December Author of the Month: Cameron Garriepy
We call this site “Our Write Side” because that’s what it really is. We want you to meet and mingle, find great new reads, a new author, maybe even a guiding light. We want to pay it forward to the same writing community that has treated us with such love and support.
This is why every single month we will host one author; one outstanding writer to showcase for the whole month.
This month we honor one of our favorite writers.
Self-described shenaniganist and unabashed romantic, Cameron D. Garriepy wrote her first romance novel on an antique typewriter, using a stack of pink paper. Detours between that draft and her publishing goals have included a BA in Music, a professional culinary education, and twelve years in the child-wrangling industry.
Cameron writes from the Metro Boston area, where she lives with her husband, son, and an ill-behaved pug. She singlehandedly supervises the daily nonsense of a small office outside her home, and is the founder and senior editor at Bannerwing Books.
Name: Cameron D. Garriepy
Latest Book Released: DAMSELFLY INN
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Preferred Genre: Contemporary Romance
**Angela Amman and I are releasing Secret Santas: Two Christmas Stories on 12/1. This duet of short, Christmas romances is our second annual holiday co-
release, featuring Angela’s Sweet Silver Bells, and my Santa’s Photographer. Secret Santas will be available exclusively from Amazon for Kindle and Kindle
apps for $0.99.**
We are so honored to have you as our Author of the Month! Thank you for sharing your words with the world! Let’s talk about your latest released book.
Tell us a short blurb about the book, please?
Damselfly Inn is the love story of Nan Grady, an innkeeper, and Joss Fuller, the contractor who repairs her home and livelihood after a storm. He’s got deep roots in the community, she’s new in Thornton. His parents are her neighbors. Her best friend is the town sweetheart. It’s as much a story about a woman creating a place for herself in a small Vermont college town as it is about finding love.
Where did your idea for the story come from?
From a couple of places. Nan came from my own younger dreams of running a small B&B like the Damselfly. My husband is a contractor. And there’s a house all alone on a stretch of state highway in Cornwall, VT, that captured my imagination when I was a student at Middlebury College. The Damselfly itself is built on that house’s foundation, and the town of Thornton, while fictional, is based on Middlebury.
How long did it take you to write it?
Just shy of six years. It was the first manuscript I started, and I learned how to write a novel as I went. The secondary plot, the characters, even my narrative style, all evolved as I got more involved in my writing community, and I took detours, including my first shorter novel, Buck’s Landing, along the way.
How did you come up with the title?
Originally, it was going to be Dragonfly Inn, for my love of dragonflies, but Lorelei Gilmore got there first.
What is your favorite line from the book?
I thought hard about one of the more prosaic descriptions or tender moments, but in the end, it’s the first line: “Joss Fuller was daydreaming about his mother’s tomato pie when lightning struck the Damselfly Inn.” So much of the story is contained in that line.
There’s a lot of talk in the writing community about “writing what you know.” Does that apply to this book?
Absolutely. I lived in Middlebury for four years, explored the area, was in love with it. I miss it every day, and visit whenever I can, so creating Thornton was only a matter of changing and idealizing the town I know and love to suit my story. I’ve never been an innkeeper, but I did go to culinary school, so the food in the book is all things I love. My husband consulted a little on the contracting, and I’ve lived through a decade of remodeling and repairs on an old house, so I drew from experience there, too.
How did you find “your voice?”
I’ve been writing since high school, I edited the lit mag. I studied creative writing in college, I journaled and scribbled through my twenties, but the last six years have really focused my voice and my narrative style. I’ve been reading in my genre for decades, so I knew the voices I wanted to honor, but developing my own has been a product of not only the reading, but just drafting and revising and drafting and revising, and listening when my beta readers tell me I don’t sound like myself. That usually means I’m trying too hard.
Do you stick to one genre or do you dabble in others, too?
I love to play around. I love fantasy and magical realism, as well as historical fiction. I am fascinated by steampunk and ghost stories, too. I’ve got a YA fantasy/steampunky series of short story/novelettes that I’m writing and publishing as gifts for the children in my life, and I often dip into other genres for short stories.
What are you currently working on?
A sequel to Damselfly Inn, and a follow up to my 2012 release, Buck’s Landing, set in Portland, Maine. I am also co-releasing a duet of Christmas short romances called Secret Santas with my publishing partner Angela Amman.
Which manuscript did you have the most fun working on?
That’s like picking a favorite child… But probably Buck’s Landing. It came out all in a rush, and needed relatively little major revision. It was just a joy, and I love the cat(alyst) in that story.
What is your best one sentence advice to other writers?
Listen to your trusted readers, and keep putting yourself out there.
I am married, a mom to a second grader, and I have a dog, a house with a yard and a full-time non-writing job. I don’t actually write unless I carve that time out for myself. I have to remember to be fierce about writing or it falls to the bottom of the to-do list. I knit and crochet, I bake, I read. I do a lot of little projects with my eight-year-old.
What motivates you?
Storytelling, sharing, positive feedback, satisfaction. And I’d be lying if I didn’t want to eventually make a living writing novels.
What’s your favorite quote? Book? Movie? Song? Food?
Another favorite child question!
I have a few favorite books: Anne of Green Gables, Daphne du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek, The Eight by Katherine Neville… I could never say for once and all that I have a “favorite song,” but REM’s Find the River never fails to catch me in the chest. The fourth movement of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony is another one. Too much joy to be contained in an orchestra, he gives this huge message of love and humanity and wonder to the choir and lets the whole thing just swell to almost superhuman proportions. Magnificent stuff, that.
I’m still working on finding my favorite food. I just keep tasting things and thinking the world can’t get any more delicious, but it inevitably does.
Oh, and I love quotes, so I’ll just leave this one here:
“Contentment is a state of mind and body when the two work in harmony, and there is no friction. The mind is at peace, and the body also. The two are sufficient to themselves. Happiness is elusive — coming perhaps once in a life-time — and approaching ectasy.” – Daphne du Maurier, Frenchman’s Creek
Are you coffee or tea?
Coffee. Light and sweet, not too bitter. Tea. Earl Grey, hot. Why make it an “or?” I’m an open minded woman.
And lastly, what is the one thing you wish people who DON’T write would understand about writing?
That it’s work. That it takes time, ambition, sweat, gray hairs, and nerves of steel. That a great idea doesn’t always make a great book. That marketing sucks. That it’s not done in a vacuum — it takes a village like anything else. That you don’t just toss a book on Amazon and sit back on your giant, squishy pile of royalties unless you have tremendous luck or tremendous hustle. That reviews and word of mouth are the best possible form of support.
Thank you for answering our questions.
You’re super welcome. Fun interview!
To find out more about this fabulous writer, please follow her social media and author pages below.
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