Sunday 22 April 2012


What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

Hi! I’m Camilla Chafer. I was born in Lincolnshire, UK and I now live in London.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Being a writer was always top of my list! I feel very lucky that I can do what I love. I’ve been in the writing biz for eight years as a journalist, editor, copywriter and author.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
I was incredibly fortunate that when I pitched my first book (a non-fiction one) I got a reply from the publisher in 30 minutes, saying “We want this!” I’d expected to wait weeks, if not months so I was staggered. Then it was a year before the book actually went into print.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is Devious Magic (book 3 in the Stella series). In summary: Witch Stella finally gets a showdown with the dark and mysterious Brotherhood when they kidnap her friend.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
For the Stella Mayweather series, I self-publish. I have a journalism and publishing background so I had the skills to do it and it seemed a great way of getting my books out there. It’s still a team effort though – I work with a great editor and a fabulous designer who creates the covers plus amazing blog tour providers and bloggers like you to get the word out.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It takes me approximately three to four months, at most, to produce a finished full length novel. I work full time hours. I start off with a basic sketch of what the book will be about, and a timeline of scenes. Then I start writing lots of scenes so I get an idea of what’s going to happen and from there I start working out which subplots work and how the story is going to play out.

What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I definitely want to write more in the paranormal/ urban fantasy field and perhaps some suspense too. I have a new lighthearted mystery trilogy that will be out May and I’m currently working on the fourth book in the Stella series which will also be out soon.

What genre would you place your books into?
I would call them urban fantasy/mystery. Stella, my character, always has to solve a mystery in each book but there are lots of fantasy characters – witches, daemons, werewolves – that exist in a contemporary world in a very normal sort of way.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?
I didn’t with my first book but I’ve since learned the power of beta readers. Now I have a small core of readers who read through and feed back to me on the plot so if there’s anything that needs work, I can get that done before it goes to my editor.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely. I love making my books available to reviewers and they always have such valuable insights into what they’ve taken away from the story. This is my third book tour – and it’s been huge with 40 blog stops – but I’ll definitely do another one. Reviewers are a hugely important part of the process to getting my books seen exactly by the people I want to read them – you!

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?
It took ages and ages to come up with the title for the first book, Illicit Magic. I think it started off as “Blood Witch” but there were a lot of books with “Blood” in the title so I knew I had to come up with something better. I brainstormed, writing lots of words that summed up the book and “magic” came up time and again. I knew it would be great for series continuation so each book in the series is named after a particular aspect of that magic – Illicit Magic, Unruly Magic, Devious Magic and the soon to be released Magic Rising.
The cover designer is Robin at Robin Ludwig Design Inc. We brainstormed images and ideas for series continuity then she came up with the initial concepts that now set the look for all the Stella covers. I can’t say enough good things about her work.

How do you market/promote your books?
At the moment, I work with blog tour providers and do lots of interviews and guest posts for blogs. I also do individual blog requests. Reader reviews and word of mouth are hugely important too, especially on sites like Goodreads and retailers. I really appreciate the time readers take to review one of my books and help introduce other readers to something they might enjoy. I hate spammy Twitter feeds that are stuffed with “buy my book” messages so I refuse to do that.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
People often ask me “am I in this book?” and the answer is always no! The characters and situations are completely fictitious. I might do a “name the character” competition in the future – including a reader in the story could be fun!

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook, hardback, or paperback?
I used to be so against ebooks; hated the idea of a Kindle. I just love the feel of a chunky paperback. Then I was gifted a Kindle earlier this year and never looked back. It’s sure helped my shelf space! I buy paperbacks, ebooks and hardbacks still.

What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
It’s probably Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword. It’s set in a colonial style fantasy land and is about a young woman Harry who’s been shipped off to live with her brother after their parents’ death. Instead of the stuffy existence she’s led, she’s plunged into a world of adventure in the magical land just over the border. It’s a great adventure. I read it at least once a year.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
I don’t think so and I really hope not. Ebooks are a beautiful addition to the world of reading – books delivered in seconds, being able to take 150 books on holiday with you, no cluttered shelves etc. -  but there’s a real beauty about printed books that I wouldn’t want to lose.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
It really depends on the school and the teachers. I know my children’s school is very enthusiastic about reading and literacy. However, it’s really down to the parents to encourage a love of books, to visit libraries and to encourage reading in the household. Reading opens worlds.

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I think it’s going to be the case that in every book I write, I’m going to want to go back and change bits. It’s the nature of being a writer. We just love to tinker!
Where can readers follow you?

Your blog details?
Your web site ?
Your facebook page?!/CamillaChafer
Your Goodreads author page?
Your Twitter details? @camillawrites

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