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Cameron Dane

 

Many of your stories are part of a series, so readers get to learn about the wonderful secondary characters.  When you are plotting out a new story, do the ideas for additional books appear immediately or come up unexpectedly?

Secondary characters tend to start talking to me as soon as I type their names. By the time I finish writing one story I usually know the general idea of the next story I will write, if not more than one. I think that comes from loving to read series of books featuring related characters. Because of that, I believe it happens very naturally for me.

The one exception to that was Caleb Hawkins. I knew a bit of his history and that he was hiding something pretty serious beneath that charming smile and wit of his, but not much more than that. I tried to come up with a story for him, with a woman, and it just didnít happen. I knew it wasnít right so I let it go and started writing ReneCade. About a third of the way into writing ReneCade I figured out that Caleb would fall for a man but I still didnít know who that would be. By that point I had a clear story for Duke and Risa, which became Ride, so I let Caleb remain a strong secondary character in that as well. Then we met Jake Chase in Ride. When that happened, Caleb tapped me on the shoulder and said, ďThatís him, thatís the guy who makes me fall,Ē and I knew his story.

 

Knowing Caleb, the fifth book in the wonderful Quinten, Montana series was just released.  Does it feel good to have the stories for all three brothers finished?

Thanks so much. Iím glad you are enjoying the series. I love writing stories set in this town, about this group of people.

It does feel good to have the stories for all three brothers told. Iím glad each of them is happy now and have strong partners who love them unconditionally. At the same time, Iím a little sad too. I got to know Connor, Cain, and Caleb very well. While theyíll continue to make appearances in future Quinten stories I feel a little bit of sadness that there isnít still one more Hawkins brother story to write.

 

Can you tell us a bit about what is coming next for the Quinten, Montana series?

When I finish a few other projects my plan is to write a story for Jace, Sarah, and Jasper. We got to know Sarah and Jasper a bit in ReneCade, and got to meet Jace a bit in Ride. Iíve never written a mťnage before so I expect there will be some challenges as I go along.

I imagine that Ren and Cade from ReneCade will become strong supporting characters in this story, as Deputy Jace Maxwell and Sarah work with Cade, and cowboy Jasper works with Ren.

I havenít written and submitted this story for consideration yet, but that is the general idea of what is running around in my head.

 

Who is your favorite character in the Quinten, Montana series?

Thatís tough to answer. Theyíre each special to me in their own ways. The Hawkins brothers in particular will stay with me for different reasons.

Connor Hawkins will always have a place in my heart for the simple fact that he started it all. He was the reason Demon Moon came to be. Without him there wouldnít be a Quinten, Montana, or the brothers, or anyone else. Connor holds a special place for me, for that.

Just from my gut though, I have to say Cain Hawkins. His loneliness spoke to me so loudly while writing Demon Moon that he was fully in my heart before I finished writing that story. When Cassie danced with Luke at the Halloween party in Demon Moon, I knew Luke would be the man who would break through to Cain and open him up to letting someone into his heart. Their story, Falling, came together faster than anything Iíve ever written, as if they pushed me to write it every single day so that they could get to their happily ever after. I always love when I can have Cain and Luke make an appearance in another book. Something about their relationship and love is so pure that it always makes me smile.

Caleb is right up there, too, and I loved the part he played in the other stories that led up to Knowing Caleb. He was the toughest nut to crack, so in many ways it was the most rewarding to finally find a partner for him and get his story told.

Itís hard for me to separate the Hawkins brothers and love one more than the other. LOL. I guess I didnít exactly answer your question, did I?

 

One of my favorites of all your stories is Finding Home.  Can you tell us a bit more about this story and its origins?  What is next in the Quinn Security series?

Finding Home actually started out as a short story that I wrote to enter into a contest. It didnít win. I talked to my editor at Loose Id about it a little bit. She recommended that I add some more to the story, turn it into a novella, and go ahead and submit it to them. I am so glad I did. Everything happens for a reason and I am so much more pleased with the final result of Finding Home that exists today. Probably my favorite scene in the book, where Adam is on the floor in the hallway trying to reach a grief-stricken Rhone on the other side of his bedroom door, didnít exist in the short story. Itís a much more complete story now. Iím pleased about that.

Next up for Quinn Security is The Ultimate Kink and it will release on November 18th. That one features Canin and Kasey, the other two owners of Quinn. In order to help a client they go undercover in a sex club as a married couple. Canin and Kasey are both very tough people and theyíre used to verbally sparring with each other. When they get thrown in this situation they have to learn to trust each other and deal together on an entirely new level.

 

You write both male/male and male/female stories.  Is one genre more difficult or demanding than the other for you?

For me, I donít find that to be so. I love writing them both and I hope that will be the case when I tackle my first mťnage too. I approach writing both genres in the exact same way. Iím telling a love story first, no matter the sexual orientation of the characters. Maybe thatís why I donít find one more demanding or challenging than the other.

 

What is your favorite published story?

That is impossible for me to answer. Each story is unique to the characters in it so itís tough to place one above the other in my heart. They all feel like family to me. Through a strange series of events that I wonít go into I got an offer for a contract for Falling first, before Demon Moon. For that reason, Falling will always be extra special to me. It was my first publishing contract ever and got my foot in the door. I will always love Cain and Luke for that.

 

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?

This might be surprising, but I would actually love to meet grizzled cowboy Hank. Heís a sub character in the Quinten series of books. He really only gets a half-dozen to a dozen lines per book, depending on the story, but so many of his lines make me smile or laugh. If you read ReneCade, you might recall that Hank said he had done some stuff in his past that would curl your hair, but that he wasnít going to tell, so donít ask him. I believe him. I think Hank has led a fascinating life that nobody on Hawkins Ranch knows about, and Iíd love to sit down with him to see if he would spill some of those stories for me. Also, Hank not-so-quietly, in his crusty, tough way, absolutely loves these Hawkins brothers, Caleb in particular, and would take a bullet for any one of them. I think they would all do the same for him too.

 

When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?

A little bit of both. I have a general thought in my head for how the story will play out. I jot down bullet points, just so I have a sense of direction and the order of how I think the scenes should occur in the story. As I start writing though, inevitably, I always add more than what Iíve written in my notes. Iím constantly making a note in the sidelines of my notes, reminding me to add this or that before I get to the next bullet point. As I go along, the characters and the story will often dictate that I add a scene earlier or later than I intended. Iíve also been known to go back in and add an entire scene to a story after Iíve finished the book, before submitting, if I feel like something might be missing when I do my self-edit. Does that make sense? It made perfect sense in my head.

 

Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life?

Not in a literal sense. I donít have any characters that are based on people that I know in my life, but a character might have a quirk, or a nervous habit, a gesture, that is pulled from someone Iíve observed or know.

 

There are also little things that come from me. For example, Iíve always had pets, and I think as a result of that many of my characters have a cat or a dog. Cainís dog, Whisky, is a tribute to a dog my family had for many years named Tequila. She passed a number of years ago and Whisky was a little way to honor her. I also like sports, and Cainís, Adamís, Rhoneís, and Caninís mention of enjoying baseball, or Lukeís mention of loving hockey, or Risa wearing an Indianapolis Colts ballcap in Ride are little ways that I inject that, often before I even realize that Iíve done it.

I do try to make my characters feel like real people though, behave like real people, talk like real people, because in my head they are real people. It sounds a little nutty, and maybe itís because so many of my characters continue to make appearances in other stories, but I donít shake them when I finish writing the story. They continue to live in my head.

 

What is your favorite character on Friday Night Lights, one of the best tv shows around?

Woohoo! Another FNL fan. Iím always happy to see that. For me itís not a favorite character, but a favorite couple, and that is Coach Taylor and Tami. Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton have such amazing chemistry. Through the writing and directing, and their incredible acting skills, they spark that couple to life. The characters have great love for each other, incredible respect, they are still hot for each other, they lean on each other when needed, but also know how to have a good fight too. All of that makes them immensely pleasurable for me to watch.

 

Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.

I donít know if this is really all that surprising (at least to the people who know me) but I can be an absolute motor mouth with my friends, and it can be hard for them to shut me up. At the same time, if Iím in the zone with a story, I can literally go for days without saying a word to anyone. Iíll look up, a week has gone by, and I wonder where it went. I would guess that a lot of us feel that way these days though.

 

Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Hmm, I donít know that I have anything I would consider a true guilty pleasure. Iím pretty obsessed with Torchwood, the show that airs on BBC America. Man, if you havenít seen Captain Jack and company you are missing out on something that is a heck of a joy to watch. Iím pretty open with my love for it, though, so I donít really feel guilty about it.

I have a real weakness for junk food. If itís bad for you, I love it. I get the occasional craving for a brownie with ice cream and fudge topping so badly that I will stop what Iím doing and bake a batch just so I can satisfy the urge. If I donít I will obsess about it for days until I finally eat one.

 

What are you currently working on?

Iím writing two stories right now. The first is a male/male about two men who were foster brothers for a short time as teens. Now, fifteen years later, they are meeting again. The second is another male/male, featuring Grey Cole, Kelsieís brother from my novella The Sweetest Tattoo. The man he will meet and tangle with is Sirus Walker, who had a brief scene in Tattoo. Iím also finishing up editing a book for Liquid Silver that is titled Seeking Redemption: Aidan & Ethan. I donít have a firm release date for that, but I believe it will be some time in December.

 

Where can readers find Cameron Dane?

Thanks for asking! My website. www.camerondane.com Please visit anytime. You can find blurbs and links about all of my books. I write each book so that it can be read as a stand alone story. If youíre curious about the reading order though, I have a booklist page on my site that will tell you which books are related and the order they were released.

If youíd like a bookmark you can use either the Ďcontact meí or Ďtell me about youí page, provide your mailing address, and Iíll get one right in the mail for you.

You can also sign up for Release Day emails at my website. You can find that feature at the bottom of the homepage. I will only send you an email on the day a book of mine releases so donít worry about your inbox being bombarded. And please be assured that I donít share your email addresses or your mailing addresses with anyone. I promise you that.

 

Any other tidbits you would like to share?

I want to say thank you to Emily, and to Joyfully Reviewed. This was a lot of fun.

My first book was released just a little over a year ago on October 2, 2007, and this has been a whirlwind dream year. Everyone from my publishers, to editors, fellow writers, and especially the readers has made this a wonderful experience. From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you. I hope I can keep sharing stories that you will enjoy for a long time to come.

 

All the best to you.

Happy Reading!

Cameron Dane

 

 

     

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