Are you a full-time or a part-time writer?
During the day I work for one of the top technology companies in the world and spend most evenings and weekends writing. It does get tiring at times, but I enjoy writing so much, the days I don’t write, I feel unaccomplished and empty.
How do you motivate yourself to continue on writing?
This song, Sam’s Town, by Killers. I’ve heard the acoustic version many times, but even today the lyrics give me just the right amount of pick me up I need.
Would you ever be a full-time writer?
In a heartbeat! If I do well enough as an author, that is. Of course, deep down, I’ll always, and gladly, remain a geek.
Did you always know you’d be a writer someday?
Actually, never in a million years could I’ve imagined myself writing even a page worth of a story, let alone a book. It’s surreal to me where I’m today, promoting my debut novel, Chasing Eva.
Then what made you write your first book?
It all started one foggy Sunday morning, seated by my desk at home, with the view of white sailboats floating by in the blue San Francisco bay. I powered up my brand new laptop and started to type, simply to test it out. I typed for four hours straight. That’s when I knew my true passion. The realization amazes me even today.
What started Chasing Eva?
Helicopters fly over my house all the time, and I’m always curious to see their color 🙂 One day I saw a beautiful blue one and right away I wondered where the chopper took off from? Was it from a nearby high-rise? Who was in it? Where were they going? The scene about Clive and Eva flying to Santa Barbara is the first scene I wrote for Chasing Eva 🙂
How do you develop your plots and characters?
The city is constantly buzzing around me and I draw inspiration from it all. Everything and everybody I see, I touch, I talk to, I walk past, inspire me to knit a ‘what if’ situation that leads into a story of my own.
What do you love about writing?
Dreaming up a story and seeing it unveil on paper. Writing allows me to express my imaginations without any inhibitions, and I love that.
What do you find difficult about writing?
Killing my favorites, like Stephen King suggests in his book, On Writing. It’s hard to cut out your favorite sentences and characters from your book even when you know they don’t add much to the story. It’s surprising how soon how precious they become.
Who designed your book cover and your website?
I did. Bought a few pictures from a stock site and hours later I’d created my first book cover. I designed my website too and my husband built it. After all, we’re both techies!
The name, Camellia Hart, is that your real name?
No, it’s a pen name.
Why that specific name?
I wanted a name that I could connect to a happy memory, to that first date with this man [now my husband] for whom my heart flutters even today. It was also my birthday that day. He’d gifted me a heart shaped pendant studded with red garnets. That’s the inspiration for my pen name: Camellia [pinkish-red flower], Hart [sounds like heart].
Do you read much? Please name a few of your favorite books.
I read everyday and I do read varied genres. My favorites: Twain’s Tom Sawyer [who doesn’t like this book, right?], MacLean’s Where Eagles Dare, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Clavell’s Shogun, Herbert’s Dune, Hoover’s Confess, and… gosh, so many more!
What are you working on next?
I’m writing Loving Eva, Book 2 of the In Light of Shadows Series. But every now and then, I wander off into Book 3. I’ve already written the ending of Killing Eva by the way. To think of it, I’ve written bits of my next series too, calling it ‘Dare to Bare’ for now, and maybe the Book 1 will be ‘Because I Met You’… 🙂