"Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum." Graycie Harmon
Friday, July 31, 2009
Interview with Cami Checketts
After a tragic fall leaves her sister in a coma, Savannah becomes the prime suspect in the investigation. Desperately hoping to prove her innocence, she convinces detective Noah Shumway to stay by her side at all times. But the close quarters prove too much for them to handle. Can Savannah find the proof she needs to show Noah she s not a monster? And how can she rely on her faith and keep her family safe when it seems all hope is lost? The Sister Pact is a thrilling story of action, suspense, and love. Full of unexpected twists, this book will keep you guessing until the very last page.
I've only recently met Cami and am excited to spotlight her on my Friday Author Interview. She's a delightful woman who is extremely energetic and fun and I know you are going to enjoy getting to know her.
Cami Checketts is a wife, mother, exercise scientist, and avid supporter of Cold Stone Creameries. Although clean toilets are a wistful memory, she adores her husband and three wild boys. Sometimes between being a human horse, cleaning up magic potions, and reading Berenstain Bears, she gets the chance to write fiction. Cami has a BS in Exercise Science from Utah State University. She currently has a thriving business as a pro bono fitness trainer. She fuses her two passions by writing health and fitness articles for The Christian Pulse and Your LDS Neighborhood.
Cami s blog, fitmommas.blogster.com, offers fitness advice and strength training routines for busy women. Cami lives with her family in the beautiful Cache Valley of northern Utah. During the two months of the year it isn t snowing, she loves to swim, run, and bike.
Cami’s third book, The Sister Pact, will be released in July by Bonneville Books. For fitness advice and strength training routines please refer to her blog – http://fitmommas.blogster.com www.camichecketts.com http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com
Here's my interview with Cami.
M.B.: Tell us about your current release and where you got the inspiration for it.
Cami: The Sister Pact is an inspirational romantic suspense. Savannah Compton is devastated when her sister and best friend, Allison, falls into a coma after a tragic accident. Or was it an accident? Even with a charming and handsome detective at her side, it seems Savannah may never discover the truth. But if she doesn’t her family could be in even more danger. And Savannah’s past holds its own secrets that could change everything.
Now she must prove her innocence to the one person who is beginning to matter most. Join Savannah as she struggles to summon faith and rely on hope, even in the darkest of circumstances, and learn how the bond between sisters can overcome anything.
The inspiration for The Sister Pact is, of course, my sister. When I had a nightmare about a man pushing my sister down the stairs, I had to write about it. Nightmare therapy.
M.B.: When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
Cami: I’ve always loved to read and dreamed of writing, but never dared try. After my second son was born, I suffered from post-partum depression. My very wise mother declared I needed a hobby and I should write a book. I started writing that day. Now I’m no longer depressed about babies, just agent rejections.
M.B.: What was the pathway like for you to get your first book published?
Cami: My first two books are buried in my computer and will never see publication. After many rejections I started on my third book, The Fourth of July. A friend of mine referred me to the publishing company she was marketing for. It was a good fit for the book and a nice way to get my foot in the door.
M.B.: Were you ever discouraged along the way? If so, how did you deal with it?
Cami: I think I cried over the first twenty rejections. Then I ate a lot of chocolate, grew a thicker skin, and realized that nobody could stop my dreams. I worked on improving my writing and kept trying, what else can an author do?
M.B.: What is your writing schedule like?
Cami: I have three young sons so I only write if they are at school, asleep, or on a play date. Basically, if the stars align I get some writing in!
M.B.: Where do your ideas come from? How do you know the idea is good enough to write a book about it?
Cami: Every book I’ve written originates from a nightmare. If the idea won’t leave me alone and the characters start popping into my head all hours of the day, I know I have to write about it.
M.B.: What words of advice do you have for other writers who desire to have their manuscripts become books in print?
Cami: Just the usual – don’t give up! I also would say, focus on the writing. It’s so easy to get distracted by Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. If you don’t have a quality product to sale, all the promotion in the world won’t do much for you.
M.B.: What is your process of brainstorming a story? Do you just sit down and write, waiting to see what happens next? Or do you outline first?
Cami: I’m a pantser. I dream up a scene, write it and keep writing until I get stuck. Then I go for a run and usually the next scene pops into my head. It makes for a fun writing process for me, but my original manuscripts are a mess. I lose track of how many rewrites I do.
M.B.: Do you ever experience a snag in a story, a form of writer's block? If so, how do you deal with it?
Cami: If I’m stuck and running doesn’t help I just sit down and force myself to start typing something that the characters might do. Quite often, these scenes get thrown out, but it usually gets my manuscript moving again.
M.B.: Do you need absolute quiet to write? Do you listen to music when you are writing?
Cami: I prefer quiet.
M.B.: What kinds of inspiration do you use during your story creation periods?
Cami: Like I said earlier, I just start writing the scenes that come to me, those are usually my story creation periods.
M.B.: Who has made the greatest difference for you as a writer?
Cami: Noah Lukeman – The First Five Pages. I re-read that book often.
M.B.: Do you use a critique group during the writing process? Why or why not?
Cami: I have a fabulous critique group, but we struggle to get together. When we meet they help me tremendously.
M.B.: Which of your books is your favorite, and why?
Cami: That is such a rotten question. It’s like asking who my favorite child is! Of course right now my favorite is The Sister Pact because I’m so involved in it and I feel I’ve improved as an author since my first two books were released. Plus, I’ve got a serious crush on Noah, the hero. Don’t tell my husband.
M.B.: What are you working on now?
Cami: A book about a mom who blogs against television and one of the television executives sends a hit man to stop her. Yes, it’s a bit out there, but it’s so intense. I’m afraid to sleep alone anymore!
M.B.: Any final words you would like to share
Cami: Thanks so much Michele for spotlighting me on your blog. You’ve always been one of my favorites and it’s quite an honor to be on your blog.
M.B.: Where can our readers go to find your books and order them?
Cami: My first two books, The Fourth of July and The Broken Path are available through Barnes and Noble, Borders, and Amazon. My third book, The Sister Pact, will be released August 1st and be in stock at Deseret Book, Seagull Book & Tape, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart and Costco.
If you go to Cami's web-site, http://camicheckettsbooks.blogspot.com, you can enter to win a free book! Good luck!
My greatest claim to fame is my family. I am married to my prince charming and have four awesome children. This year I experienced the joy of becoming a grandmother to my sweet baby girl Halle. I love to travel and I love to write books.