Monday, June 2, 2014

Words with an Author: S. Elle Cameron

Hello Fantabulous Readers!
I hope you are having a wonderful day, because it's about to get even better! I got the chance to ask S. Elle Cameron, author of A Tragic Heart, a few questions about her latest book and career!


1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing? 


I seriously got into writing when I was in middle school. My teachers always took note of my writing skills when it came to creating stories and poetry so I was asked to join a writing program at a university not too far from my home where a selection of my poetry and short stories were published. I first started writing when I was about six or seven. I always wrote about my feelings, mostly through poetry and journal entries.

2. Where did you come up with the idea for A Tragic Heart? Who’s your inspiration? 


A Tragic Heart is sort of an autobiography for me. Most of the story came from my personal experiences and struggles as a teenager in high school & early college. I never thought to write a book until one day I heard a voice say “write a book and call it A Tragic Heart.” I had no idea what it would be about. I just had an idea of Mason in my head. The rest just followed. I wrote it within one month back in 2010 when I was only 18. My inspiration is more of a “what” than a “whom”. I would say music is my inspiration, especially music by Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix.

3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so, which ones? 


Taylor is mostly me from high school and freshman year of college. It’s almost like Peyton was a prediction into my future because my current boyfriend of four years share a lot of similarities with him. It’s sort of funny. But my main idea is that Mason and Peyton are supposed to represent different sides/stages of life. They’re both so close yet so different.

4. Have you written anything before ATH? Published? Unpublished? 


A Tragic Heart is my first published novel. I guess it’s pretty much the starter point for the rest of my stories and novels. It’s the first thing I written of that length. I usually only wrote poetry and short journal entries (like Taylor).

5. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be? 


The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Impulse, Clean, Thirteen Reasons Why, & Breaking Dawn

6. If you could go back and change anything in ATH, what would you change and why? 


I’m not really sure if I would change anything only because it was all meant to fall into place the way it did for a reason. For example, I rushed Mason and Taylor’s relationship to show how impulsive they both were and to show why we all should just take our time. It was also meant to show how fickle teenagers (and people in general) can be. Nothing good ever comes from rushing things. Also, I wanted people to know how much can happen/change in so little time.

7. Who is your favorite character from any book and why? 


Peyton from A Tragic Heart, because everything about him is unusual and mysterious; from the color of his hair to his attitude toward things. He’s pretty much easy to fall in love with in every way.

8. How long did the writing process take for ATH? From conception of the story to final publication.


The novel itself only took me one month to write. I sat for hours a day just writing as ideas popped into my head. After that, I let it sit for over three years until I decided to get it published in May of 2013. That process only took me a few months. The book was released September 27, 2013.

9. Who are some of your favorite authors? 


I really love Ellen Hopkins because she takes risks with her novels. She talks about things that most stray away from. Same goes for Stephen Chbosky & Jay Asher. I also like Lauren Oliver.

10. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book? 


Danielle Campbell as Taylor, Chace Crawford as Peyton, and Wade Poezyn (I would choose Ian Somerhalder if he was younger) as Mason.

11. How did you come up with the title and cover of ATH? Did you have any say in the final cover? 


I randomly heard a voice; clear as day tell me the title. I had a more gruesome cover in mind but decided to tone it down because of my audience. I was actually able to give the complete idea for the cover. I wanted a human heart that looked like it was shattering like glass with cracks in the cover. It’s all meant to be symbolic. I’m huge on symbolism which is why a lot of the time people can miss the point of something I say or write. I’ve always been overdramatic that way.

12. Are you planning to write any more books besides ATH? What are some ideas you have?


I’ve actually written 3 more books and am about to start my 5th. My next book, RED (which is part 2 to A Tragic Heart) will be going through the editing process this July. I’m hoping for an October/November release. After that, I will release Turn It Off, which is the prequel to A Tragic Heart. It’s based entirely off of Peyton. It’s his personal story in detail since we only get to know bits and pieces of it in A Tragic Heart. All 3 books form a series that connect with one another and it all starts with Peyton. Everything will make sense after Turn It Off comes out. My other book is called Smoke & Mirrors (for now) and I have no idea when I’ll release that. It’s really risky (or risqué) for a young adult novel so it depends…

13. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer? 


Honestly, just to keep writing and put themselves out there. Self publish if you have to and try to write for blogs and other people as much as you can. Also, share everything you create, it makes putting yourself out there easier in the long run.

14. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why?


Black is my favorite color (even though it’s technically a shade) probably because it represents mystery and sophistication. I try to incorporate the color on every cover for my novel (same goes for my wardrobe). When something is black it’s hard to tell what it really is…you have to search to find its true meaning (or maybe that’s me being overdramatic again).

Where to find S. Elle Cameron: 
Twitter: @SElleCameron