About the Author
Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.
Cambron is an art/design manager at TheGROVEstory.com storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.
1.What is your current WIP (work in progress)? What can you tell us about it?
I can describe my WIP in three words: Boston, vaudeville, and Houdini. I’m currently editing The Illusionist’s Apprentice – my fourth historical novel with HarperCollins Christian Publishing (Thomas Nelson, 2017). The Prohibition-era story centers around Jenny “Wren” Lockhart, a female illusionist on the vaudeville circuit who was also a one-time apprentice to the world-famous Harry Houdini. It’s similar to The Ringmaster’s Wife in that it’s a Jazz Age entertainers novel, but this story has again stretched me as an author… it’s my first opportunity to explore a story that incorporates an deep air of mystery in the plot. It’s a mix of illusion and mystery in a Gatsby-era world, all from the vibrancy of a vaudeville stage. I can’t wait for you to read this one!
2.What authors inspire your writing?
Rather than specific authors (because I read so many different authors’ work), I’m inspired by beautifully written stories and complex characters who invite me into their worlds. If I walk away from a book with the story still on my heart and the inspiration to improve as a writer, then I know the book was special. And believe me – there are so many fine authors out there, that this happens often. I also enjoy reading outside of the genre in which I write. (You can find me reading back covers in the YA aisle of the bookstore.) I also love going back to read classics and children’s literature. The opportunities for inspiration are endless when you explore new stories and different author voices.
3.What period of history interests you the most? Does this influence your writing?
I love so many eras in history – it’s why I wanted to study art history and research writing in college. And though I’ve been writing novels set in the early 20th century, it’s the grip of a good story arc or a particularly meaningful subject matter that will draw me in. I’m interested in finding redemption for characters – especially when hope rises out of darker places in our human history. The complexities of a post-war world in the Roaring Twenties or the horrific circumstances of the Holocaust were backdrops for the “hope rising” I wanted my characters to experience. What I plan to write next will stay true to this interest… even if the historical era changes. (Hint, hint!)
4.When did you write your first novel and how old were you?
Here’s where I make a confession: I wasn’t an ardent reader in childhood. (I know. Shocking!) But I was quite taken by visual storytelling. When I was young, my mom would take my sister and me to the library each week and instead of the fiction aisles, I would head straight for the art and animation books. It was then that this love of great stories began to take shape in my heart. It wasn’t until college (and when I realized I was not gifted with a visual artist’s hands) that I found my niche with art history research writing. I still wasn’t ready for an author career (as I had fifteen years of learning time yet to spend in corporate America), but I found my way home in 2011 when I began the journey to becoming a Christian fiction author.
5.What inspired the idea for The Ringmaster's Wife?
Two things: classic films and my publishing family.
I’m something of a vintage soul. My mom inspired this love of classic films in me when I was very young. I grew up watching stunning films from the 30s, 40s and 50s. One of our favorites to watch together was The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). I was watching it again in late 2014 and an idea sparked: “I’d love to write about the circus!” But I pushed the idea away because I thought it might be too much of a niche topic. It wasn’t a week later that my editor and I were having a phone conversation and she shocked me with an idea the publishing team had been discussing. They thought Mable Ringling had a story to tell and wanted to know if I had any interest to write it. Friends, that was a God-inspired moment if ever I’ve experienced one. And it became the heart of The Ringmaster’s Wife. :)
6. What hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
It’s interesting to have a job that actually started out as a hobby! I was working a high-powered corporate job, and writing in the evenings and weekends was a lovely escape I enjoyed. Now, with a job I truly love, it’s opened up time for new things in my life: spending so much more time with my family, traveling for research, and finding new paths in my faith journey – especially through verse mapping. I’m trying to get back to my roots with physical exercise too, so I will head out to the basketball court to play with my sons as often as I can.
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