By Erica Cameron
How the beginning leads to the end
I completed my first original novel in 2008. It was a contemporary fantasy that played with a twist on the concept of guardian angels, but it was a mess. Over the period of a year or more, I edited and polished and adjusted and fixed. Although I queried versions of this book a few times, and several times it garnered interest from agents, I eventually had to acknowledge truth—I had written myself into a corner with the series’ plot, and the problems were big enough that I didn’t know how to fix them.
It was unfixable, but it didn’t matter. The book was a lesson. More than one, really. It taught me I was capable of finishing a novel. It proved to me that people wouldn’t hate what I wrote. It demonstrated how many problems would arise in a plot if I didn’t at least have an idea of where I was going. I learned as much as I could, and I kept writing.
My next attempt was a dark contemporary, but again, I ran into more problems than I knew how to handle. Unsure of how to fix it, I moved on quicker this time, because that was something else my first novel taught me—don’t linger too long without a plan of attack. I promised myself I’d come back later if I knew how to fix the concept, and I still might one day.
Sing Sweet Nightingale, which became my debut novel, was the third book I wrote. Finally, with this story, I felt as though things were beginning to come together. I better understood how to weave all the elements of the book together. The story thrilled me the same way my first original concept had, and when the time came to fix things, I knew how to break the story down, rearrange the pieces, and construct something better. My editors and I made it as shiny as possible, and it released in 2014.
With Sing, everything was new, fresh, and full of excitement. It was the beginning of a series that my publisher wanted to release pretty quickly. Life and industry complications changed the plans, and now only two of the four planned novels in the Dream War Saga are out in the world. Despite the delay, I wanted author to become my full-time career, so I kept writing.
In September of 2016, I released my fifth novel. Nemesis makes six, but it’s also a first for me—the first time I have ever said goodbye to a series and a cast of characters.
Writing is a continuous learning process, one that rarely travels a straight or simple line. Looking back at the past several years, it’s easy now to see how the beginning of this path has led to the end, but along the way it sometimes felt like I wasn’t ever going to get here. I am here, though, and I’m still learning. My first attempt may have proven that I could finish a novel, but Nemesis taught me how to close out a series arc. All I can hope now is that readers will find the conclusion of the arc as satisfying as I have.
Being orphaned and almost kidnapped in the space of a week sent Blake Marks into hiding. For months, Blake tries to help the Calvers—a family of vigilante bodyguards—investigate the people behind the hit on Blake’s father, Isaac, but then the safe house is compromised. Just as hired thugs storm the house to grab Blake, Daelan Calver dives into the fight, getting them both out alive.
Hiding isn’t an option anymore, but hit squads, under-the-table deals, and international espionage? Blake has no idea how to handle any of it, not even with Daelan’s family there to play teachers. The one thing Blake knows for sure is that there are only two options: keep up with the Calvers or get out of their way.
But even with the Calvers’ help and the glimmer of a possible future with Daelan giving Blake hope, chances of survival keep shrinking. The man who ordered the hit on Isaac may be dead, but his partner is viciously cold-blooded, and her plans could change the course of history. Blake wants to finish what Isaac started, but it’s looking like someone is going to die before this is over. And that someone might be Blake.
About Erica Cameron:
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Erica graduated with a double major in psychology and creative writing from Florida State University and began pursuing a career as an author.
Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, ex-Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
Connect with Erica:
- Website http://byericacameron.com
- Twitter http://twitter.com/byericacameron
- Tumblr http://byericacameron.tumblr.com
- Facebook http://facebook.com/byericacameron
- Instagram http://instagram.com/byericacameron
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate the release of Assassins: Nemesis, one lucky winner will receive $30 in Riptide Publishing credit!
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