There are 14 authors who wrote the stories of the Fairy Tale Confessions collection. This post will focus on Cameo Renae, author of Hansel & Gretel.
I was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with my husband and children to Alaska.
I’m a daydreamer, a caffeine and peppermint addict. I love to laugh, love to read, and love to escape reality. One of my greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance, and sharing it with others.
One day I hope to find my own magic wardrobe, and ride away on a magical unicorn. Until then…I’ll keep writing!”
Cameo, thanks for taking the time to answer some questions for us…
First, I have a must-know personal question.
Q: What drew you from Hawaii to Alaska? Was it initially a shock to your system?
A: Haha! It was my brother’s fault! No…just kidding. Well, actually not kidding. He was the first to move to Alaska with his family because he was asked to lead worship for a church. When my mom and brother visited him, they fell in love with the place and made plans to move. So it was their fault too. (lol) After they left, they kept telling us how awesome it was, and we wanted change. Hawaii is AMAZING, don’t get me wrong, but having lived there most of my life, it got a little mundane. We started to feel claustrophobic and had a bit of rock fever. Well, we decided to move, and did in the middle of December. It was a HUGE shock, but also very exciting. Our kids loved the snow, and I finally was able to experience seasonal changes. Alaska is a very magical place and once you experience it, it seeps into you. I love Alaska, and would live here for the rest of my life…but my husband and I are like gypsies. Hopefully one day we will settle, but for now, who knows where we’ll be in the future.
Now for the literary questions: 😀
Q: What drew you to the paranormal genre?
A: I love the paranormal. I think the draw to the genre, for me, is that anything goes. You can create new and exciting worlds and have your characters do fantastical things…things you can only dream of. The sky is the limit with paranormal, and it’s so much fun to write. You can literally just let your imagination go. Usually the crazier it gets the more the readers love it. Lol
Q: Did you find it difficult to ‘twist’ a well-known fairy tale for the Fairy Tale Confessions anthology?
A: At first I was stumped, and had no clue what to do. I was chatting with Mary Ting one night and she said…what about Zombies? I was like…OMG! Genius! I then became excited because I’m in the middle of writing a post-apocalyptic series. So, I decided to throw them into that exact world. It suddenly became fun and very easy to write. It actually took me 3 days to write, so that was a huge plus.
Q: You are also in the process of writing an exceptional dystopian series. Do you find yourself drawn to that genre now, or do you still prefer to write paranormal books?
A: To tell you the truth, I didn’t think my post-apocalyptic books would be so well received. It was a completely new genre I didn’t know anything about. So having it be received and loved by those who are reading it makes me shocked but also inspired. Right now, I can’t say which I love more. They are both filled with the same elements…just different worlds. I can tell you that writing paranormal is much easier than post-apocalyptic. There is a lot more research I’ve had to do, but I love the challenge.
Q: Do you think you will write another dystopian series after The After Light Saga?
A: I’m not sure. If I do, it will surprise even me.
Q: Is there a character from one of your stories that has surprised you in some way?
A: I would have to say Dominic from the Hidden Wings Series. He is just a secondary character, but really made a huge impact on the story. It’s so much better with his gorgeous self, his wittiness, and humor, and the crazy banter between him and the other Guardians. I think majority of the readers agree that he is their favorite. He is the one who spoke to me loudest during the process, demanding to be in more scenes. (Yes, I might be a little crazy.) haha
Q: Where (or when) do you get the most story inspirations?
A: Most of my inspiration actually comes as I’m writing. Majority of the time I have no idea where the story is going, but it all seems to come to me as I’m writing the words. I’m surprised at the twists and turns the story takes, but I’ve been enjoying the crazy ride. Maybe one day I’ll be able to plot out my stories, but my characters are crazy. They don’t like to be plotted, and take every opportunity to change it up if I do. Stinkers. haha
Q: How does music help your creative process? Do you have a preferred musical artist?
A: I can’t write without music. I have to have something playing in the background for me to write. Most of what I listen to when writing is background scores, or music without words. I tried with words and I can’t do it. I sing along and get thrown off. LOL
Maroon 5 is currently my favorite band, and Atli Orvarsson is my favorite score guy. His music background music is awesome.
Q: What are you working on currently?
A: I’m finishing up a Upper MG/YA High Fantasy, and also started the Hidden Wings spin-off. I am also shooting to have the next After Light book out by winter. Yikes! I should be writing. Lol
Q: Do you see yourself participating in more anthologies?
A: Right now, no. Maybe in the future, after I get past all these crazy deadlines I’ve set for myself. When I was asked to do the Fairy Tale Confessions Anthology, I could’t pass it up. I love Fairy Tales and have NEVER twisted one, so I thought it was a great opportunity to see if I was up for the challenge.
Q: What does your writing process look like?
A: It’s very chaotic, especially when I’m on a deadline. I’m usually in total zombie mode with stretchy clothes, messy hair, bloodshot eyes, and the family is usually fending for themselves. Lol I try and write during the day, but because there is so much to do around the house, I usually end up writing at night. I lock myself in my office with coffee, water, and peppermints. (Don’t ask. They help me think. J ) Then I put on my headphones, click on my music, and open my document. I always read through the last chapter before I start writing, just to draw myself back into that world.
Q: How important are the character names you choose? How do you choose them?
A: I think names are very important. They have to match your character and be easy to remember. Sometimes I just choose names I think fit the characters, other times I use Google to search for something new and fun. I like to know the meanings too.
Q: What are your 10 favorite books and why?
A: Oh no!!! Choosing favorite books is like telling your kids which one you love more. Haha I can’t choose favorites, but I can list the books which had the greatest impact on my writing.
C.S Lewis’ – Chronicles of Narnia I read these books countless times as a kid, and fell in love with this world. I climbed into the wardrobe with the Pevensie children and shared their adventures. These books sparked my love for reading, and made me want to create magical worlds of my own.
JK Rowling – Harry Potter – She is such an inspiration, and gave hope to new and upcoming writers. She’s just amazing. I mean…hello. It’s JK Rowling. My daughter is a Potterhead and has read all the books and watched the movies countless times.
Suzanna Collins – Hunger Games – I loved the Hunger Games. The end of the last book kind of made me sad, but the whole journey was amazing. It was my first look into the post-apocalyptic, dystopian genre, so I thank her for inspiring me as well.
Stefanie Meyer – Twilight – Don’t judge me, but I loved the Twilight books. My daughter read them and handed them down to me. She is a Twihard Fan. Stefanie is a great story teller, and reading her books lit a fire inside of me, making me fall in love with the YA Paranormal genre.
Amanda Hocking – The Trylle Trilogy and My Blood Approves Series – When I first started writing, I found Amanda Hocking’s books on my Kindle and devoured them. She is another fantastic story teller and I easily fell in love with her worlds and characters. She was also a big inspiration to me as a new writer.