February 29, 2008

Hello, My Name is Camille, And I'm A Wordaholic

We met for our local ACFW chapter meeting the other night. I never liked going first when there's a round-the-room intro, I always think of what I should have said after I hear everyone else.

I might have said: Hello--my name is Camille, and I'm a wordaholic.

About a year ago, I was thinking about writing a novel. I'd never heard of acfw, pov, mru, or storyworld or scene and sequel. Goal-Conflict-Disaster was just another name for parenting teens. Definitely never heard of making a novel out of a snowflake. Head hoppers and pantsers could have been slang for the people I quit hanging around after I got saved.

A year ago the thought never entered my mind to quit making homestyle dinners and cleaning toilets, to join a critque group, to spend hours and hours into the night pounding at the keyboard, to sign up for feeds from writing blogs and leave posts everywhere like a puppy in training, to attend writing workshops, to read stacks of books on writing craft, to download a fiction writing course, to think about how to market myself, or to attend a writer's conference. Or to whine to gracious, wise ones for extra help in getting it right. When I look at the bio I am crafting for my upcoming proposal, I see someone who didn't exist a year ago. Pretty weird when I think about it.

I'm counting down the days until the MT HERMON CHRISTIAN WRITER'S CONFERENCE in March. Lately I've been glued to a few pages of a proposal and the first few of my story that keeps shedding skin and emerging a tiny bit tighter each time, and talking about little else besides pre-subbing and morning tracks and elevator pitches and agent panels and the one thing to never include on the business card when you're unpublished. A year ago, this would have been a foreign language. To family and friends, it still is.

I wonder where I'd be today if a year ago someone told me what writing a novel actually takes.

I'd like to think . . . I'd be right here. In a maniacal frenzy to get ready for MT Hermon.

Oh, here's that bio.

Qualifications: Camille has a PhD in Learning Things the Hard Way. She’s acquainted with dysfunction, pain, despair, and the hope that comes from knowing Christ. She’s a cynic saved by grace who simply wants to encourage herself and others to turn that amazing grace around and use it on those other pesky people.

Camille lives with her family in Oregon. She has been relentlessly pursuing the craft of writing. She is an active member of the Oregon Christian Writers, The American Christian Fiction Writers and her local ACFW chapter where she serves on the board of directors. Camille is a member of The Writer’s View2 and other quality Christian online writing communities that encourage and cultivate literary excellence. She meets with a local critique group. Her past writing credits include two published newspaper articles; she also produces church newsletters and scripts used in drama presentations.
Love Worth Fire is her first novel.

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I've published three novels and a novella (more about those on my website.) I've been writing all my life, but decided in 2007 to get serious about being published.

I love action movies and Jane Austen. (she’s dead, I know. I found that out when I tried to get her to endorse my novel)

They let me play Bass guitar and sing in a worship band.

I can produce 4 dozen homemade cinnamon rolls in a flash for a crowd of drooling young adults. Or publishing house editors.

I used to have a Harley. Now we have twenty-something kids. Decent trade, really. The window-rattling grumble isn't quite the same, but we are still enjoying the ride.

I am a proud Grammy. Don't even think about taking candy from my babies.

I hate shopping (Yes, I'm aware that I'm a girl)

I've lived in Oregon all my life, spent time in Eugene (Go DUCKS!), Springfield, Reedsport, and Smith River. Which is not really a town, but a river, about 70 miles long, a tributary of the Umpqua River in southwest Oregon.

Although it's not a town, it is a community with a strong sense of pioneer history. It's cool to say you've lived there, especially if you lived there during the days when you had to take a boat to school. No joke! The old farmhouse my grandfather and my mother grew up in still stands, nestled into a narrow, pasture carpeted valley, complete with a swimmin' hole and its own 'crick'. It may turn up in one of my novels.

There's a rumor that my ancestors had a connection with the Mafia back in Sicily. I used to fantasize as a kid about a big black limo with tinted windows pulling up and whisking me away from school. Ahhh. So THAT'S why I'm having so much trouble conjugating my dangling participles now.

NOT RANDOM: I am challenged by the truth and amazed by the grace of God. And it's either in spite of or because of that grace that I hold a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way.