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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Author Interview & Giveaway by Cameo Renae - In My Dreams Experience Virtual Book Tour


Hi, everyone!

I am thrilled to participate in The In My Dreams Experience Virtual Book Tour. We will be joined today by the author of In My Dreams, Cameo Renae.

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Cameo! Tell us a little about yourself.

Well... I am thirty-something... :), am blissfully married to my best friend, and we have two, beautiful children together. (teenagers, and... yes, we started early.) I was born in San Francisco, California, and moved to Maui when I was three. My father was born and raised on Maui, and is Filipino, Spanish, Chinese. My mom was raised a California girl, and is Danish, Dutch, Welsh, and English. I have two younger brothers, who live in Wasilla, Alaska, along with my parents. We lived in Alaska for two years, and moved back to Maui after my husband's mother passed away. He is the oldest of five siblings, and they all live here on Maui.

I have two jobs. My first job is booking my husband for weddings. He is a top Hawaiian Wedding Officiate here on the island, and performs nearly 30 weddings a month. My second job is booking horseback tours that go into the Haleakala Crater (a dormant volcano). I also had a favor business called Cameo Candies, but I had to shut it down because I had WAY too much on my plate.


I guess you could say I'm a workaholic. Yes, I live a very hectic life, but I'm praying that in the future, (hopefully near! ) I'd love to become a full-time writer. :) If I'm not sleeping... I'm probably sitting at my computer, or on the phone. I am totally addicted to caffeine, and this is how I found out. My husband and I started a 20 day cleanse and I was supposed to quit drinking coffee. They said caffeine is bad. Well, after two days... my head felt like it was going to explode! I mean... we're talking pain as bad as a migraine! I said, "Hell no!", and trudged down to the kitchen, holding my pounding head (I was a complete mess!), made a pot of coffee, and tanked down two cups in a matter of minutes. In a half hour, I was magically cured, and life was happy again. My family cheered! The grumpy, zombie lady was gone forever! Yay!



I have done those cleanses, and I know exactly what you mean about the caffeine withdrawal headaches!

Do you recall when your interest in writing originated?


In grade school... definitely. We did a lot of creative writing in our classes, and I remember how much I enjoyed writing. It was definitely a part of me.



Do you have a specific writing style? Any quirks or superstitious routines you stick to?


Right now, I'd have to say that my style is somewhat "freestyle"... to write as I go. In My Dreams didn't have a structure or outline. I just wrote, and it all seemed to come together - amazingly. I don't think I'd write like that again. Since then, I've revised my structure for future books. There are many different characters and locations, that I needed to write them down, especially descriptions so I could remember what everyone looked like. So... I'd have to say that through my writing process...I've become a lot more structured. It's so much easier to be organized. :)


What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I'd have to say problems with grammar and punctuation. Because I self-published In My Dreams, I didn't get the expert eyes of an editor to look it over. I did have help of family and friends try to help, but it's still not the same. The best compliment... that people could actually see the different locations, and feel my character's emotions. I've had several people tell me that they actually cried. That is saying something. To tell you the truth... I cried myself while writing some parts. I love to crack into the character's head and feel every emotion, and try and portray that emotion with words. That's what a great writer does, and I hope to hone in on that, making sure that my readers have an optimal experience, to make them feel like they're watching a movie.



What inspired you to write In My Dreams?


Actually, my daughter did. I started a children's fantasy novel a few years back, and had her read the first 6 chapters. She really liked it. But with work, I didn't have the time to finish, so it's still simmering on the back burner. When the Twilight books came out (she was a huge fan!) she told motivated me to start writing again. It just seemed like In My Dreams was timely. My husband and I love to watch Paranormal shows, and after having a dream one night (the first chapter of the book), I thought I'd give it a shot, and In My Dreams came to life.



What was the hardest part of writing In My Dreams?


The hardest part was actually finding the time to write. With two pretty demanding jobs, it was a struggle, but I was THRILLED when I put those last words on the page!!! Actually, shocked that it was finished. It took about two years, from start to finish.



Can you share a little of your upcoming work with us?


Yes! I am really excited about my upcoming novel. My next work is set to be a trilogy, but we'll see how it all turns out. If you've read In My Dreams, there is a part in it about Guardians. Well, I carried that into my next series, but it is totally different. It is a Paranormal romance, but still has elements of suspense, with bits of horror and humor. It has some terrifying creatures, graphic, butt kicking scenes, and a budding heart-warming romance. Ahhhhh~


What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I'm not writing I love to just hang out with my family. We play games, watch movies, eat... I love to cook. I pop on the Food Network while I'm cooking, and it feels like I have inspiration. If no one is around... I grab my Kindle and read, read, read.


Who is your favourite author and what really strikes you about their work?

I'd have to say C.S. Lewis. He was the first writer that I fell in love with. His writing painted wonderful pictures of a fantasy world. When I first read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I was swept away into his world. When my mom bought me the whole series, one Christmas, I felt like I hit the jackpot! That was the best gift ever!


I love the Chronicles of Narnia myself! I still have the box set that I received when I was a kid. It's currently on my daughter's bookshelf.

What book are you reading now?

Right now I am reading A Job From Hell, by Jayde Scott.


Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?

Thanks so much for the wonderful support and for reading my novel. I take every criticism into consideration, and I'm always up for learning more, and trying to better my writing.


Snappy questions and answers:

Favourite colour?
Baby Blue ~ the color of the sky on a bright sunny day. :)

Dog-lover or cat-lover?
Dogs that don't shed... I'm totally allergic to cats. (Ah-choo!)

Vanilla ice cream or chocolate?
Vanilla ice-cream smothered in chocolate

Beer or wine?
Wine

City slicker or country girl?
I'd say country girl. Yeee-haaa! I grew up in the country here on Maui, but now live in the city... I love the privacy, quietness, and fresh, crisp air of the country. (But the modern amenities of the city are nice too.) :)

If I could take an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, I would go to...
Hmmm. That's a tough one because there are so many places I'd love to travel to that I haven't been. But... if I had to choose, I'd have to say Tahiti. We have some good friends that live there, and have a beautiful home right on the beach. They've been begging us to visit, but the prices of tickets are so high.


Thank you so much for joining us today, Cameo! It was so much fun getting to know you better, and I look forward to reading In My Dreams!

I hope everyone enjoyed the interview!

And now for the giveaway: Cameo has generously offered a copy of In My Dreams to five lucky winners.
You read that right: There will be FIVE winners! Since this is an e-book, this giveaway is open to all!

Synopsis:

It was happening again. The dreams. The nightmares. It was something seventeen year-old Elizabeth "Lizzy" Hayes thought she'd outgrown; dreams that would come true; detailed premonitions of how people would die. This time she dreams about her boyfriend, Michael Young, and soon discovers that he's been found... dead.
Michael hasn't crossed over because he was murdered, and now his murderer is coming for Lizzy. His spirit won't rest until she is safe, and as a newbie spirit, the easiest way for him to make contact is through Lizzy's dreams. When she dreams, it's as if he hasn't died. Lizzy must learn to pull on her inner strength to survive horrifying events. Meanwhile, in the spirit world, Michael learns everything he can about his supernatural gifts to help. But will it be enough to save her?

To enter the giveaway, you need to complete the FORM! Your comments are always welcome, but you need to complete the FORM for your entry to be counted.

Rules:
  • You may enter only once!
  • You must be 13 years of age or older.
  • You must be a follower of Darlene's Book Nook on Google Friend Connect (see widget on the left sidebar).
  • The giveaway will end on July 30th at 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time.
  • The winners will be chosen using Random.org.
  • The winners will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to claim the prize.
  • If the prize is not claimed within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected using Random.org.
You can earn up to five extra entries:

+1 for following Cameo's blog on GFC
+1 for following Cameo on Twitter
+1 for tweeting about the giveaway on Twitter
+1 for becoming Cameo's fan on Goodreads
+1 for "liking" Cameo on Facebook

Good luck!

12 comments:

  1. Great interview. Her two jobs seems very fun and interesting. I would love to be on Hawaii, especially writing while in Hawaii. How dreamy.

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  2. I still have my box set of narnia!! It was my favorite set of books growing up!! Then it went to judy blume and jane austin. I havent been to Hawaii yet but I'm hoping sometime in the near future! Thanks for the interview and giveaway. It was nice getting to know a little bit about you!

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  3. Hey Darlene! :)
    Thanks again for welcoming me to your blog! It's such a lovely place to be. I had a lot of fun working with you.
    And... Good Luck to everyone entering the giveaway! ;)

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  4. Hey Darlene and Cameo! Rocking interview. Wow, so you lived in Wasilla with the Palins. Love to hear those stories. Thanks for the contest and I keep an eye out for the PNR.

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  5. Great interview! I would love to read this book, thank you! edysicecreamlover18ATgmailDOTcom

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  6. I think In My Dreams sound wonderful. Thank you for sharing this interview and lovely giveaway opportunity.

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  7. Hi there! Thanks for being follower #96:) I got to 100!!! woo hoo!!! and now YOU'RE newest follower:)

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  8. Hey, Cameo! Does the background look at all like Hawaii? Someone mentioned to me that it looked like it did!

    I had a lot of fun interviewing you, Cameo! Have fun on the rest of your Book Tour!

    Thanks to everyone else who commented, and good luck to you all in the draw!

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  9. Hey Darlene! Thanks so much... I'm definitely having a blast on this tour.
    And yes, your background does look like Hawaii. The sky looked a lot like that today. Awesome!

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  10. Great interview Darlene! I am almost a neighbor to Cameo's brothers in Wasilla. I think that should get me an extra point in your giveaway!

    Dorothy
    For Books – http://alaskanbookie.blogspot.com/
    For Chocolate – http://alaskanchocoholic.blogspot.com/
    For GeoCaching - http://alaskancacher.blogspot.com/
    For All Three – http://twitter.com/AkChocoholic

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  11. Wow, so busy!! It's amazing she finds the time to write. And to live in Maui? What a dream life!

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  12. Thanks to all for stopping by. Also a big thank to you Cameo: I had a great time getting to know you better, and I look forward to reading your book!

    This giveaway is now closed, and the winners will be announced shortly! Good luck to all!

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