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A Center Stage Moment: Cameo Renae

spotlight

Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”

A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.

Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Cameo Renae!

aboutelement157Voted 2013 Break Out Author by Young Adult & Teen Readers, and 2013 Book of the Year (Hidden Wings).
Cameo Renae was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with her husband and children to Alaska.
She’s a daydreamer and a caffeine and peppermint addict who loves to laugh, loves to read, and loves to escape reality. One of her greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance and sharing it with others.
One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe and ride away on her magical unicorn. Until then…she’ll keep writing!
 

Without further ado, here is Cameo’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Did you always want to be a writer? Actually, no. I did love creative writing in school, and how I felt while writing, but I never really thought I’d be a writer. When I was a kid, the coolest thing you could ever be was being an astronaut, so naturally… I wanted to be one.
Why did you choose to write for young adults? I chose the Young Adult genre because it’s such a fun age to write for. It’s an age of self-discovery. Young adults are right between those lines of being a child and adult. So much happens in those short years as a teen which really sets our paths and defines who we are. Then again, teens make most mistakes during those years, and they think they know everything. Really, I guess it’s the craziness of being a young adult that appeals to me.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? Probably about what happens to the body when affected by radiation. I had to look that up for my mutants in my After Light Saga.
After Light Postcard
What are you currently working on? I’m currently working on the next Hidden Wings book.
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Wings of Vengeance (Book 5), which I should be finishing now. I’m trying to finish before Christmas. [And guess who showed up on her virtual doorstep wanting an interview…]
What motivated the plot of your series? I actually got the idea for the Hidden Wings series while writing the end of my debut novel, In My Dreams.
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At the end of the story I write about Guardian Angels, and I fell in love. I could tell they would be a lot of fun, so I decided to give them their own series.
What was the hardest story for you to write? I would have to say the After Light Saga. The post-apocalyptic, dystopian genre was really difficult for me to get into. I had to do a ton of research on solar flares, radiation vaccines, nuclear power plants, different military weapons, choppers, bunkers, etc… It was a lot harder to write than paranormal, which I barely did any research on. But, on a positive note, I’m really enjoying the series. [I have the series. Still trying to find some time to read them.]
What process do you use to plan your novels?  I am a HORRIBLE planner. I really don’t plan. I am a pantser and write as I go. I usually don’t know what’s going to happen until I write it…I know. It’s horrible. But for the moment, it works for me. [Surprised! I figured you as a plotter.]
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? I would have to say Dominic from the Hidden Wings Series. He’s a secondary character…a Guardian…but he is so much fun. He seems to have taken over lead of comic relief. He’s drop dead gorgeous, but knows it. He’s snarky and cynical, and the banter between him and the Guardians is hilarious. I often laugh-out-loud whenever he enters a scene. But, he’s also fearless and brave and would fight to the death for those he loves. [Sounds like another book boyfriend!]
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? I would have to say that all of them have a bit of my personality, because I am writing them. And, I do become very connected to most of my characters. Except the villains. Ha-ha!
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? Oh yes! Writer’s block can be very frustrating, and I usually get it when I am frustrated or stressed. When that happens, I walk away from the story for a bit. Coming back to it with a fresh perspective and reading over the last few chapters does help.  I also try and find some music that fits the scene. Music plays a HUGE part in my writing and is usually the one thing that can pull me out of the block.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I would probably choose romantic comedy because I love romance and I love to laugh. [Would be some interesting books!]
Which authors inspire you? So many authors inspire me, but the ones closest to me are Cambria Hebert and Amber Garza. We check in everyday and help motivate each other. Each of them are amazing writers and inspire me to become a better writer.
What novel would you read multiple times?  I’ve read several novels a few times. One series I read countless times was C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. I loved disappearing into those stories as a child, and know they had an impact on me wanting to become a writer.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? At this moment I would say Taylor Swift. She is the queen of young adults and has such an enormous fan base. If she mentioned my books, they would probably be overnight successes, like everyone else she talks highly about. 🙂
What is your favorite quote? “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination.” Albert Einstein [Very true.]
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Totally a unicorn. They’ve always been my favorite, and I’ve always wanted one. I’m still searching for my unicorn. I know he’s out there…somewhere.
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What is your favorite color? That’s a hard one. I love all colors, but if I had to pick one, I’d say all shades of purple.
I have a treat for followers. This is the awesome book trailer for ARV-3!
 
You can catch up with Cameo Renae, a full-time writer online… “I have been very blessed to have become a full-time writer. I never, in my wildest dreams, imagined I’d make enough to leave a day job and write for a living, but I’m doing it. So, I can say… Dreams DO come true.”

 

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Thank you Cameo, for taking the time away from your busy schedule to participate in my Author Spotlight. We all look forward to reading your next book.
Join me next week as I feature Stacie Wilson!

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