Friday, April 18, 2014

Interview with Mom's Choice Award-winning Author Camille Matthews



Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
I hear the story in my head and write it down as I hear the characters talking. I also envision the place and describe it. Later Michelle Black the illustrator and I plan the illustrations. As a last phase, I do some polishing of the wording.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
 
At times I have had that happen but not in this book. They were very cooperative.

What is your favourite thing to do when not writing?
I have a small horse farm and an organic vegetable garden. I love to spend time there taking care of the horses and gardening.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a morning person.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I would love to go to New Zealand. I am huge fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and I would love to see where it was filmed. I also understand there are great places to ride.

Do distant places feature in your books?
Geography definitely plays a role in my books. In the previous book in the series, Quincy and his best friend Beau travel across the US on a huge horse van and he learns that “Horses are everywhere.” He also learns that they do different things in different places. Quincy and Buck is set in the desert Southwest which for many kids is a distant place.

Do you listen to music while writing?
No. I love music but not while I am writing.

Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
It is called Quincy and Buck. It is the third book in the Quincy the Horse series. In this book I tackle the problems of overcoming fear and dealing with a bully. Quincy dreams of trail riding in the desert near his home but he is afraid of meeting wild animals out on the trail. His friend, Beau, an old horse who has done everything, explains to him that he will never become brave if he stays home, so he goes on his first trail ride. He hopes to find a trail buddy who will guide him but the horse he chooses turns out to be a bully. Over the course of the ride, he discovers that he is more confident than he imagined and that Buck is afraid underneath his fa├žade of strength. The story of the day’s ride along with the illustrations takes kids into the desert of the Southwest which has breathtaking scenery. 

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
The hallmark of the 6 years since the first Quincy book was published is that just about everything in publishing and the book trade and the marketing of books has changed. I have also learned a lot about eBooks. I see them as a complementary format now rather than an opposing format so we have released the entire series in eBooks as well as hardcover.

Is there anything you would do differently?
It is tempting to look back with hindsight but no, not really. This has been a journey and I would not change much.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
My horses. Most of the important things I have learned and tried in life have been inspired by them.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Writing is the easy part.

What are three words that describe you?
Creative, passionate, stubborn

What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
I love so many books and have old favorites but I just finished a new book, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It was one of the best I have read in a long time.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book

Quincy and Buck tackles the topic of bullying and provides a framework for a dialogue between young children and those who want to empower them. When Quincy takes his first trail ride in the desert, the horse he chooses for a trail buddy turns out to be a bully. The detailed and realistic portrayal of the day’s ride will interest and inform K-2 readers and also engage 3rd and 4th graders.

List of previous books if any
Quincy Finds A New Home and Quincy Moves to the Desert

Any websites/places readers can find you on the web.
Our website is quincythehorse.com and my blog is pathfinderpursuits.com. We also have a great Facebook community at facebook.com/quincythehorse. I can be reached directly through the contact form on our website if anyone has specific questions or requests.

Author short bio

I live in Reading PA along with the real Quincy. I am a clinical social worker and equine assisted growth and learning specialist. The real Quincy, who inspired the Quincy the Horse books when he was 7 is now 24 years old. He is an American quarter horse who was a trail riding horse for many years and is a mainstay of my equine therapy program.

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