Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Meet A Writer Wednesday Presents...

... J E Cammon




1. Tell me about your book, Where Shadows Lie: Hunting Grounds, and where you got your inspiration
for it?


Hunting Grounds is the second book of the Where Shadows Lie series, the first, Bay City, having been released last year. The span of books covers the conflicts and relationships of a host of supernatural characters as they exist beneath a re-conceived cosmology that I created to explain all the stories and legends and myths that readers of the genre are familiar with. As far as inspiration, that's really where it came from: I had watched and read a lot of the popular supernatural canon and wondered at what my version would be. I didn't want to base mine on any Judeo-Christian (God, angels, the devil) truth or any other creation story I'd ever read but I did want to account for their pervasive existence across cultures, so it all started from a different kind of beginning, and my books are about characters wandering around, wondering, in all the resulting, mysterious muck. Bay City introduces three principle characters, a magical scholar, a vampire, and a lycanthrope, and the first book's sequels follow each of those three characters on their specific journeys, though all roads lead back to a finale that sees them back together again. Hunting Grounds follows Nick, the mage.

2. Where do you gain your inspiration/ideas from in general?

I get my inspiration from questions, mostly of the "What if" variety. For Nick, for instance, I wondered about the struggle between predestination and free will, and to what extent mettle plays a role. A question is posed to him in the first book, Bay City, about whether or not he'd pursue a course of action if he knew it would lead to ruin. Unfortunately, he finds himself on that path before he realizes it, so the question then becomes will he give up, or at least try to dig his way out of that particular hole. As I wondered about that, how I imagined someone in his position and with his ability would react, the story came about pretty naturally. I was inspired, you could say, to know how it would end for him, and I hope readers are as well.

3. When did you first become interested in writing?


I can't really be sure. My mother says that I'd always been writing, and that feels true for me. As far back as I can remember, I've always been musing about some outcome or another, some fantastic or mundane scenario.


4. What advice would you give to someone still trying to become an author?

Try harder. Then, after you fail, try even harder. Basic platitudes that they've probably heard before. I'd probably try to say them in a different way, but the fact of the matter is that writing is somewhat of a solitary, thankless undertaking. No one will ever really know how hard a writer works, about all the little steps that go into putting the words on the page in a particular order, and it's really hard to find people to empathize. So, at the end of every day, if it's what you want to do, you're the only one that's going to decide if you do it or not.

5. What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?

Well, I'm a pretty huge nerd. Despite this though, I am somewhat behind in regards to playing all those games "that must be played." So, I like to game, video, board, even paper and pencil. Generally, outside of my own writing, I really enjoy experiencing the stories other creative types are coming up with.

6. What was your favourite book as a child?


A book called Maniac Magee. It had a simple premise- a child running away, literally, from a bad situation into regional legend- but it was the simplicity that did it for me, showed me what magical things could exist in the mundane.

7. What’s your next project? What do you look forward to in the future?

I have a couple more series in the works presently, a sci-fi and a fantasy. I have some editing work to do on my first book of the sci-fi series before I start on the second, just to make sure I'm hitting the right notes. I have some beta readers locked in an undisclosed location and I've agreed to grant them freedom in exchange for notes.


8. What was the last book you read?


The Black Company by Glen Cook. It wasn't my first time reading it, though, nor will it be the last. I like that series of books for the characters and the characterization. Personally, I think the series is among the best fantasy ever written.

9. If you could be a superhero what kind of super powers would you have?

Super-speed, definitely. What I would lose in the way of sneakers I would make up for in saving on gas.

10. If you could have one piece of technology from a sci-fi film or book what would
it be?


I want to say light sabre, but really, I would be liable to slice my arm off playing with it. Probably some sort of engine technology from Star Trek. That would probably fill in a lot of gaps between where we are now, as a species, and how we make that next leap toward cheaper, more efficient power which would open a lot of different doors humanity's been trying to access for a while now.

11. Star Trek or Star Wars?

Heh. Guess I already answered this question. I like Star Wars for its fantastical mysticism, the scope of its universe, and the potential for the characters within, but as far as somewhere I'd want to actually live, Star Trek all the way. Nice planet somewhere that's been comfortably terraformed that isn't about to be blown up, with all the leisurely amenities.

12. If you were offered a free ticket to anywhere in the world, where would you
go?


Rome. I want to see a few places, historical sites and such, all around Italy, but I figure if I can get to Rome I can use my own money for tickets abroad to places like Venice. But, with France and Spain (relatively) nearby, and as many places as I want to visit in driving distance, Rome is a pretty central hub.

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Nicholas Hughes has finally gone to ground, but that doesn't mean that he's done running, or that Scarlet's done chasing. When last he saw her, she promised to take his head, but when next he hears of her, she's waist deep in trouble and he's the only one that can help her out of it. This time the problem isn't so much choice. It's price. After all, he has his own battle to fight, with things speaking into his ear and looking over his shoulder. She told him too that all debts come due, and among all the shadows, it's difficult to see the face of the clock that's counting down. He's not in Bay City anymore, but then again, Nick also isn't the same man, but that doesn't mean the man he's become won't regret the decisions made by the man he was.


Find J E Cammon at his website -  www.jecammon.com

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