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
I’m pleased to welcome Camille Eide to my blog today. Be sure to check out her just released book, Savanna’s Gift. I read it last week and really enjoyed the story.
My First Publishing Contract!
Last spring, I was in the middle of convincing my second novel to quit stalling and finish itself when I heard about the call for submissions at White Rose Publishing. They wanted Christmas Romance novellas for their holiday Extravaganza. The deadline was two months out. I decided to give it a try just for fun, to take a break from my obstinate WIP, and as an exercise in plotting story on a smaller scale. It took me about a month to write it. Though I have an agent, WRP didn’t require agent submission so I followed their guidelines and submitted the story. I was told I would hear back in a few months. But a friend who also submitted for this heard back quickly, so when weeks turned to months, I figured my story wouldn’t make the cut.
I was surprised to get an email from the publisher in July. They liked the story and asked if I would be willing to add something—the hero’s point of view. My word count was at the low end of the required range, so I had plenty of room. I agreed to the addition, so they sent me a contract—my first!
Since Savanna’s Gift is an eBook, I’ve had the gratification of seeing the publishing process in a short time. I worked with in-house editor—a first for me—and I have to say it was great and not at all scary. Through this, I’ve also had a chance to test all the promotional tips I’ve been gleaning over the years. So Savanna’s Gift has been a great first glimpse of life on “the other side.”
It has also been my first venture into the public eye, my way to test the “reader” waters. Since I’ve been focused strictly on pursuing novel publication, my writing has not been “out there” for public feedback. I’ve gotten feedback from friends, writing partners, contests and industry folks, but until now, I’ve never had an audience or known if people would like my work. (I haven’t been a super active blogger . . . ) The response to Savanna’s Gift has been amazing. Shocking, actually. Makes me wish all the more that my other books were out. I feel like I’ve gotten a taste of what authors feel when they release a book only to have readers devour it in a day and clamor for the next one. I don’t say this to boast, but to say my “detour” into publishing a novella has given me an extra leg to stand on as I press ahead with my full length novels. Knowing total strangers have read my work and want to read more is probably one of the most gratifying things I’ve experienced so far as a writer, maybe even more than being offered a contract. Makes me wonder why I haven’t tried publishing shorter works before.
Question: Are you a cave-dwelling novelist with no clue if you even have an audience? Have you offered freebies such as short stories on your blog or website? If not, what do you think about publishing short stories, articles or novellas as a way to begin building readership?
About Savanna’s Gift:
When Savanna gets a second chance at the love of her life, will her dream that once divided them get in the way?
Forced to return to the ski lodge where she once worked, Savanna Holt is reminded of one special Christmas and how ambition led her to make the worst mistake of her life: Leaving Luke Nelson. Stunned to discover Luke never left, but worked his way up from lift operator to manager, Savanna sees the opportunity as a gift from God. She’s determined to win Luke back. But Luke wants no reminders of his past hurt, or a relationship with the woman who put ambition before love. Can Savanna convince Luke she’s changed and her interest isn’t because of his position? And when her dream job beckons, will she sacrifice her dream for a second chance at love?
Savanna’s Gift, A Christmas Romance (eBook novella) now available for $1.00
Please note: No eReader? There are free apps for phone, computer, etc. Download Amazon’s Kindle for PC app in minutes and take advantage of lots of free Kindle books!
Camille Eide writes contemporary Christian romance and romantic women’s fiction. She lives in Oregon with her husband and is mom to three brilliant college-age kids. She’s grateful for the amazing grace of God, and either in spite of or thanks to that grace, she has a PhD in Learning Stuff the Hard Way. She’s also a church secretary, a bassist, and a passably devoted fan of classic rock, muscle cars, and Jane Austen.
Blog: Extreme Keyboarding