Monday, August 17, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Michele Cameron

Michele Cameron, a native of Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a graduate of North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro with a B.S. degree in Professional Writing and English Education. Ms. Cameron currently teaches high school English in Orlando, Florida.

Cameron’s first novel Never Say Never (Genesis-Press, Inc., January, 2008) was given a four star rating. Romance in Color named her the New Face among African-American writers.

Her second novel, Moments of Clarity… (Genesis-Press, Inc. October 2008) received a five star rating from Affaire de Coeur.

Cameron has been a featured guest on numerous notable BAN radio stations including, Mr. Media Interviews, Conversations Live with Cyrus Webb, Black Author’s Network, I Just Finished, Coffee With an Author, EDC Creations, the morning show, “Who You Calling Old?”, The Write Vision with Celeste Kelley, Circle of -Seven with Austin Camacho, and The Literary Diva.

She has written numerous articles on the internet including the websites, APOO Book Club, Affaire de Coeur, Black Author’s network, Sormag, and The Book Place.
Cameron’s third novel, When Lightning Strikes! (Genesis-Press, Inc., August, 1, 2009 followed by Unclear and Present Danger, (February 2010).

Michele Cameron can be reached at

When Lightning Strikes! How often do you get a true love in your life? Grace Foxfire was blessed with finding true love with Livingston Lockhart, but when tragedy strikes, she loses all hope. As she works through her grief, she looks at her play brother Jethro Newman with new eyes and realizes that the childhood love that they’ve always shared has blossomed into the rare love men and women find… but is she woman enough to take a chance on love for the second time? To have one great love is as exciting as the act of lightning striking, but to have two great loves in a lifetime is a rarity.

When Lightning Strikes is a contemporary romance that deals with alcohol abuse, family counseling, the recovery from death of a loved one and forgiving parents in adulthood which gives a person the strength to move on.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?

In my novel, When Lightning Strikes! I deal with taking the opportunity of counseling. A lot of people, especaially in the African-American culture have been taught that only weak people get counseling, or that you have to have an addiction in order to pursue counseling. When couples have issues they talk to family members. This is not always a good idea. It's better to talk to an impartial person who doesn't have a vested inteest in the outcome as to whether or not you are to stay in the relationship with lots of trials and tribulations.

Why did you choose to write this book?

As a teacher I see a need to educate our children as to how far African-Americans have come and how much we have contributed to the progress of all Americans. The setting of my novel is Lake City, South Carolina, the birthplace of my parents. It is also the hometown of Ron McNair the African-American astronaut who died on the Challenger Space Shuttle. Also, James Graham who was depicted in the movie Proud starring Ossie Davis. B.B. DeLaine was a childhood friend of my parents. His father Reverend DeLaine helped initiate the Brown vs. Board of Education ruling that ruled separate but equal in schools was unconstiutional. I think that it is important to give tribute to people who enabled my to teach all races.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Even as a teacher, there are so many things that I don't know about the history of our nation.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

I have a ghost that helps the characters that remain on earth. I know a lot of people reading this will think that I'm crazy but I in fact have seen ghosts so I
know that they exist. I also believe in dreams. I believe that there are dreams that don't mean anything, but I also believe that they can be a way of communication of the Holy Spirit.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

Authors are not perfect so neither are our characters. In every novel that I write my characters have flaws because they are realistic. When I have someone tell me that they didn't like the hero or the heroine because of a mistake that they've made in the novel, I bite my tongue. Sometimes their dislike of the character made them have to look in the mirror at their own self and it made them uncomfortable.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

Not to read reviews that wanna be writers put on the internet.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Patience. After you've written a novel it takes a year for it to hit the bookstores and you're on pins and needles wanting to see it in the store.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I love to horseback ride. It's just so hot in Florida it's hard to find a time when your pasttime doesn't become a punishment from the sun.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

How hard it is to get your books made into a movie. How long it takes to get royalty checks. How political it can be.

How do you reach new readers?

I'm now on Facebook. I have a myspace page and internet blog.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?

John Grisham. I admire the fact that in all of his novels the underdog wins. Edgar Allan Poe because he was really a troubled soul. I'd like to know why he chose to live his life the way he did and why his soul was so tortured. And of course Maya Angelou because she has risen against much adversity in her life and always acts like a queen.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Don't copy other people's work. Do your own thing. Don't worry about trying to write something that hasn't been done because almost every love story has already been done but the way you present it will make yours different.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Our theme for this month is STAYING OUT OF THE SLUSH PILE. What is your advice to an author who is ready to submit and doesn’t want to end up in the slush pile?

Make sure your work is neat and tidy.

Do your homework and find out what the publishing house is looking for.Give them what they want. If they will take the whole manuscript send it to them. You can trust them because they're professionals.

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