Interview with Deborah Camp
Interview with Deborah Camp
Affaire de Coeur's
December Calendar Girl
Interview with Deborah Camp
Destined to be “almost famous,” Deborah Camp had her first novel published by Silhouette Romances in 1979 while working as a newspaper reporter. She has made her living as a writer since she graduated from college.
Writing about people falling in love is endlessly entertaining for her. She has penned all kinds of romances from “sweet” to “super sexy.” She writes both contemporary and historical romances.
She lives in Tulsa, OK, which comes in handy when she’s writing books set in the wild west.
Writing is an exercise in evolution. With each book, it changes and transforms. What worked for the last book, won’t totally work for the next one. A meticulous outline is just the ticket for one story, but is far too restraining for the next one. I have written novels from a one paragraph idea and from outlines that map out each and every scene. Sometimes my “map” is dictated by an editor’s instructions. For example, an editor at a publishing house might request a one-page synopsis or the first three chapters and an outline of the rest of the book. Often, it depends on where you are in your career.
Presently, I’m at the point where I develop character sketches along with photos of people (actors/models) to give me a visual reference for each character. I use these sketches a lot while I’m writing and jot down extra things on them that come to me as I write the book. For instance, I might jot down what perfume a character wears or that a secondary character owns a parrot. Things I didn’t know about them when they were first born on the page. Accompanying these character studies is a sketchy outline, hitting the high points of the story and leaving a lot to my discretion or the discretion of the characters as they grow and become more real to me.
A Day in the Life Of…
Back when I was dreaming of writing instead of doing it, I thought writers traveled the world, met fascinating people, and wrote wherever they happened to be – on a train in Poland, in a café in France, at a villa in Italy, or in their lushly decked out office situated on their estate. Then I became one of those creatures and those creature comforts did not come with the position.
I wrote my first novel on a manual typewriter at my dining room table. I was a reporter at a newspaper. I came home from work, took a nap, ate something, and then wrote from around nine at night until two in the morning. I wrote all weekend. No partying on the Rivera or hobnobbing at the opera for me. I had a mortgage to pay while I nursed my “dream” job. Even after I began selling my books, I was chained to the dining room table. I spent my first royalty check, not on a luxury cruise, but on a washer and dryer. And believe me, that was pure luxury for me at that time!
Don’t get me wrong. Since then I have taken several cruises, traveled all over the U.S. in a motorhome, and I jet to New York City a few times a year because the love of my life lives there when he’s not in Tulsa with me. I’ve had my romantic, memorable moments, so I’m not complaining (much). However, the life of most writers is like mine most of the time – mundane. Why? Because it must be that way. Writing is a solitary endeavor and requires you to sit down and create. Day after day, page after page. Some days the only things I talk to are my dogs and my characters. The scary part is that they all talk back to me.
There are “glamorous authors.” I’ve met a couple of them. However, most writers are like me. They dress in food-strained, holey jeans and t-shirts as they sit in front of computers (or, if they really want to suffer for their art, they use a pen and paper), and pound away. Their “getaways” consist of visits to the bathroom and kitchen.
So, the next time you wonder what it’s like to be a novelist, go sit in front of your TV. Don’t turn it on. Just stare at the blank screen. Yeah. That’s how it feels.
Okay, okay. I’ll be nice. The next time you see a falling star or a rainbow or hear the repertoire of a mockingbird and you gasp in delight. That’s how it feels on days when the words fly off your fingertips like fireworks and you believe in the magic of it all. Yeah. That’s how it feels.
Applying my spreading backside to my office chair recently resulted in my latest western – Ropin’ the Moon – which deals with a fast-draw marshal. My overall plan is a trilogy of westerns centered on three fast-draw heroes. This is the first one of them. I’ve read about men who traveled from one lawless town to the next, making them livable for common folk. That’s what the Earp boys were doing in Tombstone, AZ when that dustup at the OK Corral happened. My book takes place in 1869 when memories of the Civil War were still fresh and progress in the form of railroads cut through people’s lives and pastures. Dalton Moon arrives in Far Creek, KS to weed a bad crop of troublemakers who are making it difficult for the railroad to survey land for future tracks. His attention is lassoed by Lacy Tyrell, a spirited and opinionated young woman who manages the Holland Hotel. Before he knows it, he’s dreaming of her, day and night, and doesn’t want to leave her behind. Lacy knows she shouldn’t get involved with the rootless lawman, but her heart doesn’t listen.
I enjoyed writing the scenes between these two headstrong people. They flirt and tease and taunt each other. Passion simmers between them and bursts into flames every time they’re alone.
I’ve outlined the second and third in this stand-alone series, but before I write the next one, I’ve planned to release a contemporary romance this spring.
Bedding Mr. Birdsong is set in New York City and it’s a fun, sexy tale about neighbors who become friends and try not to become lovers. Matthew Birdsong harbors bitterness and vows never to trust another woman again after his divorce. Zaney Miller lives across the hall from him and is intrigued by the array of females that traipse in and out of his place. Fate intervenes and Zaney challenges Matthew to have a woman friend – namely her. Not a pillow friend. A real friend. He accepts. However, they both discover that keeping it friendly is not the same as keeping it real.
I’ve had fun frolicking with Matthew and Zaney and, hopefully, you will, too.
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