I’m thrilled to introduce you all to Camille Eide, a truly wonderful writer. Camille was kind enough to answer a few questions. Stick around after the interview and enter this week’s giveaway, a signed copy of Camille’s book, The Memoir of Johnny Devine. This is one of my absolute favorites from the last year.
About The Memoir of Johnny Devine:
In 1953, desperation forces war widow, Eliza Saunderson, to take a job writing the memoir of ex-Hollywood heartthrob, Johnny Devine. Rumor has it Johnny can seduce anything in a skirt quicker than he can hail a cab. But now, the notorious womanizer claims he’s born again. And so he seems to be. Eliza soon finds herself falling for the humble, grace-filled man John has become, a man who shows no sign of returning her feelings. No sign, that is, until she discovers something John never meant for her to see.
When Eliza’s articles on minority oppression land her on McCarthy’s communist hit list, both John and Eliza become entangled in a HUAC investigation that threatens both John’s book and Eliza’s future. To clear her name, Eliza must solve a family mystery. She also needs to convince John that real love—not the Hollywood illusion—can cover a multitude of sins. But just when the hope of love becomes reality, a troubling discovery confirms Eliza’s worst fears. Like the happy 1950s façade America now clings to, had it all been empty lies? Is there a love she can truly believe in?
When did you know you were a writer?
Aside from writing, illustrating, and self-publishing my first book about Snoopy at age 7, I began to feel the drive to write in 8th grade. I had a great English/Lit teacher who loaned me books to read and encouraged me to enter my writing in a school collection. I’ve always liked to write, but never seriously considered writing to publish until I was in my 40s. I’m not sure I “knew” I was a writer, but I knew I had a dream to see a book published and knew I wouldn’t stop until I had realized that dream. I guess it finally occurred to me that I must be a writer when I had spent countless late nights working on a story that I soon realized needed help. I didn’t want all that time, lost sleep, and effort wasted, so I sought help learning the craft and understanding the publishing industry.
How long did you actively write before you received your first contract?
I began writing my first novel (having no clue what it took to write or publish a book) in 2007. I signed a contract for two completed novels in 2014, so 7 years of writing, studying, receiving critique, writing, submitting, writing, growing, etc. I grew much as a writer during those 7 years, including acquiring patience and persistence, the concept of the importance of reaching for excellence, and understanding that there is no “arriving” but always growing.
Where do you write?
I have a home office where I do most of my writing. It’s painted in soothing, cozy colors. I can’t write in a coffee shop – I need total quiet.
Where did you get the idea for The Memoir of Johnny Devine?
While working on a story idea that was running into a plot snag, I prayed for the Lord’s help, and soon after, I had a dream about a man with a cane watching in silence as a lovely woman walked out his door for good. In my dream, I knew that his heart was breaking but that he couldn’t stop her. I woke intrigued and immediately began fleshing out this man’s story. As the pieces of the story, backstory, and societal backdrop began to fall easily into place, I really felt my dream was inspired by the Lord and an answer to prayer. The fact that I was able to write it very quickly was also an answer to prayer and further affirmation of this story’s divine inspiration.
What kind of research did you do for The Memoir of Johnny Devine?
I checked out mountains of books (I had to take a rolling suitcase to carry them all) on the 1920-1950s in America, the film industry and the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Studio System, the Cold War era, WW1 & 2, Senator McCarthy and the HUAC hearings, and more. I Googled everything I could get my hands on, talked to my Mom who was in high school the year this story takes place, and watched a LOT of classic films (bummer, huh?)
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on being a grandma as two of my kids are having kids this year, and juggling some changes to our home and family. Meanwhile, I’m working on a couple of novel ideas and deciding which one will become my next book, and I am not at all opposed to an entirely new story idea via a dream.
Thank you, Camille!
Entering for a chance to win a signed copy of The Memoir of Johnny Devine is simple.
- Subscribe at the upper right of this page. (If you’re already a subscriber, you won’t need to do this again.)
- Comment on this blog post.
The winner will be drawn on Tuesday, July 26 at 5:00 pst.
UPDATE: The winner is Jema!
Camille Eide writes heart-tugging tales of love, faith, and family. She lives in Oregon with her husband and is a mom, grammy, bass guitarist, and a fan of muscle cars, tender romance, and Peanut M&Ms.
Author Website: www.camilleeide.com