Author Interview: KM Cambion
January 15, 2016 Leave a comment
Happy New Year! After several months of being quiet, I’m finally finishing up the last two authors on my list. With the holidays now over, I bring you an interview with a good friend of mine, KM Cambion.
So let’s begin…
- Let’s get to know you a bit. Where are you from, and what genre do you write?
Hey there! I’m from the Detroit area in Michigan, USA. Fantasy is my poison of choice, but I’ve been having fun playing in different genres lately.
2. With all the risks and uncertainty around publishing, what was it that drew you to a career in writing?
Writing’s always been my dream. I wanted to be a “famous writer” when I was a kid, and I still wanna be one now! In seriousness, I know that it’s a one in a million shot to reach fame and/or fortune writing, but I just want to get my stories out there. Being published was the dream for me.
3. What was your biggest influence for writing?
I taught myself to read at a young age, and I wanted to tell my own stories. My mom was always there to encourage me, and even drew some pictures for story ideas I had. The first book series I read was the “Little House on the Prairie”; my mom had copies of it from when I was kid. I moved on to stories about dogs and wolves from there (White Fang, A Dog Called Kitty), and then fantasy. Mercedes Lackey’s books are the reason why I decided that I wanted to be a fantasy writer–I wanted to build my own worlds.
Now, I like to play around in different genres, so go figure.
4. Have you ever thought about giving up? If you did, what changed your mind?
I have thought about quitting. I have long-term health issues that mean I’m in constant pain, every waking minute of the day. There have also been periods of depression, or just sheer frustration, that I wanted to quit writing. It didn’t seem worth it at the time. It would be easier to give up and not have to have one more thing to worry about.
But, it’s hard to give up something you truly love. The ideas are still there. The stories that I want to tell. Those are what led to me picking it up every time I thought I was going to quit. Also, now that I have had some work published, the sense of accomplishment from it helps push me to keep going, do more, and do different things.
5. Now that you have some work published, what’s your take on the whole process? What was the hardest part for you? What was the easiest?
I haven’t been published through one of the big traditional houses, so my take would be different from someone that has been. My take is that your experience varies wildly depending on which press or house you go with. I’ve had submissions take ten months to get a response. I’ve had them take only a few weeks. It’s kind of amazing how presses are different in little ways, down to which font they want and how their like their margins.
The hardest part for me (besides waiting!) is deadlines. I’m a natural procrastinator, and let things go until the last minute. This leaves me to do unhealthy stuff like writing 10,000 words in two hours and killing my wrists. I got a piece rejected because I did just that, and despite my frantic editing, it was too unpolished to accept. I learned my lesson, and am working on my time management skills.
You know the old chestnut of “if you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life”? Well, if you love your press, the publishing process, even with all of the edits, changes, and so fourth, feel like much more of a joy than a chore. Fortune was smiling upon me when I decided to submit to Less Than Three Press. I absolutely love the staff and the other writers we have in it.
6. Let’s talk a little about your latest project. What is the title and what is it about?
Thanks for asking! It’s called “King of Diamonds”, (link: http://www.lessthanthreepress.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_bookx_info&cPath=92&products_id=1072 ) and is about Rhen, a man who makes his living by both performing card tricks and thievery. Vis a Vis, a festival that only happens every four years, is upon him, and Rhen is hoping to use the opportunity for pickpocketing and free wine. His plans change, however, when his former lover appears and says they need to talk. Rhen is still bitter, but agrees to go to play his hand.
This was really something different for me, writing-wise. I tend to do stories that are more action focused, with fight scenes and violent conflict. Focusing on just the relationship was a real change of pace, and I was excited to write it.
7. What do you hope readers will find interesting or unique about your story?
It’s a fantasy story built around a unique holiday. I think the medieval flavor partnered with characters that you don’t always seen in that sort of setting is interesting. Plus, and not to brag here, but I love the resolution to the conflict. It wasn’t what I’d originally planned, but I’m glad it turned out this way.
8. Some authors tend to stay away from certain genre’s/categories. Is there one you know you can’t write or would have a difficult time trying to write?
Contemporary romance without another genre thrown in doesn’t work for me. I just can’t do it. I have to throw in some spy thriller or urban fantasy to keep me going. Not that straight up contemporary romance is bad–I just have a short attention span. Hard sci-fi is also a no-go for me. I have a soft sci-fi story coming out next year, but just the sheer amount of research and level of technology that goes into a hard sci-fi is too much for me.
9. Writers often call their books their ‘babies’, and therefore have a difficult time with editing or critics. How do you handle the editing process? Do you have a hard time cutting scenes or even characters?
It was definitely had for me when I first started having beta readers, long before editors came into the picture. Getting my ego out of the way of the story was the most important part. I generally handle it well now, but at times, a comment I wasn’t expecting can sting. With those, I scroll past it and do my other edits, then come back when I’ve gotten some emotional distance, and read it again. 99% of the time, whatever they suggested was right anyway, and it’s just to fix the stories. Editors aren’t out to get you (even if my editor is ruthless about my ample use of semicolons!).
10. What are you hoping your readers will take away from this story?
King of Diamonds is a story about finding the whys and hows of a relationship falls apart, and the petty things done when we’re hurt. I hope the readers will take away the impression that not only forgiveness, but making amends, can suck, but taking a gamble on them can yield high rewards.
Where to find KING OF DIAMONDS online: