Saturday, September 03, 2011

Let's get to know Skyla Dawn Cameron

My guest today is Skyla Dawn Cameron. Welcome Skyla! I think you readers are in for a treat as Skyla shares lots of interesting info that will help us come to know more about Skyla, her writing and about her fascinating books. Let's get started by telling the readers about one of your favorite fictional characters, why you made that selection and how it affects your writing today.



So, without futher introduction, here's Skyla!

For my favourite fictional character, I’m afraid we have to go back awhile.

No, not to Pride and Prejudice’s Elizabeth Bennett from high school (though she’s high on the list). Further still. Nancy Drew? I adore her, but keep going.

We’re going waaaay back to when I was six or so and obsessed with a book called Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman.

Jillian Jiggs is about a little girl named Jillian who has the best of intentions. She really does mean to listen to her mother. She means to clean up her room.

But...but...

She’s easily distracted by her wild imagination, and she jumps from one activity to the other, playing dress-up, creating things out of boxes, and inventing stories with her friends. She’s strong, creative, and entertains herself—and as a little girl, I greatly identified with her. I was an only child and I lived in an apartment with no one around to play with, so I had to have my own fun and make my own games. So lost would I be in my own little worlds, I whined and dragged my feet any time I was taken away from them. Why clean my room when I could tell stories? When I could lose myself in a world of my own creation? When I could turn some of my Barbies into zombies or build a fort with all of my books or pretend to be Cinderella while my wicked mother made me clean the bathroom?

Jillian Jiggs was one of the first times I remembered seeing myself in a book and I read it so many times I could recite the story by heart (to this day, I still recall many of the lines). While she may not directly influence any of my characters or books, young Jillian stands out in my mind as the ultimate example of believing anything is possible, and of the individual’s ability to create magic out of the ordinary. She also confirmed for me that creativity should be prized and prioritized, even over everyday duties. Though I’d be pressed to say you can find any hint of this character in my work, perhaps my work wouldn’t exist today if I hadn’t had an idol in Jillian Jiggs as a child.

About the Author: Award-winning author Skyla Dawn Cameron has been writing approximately forever. Her early storytelling days were spent acting out strange horror/fairy tales with the help of her many dolls, and little has changed except that she now keeps those stories on paper. She signed her first book contract at age twenty-one for River, a unique werewolf tale, which was released to critical and reader praise alike and won her the 2007 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy. She now has multiple series on the go to keep her busy, which is great for her attention deficit disorder.

Skyla lives in Southern Ontario where she dabbles in art, is an avid gamer, and watches Buffy reruns. She’s naturally brunette, occasionally a redhead, and will probably go blonde again soon. If she ever becomes a grown-up, she wants to run her own pub, as well as become world dictator.

You can visit her on the web at http://www.skyladawncameron.com/ for free fiction, book news, and tons of other totally awesome stuff.

She’s on Twitter at www.twitter.com/skyladawn

Facebook at www.facebook.com/skyladawncameron


About Hunter (sequel to Bloodlines)

Sometimes natural predators need to be kept in check, and for that, there's Ryann David. Orphaned as an infant and raised by an exiled branch of the church to become a warrior for God, she and her fellow members of Venatores Daemonum have trained all their lives with only one purpose: destroy all demons in the mortal realm.

But when Ryann and her team are sent to hunt down a vampire who has killed one of their own, a new world of danger, betrayal, and conspiracy greets her. Allied with an irreverent psychic detective and the very monsters she was raised to kill, Ryann will risk everything—her life, her faith, and her heart—in pursuit of the truth as the black and white existence she knew turns a murky shade of gray.

Excerpt

He stood straight, the smile brushing his lips seeming to light the room. His elbow nudged mine. “I hear you picked a fight.”

I sighed. “Accidentally. Do you think it’ll cause too much trouble for long?”

Christian chuckled. “I think Jeremiah has a very long memory but he’d be stupid to cause you any problems. So.” He nodded at the mats. “Wanna have a quick round? For old time’s sake before you’re officially one of us?”

My lips parted to disagree as he went ahead and shucked his shoes. I still smarted from the day before, from my muscles aching with every movement to the tender spots marred by bruises on my jaw, head, and throughout my torso and limbs. But when he strolled onto the mats and looked back with a bright grin and brows raised in challenge, my feet moved of their own accord and slipped out of my plain black flats.

I’d do anything he asked and he knew it.

Christian tossed his coat and it landed loudly on the mats four feet to the side. Next he unbuttoned and rolled up the sleeves of his white dress shirt—a sure sign he meant business.

And here I am in a skirt. Lord help me.

I eased out of my blazer, folded it, and let it drop next to my shoes, then took a cautious step onto the mat. Paused. As a rule the girls wore knee-socks as students before becoming full-fledged Hunters and when not in training sweats; I tested the smooth, giving ground beneath my feet and knew I’d be slipping and sliding in no time. Christian didn’t seem to mind his plain socks, but then he was Christian—he probably could’ve done it blindfolded.

I wasn’t that good—yet. I hooked a thumb under the top of my left sock and peeled it off, then the right. When I stepped forward again, this time I was completely aware of my knee-length navy skirt and already planning precisely how it would inhibit me.

And because a good teacher is always in tune with his student’s thoughts, Christian paused in the center of the room and watched me cautiously walk over. “You might end up fighting in worse than that.”

My cheeks heated and I hoped the blush wasn’t too obvious. “You mean we’ll be sent on assignments looking like school girls?”

Christian shrugged and gave another glittering smile. “Depends on the assignment.”

I don’t want to know what that means.

“Grace had to infiltrate a political fundraiser in formal wear to stop a demon summoner. Took out the witch and three demons, and the dress is still hanging in her closet in case it’s needed again.”

“Heels too?”

“Now that I didn’t hear about.”

Well, his point had been taken; if I wanted to play with the grownups like Grace, I needed to fight in a skirt.

Stupid skirts.

I padded toward him, breathing deeply and trying not to tense. I stopped three feet away in a square of sunlight; the mat was warm beneath my bare feet, calming. I drank it in, letting relaxation move up my legs, through my body, straight to the top of my head where sun heated my curly, blondish hair. All the thoughts, the worries, the drama from earlier were easily swept into a clear little box in my head, to be tucked away until I left the mats. There was no time for anything else now—just me and my target. A familiar comfort washed over me: I liked this part, when the rest of the world disappeared.

It was where I belonged.

Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum.

He shifted from foot to foot and rolled his shoulders. “Ready?”

“Always.”

(Skyla certainly got my attention with this tantalizing excerpt! Hope you all enjoyed getting to know Skyla and will check out all her books http://www.awe-struck.com/ and http://www.mundania.com/ Thanks again, Skyla!)

6 comments:

Sue R (Lauracea) said...

Great post Skyla and Sharon. I've never heard of Jillian Jiggs, but I'm off to find out more! Skyla's such a mine of information :)

Jana Richards said...

Fantastic excerpt Skyla! You certainly intrigued me with that one and I'll be looking for the book.

Jana

Christine London said...

So much of our work as authors is a grown up kind of day dreaming. Thank heavens for Jillian, indeed. :)

Regards,
Christine London
www.christinelondon.com

Celtic Chick said...

Hi Skyla,

Loved her skirt quandary in the excerpt.

I'm right with you on the Buffy reruns. Got to have them.

Good luck with your latest release!

Skyla Dawn said...

Thank you Sharon for having me--and thank you to everyone for visiting!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Okay, Sorry, I'm late. But I'm here! :D

I've not heard of this book or character, but I can see how you could love her. :) Sounds like a fun girl to hang with and get lost in stories for a time. :)