INTERVIEW: The Writing Process by Collette Cameron

My good friend, and fellow Regency author Katherine Bone, tagged me to be a part of “My Writing Process” blog tour. 

All right, I’m supposed to answer four questions. Here goes.

What am I working on? 

Well, I finished my fourth Regency, TRIUMPH AND TREASURE, the first of six books in the Highlander Heather Romancing a Scot Series. That story was about Flynn, who was introduced in my first series.

I’ve begun the preliminary work for the second book, VIRTUE AND VALOR which will be Isobel and Yancy’s story. That means I’ve created a Goal, Motivation, and Conflict chart for each of them, as well as filled out a questionnaire with over fifty questions for each as well. Then, I do a rough synopsis which touches on the plot points I already know I want to include. I’m only 1800 words into the manuscript at this point.

Because I’m a linear pantser, I don’t have the entire story plotted out. I know a great deal of it, but not every detail. In fact, I’m trying to be a bit better about pre-plotting, but I don’t ever see myself, outlining a book from beginning to end. I like getting surprised while I write.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

Highlander's HopeI’ve yet to write a straight Regency. By that I mean, although I consider myself a Regency author, my books also contain other elements. For instance, in HIGHLANDER’S HOPE, my hero was an English Viscount, but he was also the laird of his clan. I loved combining the Scottish elements with the Regency, which is the reason I am writing the Highland Heather series.

The Viscount's Vow

In THE VISCOUNT’S VOWI introduced a gypsy element, and I plan on including more of that in my other books. In fact, I’m contemplating how to include both the gypsy and Scottish elements in Virtue and Valor. There were Scottish gypsies, you know!

I also always include humor in my novels. It’s just who I am. You’ll always find animals (usually dogs and birds) in my books too. Plus, my characters, including those with fur and feathers, often find themselves with a familiar name. Perhaps a family member’s middle name, or a beloved pet. I named the dachshund in THE EARL’S ENTICEMENT (Soul Mate Publishing May 2014) Kiki after my beloved dachshund who died after eating a Waggin Tail Chicken Jerky Treat.

Why do I write what I do?

I write what  I love to read, which is historicals. I adore Regencies, anything Scottish or medieval, Georgian, Victorian… you get the idea. I’m also a history buff, so the research I do for my books is very intriguing to me. I love uncovering stuff I had no idea about and then including that in my books.

That’s not to say someday I might not write another genre; I do have ideas for several other genre’s, but right now, I’m happy with historicals.

How does my writing process work? 

Woman Sketch

As I mentioned above, when I start a new book, I complete a GMC chart for my hero/heroine and also a lengthy questionnaire for both of them. That forces me to really get to know them. I’ve done that on my last four books. This time around, I’m also doing a rough synopsis before I begin writing. I decide in advance how long the book will be and then decide how long I want to take to write it, giving myself a bit of leeway.

You never know what will come up!

Now that I’m only working very part time, I have myself on a writing schedule and do weekly word counts. That way if I have a day that I’m more productive, I don’t worry when I have a day that I can’t get as much done. I do write every day though when I’m working on a book. I finished my last book in 41 days, but then I had to add almost 8000 words and make a few corrections so it took me another two weeks. Then, I send the book out to Beta readers and spend another week tweaking the manuscript before I’m ready to submit it.

I have to have complete quiet when I work, and I use copious amounts of sticky notes to jot ideas, thoughts, and changes down on. At any given time, you will see at least two or three sticky notes plastered on the sides of my computer. When I’m really in the thick of things, I can have dozens stuck to my desk, computer, and the closet door beside my desk.

So that’s it!

These lovely ladies will have their Writing Process blogs up on March 10th.

Lauren Smith is an attorney by day author by night who pens edgy romances by the light of her smart phone flashlight app.

Cynthia Young is a Regency romance writer living in the Pacific Northwest.

Nancy Goodman is an award-winning author, who puts her pen aside during the day to practice law in New York.

To find out more about Collette Cameron, go to her fun website her:

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About The Author

USA Today Bestselling, award-winning author COLLETTE CAMERON® scribbles Scottish and Regency historical romance novels featuring dashing rogues, rakes, and scoundrels and the strong heroines who reform them. Blessed with an overactive and witty muse that won’t stop whispering new romantic romps in her ear, she’s lived in Oregon her entire life. Although she dreams of living in Scotland part-time. A confessed Cadbury chocoholic, you’ll always find a dash of inspiration and a pinch of humor in her sweet-to-spicy timeless romances®.

Dayna Linton
Dayna Linton
Dayna is the owner of not only Novels Alive but of Day Agency, a full-service self-publishing agency for independent authors. She has been assisting independent authors to achieve their dreams of becoming published authors for over 15 years. From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors to the first-time author to every author in between. Dayna is a self-professed bibliophile. While dancing has always been her first love, reading came as a very, very close second, with gardening coming in as a close third. Dayna is also the divorced mom of four adult children and a very proud grandma. She is also a web designer, social media specialist, book blogger, and reviewer. She's a long-time Disney lover and a Utah Jazz, Utah Utes, and Dallas Cowboys fan. See Dayna's reviews here: Dayna's Reviews


    • Thanks Nancy. I know several authors who are like me and have to have quiet, but I also know some that like background noise too. I get cranky if hubby keeps trying to talk to me when I write. Grrrr.

  1. Great post, Collette. I’ve never used a character questionnaire, but I found one online that I’m definitely going to use before I start my next book. I think it will really help define both my hero and heroine.

  2. I’d never heard of a linear pantser, Collette! But it seems like a good blend of plotter and pantser. And if a process works for you, (and it obviously does) that’s all that counts. 🙂 Great post!

    • Jenna. I know! It’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it? But it seems to work for me. I do find myself doing more contemplating before I sit down to right, so maybe I’m a pansters with with plotting tendencies.

  3. Hi, Collette! I like being surprised when I’m writing, too. The down side is sometimes I have no idea what is supposed to happen, LOL.

    I’ve developed a taste for novels about Scotland, so I’m looking forward to reading yours.

    • Barb, it’s especially important now because I’ve had to dive into an emergency teaching position for the rest of the year. I wasn’t going to do that any more, but I couldn’t say no in this case.


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