongside gory battles scenes. I was AFRAID to write sex scenes!! Well, I’m not anymore. Needless to say, the Homeric Chronicles are for a mature reading audience.
I wanted this series to feel realistic, one epic story where several story lines of heroes and heroines converge at the Trojan War and beyond. This began the hair pulling task of attempting to piece together a timeline of events, because stories unfold chronologically with the occasional flashback and perhaps some subtle foreshadowing. The late George Shipway, author of Warrior in Bronze, a story about Agamemnon said in his chronological note to readers that, “...it would be a rash scribbler who ventured on definite dates.” Well, I am that “rash scribbler.” (Side note: the timeline he created is only 17 years ahead from mine, so we wrote in a similar mindset.)
Writing realistic mythology is tricky, especially Greek mythology because so many people are familiar with the major components of the stories. So, how does a writer approach the known with fresh content and a sense of realism? It’s bloody hard! First of all, I had no intention of twisting the major myth structure with some alternative endings, or creating a tertiary character, like a slave, to tell the main hero’s or heroine’s tale. I also didn’t want to simply regurgitate the Iliad and the Odyssey, because that’s been done before. What makes the Homeric Chronicles different from other Trojan War tales is that the series is an epic tale of Greek mythological heroes whose destinies take them to Troy and beyond, in chronological order. I used extant archeological data about Troy and Asia Minor and Greece, as well as scholarly literature to create the massive timeline. I had to use all my research training as an historian to get this off the ground. It’s an on-going effort to maintain the integrity of the chronological structure with a few surprises here and there. The Homeric Chronicles is, therefore, a combination of myth and history. I invite you to begin your journey with birth of Paris and Achilles in the Song of Princes, Book One of the Homeric Chronicles. Available in kindle and paperback @ Amazon.
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