Ciao a tutti! Hi, everybody! Welcome back for another Thursday Thirteen! This week, I'm featuring an interview with another friend and former member of the Authonomy elite, Cameron Chapman. Cameron is one of those multi-talented types you hear about, an honest-to-goodness triple-threat: Writer, Blogger and Filmmaker/Director. She's got some interesting projects on the go right now, and I thought you might enjoy meeting her, too.
So now, without further ado, please allow me to share
13 Questions for Cameron Chapman!
1) First, the usual sort of thing: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an author, blogger, and aspiring filmmaker from northern New England. I’ve been writing professionally for more than five years now (it’s my primary source of income), and really got into filmmaking a couple years ago. I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember, though.
2) Since you live in a somewhat rural area, do you find this affects your creativity? Is your work influenced by your surroundings, or do you create solely from a universe in your head?
A little of both, actually. I take a lot of inspiration from my environment, so I need to live somewhere interesting, whether that’s a rural area or the city (the suburbs and I do not get along). The slower pace of life where I live makes it easier to find time to create. And I also live in an area with a ton of creative people, which is nice. There’s a real sense of support and community. People don’t look at you like you’re an alien when you tell them you write or you make films. Okay, some do, but they’re the minority.
3) What was your first creative effort you shared with others?
The first thing I shared with people outside of immediate family was a novel that eventually became the inspiration for The Steam and Steel Chronicles, my steampunk novella series. That was shared on Authonomy, at the behest of a couple of other writers (who I’m still friends with even though I’m no longer active on the site).
(note: The Steam and Steel Chronicles include the novellas Aboard the Unstoppable Aerostat Fenris, The Great Healion Race, and The Quest for the Demon Disconcerter. They are also available on BarnesandNoble.com.)
4) What are you focusing on more, now? Articles? Novels? Films?
All of the above! I can’t just have one project going. I’m currently working on edits for the final novella in The Steam and Steel Chronicles. After that I have another novel I wrote a couple years ago that’s in desperate need of some editing. I just signed a book deal for another non-fiction design book, so that’s going to be taking up a chunk of my time for the next few months. I’m working on a music video for a friend’s band, as well as a script for a no-budget feature film. And I’m writing articles and blogging full-time, still.
...regardless of the medium, I’m going to keep telling stories.
5) What project are you most proud of, today?
That’s a tough one! I’m pretty proud of the short film I just released, This is all you left me. I’m also really proud of the women’s fiction novel I wrote a couple years ago, Hold My Hand. But really, I’m proud of pretty much everything I’ve put out there.
6) Do you listen to music when you're working?
Always. I create playlists for different projects (you can find some of them on my YouTube channel). It’s been interesting working on this music video, because it means I’m listening to that one song sometimes ten or fifteen (or more) times a day when I’m brainstorming. I think my ability to listen to songs on repeat for hours is just a sign that I’m meant to make music videos! For other projects, I find songs that fit the mood of the story and listen to them when I want to get into the right mood.
7) Who do you consider your influences in each field?
Neil Gaiman is probably the biggest inspiration to me in terms of writing. He’s done a little of everything: novels, comics, children’s books, TV and movies, etc. I’d love a career that has that kind of breadth. His novel Neverwhere was a huge influence on me as a teenager. I’m also a big Stephen King fan, and I love Jeffrey Lent, too. In terms of filmmaking, I have a ton of influences. I love Rob Zombie’s directing, particular The Devil’s Rejects, which is funny since I have no interest in directing horror. I love Kevin Smith, Joss Whedon, Sophia Coppola, Christopher Nolan, Peter Jackson, and plenty of others.
8) Do you ever try to "shut down" to recharge your creative batteries, so to speak? Or do you just keep going 24/7?
Very, very rarely I have to take a break from doing creative things and unplug. But that’s only every few months. Otherwise, I’m creating every day. It’s just how I operate. I’m not happy if I’m not doing something productive.
9) Which of your projects was the most difficult to produce? Why?
The Steam and Steel Chronicles has been challenging, mostly because of the time commitment. I’d never done a series before, so taking on a project that is literally taking years to complete has been a little daunting. But I try to push the envelope and challenge myself with each new thing I take on, so each new project is more difficult than the last (at least in theory).
10) How valuable is peer evaluation to you?
It’s a bell curve for me. When I first start out with a new creative endeavor or project, I tend to keep it hidden from everyone. Once I get more comfortable with it, then I embrace feedback from peers. I rarely get my feelings hurt by constructive criticism (okay, there was a person on Authonomy who once made me cry, but not intentionally). Once I get toward the end of a particular project, or once I get more confident in my own abilities in a particular field, then I don’t seek out peer review as much. I have a few key people I value feedback from, but other than that, I go with my own instincts about whether something is good or not.
11) If you could do any project over again, which one would it be, and how would you change it?
I’m not big on revisiting old projects. Once it’s done, it’s done in my mind. I release it into the world and honestly try to forget about it as much as possible. I do have some unreleased manuscripts sitting on my hard-drive that I’d like to rewrite and publish at some point, but other than that, there aren’t really any projects I’d like a do-over on.
12) What is your dream project?
I would love to do a feature film with recognizable talent. I would love to work with someone like Johnny Depp or Jennifer Lawrence or Rachel Weisz or Hugh Jackman. On a slightly more realistic level, I have a script I would love to produce and direct that could be done on a very small budget, and there’s a particular person (Shannon Leto) I would love to star in it. Not sure if that one’s ever going to happen either, but a girl can dream!
13) What's on the horizon for you?
I’ve got a ton of projects coming up. Filmmaking has really become my passion. But I love writing, too. I’m a storyteller at heart, and regardless of the medium, I’m going to keep telling stories.
And there you have them: 13 Questions for Cameron Chapman.
If you'd like to learn more about Cameron and her work, you can visit her on her website, Cameron Chapman.
She can also be found on
43 North Films
I hope you enjoyed this interview with this very talented lady.
And I know you're expecting something else special here, too,
And I reckon Cameron won't mind too much, either.
Doesn't just about everyone love a little Johnny Depp?
Hello, all! While I'm excitedly making preparations for a visit to the Museo del Ciclismo in Magreglio, Italy, I didn't have a lot of time to prepare a full-bodied Thirteen for today. So I've decided to share a portion of my TBR pile (that's "To Be Read" for those unfamiliar with the term) with all of you, as I've well over the requisite number of books waiting for my attention.
Shameful, I know.
So now, please allow me to present to you:
Thirteen Books (and e-Books) on My 'To Be Read' Pile
1) John Irving: In One Person (Hardcover)
2) Stephen King: The Wind Through the Keyhole (Hardcover)
3) Stephen King: Full Dark, No Stars (Paperback)
4) Matt Shaw: 9 Months - Book One (9 Months Trilogy) (e-book)
5) Tim Krabbe': The Rider (Paperback)
6) Margaret Atwood: The Year of the Flood (Paperback)
7) David Nicholls: One Day (Paperback)
8) Kurt Vonnegut: 2 B R 0 2 B (e-book)
9) Matt Seaton: The Escape Artist (Paperback)
10) Jonathon Budds: Consumed (ebook)
11) Simon A Forward: From Evil With Love (ebook)
12) Graeme Obree: Flying Scotsman (Paperback)
13) Amanda Egan: Diary of a Mummy Misfit (ebook)
And there you have them: Thirteen books which are currently resting atop my TBR pile. Maybe you'll feel compelled to check them out, too, now you've seen them listed here?
At least you'd be reassured of a lovely selection of books for yourself as the autumn nights grow longer and cooler.
You could curl up on the sofa with a cup of cocoa, or coffee, or tea...
And then, you know...
Select a good book and...
Ciao for now!
I had the pleasure of meeting the rather charming Oli Johns when I participated in the Into the Desert Event at Oxford Castle last November. There I was fortunate enough to find a copy of Gupter Puncher, Oli's magazine, for free. And since we'd chatted about so many things in a short span of time - mostly about travel, publishing and such things - I was sure I would enjoy reading his work at my leisure.
I was right.
And now, I'd like to suggest a couple of books to you, both of them written by this talented young gentleman. (I can call him this because I'm older than he is. So there. Nyah-nyah.)
So, anyway. I'd be ever-so-pleased if everyone who reads this would take a hop over to whichever Amazon site suits them best - US or UK, it doesn't matter - and see if you'd be interested in Oli's books. I'd be even more pleased if you actually bought them, of course.
They're bargain priced, and if you can appreciate a sometimes slightly unconventional style of writing, you might just find that you've grabbed a fantastic deal. I honestly think you'll be pleased, and there shall be no regrets.
'Apparently there are three popular ways to kill yourself in Hong Kong.
Throw yourself off a building.
Burn charcoal in a sealed room.'
Oli doesn't want to die. He wants to live. And he wants other people to live too, even if they don't.
All they have to do is follow his plan: Make dolls. Live in an art commune. Love him.
There's just one problem.
The one he wants to save...what if she's already dead?
[Note: The answer to the problem is time travel. Possibly.]
Available for Kindle on Amazon US and UK.
‘Come to Ljubljana. Stay with me forever.
Bermondsey, London: Building sites not building anything, ill-looking grass, five muggings in the same tunnel in the last month. Billy wants out. But how? All he has is a zine that no one reads, and his best friend Jay telling him the harsh reality of things.
But then…an e-mail. From Ljubljana, a place he can’t even spell. ‘Come stay with me forever,’ it tells him.
Weird, but okay, thinks Billy. Why not?
With Jay along for the ride, and others picked up along the way, Billy arrives in Ljubljana and quickly finds that things are a lot stranger than he could’ve possibly imagined. An art commune run by a man in a bear costume. A castle surrounded by continual snow, with ancient gods and 80s board games, famous writers and forbidden rooms.
And Daisy…his beautiful, unpredictable host.
Who is this woman? Why won’t she let him go outside? What’s inside the room at the top of the spiral stairs? And what happens when he can no longer write for her?
Available in Kindle format on Amazon US and UK.
If nothing else, I hope the visitors to my blog (all three of them) will come away with the idea to read these books planted firmly in their heads.
'Cause that'd be great.
Author. Happily Married. Survivor of life with two deranged kitties.
Please note: Thanks to an increase in spam comments, I'll be approving the comments before they post. Sorry!