Camille is a journalist by day (she writes for SELF, Parade and Arthritis Today, among others) and novelist by night and weekend. She also blogs at SvelteGourmand.com and theWAHMdiaries.com. She recently moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, with her husband, daughter (3) and son (6 months).
Stick around after Camille’s visit to enter to win a copy of The Art of Forgetting!
Camille Noe Pagán Takes the Deb Interview!
Talk about one thing that’s making you happy right now.
My novel is about friendship, so I’ve been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to have good friends. With that in mind, I’ll say Deb Sarah is making me happy! She and I became virtual friends about a year and a half ago after realizing that we shared a literary agent (Elisabeth Weed) and wrote for all of the same magazines. Shortly after, she sold her novel, The Violets of March, to my editor at Penguin (we were also pregnant with our sons at the same time! If she wasn’t tall and blonde, I’d suspect that we were secret twins).
Anyway, Sarah is one of the first people that I turn to with gripes (mean-spirited reviews!) and victories (foreign rights sales! New novel ideas!). The publishing process can be a crazy-making and lonely experience, and it has been priceless to have someone in the trenches with me to talk to about it all. At the same time, Sarah inspires me—I’m trudging along on my second novel at a snail’s pace while trying to adjust to life with two kids while she has three boys and is already working on novel number three. I think having one good friend who shows you that yes, it really can be done (!) is a must; it’s that little spark that lights the fire under your backside and gets you moving.
What is your advice for aspiring writers?
Ignore the naysayers and go for it. If I had a dollar for every time someone spewed some “good” advice about how impossible it is to get published or how if you could do anything other than writing you should do it, I would never need another book advance.
It’s not that it’s easy to get published or that the road will be smooth, but you have to cling to your optimism and hope if you want to be able to sit down at your computer each day and keep writing. (That’s true, I now know, even if you’ve already managed to sell a manuscript).
What three things would you want with you if stranded on a desert island?
My laptop, a working electrical outlet, and an Internet connection. I might get tired of eating raw fish and mango but I’d never get bored if I had access to Twitter and my favorite blogs (hello, Debutante Ball!). However, this obsessive LOST fan would consider trading her computer for Sawyer, or in a pinch, Sayid.
What’s your next big thing?
I’ve been meaning to start a blog about being a writer and work-at-home mom for a year (seriously!) and I finally got it up and running last month. The result: theWAHMdiaries.com. It’s still in the early stages, but it’s been so much fun; I have more blog post ideas than I have time to write.
What is the best perk of your job?
The endless possibilities that writing affords me. Right now, I write women’s fiction and cover health and nutrition as a journalist; but if I decided that I wanted to pen, say, a mystery series and do an investigative report on corruption in Detroit, I could do that with some effort but without totally upending my life.
Plus, I’ve been my own boss since I became a freelance writer seven years ago, and I would not trade that for all the money in the world. It’s not that I sit around in my pajamas all day eating bon bons and writing when the muse strikes; I get dressed every single morning (even if that only entails putting on clean yoga pants), keep regular hours and make myself work, whether I feel like it or not. Yet even when I’m writing something benign like “Thirty-seven ways to cure a cold sore,” I am always, always aware of how incredibly fortunate I am to have my career and the life that comes with it.
The Art of Forgetting
A moving and insightful debut novel of great friendship interrupted. Can the relationship survive when the memories are gone?
Library Journal calls The Art of Forgetting a “page turner” for “readers who enjoy intelligent novels about women’s friendships.” Camille calls it the book that you really want to buy the week of June 9th (pretty please!)!
Want to enter to win a copy? Just leave a comment for Camille below! (US & Canada only)