Today I have the pleasure of featuring YA author Chelsea Cameron. The story of her writing journey is fascinating and inspiring. Not only that, but she’s giving away a copy of her book and some swag. Read on to hear more about her writing journey and enter the giveaway!
While I’ve only been independently publishing my work since February 11, 2012, my journey to being a writer started much earlier than that. I’ve always loved books, ever since I knew they contained stories about other people, other places, other lives I could live in for a little while. I don’t know if it’s because I’m an only child, or because I grew up in a rural area without a lot of friends around. Books were my way to live a life that was much more exciting than my own.
You’d think with my love of books that my love of writing would come naturally. It didn’t. I dragged my feet and kicked and screamed every time I had to do any sort of writing for school. My mother can attest to this. When I told her I wanted to be a writer, her first reaction was, “but you hate writing.” I did. I can’t really pinpoint why I hated it, but I think it has something to do with the fact that I was always being TOLD what to write. “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” and all that. Who doesn’t hate those kinds of things?
I’ve always told myself stories. I used to re-write situations in my head to make them more interesting. When I got teased at school, I’d re-imagine the scene with the bully getting eviscerated by my wit. It wasn’t writing to me, it was just something I did with my overactive imagination. It wasn’t until a few years ago I realized that writing was what I was doing. I never put these things down on paper, never told them to other people. I was a closet writer for many, many years.
Fast forward to choosing college majors. I went with journalism because it sounded better than English. I learned a ton in those classes, and I’d actually recommend going that path for someone who wants to be a writer, fiction or non-fiction. I had the full intention of being a journalist at my hometown paper. Then my dad passed away from cancer. I’d just turned 20, and I thought my life was over. A few months later, I had an idea for a story. I wrote some notes, and four years later I had my first book. It’s a complete mess, and there is no way I’m publishing it. Still, it taught me how to write a book. Fast forward a few months after that, and the inspiration that became Whisper.
I’d been toying with the idea of mortality and what it means. I read something somewhere about a ghost being in love with a living person, and I thought that was such a cool idea. I’m not sure what else triggered the idea, but Whisper was born. I sat down and wrote the first book in two-and-a-half weeks. It had taken me four years to write my other book, and I didn’t even know I could write that fast in such a short period. The idea was still nagging at me, so I wrote the next book, and then the next. I did nothing else but write for two-and-a-half months. I didn’t edit anything, I just wrote in a frenzy, not caring what came out, only that I had to keep moving, keep the words flowing. It was a fit of creative frenzy I haven’t been able to capture since. Before then, I’d heard about NaNoWriMo and thought it was insane. No one could write 50,000 words in a month. But I wrote 175,000-ish in under three.
Writing Whisper was the first time I’d ever let go. Stopped worrying about editing, or if it sucked, or if anyone would like it. I let those books happen. I let this girl Annabelle and this guy Jack and a whole bunch of their living and non-living friends keep me company.
A year later when I decided to publish, I went back and looked at the first book, which turned out to be Whisper. It wasn’t that bad. I didn’t hate it. My writing had grown in the year since I’d written it, so I did do a re-write before sending it off to my editor. I’ve yet to look at Silence, the second book in the series, or Listen, the final, but I’m not scared anymore. I can always re-write, I can always fix something. That’s what writing this series taught me. That I can let go and it’s okay.
Since I wrote those three books, I completed NaNoWriMo and wrote two stories, combined which totaled 112,000 words. It sounds corny, but you really don’t know what you’re capable of until you do it.
Chelsea M. Cameron is a YA writer from Maine. Lover of things random and ridiculous, Jane Austen/Charlotte and Emily Bronte Fangirl, red velvet cake enthusiast, obsessive tea drinker, vegetarian, former cheerleader and world’s worst video gamer. When not writing, she enjoys watching infomercials, singing in the car and tweeting. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Maine, Orono that she promptly abandoned to write about the people in her own head. More often than not, they turn out to be just as strange as she is. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or on her blog.
Click below to enter the giveaway!
Please Note: The prize(s) will be sent directly from the author. Becca J. Campbell holds no responsibility for any issues related to shipping/delivery.