Author Interview | Nicola Cameron
Hello folks, today I am super excited to have Nicola Cameron on my blog for a uper intersting interview, so as I always say, grab a brew, get comfy and enjoy.
Hello Nicola, thank you so much for agreeing to an interview, I am pleased to welcome you to my blog.
Thanks for having me on, Daniel.
So tell me a little bit about yourself, where are you from and what do you write?
I was literally born and figuratively raised at the University of Chicago (my mother used to work for the Humanities Division, so I spent a lot of time there during summers and school holidays). I also worked at the U of C as an adult, and my university internet account was how I wound up meeting my future husband on rec.arts.tv.uk. He’s a nice Midlands boy from Derbyshire, and after we got married we spent the next twelve years traveling around Canada and Europe for long-term contract work with his employer before settling down in Dallas.
I began my pro writing career as a science fiction writer in 1995 with Circlet Press, then started doing erotic romance in 2012 with my short story, “Tied With a Bow” for Evernight Publishing’s holiday anthology Vanilla-Free Christmas: Manlove Edition. I still write in both genres, but I find I’m bringing a lot of my SF experience and interests into my erotic romance work, which is giving me the best of both worlds. For instance, my Olympic Cove erotic romance series includes Greek gods, mermen, tritons, selkies, nanotechnology, bioengineering, battle scenes, and Alan Turing. What can I say—I like coloring outside the lines.
What appealed to you about writing M/M? Your covers are very yummy by the way.
Thanks for those go to Sour Cherry Designs — they’re brilliant, aren’t they? I started writing M/M because I like reading it, to be honest. When it came time to try writing an erotic romance, it was natural for me to go with an M/M story (or an M/M/M story in my case). I’m very lucky in that I have a number of friends across the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, so I was able to call on them to answer questions about everything from sexual positions and what’s anatomically possible (and, more importantly, what isn’t) to the inner emotional and intellectual lives of gay men.
I am cognizant of the school of thought that disapproves of women writing M/M, understandably considering it the appropriation and fetishization of gay male orientation in the same way that lesbians were fetishized by male writers in the mid 20th century. I very much respect this concern, and do my absolute best to make sure that my characters and their stories are as realistic and fully developed as possible. If a gay male reader can see himself in my characters and enjoy the ride, then I feel I’ve done my job as a writer.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Literally everywhere. I’m one of those people who have chronic insomnia because my brain is constantly tossing ideas my way. One of my WIPs was inspired by being stuck in downtown Dallas traffic and noticing all the pyramids used as architectural features (seriously, Dallas is pyramid heaven). And my SF M/M erotic romance Two to Tango was inspired by John Barrowman and Misha Collins fooling around at a Fedcon in Germany and tweeting pictures of them tangoing together. I saw that and thought, “That’s nice, they’re having fun…oh, hey, wait a minute…” A few hours later I had a story about a dashing Scottish interstellar art thief and the Russian archaeologist he accidentally kidnaps. And hijinks ensue!
What can you tell me about your typical writing day and what your process is?
I’m one of the lucky writers who can work full time (the Brit and I have a deal — I’m our retirement plan since I don’t ever intend to stop writing, so he supports me now and I’ll support him later). I get up in the morning and work on whatever the current WIP is, take a lunch break, then spend the afternoon catching up on word count or doing any outstanding paperwork, social media, or promotion. I also enjoy a variety of crafts (the maker gene is strong in my family) and I’ve incorporated that into my writing process. If my hands are busy with a jewelry piece, a quilt, a dollhouse, etc. it gives my brain a chance to run through dialogue, work out plot points, or just free associate. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I wound up fixing a story problem while working on something else.
Can you tell me about your journey to publication? How did that all happen?
If we’re talking about erotic romance, it started when I saw the antho call for Vanilla-Free Christmas: Manlove Edition on Facebook. I had an idea for a pleasantly kinky M/M/M menage holiday story, so I wrote it and submitted it to Evernight. They bought it, so I decided to try doing a M/M fantasy story for their Romance on the Go line. They bought that as well, and I just kept going. By this point I’d been a professional SF writer for 17 years, so I think that played a large part in Evernight deciding to publish me.
As of last year I released my first self-pub novel, Empress of Storms. It was intended to be a standalone, but it did amazingly well and people keep asking for a sequel, so I’m working on that now and frantically trying to fill out the world so that it makes sense (also, I just want to say that I only started reading Game of Thrones this summer, so I swear that any coincidences between EoS (and there are some, to my embarrassment) and Mr. Martin’s magnum opus is due to the fact that we both speak English and are using European lands and history as inspiration).
What are the folks at Evernight Publishing like to work with?
Evernight is an utterly solid, professional company that is a joy to work with. Their editors know their stuff, their cover artist Jay Aheer produces the most amazing artwork for us, and their financial dealings are scrupulously honest and transparent. I’ve really enjoyed writing for them.
What do your family and loved ones think of your success?
Pretty much everyone thinks it’s great. My husband is immensely supportive of me, and when it comes down to it his is the only opinion that’s truly important to me. A funny anecdote: back when I was writing SF my late mother once sighed, “I wish you wrote romance — then you’d have something I could show my friends.” Be careful what you wish for, Mom!
What to you tell people when they ask what you write?
Depends on the person — usually I say I write SF and paranormal romance. If they want details, I explain that my work tends towards the more explicit side of the spectrum and is heavily M/M. Either I get a polite, “Oh, okay,” or they want book titles and places they can find my work, which is gratifying.
What advice would you give aspiring writers, particularly those like me who are looking to write m/m?
Writing M/M is like writing any other kind of erotic romance or erotica—you need to make sure your plot is tight and well-crafted, your characters are three-dimensional and engaging, and the emotions between them real. Smoking hot sex scenes are also good, but make sure you know both the anatomy and the dynamics involved. It annoys the hell out of me to read a M/M story that was written by someone who obviously thought, “Oh, I’ll just put a dick on the woman—that’ll work.” Yeah, no. Quite apart from anatomical differences, M/M romances have a different dynamic from M/F romances, and it’s vital to both recognize and respect that.
Also, to quote my friend Colby Keller, “There’s always time for lube.”
So what’s next for you? What are you working on right now?
At the moment I’m finishing Palace of Scoundrels (the EoS sequel), and I’m also working on a dubcon M/M erotic contemporary romance titled Do No Harm. It was supposed to be a short story for Evernight’s Dark Captive anthology, and then the damn thing exploded on me. Both of those should be out in September, then I’ll be working on a fantasy M/M erotic romance called The Chevalier set in a quasi-AU 17th century France. Hot men, cold steel, and serious snark — whee! The final book of the year will be a historical M/M erotic romance about Baron von Steuben, one of the heroes of the American Revolution who was also an out and proud gay man. I’m very much looking forward to working on his story.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions Nicola.
Nicola Cameron is a married woman of a certain age who really likes writing about sex. When not writing about sex, she likes to knit. And she may be rather fond of absinthe. Well, it’s true!
Okay, okay, the full version: Nicola Cameron has had a healthy interest in sex since puberty, but it wasn’t until 2012 that she decided to write about it. Turns out that the skills picked up during her SF writing career transfer rather nicely to erotic romance and erotica — who knew?
Speaking of erotica, her fantasy erotic romances Storm Season, Breaker Zone, and Deep Water (Books One through Three in the Olympic Cove series), Romance on the Go™ novelettes “A Boon by Moonlight” and “Grading the Curve”, coyote shifter paranormal romance Trickster, and fast-paced SF caper romance Two to Tango are are all available from Evernight Publishing. Her self-pubbed high fantasy erotic romance Empress of Storms is available from Amazon, Smashwords, All Romance eBooks, and a variety of other online retailers. She is currently working on Behind the Iron Cross, a dark MMF erotic romance set in Weimar Republic-era Berlin, and Cross Current, Book Four in the Olympic Cove series. Her To Be Written work queue currently stands at around nineteen books, and thanks to certain enablers in Baltimore she may have added two more to that list. But hey, who needs sleep?
When not working, she’s usually making Stuff™, kissing her husband, or entertaining her cats.