The wonderfully talented author, Emily Camp, was kind enough to talk with me about her writing and her books! If you enjoy YA, New adult romance or a wonderful romance story, you should absolutely check her books out! I'll let Emily tell you all about her books and a few fun personal facts. Make sure to follow her from her links at the bottom of the interview.
When did you first start writing?
Emily: When I was a teenager.
Why did you start writing?
Emily: I read The Outsiders (that was one of the few YA books we had back then, yes I’m aging myself here) and was hooked. I wore my copy out reading it over and over. Then I decided I wanted to write a similar story only have the main character be a girl and she fall in love with one of the boys. I loved the process of creating the characters and the plot. I still have that story, with notes from my English teacher at the time too. She loved it.
What or who inspires your writing?
Emily: I get inspiration everywhere, from tv, music, podcasts.
Is writing a therapeutic process for you?
Emily: Sometimes, if I’m not trying to force it.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Emily: The editing/ proofreading stage because I always want to change it which can lead to it needing another proofread. It can be an endless cycle if I don’t control myself.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Emily: Pantser. I don’t have a clue what the characters are going to do until I begin writing.
What comes first for you – the plot of the characters – and why?
Emily: It’s different with every book. Sometimes I have the characters and their names and every thing first and know there is a story there, other times I have the plot first.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
Emily: I usually look for photos of people online for the character’s physical appearance. Then I start with just a little idea of what their personalities are like and I spend the entire first draft getting to know them, then when I go to write draft 2 they are easier to flesh out. The same with the plot, writing draft one helps me figure out what’s going to happen.
How do you use social media as an author?
Emily: I try to get on social media and talk to other authors as well as readers. I like interacting with people with like interests and meeting new friends. I’ve made so many great friends through my writing. I also use social media to try to let people know my books exist. That has been the hardest thing for me.
How do you handle writer’s block?
Emily: I either listen to music, watch a show or movie, or read for inspiration. I try to find a story that’s similar to the one that I’m working on if I’m stuck on something.
How do you process and deal with a negative book review?
Emily: When I first published and received my first negative review, I was devastated. I took it personally, which some of the review was bullying, but I got over it. I realize that not every book is for every person and that’s okay. I’m not going to like all the same things as someone else. Some of my most favorite books have bad reviews. I know that a few bad reviews don’t mean that my books are bad.
What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
Emily: Advice that I always give people who are writing their first book is to finish. I’ve seen way too many people get stuck in their own heads on that first draft. My moto is write the first draft like no one is going to read it, that way you get out of the way and let the story take over. Anything that doesn’t work can be fixed in the next draft.
What is your favorite part of publishing?
Emily: I love seeing my creation come to love and people enjoying it. What is your least favorite part? Marketing. Like most authors, I’m an introvert so putting myself out there to try to get people to read my books is a challenge for me.
What do you think is the most important part of publishing after you finish writing your manuscript?
Emily: Marketing, of course, the one thing I’m not good at. Haha.
Did you choose to write romance or did it choose you?
Emily: I feel like it might have chose me. I don’t know. Romance has always been a favorite genre of mine so naturally that’s what I want to write.
Which book is your favorite that you have published so far?
Emily: This is always a tough question because I feel like it’s like choosing your favorite child. But I think A Homecoming to Forget would be my favorite because it was the first mystery I wrote. It stretched me as a writer.
Are any of your books part of a series or are they all standalones?
Emily: I do have a few series. The Cambrooke series has 4 books and they were the first 4 I published. It’s YA faith-based romance with drama. After working on The Cambrooke series for a long time, I wanted to write some stand alones, so I wrote a few of those. Then last fall I published a trilogy and my new book, Torn, that comes out in April will be a duology.
Do you base your characters on real people?
Emily: Sometimes I take different attributes from people I’ve known throughout my life and put them into my characters.
Which of your characters do you relate to the most and why?
Emily: I don’t know if I’d say I could relate to her now, but the main character in Boy of the Week was inspired by my teenage self. She cares more about boys than her grades, and yes, that was me in high school.
How much research do you need for your books?
Emily: Not a lot. I mostly write what I know and since I write contemporary I don’t have to look up historical events very often. But there are occasions where I have to do a little research. I did have to learn about football to write one of my first novels, Running Back. Since then I’ve written a few football romances.
What tropes are in each book?
Emily: Most of my books have love triangles. I also enjoy writing cinnamon roll guys, so I have a lot of those.
What is your favorite trope to write?
Emily: I love writing enemies to lovers trope. I have so much fun writing the banter between two characters with chemistry.
How long did it take you to write each book?
Emily: It’s been different every time. I always try to participate in Nanowrimo, (national novel writing month) which is the challenge to write a 50000 word book in 30 days in November. Of course, that is only the first draft. Then during the camp nanowrimo months, April and July. Most of my book’s first drafts have been completed during these months.
How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
Emily: Someone who likes a lot of drama and twists. My ideal reader loves soap operas and has to keep reading to see what will happen next. They like relatable characters and emotional reads.
Are your books wide or only in Amazon?
Emily: As of right now, most are only in Amazon. I just recently went wide with Boy of the Week and plan to do so with the rest of my stand alones as their KU contracts expire.
Tell us a little about each book?
I have so many, here are a few that I haven’t talked about yet, Sydney’s Last Night is a mystery. Pierce’s sister(Sydney) was in a car accident, but Pierce and her aunt are not convinced it was an accident. As Pierce tries to figure out what really happened she ends up investigating with the twin brother of the girl who Sydney was last seen with, while starting a relationship with her sister’s high school boyfriend.
The What Is Hidden trilogy is written like a soap opera, in multiple POV. It’s about five friends all of which have something they want to keep hidden. It includes tropes like secret baby, love triangle, friends-to-lovers and many more. There are so many twists in this story, you’ll never guess what’s going to happen next.
And then we have my novel that’s releasing in April, Torn. It’s a second chance romance. This too, has been compared to a TV show by several ARC readers. In Torn, the FMC has to move back to the small town she left right after graduation because she has a child and no help because her husband left after a fight one night and never came back. When she runs into her high school sweetheart, they quickly fall in love again, only one problem, she’s still married.
What do you need in your writing space to help you stay focused?
Emily: It’s hard to stay focused. I don’t really have one thing I need in my writing space, but more like something I do. Writing sprints, where I set a timer and have to write for that amount of time without getting distracted, usually 20 minutes. It helps me stay focused and get words down and usually will help put me in the zone so I can continue to be productive.
What is your favorite writing snack or drink?
Emily: I know people look at me like I’m a weirdo when I say this, but I only drink water. I was diagnosed with T2 diabetes four years ago, and the first thing I did was cut out all sugary drinks which is just about everything but water. I don’t like the aftertaste of artificial sweeteners, so diet soda was out. I have since reversed the diabetes and no longer have it. But I still stick to water only. As for snacks, I’m not as disciplined, I love junk food, especially chips and chocolate.
How do you celebrate when you finish your book?
Emily: I start a new project. I love opening up that blank document that will soon turn into an engaging story.
What has helped or hindered you the most when writing a book?
Emily: What can hinder me is listening to too many voices and trying to make everyone happy. When I can ignore all the thoughts of what readers are going to love or hate, that’s when I can write an engaging story. I know that not everyone is going to like everything, but there will be at least one person who will love my story and that’s who I need to write it for.
How many hours a day do you write?
Emily: Again, this is different for me all the time. If I’m really in the zone on a project it’s not unheard of for me to write for twelve hours or more. Then there are some days, I’m lucky to get 20 minutes in.
What are your favorite or most helpful author resources?
Emily: The Emotions Thesaurus is definitely a tool I wouldn’t be able to write without. I recently had some people introduce me to Atticus and it’s already become a great tool that I know I will continue to use.