Interview with Camille Eide #2
About the Author
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.
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 amhoping 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.
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