Member Spotlight – Questionnaire
This month’s Member Spotlight is all about…. Loni Cameron! Loni is a busy mom of two, working on her own writing, blogging for the WCYR, and active in the meetings as the Assistant Membership Coordinator. To help us out and get to know her a little better, here is her spotlight.
Tell Us About Yourself
When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
I’ve always loved writing and creating stories. Digging through old boxes, I’ve found books I made as a child. However, something clicked while I was in University. I don’t know if it was a particular class or book that I read, but I started to fee that I could do this.
Do you have another job besides writing?
Yes! I need a day job. Something has to pay the bills.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
Currently, I’m writing a fantasy novel. I love it. The main character was born out of a prompt from a writing group that I attend. I wrote about what she did and what happened to her. A story started to form in my mind, then I continued from there.
Why do you write?
I write to get all the voices out of my head.
Writing and Critique Groups and Professional Organizations
What has been your experience with literary guilds or groups?
I’ve had great experiences with all the groups I belong to. The WCYR has been wonderful. I have met some amazing people, listened to some interesting speakers, and attended helpful workshops. I also belong to two writing groups that focus on creation.
They say authors have immensely fragile egos… How would you handle (or how have you handled) negative criticism or a negative review?
I like constructive criticism. I need another voice telling me what my story is missing. Sometimes, I’m so far inside my own world, I can’t see what it needs. That being said, I hate rejection letters. I’m emotionally distraught for an entire day sometimes.
What brought you to the WCYR?
Two things: A deep need to connect with other writers, and Google.
The Process of Writing
What type of writer are you—the one who experiences before writing, like Hemingway, or the one who mostly daydreams and fantasizes?
I’m a daydreamer, but I also write from experience. Sometimes they combine and fun things happen.
When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?
I like writing with a diverse cast of characters. It’s how I grew up, it’s how I live now. I didn’t realize it for a while. After I did, I wanted to make it seamless and feel natural to the reader.
What’s your biggest challenge with your writing: the beginning, middle, end? Idea generation? Characters? Dialogue?
I find the middle the biggest challenge. I can start a story with no problem. Soon after, I can imagine the end. Getting from the beginning to the end can be a little foggy.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Turn down your inner editor. Just get the story on the page and fix it later.
The World of Publishing
What is/are your favorite book/author(s)? Why?
For the longest time, I would say my favourite authors
were Margaret Atwood and Stephen King. I’ve certainly read the most by them. Over the last few years, I’ve discovered new authors that I adore. One of them is Sarah J. Maas. Something about her books just grab me. She writes two fantasy series and I just can’t get enough of them.
Do you have another book in the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
I’m also working on a novel that is more of a suspense story. There are no fantasy elements, but has to do with a woman seeing the world one way, then realizing it’s another. She also might have a stalker.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
On Reading and Ideas
What book are you reading now?
I recently started Caraval, by Stephanie Garber. So far, it centres on a unique carnival, involves sisters, an arranged marriage and magic. I’m a bit of a book hoarder, so who knows what I’ll be reading next.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What type of books did you enjoy reading?
Yes. The Scholastic flyer was my favourite thing. I read everything. I remember my first “chapters books” were Sweet Valley Twins. I also read R.L. Stine’s Fear Street. I think that’s translated into adulthood. Last year, I’d say some of my favourite books were The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater, Visions, by Kelley Armstrong, and the sun and her flowers, by rupi kaur. Also, Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a lesson in unreliable narrators.
When Loni isn’t reading other people’s words or running around after her two young children, she spends time writing stories of her own. She finds inspiration in the little things, but also in momentous events. Loni currently resides in York Region. Twitter: @LoniStorm Instagram: loni_storm Pinterest: lonistorm