Behind the Scenes gives you a closer look at the process of writing a manuscript. This edition features Erica Cameron and her manuscript The Trial. Erica Cameron (www.ericacameron.com) knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn’t her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psychology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality. Sing Sweet Nightingale, the first book of The Dream War Saga, will be published in March 2014 by Spencer Hill Press. It is her first novel. A short story set within the Dream War universe released in August. It’s called “Whatever it Takes” and is included in the anthology Doorways to Extra Time.
Inspiration for the manuscript:
|aggression, isolation, struggle, revenge, magic, family, weapons, the desert, distance, & trust|
About the manuscript:
"The book I’m working on now is unlike anything else I’ve written thus far. Right now it doesn’t have a title. Or, it does, but I don’t like it... The title may be lacking, but the book itself is… kind of epic.
Sabre and her twin brother Arrow have grown up on an island where everything can kill you. The animals, the plants, the people — death could strike at any second. Their parents both fell in a raid when they were young, and it’s been up to Sabre to protect Arrow for the past eight years. But they’re almost sixteen and about to face a right of passage every member of their clan has to go through alone. If they survive, they’ll come into their magic and be welcomed as full-fledged citizens and soldiers of the clan. If they fail, they die.
All Sabre wants to do is find a way to help Arrow survive this trial, but spying on the rite before her time shows her there’s a third outcome. When you walk in to meet the Council, you will either live, die, or disappear. Sabre and Arrow watch a girl named Dart get knocked unconscious by a spelled red cord tied around her wrist before the Council takes her into a hidden chamber. Arrow is determined to rescue Dart, so Sabre agrees to help. And that’s when things really get interesting..."
A piece of Erica's writing process:
"During BEA 2013, I listened to Neil Gaiman speak (I highly recommend it if you get the chance). Before the event began, we were able to write down questions and submit them and at the end of the lecture he answered mine. I asked him if every book was its own discovery or if he had developed a process over the years that worked similarly for each story. He said each book was most certainly its own discovery, which made me feel a lot better. Mine definitely are. I’ve written ten complete books so far — three of them co-authored. I have about thirty others in various stages of completion. Some books I write straight through, getting sucked into the world so fast it seems like it’s over before it began. Sometimes I write while watching movies I’ve seen a hundred times. Sometimes I listen to music. Often, I’m curled in an armchair at Starbucks, people watching over the top of my Surface with unplugged earbuds stuffed into my ears. I don’t have a place or a process or a structure. Each book is different and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s one of the reasons being an author is so fantastically interesting."