All About Skyla Dawn Cameron
Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever.
Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her attention deficit disorder.
Skyla is a fifth generation crazy cat lady who lives in southern Ontario, where she dabbles in art, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. If she ever becomes a grownup, she wants to run her own pub, as well as become world dictator.
....so that's the "official" version. What's the unofficial one?
Yes, I was a bizarre child.
My first poem publication came at age eleven. I had a few more pieces published in anthologies, tried my hand at journalism in tenth grade, then eventually decided to pursue writing full time straight out of high school. At age twenty-one, I signed my first book contract with a small press for the award-winning "River." By this point, I'd completed a few novels, but you know how everyone always says, "Never try to publish your first book, 'cause it probably sucks?" Well, they're right.
I'm thirty (and I will count no more birthdays after this one) and I live in Ontario. Cottage country. I probably have a serial killer neighbour who feeds his victims to pigs. I'm a vegetarian, secular humanist, feminist, and have no problem sharing my opinions quite loudly. I'm half Irish, and I'm afraid to say the stereotype is true: I love a good alcoholic beverage. Or a bad one, for that matter (it never pays to be picky).
If I wasn't a writer, I'd want to be world dictator. Come to think of it, I'd like to be world dictator AND be a writer. One day, right?
I'm cynical, snarky, and fiercely loyal to those I consider friends. I like horror movies, Joss Whedon, Kettle Chips, and politics. I dislike know-it-all pricks, social conservatives, reruns, people unable to follow simple directions, and I'd love to beat e-pirate leeches with a shovel. I'm pro equal marriage, reproductive rights, and kittens (yes, I think you can be 'pro-kitten'!). I have a low threshold for pain, little tolerance for stupidity, and nothing but contempt for the channel Fox.
And the bit about the cats? Totes true--I'm a crazy cat lady, and proud of it
*The photo above was taken July 2008, when I was invited to visit Jungle Cat World in Orono. I'm pictured with Cheyenne, a fifteen month old timber wolf.
NEW! Why can I no longer find some of your books?
They're out of print. I'm putting some of them back out as swiftly as I can as ebooks. Print may come eventually.
NEW! I don't like one/all of your heroines.
Um...okay? They probably don't like you either. Look... A. The Demons of Oblivion series has a BUNCH of characters--it's an ensemble cast--and I'm sure you'll find someone to identify with, so it's totes cool if you don't dig one of the narrators. B. It's not my job to write characters everyone's going to like, it's my job to tell the story as honest as possible and make it entertaining. I feel I do that, and if you're looking to read books about people you'd want to have over for dinner (or personality-less heroines you can insert yourself into), my books likely aren't for you. C. I love hearing directly from readers but if you're writing to tell me how much you don't like something I've written, you won't get a reply. I don't do hatemail.
I tend to write difficult characters. If they're not for you, that's cool. I still think you're sexy.
NEW! I'm confused reading Exhumed.
Did you skip Hunter and Lineage after Bloodlines?
These books aren't standalone; they have an overriding plot arc and the same characters appear in each. The series order is listed in the front of the books and mentioned in my author's note at the end. I can offer you tea but no sympathy.
UPDATED! Why isn't ___ book available at ___ reseller in ___ format?
Previously, this was all out of my control, and in some cases it was out of the publisher's. Essentially, books are uploaded to different seller databases, and other stores pick up those feeds--sometimes right away, sometimes not for a while. And I'm sorry, but emailing me to complain or writing negative reviews (seriously?) won't fix it. Now that I'm re-releasing the books myself, I can guarantee they'll be on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Apple (eventually), Smashwords, and ARe. Print...is still up in the air because it costs me money I don't have right now.
NEW! Can I have a review copy?
I love book bloggers and I love reviews, however unless I'm actively promoting a new release, no, I'm sorry but review copies are not available. It stresses me out too much. I do endeavor to keep my ebooks affordable, however, and if you purchase a copy and end up reviewing it, that's wonderful.
NEW! Where can I read online for free/download [Bloodlines, Hunter, Lineage, Exhumed, River, Wolfe]?
You can't. You can read them by purchasing them, asking someone to purchase them for you, or by going to the library. I have given many books away for free; these are not among them. If you illegally download/distribute my work, you are taking money from my pocket that I need to pay my bills and take care of my pets.
NEW!Is there a sequel to...
Here's the run down:
River - Yes, it's called Wolfe.
Wolfe - No (this is a FAQ below).
Bloodlines/Hunter/Lineage/Exhumed - Yes, it's a whole series. The last confirmed book will be Oblivion; after that, it depends solely on sales.
Catharsis - No. The extended epilogue in the paperback, though, is about 7K words and neatly resolves the whole storyline. (Also, it contains a prequel novella and a short story.) Except it's no longer in print. Sorry. There IS, however, a semi-related spin off sort of story in my head but I have no plans to write it any time soon.
Children of the Apocalypse - Yes, Part Four and Part Five are in my head (I know, I know, I'm not done writing Part Three yet), but my limited writing time has been mostly spent on paying work lately. I do, however, fully intend to finish this some day.
Curio Killed the Cat - Yes, I have the second volume in my head, I just don't know when I'll get a chance to write it.
NEW! What about all those books with book covers that I can't find for sale anywhere?
Unpublished/WIPs. They have covers because making one is just part of my creative process. If there are plans to publish them, they'll be bumped up to the official "novels" section on the books page. Some of them have excerpts, though.
I think I found evidence of your work being pirated. Do you want to know?
Can I interview you for my blog?
Yes! Happy to oblige. Drop me an email (contact info to your right).
I love your books andl/or you. I've already bought your stuff--how else can I show my support?
Here's a great article, not by me, I just found on that very subject. http://novelspaces.blogspot.com/2010/08/how-to-help-starving-author.html Honestly, though? I love you just for buying them. Yes, reviews and word-of-mouth and all that jazz helps, and it's appreciated, but if you buy my books and would rather just lurk? That's awesome.
How many cats DO you have?
Um...six. Unless you're my landlord. Then I don't know what you're talking about.
Is River being made into a movie?
No. I've been getting a lot of google hits about this, but no--no movie. Catharsis was being made into a movie by some young filmmakers in Australia, but no one has bought the rights to River...so, if you want 'em, I'll sell. ;-) Unless you're Joss Whedon, in which case I'll exchange them for the chance to sit and talk to you for like an hour.
Can you give me a free book?
Um, no. Unless I can go to where you work and take your products without paying. ;-) Really, please don't ever ask authors to give you one of their books free unless you won it in a contest. We're not rich. We can't afford to give a book to everyone who wants one and it makes us very uncomfortable when you ask for free stuff.
Can you give me swag (bookmarks/prizes/signed things/T-shirts/etc)?
I wish I could, but I don't have that kind of thing. I'm a full time writer, stretched thin as it is. I can't afford swag to give out.
Can I tell you about a typo/error in one of your books?
My books are 90 000 - 100 000 words on average, and yes, no matter how many pairs of eyes go over them beforehand, a few things slip through. Typos I can fix; other issues will stay as is since these books are published and have been for a number of years. I made the decision that I'm not going to go back and tinker with major things, no matter how I might want to, as a lot of people have already read them. Writers reach a point where they have to let things go and not endlessly rewrite because on that path lies madness. If a book is in print, typo-correction is all I'm doing. Also? Generally, unless an author specifically asks to be told, telling them about typos is only going to stress them out. If you noticed, someone else did too, and either we have/will fix it, or we're not able until a future print run in the case of large press authors. So not really helpful; it mostly makes us feel like shit.
Will there be another River book after Wolfe?
Um...longish explanation here along with an excerpt of the would-be third book: http://skyladawncameron.com/blog/changed tl;dr: the books were heavily pirated, so I chose to discontinue them.
That's not fair to legit readers!
Sorry? But I'm the one who has to write them. And that's the reality of small press: piracy hurts.
But there were SO many loose plot threads!
There was a plot? ;-) Okay, in all seriousness, I never saw either River book as having a plot at all. I'm sorry for those unsatisfied with any dangling threads, but that's not what the books were about; they were about River's character arc and it felt mostly complete to me. And as I decided not to continue, it'll have to do. Thank you for your interest, though.
I'm tired of you bitching about piracy.
Well, y'know, I'm grumpy about people hitting my site looking for torrents. (To those of you who got this far and DO obtain books legally, I think you're very good looking and you bring honor to your ancestors.)
Why do you have some books available free under the serials section?
I write a lot. A couple dozen finished books in ten years, so the idea of having serials to build my fanbase didn't scare me. And they're mostly free because many were my own experiments and stuff I wanted to do for fun. I can't say they're always my best work, but I had loads of fun with them and think they stand up well given the circumstances.
I'm a newbie writer. Can you give me advice?
Sure. Write. A lot. Learn to read your work like a reader, not the brilliant writer who wrote it. Remember that no one cares about your book as much as you do. Write some more. Try not to whine a lot. Next?
Can you read my stuff and offer me suggestions?
No. Conflict of interest--if I'm working on something similar, I don't want you to sue me for stealing your idea. Get a crit group if you want help.
Can you read my to-be-published book and give me an advanced review?
Maybe. Unless you write for PublishAmerica.
What's wrong with PA?
Don't get me started.
I have this really great book--can you introduce me to your publisher?
No. Mostly because I no longer have one. Even if I did....no.
Can I add you as a friend on Facebook?
I'd rather you "like" my page. Occasionally I get stalkers.
Can I stalk you?
Please don't, unless you're Dina James (she has exclusive stalking rights and she is VERY PROTECTIVE OVER THEM, so stalkers beware).
Can I send you fan mail?