Tour Schedule and Assignments
March 7--Katie's Clean Book Collection (Book spotlight post, Snippet of a chapter in the book)
March 8--Wishful Endings (Review)
March 9--The Power of Words (Review) | Singing Librarian Books (Book spotlight post, Author Interview (SLB Tours asks the questions), Snippet of a chapter in the book)
March 10--Smiling Book Reviews (Review, Author Interview (SLB Tours asks the questions))
March 11--Deal Sharing Aunt (Author Interview (You ask the questions))
March 12--Reading Is My SuperPower (Review)
Camille Eide writes romantic, inspirational dramas about 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, oldies Rock, and Peanut M&Ms.
(Insert interview here or include the interview via SLB Tours below.)
Interview via SLB Tours
1. What authors have inspired your writing?
I admire many authors, and I learn from them all, but—and this may come as a surprise—some of the authors who literally inspire my writing are men who write miles out of my genre. I think it has to do with smart, engaging style. I used to read a lot of Stephen King as a teen, which was when and why I first took up writing. The way he wrote dialog inspired me to write stories told by nothing but dialog. Charles Martin is a huge favorite mainly because he’s simply an engaging storyteller. His style is so smooth I haven’t really stopped reading long enough to analyze what charms me so much.
The writing styles of Dale Cramer and Athol Dickson are like brain candy to me. Dickson’s writing paints sheer beauty that stuns and makes me think. Cramer’s delightful turns-of-phrase and elegant hyperbole entertain me into a stupor before I realize there is much more story and symbolism going on between the lines. Susan Meissner (yes, I also like female authors) has a quiet, intelligent voice that leaves me thinking long after the book is finished. When I need a boost of killer wit, I read Jenny B. Jones. I am inspired and a bit influenced by the work of Jane Austen. I adore her subtle irony. I do have to watch myself for paragraph-length sentences after reading her work, though. I appreciate the fact that her characters fall in love based on growing esteem of character rather than simply physical attraction. As a tribute, I often tuck some token of Jane into my stories.
2. What is your current WIP? Can you tell us a bit about it?
Because I had three novels release in the span of 15 months, I’ve been tied in a knot with launching and marketing those, which put my writing on hold. I’m researching a couple of heart-wrenching love story ideas now and am hoping to work them into a series.
3. Who designs the covers of your books?
My three Ashberry Lane book covers were all designed by Nicole Miller-Miller Media Solutions. I love her work and think she did a fabulous job!
4. How do you come up with the names for the characters in your novels?
I like to keep names simple, not too attention-drawing or unusual. Sometimes I want to give an impression, like “Emily” in Like There’s No Tomorrow. She’s companion to her elderly aunt, and her pen-pal, Ian, has the mistaken idea that the companion is also elderly. So her name needed to sound a little old fashioned. Sometimes, I choose a name based on its meaning. “Aunt Grace” is named after a relative who was an inspiration for a few of both Maggie and Grace’s traits.
I look into names common to a region, as in the case of my Scottish characters. I also look for names common to an era. “Johnny Devine” seemed like the kind of stage name an up-and-coming film star would adopt in the 1930s. “Eliza” and her sister “Betty” also came from common names of the era.
Mr. Darcy, the enigmatic cat in The Memoir of Johnny Devine, was absolutely intentional, as he is a motif in the story—and, of course, a nod to Austen.
One departure from my selection process is the hero’s name in Like a Love Song. Joe Paterson’s name is symbolic on two levels: his first name is literal—he is a biblical allegory. His last name is a compound (pater= father, and son) tribute to who he is, his core values, and who he becomes in this story.
5. What inspired the idea to write Like a Love Song?
The initial spark came from a Christmas letter from my niece who was a care-staff counselor at a foster group home. She wrote about her ministry to kids who lived with people who would probably be the only family they would ever have. It touched my heart. I was able to visit the home while I was working on this story. The funny thing is, not long after I met the director, she married her sweetheart who also worked there. I had nothing to do with that. J Of course, the actual story draws inspiration from life and God-truths and so much more. The story is set in the wide expanse of Central Oregon’s high desert, a place I’ve visited many times over the past 30 years and have grown to love for its quiet, rugged beauty.
6. What was the hardest part of writing Like a Love Song? What was the easiest part?
Susan Quinn is a bit tough. If you’ve read Like There’s No Tomorrow, you met her briefly when Emily was at work. She’s not hard-hearted, not at all. She’s just very guarded, and with good reason. In early stages of writing this story, before many rounds of revisions, some critique partners had a hard time liking Sue on first meeting. I needed to go back and make sure she was sympathetic on introduction without making her too “sweet” since that’s not who she is. That was tricky.
Also: research for me is always a challenge. Finding that exact bit of critical information takes some doing, and there were a number of things that needed to be accurate. And getting the more emotional scenes just right can be difficult. You want the depth of emotion without going overboard. The more emotional scenes were revised again and again until they felt natural and balanced within the scene.
The easiest part wasn’t all that easy. On one hand, it was easy to describe a moment when the Lord’s presence felt very real to Sue—I was writing from experience. The difficulty was to describe the experience in a way that rang true and did such a moment justice.
Also, sarcasm is not a challenge for me. It flows rather easily, I’m afraid.
Layne drew a deep breath. “I’m sorry, Sue. You know I’ll help you in any way I can.” She looked like she had more to say but was holding back.
Layne reached in her bag, pulled out another blue Lindor ball, and unwrapped it as she spoke. “Remember your failed inspection last month? The one that left you with a list of repairs and thirty days to do it?” Layne gave her a steady look. “Sue, if those repairs aren’t done to code by the end of October, they’ll yank your license and shut you down. So unless you want to scatter those kids to the wind and lose everything you’ve worked for ...”
Sue eyed the chocolate. A burning knot tightened her belly, flat-lining her appetite. “Things have been hectic lately. We’ve done most of the repairs. I just haven’t had time to finish it all. Bowman was making progress, but ... I had to let him go.”
“I heard. But time’s running out. Follow up inspection is in two weeks.”
“Can you get a delay?”
Layne shook her head. “Sorry, there’s nothing I can do. At least, not about the inspection.” Her perfect little arched brows perched higher and waited.
Ignoring her friend’s baited expression, Sue made a mental list of all the opposition her home had faced in the last two years. Income had been so sporadic lately that letters from the bank had become routine. State licensing regulations, county housing codes, food and funding shortages—she and the kids had worked together every time and found a way to solve each problem. She wasn’t about to lose her home now over a couple of broken windows and some leaky plumbing.
Layne folded her arms along the bedrail and leaned close. “Remember what I said about my brother’s oil rig boss in Alaska? He’s here until January and needs the work. It’s the perfect solution, Sue. I’m sure he can fix anything. He could get all your repairs done and solve your male dorm counselor problem.”
“Dorm counselor?” Sue huffed out a laugh. “My care staff has special training in handling troubled kids. Working at Juniper Ranch isn’t like running a crew of men.” Especially big, burly men with girlie tattoos and who knew what else.
Layne leaned back. “Okay, so he might not be ideal counselor material. But he can definitely help you out of a really tough spot. And it’s just for a few months. If it makes any difference to you, it would help him out, too. Besides, it’s a steal of a deal. Joe is probably worth far more than whatever you were paying Bowman.”
The sensation of being trapped in a corner and bullied into submission stirred up a mixture of panic and resentment that soured the lingering taste of chocolate. “I don’t like this, Layne. I don’t like being forced.”
“I know, Sue. I’m sorry. But I don’t think you have any other choice.”
See, it’s that no choice part I really dislike.
People shuffled about their business on the other side of the curtain, while Sue lay trapped, a victim of rotten circumstance outside her control. A familiar feeling of powerlessness crept over her, but she refused to let it take hold. She was no longer a small, defenseless child. Swallowing her dread, Sue said quietly, “Since this Joe is already on his way, what am I supposed to do, hire him sight unseen?”
“You interview him like you would anyone else.”
An interview. Where I drill this total stranger and pretend I actually have a choice. “Okay, let’s say he passes the interview. Until I get a full background check and references—which you are going to provide me, by the way—he’s only working on repairs under supervision and he’s not coming anywhere near my kids. He lives off-site until everything clears.”
Layne’s brows shot up. “You’re going to supervise him?”
A slow smile spread across Layne’s face. “So that’s a yes?”
Sue turned toward the assortment of hoses and medical panels on the wall. Sometimes, Sue secretly admired Layne’s subtle powers of persuasion.
This was not one of those times.
(Insert review with FTC disclosure here.)
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March 7--Katie's Clean Book Collection
March 8--Wishful Endings
March 9--The Power of Words | Singing Librarian Books
March 10--Smiling Book Reviews
March 11--Deal Sharing Aunt
March 12--Reading Is My SuperPower
SLB Tour Kits will be posted here by the Friday before the tour begins.