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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Welcome Author Camryn Rhys

·         Where do you hail from and what do you love most about your hometown?

I live in a small town in the West, and I love the juxtaposition of the Old West and the New West here. It’s very much a place where you can still have your “local” hardware store where the clerk has known you since you were in diapers, and still get incredible (and, I might add, authentic!) Phad Thai. It’s just about the perfect size right now, and I’m hoping it’ll stay that way for a bit.

·         As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? How has that childhood dream affected your career?
I definitely had my rockstar dreams and famous author hopes. Since I do music and communications professionally, I think I’ve incorporated the best of both worlds into my current job. But more than anything else, I think I always wanted to be happy. On some level, even as a kid, I knew that I needed to do something I loved. Thankfully, I’m doing that.

·         Tell us about your latest book.  Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?
This is another foodie romance, and is the book I was talking about when I was at YGRR last time. Right now, I’m working on a “secret project” with a couple of other Decadent Authors that we’ll be able to talk about very soon. I’ll give you a hint: we’re writing the first books in a series that will be open to other authors for submission very soon. I think our readers and authors will really enjoy this. We’ve been working on it for quite awhile and I’m really excited to start talking about it!

·         Have you ever used contemporary events or stories “ripped from the headlines” in your work?
Not really. I do sometimes use events from my real life as the basis for some stories. But even when I do use them, I generally twist them into a new place.
·         Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?

I’m not gonna lie, it’s hard to write every single day. And it’s really hard to write for short periods of time each day, which I’m having to do with a full-time job. No more writing for hours and hours on end each day. So I have to deal with getting into my groove every single time I sit down to write, and staying in that groove. It’s intense.

·         What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Join a writing organization or group. Join RWA or SCBWI or something like that. Find other people who are doing what you want to do and join them. Get some support. And then set parameters for yourself. It definitely needs to be something you commit to.
·         Do you ever suffer from writer's block? If so, what do you do about it?

Oh, definitely. And I really hate it when people say this to me when I have writer’s block, but you have to write through it. Force yourself to keep writing, even if it’s total crap. You can always throw it away or erase it, but don’t let a lack of “inspiration” stand in the way of getting words on the page. As Nora says, you can’t edit a blank page.

·         Who is your favorite author and why? What books have most influenced your life?
I tend not to have “favorite” authors, but someone I’m reading a lot of right now is a Turkish novelist named ElifShafak. Her book The Gaze is at the top of my reading list right now. It’s a really unusual and poignant love story. The most unique love story I’ve ever read. I tend not to read romance exclusively, because I feel like reading other genres helps keep me on my toes. And writers like ElifShafak, with her unbelievable vocabulary and eloquence always inspire me.

·         How did you deal with rejection letters?
I haven’t gotten a ton of them. This is not something I brag about, because part of the reason I haven’t gotten many rejections is because I rarely submit. I am a super chicken. Rejection is so hard for me, I often go out of my way to avoid it. But I don’t suggest that. What I’ve learned in the last year, actively submitting, is that rejection is really just “not now”. In fact, I know someone who sold the same book to an editor who rejected her last year and re-read the exact same book and accepted it because of the way the market is changing. So I see rejections now as just a “try again later”. Or, rather, edit first, then try again later. J

·         What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
Everyone needs something a little different, because we’re all different. But I firmly believe that the one thing every writer can benefit from is a writing organization. Go join one today.
   Where do you as an author draw the line on gory descriptions and/or erotic content?
I certainly can’t draw anyone else’s line for them. But for me, I have to draw my own line on each of those topics, based on personal preference. I don’t like erotic content for its own sake. I write erotic content as part of erotic romance because I believe that some love stories happen because of intense physical attraction. I don’t write only erotic content, because I don’t believe that every relationship has to include that, but some do. Unlike a lot of erotic romance authors, I don’t believe that everyone HAS to have some kind of lust in order to be in love. And I don’t believe that love without lust is dead. Otherwise there would be billions of dead marriages. I think it’s dangerous to measure our level of love by our level of physical attraction. Our level of love incorporates eros, but doesn’t stop there, and in a lot of cases, it doesn’t even begin there.
·         What's the weirdest thing you've ever done in the name of research?
I do a lot of weird things for research. I even enlist my friends in my causes these days. Just the other day, one of my best friends and I were out for lunch and saw a table of relatively attractive men all eating together at a table near us. After we’d been talking about men’s favorite sex positions, she sort of made fun of my assumption (which was, again, based on research) and walked over to this table. She sat down and explained who we were and started asking questions. They eventually invited me over so she could prove that I was wrong (which it turned out, I wasn’t) and we ended up eating with them and discussing sex pretty candidly for a couple of hours. A tad embarrassing but definitely weird.J
·         Don't forget to give us links to your website etc.
http://camrynrhys.com or http://dirtybirdauthors.blogspot.com or @camrynrhys on Twitter, or my Facebook author page. Or Google +. I am a social media whore. J Find me anywhere.When in doubt, google me. And I don’t mean that in a sexy way…. Or do I?

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