Monday, October 19, 2020

Author Interview with Cameron Lund


Alright y'all, I connected with this lovely lady after I received an ARC of her book The Best Laid Plans. I absolutely loved it, and was super grateful that Razorbill sent it to me. So naturally I took the chance, and reached out to Cameron Lund on Instagram about doing the interview. And naturally I was shocked that she agreed! I was excited to get a peek inside the brain that brought the funny duo of Keely and Andrew. So let's dive shall we?

Q: What is your name and where do you live?
A: Hi! My name is Cameron Lund and I live in San Francisco.

Q: Are you an Indie Author or do you work with a publishing company? 
A: I work with a publisher!

Q: If you do work with a publishing company, which one and for how long?
A: Both of my books are through Razorbill, which is an imprint of Penguin Teen.

Q: What genre(s) do you write?
A: I’m currently writing YA contemporary romance, but I also love writing fantasy/fairy tales, and getting a little more dark with some horror stuff (I studied film and media in college with an emphasis on horror films which is why there are so many Hitchcock references in THE BEST LAID PLANS!) (That actually explains a lot!!!)

Q: What made you want to become a writer in the first place?
A: I’ve been writing for fun my whole life. When I was a kid, I used to wake up early on Saturday mornings and open Microsoft Word on the family computer and write my stories for hours! But it didn’t really occur to me that being an author was a career path I could try for until more recently. I studied screenwriting in college and initially thought I wanted to pursue screenwriting, but then I realized I could apply these same skills to my love of writing books and try to make a go of that!

Q: Do you work a regular job in between books?
A: Yes, right now I’m an Office Coordinator at a tech company in San Francisco, but I’ve had lots of different day jobs in order to pursue my creative passions!

Q: How many books have you published?
A: My debut novel, THE BEST LAID PLANS, just came out in April 2020, and my second novel, HEARTBREAKERS AND FAKERS, will be out in June of 2021! (I'm so excited to read that one!!!)

Q: How many books do you have in the works right now?
A: I’m currently in the editing stage of my second novel. 

Q: What was your hardest scene to write so far?
A: I don’t want to give too many spoilers for my second book, but HEARTBREAKERS AND FAKERS is written it two timelines: the Now scenes and the Then scenes, and there were a lot of moving parts I had to coordinate to make this work! It’s definitely been way more challenging to write than my first book was.

Q: How many books do you have that are not being currently worked on, but are half-written or complete but unpublished?
A: I’ve started countless books since I was a kid—little snippets of story ideas, or a few chapters of something—but THE BEST LAID PLANS was the first book I ever finished and wrote with the attempt to publish! Someday I’d like to return to a few of those earlier story ideas though and see if there’s anything there.

Q: Do you have a series developing?
A: I think it’s common in romance to have a series where each of the characters in your universe end up getting their own story, so I’d love to go back to THE BEST LAID PLANS someday and give a few more of those characters a happy ending. 

Q: Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
A: So far, each of my books has stood on their own! But I do like to imagine that THE BEST LAID PLANS and HEARTBREAKERS AND FAKERS take place in the same universe! 

Q: What is your next book that is set to be published and when is the release day?
A: No release date yet, but HEARTBREAKERS AND FAKERS is planned for June 2021!

Q: How long did it take you to write it?
A: I was on contract for book two, so had much less time to write it than I normally would (I’m sure you’ve heard of the dreaded book 2 syndrome from lots of authors!). I wrote the first draft in about 3 months, and now have been working on edits for a few more months since. Things have slowed down a bit because of coronavirus. It’s been really difficult to get into a creative headspace recently. (I totally understand COVID making it difficult to want to do anything creative! Definitely felt that myself!)

Q: What did you do when your characters stop talking (writer’s block) to you during the process?
A: A lot of the time when I’m writing a scene, the characters surprise me, which is why I don’t like to be confined by outlines. Generally, I know the character arc of the protagonist before I start writing, and I know where I want them to end up emotionally—and I have the plot beats for a three act structure pretty ingrained in me from film school—and then with just this basic information I start to write. So I’ll go into a scene not really knowing what is going to happen and I let the characters carry me through! There have definitely been scenes in the past where a character does or says something I wasn’t expecting. 

Q: What routine do you have when you sit down to write a book?
A: The hardest part for me is actually opening up the doc and starting to write. It’s so easy to get caught up in social media. I’ve found if I write early in the morning before I’ve completely woken up, and if I force myself to start writing before I’m allowed to check social media, it helps me tap into my most creative headspace. 

Q: Do you write it all out in long sittings or short ones (sprints)?
A: I write whenever I get time! Parts of my first book were written in short ten minute sprints on my breaks at work.

Q: Do you get exhausted or energized during writing sessions?
A: This totally depends on how the writing is going! If the words are flowing freely and I feel confident in them, I’m exhilarated! I love going into that flow state where it feels like the story is writing itself. But if it’s one of those days where the words don’t come and I feel like a terrible horrible writer, of course that doesn’t feel good.

Q: Where do you get your ideas for your books?
A: I always get ideas when I travel. Traveling is one of my favorite things! I love exploring new places, and as I’m walking around, past a river or a castle or a cafe, these places spark something in me and I imagine the characters that would be in them and what they might be doing. 

Q: Is there another author you look up to or strive to be as successful as?
A: I’ve always looked up to Stephanie Perkins, so I would love a career like hers! I don’t know, all I want is to have a steady career and to keep publishing books that my readers will love!

Q: Are you a reader yourself? 
A: Yes yes yes!

Q: If so, are you a beta or ARC reader for anyone else? (You don’t have to name for who if you do not wish to.)
A: I have a few different critique groups and other authors that I swap drafts with. I think critique groups are invaluable! It’s so important to get feedback and another set of eyes on your work. Plus there are a lot of rejections in this industry, so getting used to the process of getting feedback thickens your skin a little.

Q: Do you like to read the same genre(s) you write?
A: Yes I read tons of YA—specifically romcoms. But I also read a ton of other genres too. I love fantasy, adult romance, literary fiction etc.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or a book that stands out the most?
A: Hmmm it’s so difficult to pick a favorite of anything! I will say that the books I’ve treasured the most in my life are the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, and Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. There’s just something so magical about the books we fall in love with as kids. (Loved Ella growing up!)

Q: Have you ever cried, laughed, or had a real emotional response to a book?
A: Yes. The last two books I can remember just falling apart and sobbing at the last page were The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro.

Q: What kind of social media do you have? 
A: You can find me on both Twitter and Instagram at @camloond

Q: Do you like to connect with your readers using your chosen platforms?
A: Yes! I’m still a new baby author, so hearing from readers who connected with my book means so much. It’s easy to get caught up in anxiety about the writing process, and a reader who tells me they stayed up all night to finish, or that they loved the book, makes it all feel worth it!

Q: Do you have any author friends that have helped you with your writing process or just been there for support?
A: Yes, I would be lost without my author friends! Specifically, my friend and mentor Shirin Yim Bridges has been such a great support system. She’s an award winning children’s picture book author, so you should check her out! I also have many writer friends who are still on their journeys to publication and so I hope to be able to call them author friends soon. 

Q: What was the best money ever spent as a writer?
A: This is a great question! I signed up for adult writing classes a few years ago as a way to hold myself accountable and to make writing a priority. I found a community and my critique group through these classes, so they were money very well spent. But if you can’t afford classes, I think writing books are also very helpful! For plotting, I personally love Save the Cat Writes a Novel, by Jessica Brody. 

Q: How does your family feel about your writing?
A: I am lucky that my family has always been super supportive of all my creative endeavors! They are very excited for me :)

Q: Is there anything about you that your readers don’t know that you would like them to know?
A: Besides being a novel writer, I am also a songwriter and singer! I’ve written and recorded vocals for a few different electronic artists and rappers, and I also record some of my own stuff. I love writing songs from the point of view of my characters as I’m drafting, because it really helps me get into their heads and figure out their motivations. You can find some of my recorded music on my website: 



Alright there you have it folks! I am still super grateful that I was an ARC reader for Cameron Lund thanks to Razorbill. I am even more grateful that she agreed to do this interview! I absolutely loved her book, and getting a chance to get to know her a little better beyond Bookstagram. I hope that you guys check out her social media pages and her books! My review for The Best Laid Plans is available on here now!

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