Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Say Hello to Collette -- The Lady with the Shabby Chic Office...

A life-long Oregonian, Collette Cameron was born and raised in a small town along the northern Oregon coast. Today she makes her home in a rural community, 30 minutes west of Portland. Her Victorian farmhouse sits on a one-acre certified wildlife habit, interspersed with a plethora of gardens: English, rose, butterfly, rock, water, and of course, vegetable.

An enthusiast of times gone by, and anything related to romance, she writes Historical Romance, with a dash of inspiration, a pinch of humor, and a liberal portion of suspense.
Having dabbled in interior decorating in her youth, Collette returned to school, graduating summa cum laude from Oregon State University, and went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Teaching. She is member of Romance Writers of America, Rose City Romance Writers, The Beau Monde, and Love Faith and Hope, Inc., and a whole slew of other author/writer groups.
Some of Collette's favorite things include unique blends of coffees and teas, trivia, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, inspirational quotes, and scented candles. Her Christian faith, husband, three adult children, and five miniature dachshunds round out her life quite nicely. When she's not teaching or writing, she is a content and copy/line editor for an Ebook publisher, enjoys amateur photography, bird watching, gardening, interior decorating, rock-hunting, boating or fishing on the Columbia River, and reading of course.
SDC: Welcome, Collette. Before you tell us about your newest release coming, please fill us in on what got you started writing from the beginning.
Shirley, I’m so blessed to have you host me. Thank you!
I’d contemplated writing a book for years, but wasn’t exactly sure what that looked like for me. Initially I thought I’d write a children’s book, or a self-help book, or maybe even something about my growth as a Christian. The one genre I never thought I’d write was romance.
I was sitting in a church service one Sunday, and my pastor was preaching about reaching people by going “outside the box.” I had a sudden urge to write a romance novel with inspirational overtones, but my audience wasn’t to be believers. So, God and I had this conversation—actually, it was a one-sided conversation—with me saying, “Um, Lord, you do know how this will be received in Christian circles don’t you? What will my friends think? My family?”
You know how it is though, when the Holy Spirit prompts you. Yes, he’s a gentleman but a more persistent one there isn’t.
I tried the, “I’m a teacher, what will the parents of my students think?” argument.
His response? “Use a pen name.”
I tried the, “Christians won’t understand,”  argument.
His response? “Your book isn’t meant for Christians. It’s a way to get the God’s truths before people who would otherwise never be exposed to them.”
So, without a clue as to what I was going to write or how to go about writing an entire novel, I sat down at my computer one day in February 2011 and started writing Highlander’s Hope.
SDC:  how are you making contact with your potential readers so far?
I’ve done all the typical things. Started a blog and had a website built— two actually. I have started dabbling in several social groups, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a few others.
My teacher friends and parents of my students have been enormously supportive and keep asking when Highlander’s Hope is being released. Oh, and I’ve been privileged to be hosted on several blogs and have scheduled a blog tour for May-July 2013.
SDC: Do you work through an agent? If so, how did you go about finding yours, and what was your criteria for selecting?
I don’t have an agent, though I do have one interested in my work. I want to get the third book in my Blue Rose Trilogy sold before I send her material. I have the first two sold and am working on the third.  
I met her at a workshop hosted by my local RWA chapter. She represents a well-known, highly respected agency, and from the conversations we’ve had, I believe she is a woman of integrity.
SDC: What’s your favorite Bible verse or verse that has sustained you recently and why, Collette?
My favorite Bible verse is the 27th Psalm. It has sustained and encouraged me for the last 32 years. Verses one and fourteen are especially meaningful to me.
Psalm 27: 1    The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:14    Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart
SDC:  Many of us writers have favorite rooms or spaces in our home or around our homes that we use to get our creativity juices flowing. Where is your favorite place to go and why? Does it often play any part in your story writing?
Okay, I can’t help it...I’m smiling a huge smile.
Last fall I commandeered one of my adult son’s bedrooms and turned it into a shabby chic writing room. It’s all pink and white and lace and flowers, and I love it! I have a fabulous view of my large backyard and the meadow behind it.
I see deer, squirrels, and dozens of species of birds darting from feeder to feeder. All of my books have references to birds in them.
I surrounded myself with all the things I love; pictures of my family, my dogs, Regency and Victorian era images, scented candles, teacups, bird cages and houses...It’s very busy, very girly, and very me.
SDC:  Have you ever written anything that you had to later toss? How would you describe your OLD file system of “works in progress” that you chose not to pursue?
I’ve not yet written anything that I’ve had to toss. I’ve been very blessed to have had contract offers on my first two manuscripts. I have cut major portions of my manuscripts though. I save those pieces on external thumb drives in case I want to use them for later work. I also post some of the outtakes on my blog for my readers to enjoy.
Let's read a little about Collette's newest book.
Highlander's Hope
Not a day has gone by that Ewan McTavish, the Viscount Sethwick, hasn't dreamed of the beauty he danced with two years ago. He's determined to win her heart and make her his own. Heiress, Yvette Stapleton, is certain of one thing; marriage is risky and, therefore, to be avoided. At first, she doesn't recognize the dangerously handsome man who rescues her from assailants on London's docks, but Lord Sethwick soon have her reconsidering her cynical views on matrimony. On a mission to stop a War Office traitor, Ewan draws Yvette into deadly international intrigue. To protect her, he exploits Scottish law, declaring her his lawful wife—without benefit of a ceremony. Yvette is furious upon discovering the irregular marriage is legally binding, though she never said, "I do." Will Ewan's manipulation cost him her newfound love?   
Highlander’s Hope
Yvette has returned to England, desperate to find security and peace after her parent's deaths and Edgar's attempted rape and abduction. Leery of fortune-hunters, she intends to remain unwed rather than risk a loveless marriage or lose the independence her newly inherited monies allow her. Yet, even in England she's not safe from Edgar or his treachery, and Ewan McTavish—a man she's met before, though at first she doesn't remember him—comes to her aid again and again. After another abduction attempt, she accepts Ewan's offer to take her to Craiglocky. During their journey, a storm forces them to seek shelter in an unsavory inn. Yvette is in danger of being ravished until Ewan exploits his knowledge of Scottish Canon Law to declare her his wife—without clergy or a ceremony. She agrees to the deception, assuming it is only a ruse to protect her. Although she's in love with him, Yvette is heartbroken and infuriated when she discovers they are legally wed. She's convinced Ewan tricked her into marriage for her wealth.
Though it's been two years since the Napoleonic Wars ended, Ewan McTavish, Viscount Sethwick and Laird of Craiglocky is still seeking the traitor in England's War Office. He's determined to catch the mastermind who has eluded him for five years. He is equally determined to protect the woman he can't forget; the woman he fell in love with when they met at her cousin's wedding. Sent to escort Yvette to her cousin's, he doesn't tell her that her stepbrother, Edgar, is a spy, or that Ewan has unwittingly drawn her into deadly international espionage. And he certainly doesn't regret claiming her as his bride in an irregular Scottish marriage because since her return to England, he's wanted to make her his own. Though he performs the duties required of his English title, his true devotion lies with his Scottish clan. He's ready to put spying aside and take his place as Laird of Craiglocky with his reluctant bride.
SDC: Collette, I understand you have a book you would like to share with one of our readers. That is always exciting to us here at the blog. Tell us which one you are planning to donate. Also, what question would you like to have answered to help me select the winner?
My debut novel, Highlander’s Hope releases in May. I’d love to give an ebook copy to a reader to enjoy.
Share your thoughts and your name will be added to the random list
for the potential winner of Collette's new book 
When God calls you to do something unconventional or unusual for believer, how do you overcome any fears associated with stepping out in faith and obedience to do what he’s asked of you?



  1. Pray, argue a little, pray, make excuses, pray, pray, pray. Have others pray for me too. It is just easier to obey in the long run since God knows what is truly best. Your story sounds great. I would love to win and read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    sweetdarknectar at gmail dot com

  2. I pray then after I wait I step out on faith and go for it.
    Looking forward to having my name in the pile.
    Janice Ian

  3. I agree. It takes prayer. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." (James 4:8). Yes, and have others pray, too. "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Matthew 18:20

    That is what I keep praying for. . . what does the Lord what me to do? We moved to this area for my husband's job 14 years ago. I had multiple strokes two years after we moved here. I found out I have a rare antibody in my blood which makes the blood thick and also causes lupus. I was paralyzed and could not talk. I had to quit working, we had to quit teaching Sunday School, and quite leading bible study. It just became too much for my injured brain. I spend time daily with the Lord reading His Word and in prayer.

    His Word got me through my multiple strokes---the paralysis, not being able to talk, depression, and short-term memory loss. He brought His Word to me. . . I would repeat it over and over. "Trust in the Lord and lean not unto your own circumstances; acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." I did not even know it was scripture because my stroke wiped out all my memorized scriptures and my short-term memory. One day I came across the words I kept repeating. I found it in Proverbs 3:5 & 6.
    Today I am able to talk and also able to use my paralyzed side. I am now able to walk my dog, work out, do planks, lift weights, push-ups, wall sits, and dips . . and yes, mow the lawn. :-) I praise the Lord and give Him the Glory!!

    I wondered how you went to writing fiction after receiving your teaching certificate. Now I know! :-) It was the Lord!!

    I am so excited for you, Collette! I'm looking forward to reading your book, whether I am lucky enough to receive the free e-book or if I purchase it when it becomes available.

  4. I am so thrilled that your book is coming out soon Collette. I was lucky enough to get part way through it before it was published but computer glitches between your PC and my Mac did now allow me to finish!! I hope to soon. Congratulations and I hope you sell many, many more novels. You have a true, God given gift.

  5. I didn't mean to be anonymous but it just happened. These blogs and I just do not get along very well!!!

  6. Boos Mum, I chuckled when I read your argue and make excuses. I've done that so many times!

    Janice, it is so important that we take that step of faith after praying. If we don't, we don't go anywhere.

    And Judy, yes, many people couldn't figure out how I went from diving into teaching to writing historical romance.

    Thank you so much for stopping by ladies. This is a journey I never expected to be on, and often I don't have clue what I'm doing, but God does.

  7. Beth,
    You must come to my launch party! I'm so excited about this whole publishing journey. And boy does it keep you humble.

  8. LOL, Collette, I've had lots of those conversations. Sometimes he just has to hit me over the head a brick. Great interview. I loved learning more about you. Tweeted.

  9. Ella,
    Thanks for stopping by! I try to included something a bit different in each interview. Thanks so much for tweeting.

  10. Great post Collette! It's quite impressive what you've accomplished in such a short amount of time.

  11. Aaw, Tammy, thank you.
    Do you remember how nervous I was at my first RCRW meeting. I didn't know anything about getting published!!

  12. Great article. And your book looks great too
    Randi Benjamin

  13. When God calls you to do something unconventional or unusual for believer, how do you overcome any fears associated with stepping out in faith and obedience to do what he’s asked of you?

    FIrst, I ask God to confirm what He's asking of me , then I act in confidence that I have His Word on it and that will see me thru when anything rises up in opposition. Def part of living 'led by the Spirit'!!

    Your book will be a perfect addition to the Reading Scotland Challenge for 2013 I'm hosting at FHC. You're welcome to join us!