Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Our guest today is reader, writer and editor, Skyla Dawn Cameron. Here at Book Blather, we consider the term "bookish" to be the ultimate compliment and Skyla certainly qualifies on all counts. Her first book, River, was published when she was only twenty-one. Incidentally, Skyla was subsequently hired by Mundania and is now Senior Editor and Chief of Operations for the company. You may purchase Skyla's books at Mundania Press and Amazon. An excerpt from Bloodlines follows her interview.

Welcome, Skyla!

1.     Tell us about River, your book that won the 2007 Eppie award for Best Fantasy.

River is about an alpha female wolf who was bitten and turned into a teenage human girl, and the trials and tribulations as she locates the werewolf who turned her and attempts to go back home. It was the fourth book I’d written but the first I’d submitted and had published anywhere; I signed the contract for it with Mundania Press in 2004 when I was twenty-one.

2.     I understand Bloodlines is your new series. How is it different from River?

The two are as different as night and day. River is a much quieter book, character driven without a conventional plot arc; Bloodlines is more balls to the wall fun, traditional urban fantasy with an ass-kicking vampire as the lead. Bloodlines was originally published in 2008, but was going to be re-released with a new cover alongside the sequel; I’d asked if I could rewrite it at the time and my request was granted. The new version is over twenty thousand words heavier, and print copies along with the ebook that’s exclusive to Mundania have a bonus short story included.

3.     Can we look forward to a new book or series in the future?

The sequel to Bloodlines, Hunter, will be out this summer (after a self-imposed limbo—it was originally scheduled for publication February 2009). I’m at work on the third book in that series, Lineage. I also have a few other unpublished series in the works.

4.     As a reader, if you could pick your three favorite books, what would they be?

My very favourite book I could read over and over is Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Beyond that, I have trouble picking just one from my many favourite authors; I love everything by Louise Cooper (though I’ve read Sacrament of Night about six times over the years), and I don’t think I could ever pick just one Lilith Saintcrow novel as all of hers are must-reads for me.

5.     As an editor, how do you see the future of publishing?

I’m hesitant to say anything because it’s one of those subjects where even the most uninformed people have an opinion and I don’t believe any of us can be certain—I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to presume to know. I do, however, think the rumours of its death have been highly exaggerated, if not altogether fabricated.

6.     Is there anything you’re so sick of seeing you feel like your head will explode?

Twilight clones—I don’t find very old men stalking teen girls terribly romantic. Also, there are bigger problems in life than love triangles (and if I had two hot, paranormal guys fighting over me, I would not be whining about it—I’d start a harem). I’m finding YA paranormal as a genre very exhausting right now.

7.     What would you like to see more of?

At Mundania, non-European mythologies used in fantasy (but please, please get them right—readers can tell if you haven’t done any research), and new twists on old tropes in paranormal romance and urban fantasy. I get a lot of books that read like Lord of the Rings fanfic, and at the risk of having rotten fruit thrown at me, I didn’t like the original and have no interest in carbon copies. At Awe-Struck, I’m looking for more non-erotic romance with same-sex couples, and other “non-traditional” romances; love comes in all shapes, sizes, and colours, and I’d like to see more of a variety.

Thank you for having me!


Bloodlines Excerpt:

The phone rang. I met Nate’s eyes as it continued to ring; he gave a slight nod. I was closer, so I lifted the receiver to my ear and listened.
Another glance at Nate; he gave me a questioning look and I shrugged, then let out a heavy sigh.
“I’m kinda busy burglarizing someone’s house right now and don’t have all day,” I said. “Talk.”
Nate muttered something I couldn’t entirely make out, but it sounded like his rich boy education taught him a great number of expletives.
“Would you kindly put Nate on?” a man asked on the other line.
“Gladly.” I passed the phone over.
Nate listened for a moment, then leaned back in his chair and exhaled loudly. “It’s Peter.” He gestured to the web cam on the computer. “He’s watching us from another location.”
“Well, here’s hoping he hasn’t called the cops yet. Or his neighbors haven’t. Could you maybe hurry this up?”
They spoke for a few minutes and I wandered toward the back window, winding around stacks of books as I went. I parted the curtains, peered out into the dark—
Then stepped back swiftly, curtains fluttering into place again.
Two figures in black circled the house, guns drawn. Skulking the perimeter, wearing black ski masks... Shit.
“Our friends are here,” I quietly called to Nate. “Make it quick.”
“While I appreciate the need to speed things up,” Nate raised his voice loud enough that I knew he spoke to me and not Peter, “this isn’t The Zara Lain Show and you’re not calling all the shots.”
I rolled my eyes. “‘You’re not the boss of me?’ Really? What are you—five?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “Says the bossy eight-year-old.”
Ugh, we so didn’t have time for this. I spun away from him again, my long ponytail of hair whipping my shoulder, and unholstered a gun. Either I’d shoot him or the people circling the house. Hadn’t decided yet.
“Yes, Lain,” he said in a lower voice. “You do? Interesting.”
“Tea and hugs later, girls—like maybe when we’re not about to be attacked.”
An irritated sigh. “Top shelf, green binding, and in the corner—got it. I have a disposable cell; I’ll call in a few days.” The chair creaked as Nate rose and returned the phone to its cradle, then he joined me at the window.
“He recommended a book for us?” I peered between the space in the curtains, acutely aware of Nate right there, warm, breathing, and smelling of faintly of wintery soap and a spicy aftershave over my shoulder.
I glanced back and up; he looked out the window instead of at me. “‘Mmm-hmm?’ Well, what’s it say? Does it have our demons in it?”
“It’s a book on vampires. Killing them with magic, specifically.”
I opened my mouth to snark about how we weren’t dealing with vampires, then caught his drift. The prick. “Aww, you wouldn’t kill me, Nate.”
“It’s crossed my mind, if only for the blessed silence it would bring.”
“Nope.” I batted my eyelashes dramatically. “I’m just too pretty.”
His gaze shifted to look down at me, blue moonlight etching the strong lines of his face. Tension simmered in the air and a little chill walked my spine. One of his dark brown brows rose skeptically.
“Constantly disagreeing with me on this point would probably hurt my feelings if I had any.”


  1. Thank you very much for having me!

  2. You're welcome, Skyla. Drop by anytime and best of luck in your dual careers.

  3. Great interview and excerpt, Skyla. Thanks Marilee for another excellent post.

  4. "and if I had two hot, paranormal guys fighting over me, I would not be whining about it—I’d start a harem"


    I get being confused perhaps, but pouty? Seriously, there are so many worse problems to have. Sadly the whole threesome thing doesn't go over well in YA (even if some of my beta readers wish it did)

  5. Hey Skyla,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on writing. I have a problem thinking of a 200 year-old vampire stalking a teenager as a romance hero. There's something wrong with that and I am surprised this worked for a YA series (sorry Twihards).

    Loved the attitude in your excerpt. Congrats on your new release.

  6. Thanks Sue!

    Seleste - Oh hunny, we could start an AWESOME trend of harems in YA. Horrified parents would be burning our books and I'd be cackling. ;-) I seriously suck at love triangles--it lasted half a book before the heroine made her "choice" and then that was that.

    Hey Kelley - Yeah, it totally wigs me out which probably means I'm FAR from being a teenager now because I loved the Buffy/Angel relationship when I was fifteen. (Although, at least when he followed her around, she made it clear that behaviour was unacceptable--there's really no Buffy/Bella comparison to be made.)

  7. Hahaha! Skyla, you crack me up. Come back any time.

  8. I have read Pride and Prejudice so often I got it on my eReader so I didn't wear the book out :-)

    If you have any spares from your harem may I take them off your hands?

  9. You know, speaking of harems (oh, I've said that so many times), that's what I didn't get about the show LOST. Um, hai Kate. U haz boys who <3 you. What's your problem? If that was ME on a deserted island, I'd set up Skyla's Shack of Loooove on the beach and have Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, Jin (I know, he's married, but w/e), and Desmond attend to all my needs. And I'd never go home again, creepy Others and four-toed statue be damned.

    Oh, but yes Sharon, I will share my harem with you. I'm quite generous.

  10. Hi Marilee and Hi Skyla,
    It's nice to get to know both of you a little better. Skyla, good luck with your books. Your sense of humor is such fun, too. Marilee, I love your blog, it's terrific, I'll be looking forward to other authors you'll be hosting in the future.

  11. So glad you could all stop by and leave a comment. More fun stuff ahead so keep checking. I have to admit it will be hard to top Skyla though. LOL!