Sometimes being stuck in line at the hotel reservation desk is a good thing. While waiting for check-in at Sam’s Town, I met Cameron Coral, one of the amazing indie authors attending 20Books Las Vegas!
Tell me about your latest book. BRINK is a dystopian cyber-thriller that takes place in futuristic Spark City. The main character is a woman named Ida. After several years in the military, her time is up, and she’s able to return to civilian life. She ends up in Spark City where she hopes to start over and leave her troubled past behind.
But she intervenes in a hostage situation, and others discover her secret–she can bring people back from the brink of death. The mayor of Spark City is terminally ill. When he discovers her ability, he will stop at nothing to find her and unleashes his robot army to hunt her down.
Imagine Blade Runner meets La Femme Nikita, and you get a sense of BRINK. I enjoy writing strong female protagonists inspired by characters like Ripley in the movie, Aliens, and Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games. You can expect my books to have strong female characters who kick ass.
What’s next for you? I’m busy at work on Book Two of the Spark City series. You’ll learn a lot more about Ida and other characters from BRINK in subsequent books. I’m planning to release the sequel in early 2018, along with at least two more novels in the series.
Also in the works, I am writing an apocalyptic novella series set in Chicago. Imagine waking up one day to find an entire city population is gone. What would you do? How would you react now that we are so dependent on mobile phones and GPS? This scenario has always fascinated me.
Who are your writing role models? Ever since my stepdad gave me my first Stephen King novel at age eight, I’ve been hooked on horror and the supernatural. I was a late bloomer and learned to read later than other kids, but once I started, I was a voracious reader.
Stephen King’s productivity throughout his career has been amazing. When I was a kid, some people laughed him off. It’s a testament to his dedication, consistency, and talent that he has become one of the most successful writers of all time.
I am also inspired by Ray Bradbury, Frank Herbert, and more recently by George R.R. Martin and Octavia Butler. Sci-fi fans should absolutely read Parable of the Sower by Butler. It’s an apocalyptic novel that she wrote in the early 1990s, and it’s eerily predictive of our current times. I love her work.
Joanna Penn (also writes as J.F. Penn) is an indie author whom I greatly admire. I hope to model her career someday. She has been a mentor and an inspiration to me as I’ve begun my author journey.
How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life? I write first thing in the morning when I wake up. With a clear head, I’m rested, and can usually churn out a few thousand words. My days are always better when I write first.
For many years, I was a corporate project manager but quit a few years ago. Now, my day job is helping authors launch bestselling books. I also write nonfiction and blog under another name. You can check out my nonfiction writing at ProjectManagerWriter.com.
It’s challenging to balance writing and a day job. Scheduling my day has been helpful. I also track my time to see where I’m spending it, and I keep a list of goals and hold myself accountable to deadlines.
What are your other passions outside of writing? I’m a travel junkie. Chicago is now home, and it’s the longest place I’ve lived other than Maryland where I grew up. I’ve lived in Arizona, Maine, and spent nearly two years in Adelaide, Australia. I’ve been fortunate to visit over a dozen countries including China, Germany, Poland, Greece, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, and New Caledonia.
Of course, I’m also a nerd and enjoy sci-fi and comic conventions. A child of the 80s, I am nostalgic for Star Trek, Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and so on.
My husband is also a writer. In the next few years, we plan to turn our creativity into a sustainable business that allows us to travel and live in different places around the world. While I love Chicago, the winters can be tough!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? Keep creating! Creativity is so important, and I believe that too many people ignore it, or lose their creativity because of the daily grind of life. I was stuck for years in a job I hated, just living for the weekends. I missed out on time I could have spent writing.
It finally took a wake up call: my stepfather died of cancer, and I got laid off. That’s when I realized that life is short, and we should be spending our time on what matters. I started writing and haven’t stopped.
I encourage others to spend just a few minutes a day journaling or doing something creative. No matter what–whether sketching, creating a collage, or writing poetry–what matters is that you are creating something, and I truly believe that something happens in your brain. When you create, neurological switches get turned on, and you become a happier, more fulfilled person. Creativity is like a domino effect: when you create, you want more creativity, and you make better decisions, which can ultimately change your life for the better.
One last thing, I have a free short story for anyone who is interested. You can find it on my website: CameronCoral.com. Breaking Day is about a dystopian prep school. Dresden School isn’t like regular schools. Electives include Weaponry 101 and Advanced Hand-To-Hand Combat. Interesting things start to happen when new student, Rik, arrives and meets Ida. Don’t be late to class…your life may depend on it.
Hunted For Her Power to Heal.
After leaving the military, Ida moves to Spark City, where she plans to start a new life and leave her past behind. Instead, she discovers a disturbing trend of returning soldiers becoming violent and an android police force that shoots to kill.
When she intervenes in a hostage situation, Ida’s hopes of blending in are shattered after the malevolent mayor discovers she is the answer to keeping his ailing cyborg body alive.
Despite Ida’s resistance, she is befriended by a rebellious seventeen-year-old artist and a genetically engineered hybrid. Can she trust them or will they double-cross her?
As the lives of innocent citizens hang in the balance, can Ida stop the mayor from his deadly plans and start accepting her true power of bringing lives back from the brink? Only she knows the devastating consequences her power creates.