Friday, February 12, 2016

Real Life Romance Author Feature: Kamery Solomon

Real Life Romance Author Feature: Kamery Solomon



Welcome to the very first Real Life Romance Author Feature. This feature is fun because half of the interview focuses on an author’s book/writing, and the second half focuses on the authors, themselves. I hope this will be a fun way to find both new books and authors to love.

This week our very first feature author is 
Kamery Solomon. 
Yay! I’m so excited!

1.     Welcome, Kamery. Before you began your Swept Away series, The God Chronicles is what you were known best for. You also have some awesome contemporary books out. I feel like Swept Away and Carried Away are almost a nice compromise of your author strengths, as it has the aspect of time-travel combined with reality, that is happening back in historical times. To me, a fan of all those genres, this series feeds several addictions I LOVE. Can you clue us in on what your process was and how you came up with the incredible storyline for Swept Away, which has now continued into your second book, Carried Away?

It’s a somewhat long story, haha! I’d wanted to write a pirate story at some point, but I didn’t have any ideas. I imagine a shelf in my head, where I put things that I’d like to try out someday, and all the pirates got set there until I could use them. At one point I thought I might write a sci-fi and make them space pirates, but it didn’t ever happen. Sci-fi is still on the shelf, at the moment J 
Eventually, I read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon (more like devoured LOL) and thought that maybe someday I’d write a time travel story as well. That was when my time travelers got put on the shelf with the pirates, because I didn’t have any idea of how or what to write with that, either.
So, I had all of these people and things just sitting on a shelf gathering dust, when I went on a date with my husband, our best friends, and their parents. It was the midnight premier of Dracula Untold (at eight the night before opening, because we live in a small town and the theatre doesn’t like staying open that late for premiers, apparently). We were early, which may have been a little providence or fate. At least, that’s what I like to think, haha! While we were waiting for the movie to start, I saw my very first commercial for The Curse of Oak Island on History Channel.
It was like my brain exploded. All of the sudden, I had a mystery, a treasure, pirates, and a time traveler to figure it all out. However, there was A LOT of research I needed to do. While I was studying, I found other things that worked for the story line, interesting facts that led me I the directions I wanted to go. At points, it felt more like the characters knew exactly what was happening and I was just along for the ride. Even today, I’ll find that I’ve somehow written myself right to where I needed to be, without even realizing what was happening next in the story. It’s been great!

2.     I know, personally, as I have studied things with you on occasion, that you put quite a bit of heavy research into this series—like heavy research. It really shows in your series with the way you are able to transport the reader to a different place in time. Will you give us an idea of what some of that research entails?

As you said, there’s a lot of heavy research involved. A lot of my history is based on alternate history theories, because so much about Oak Island is still unknown. I think sometimes people get confused and don’t realize I haven’t just made things up to make them work; I’ve actually had to research the theories and how they pan out. Surprisingly, a lot of them fit together easily, which makes me wonder if they really are true or not, haha!
I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I swear!
Besides the history, there was the actual research of Oak Island itself. Despite no one being able to figure out what’s actually in the Money Pit, there is a TON of history surrounding the thing. I was able to pick and choose what I wanted because I made my Pit fictional, instead of the actual Money Pit. It worked out better that way for the story. Anyway, I have a few books on Oak Island, a couple pirate books, one of which was written in the 1700s and was the inspiration for Treasure Island, a book on how to sail a ship, written in the 1600s, and a Google search history that could knock out a horse. I’ve also some books on the Knights Templar, Irish family histories, and lost lands/mythical places. I’ve even gone so far as to know what the weather was like during my time period, so I knew if I needed to make it rain more or if it should be warmer than usual.

3.     Wow! That’s incredible. You are becoming quite the authority on it! Do you find it easier or harder to write character and storyline when you are stuck to the “rules” of the past?

I feel I have a certain amount of freedom because I’m not writing straight historical. Samantha can do or say something completely modern and it fits right in, while Tristan could possibly do the same because he’s picked it up from her. It is a little difficult to work with people who are strictly from the past, though. I’m always having to look and see if something is right—like when a phrase was first used and recorded. For example, I wanted to use “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” in Carried Away, but when I looked it up, I discovered that it wasn’t even written by Shakespeare, like I’d always thought, and, along with being misquoted, had only been published for a few years in the time I was in. Sadly, I had to let that one slide, because I didn’t think the man I wanted to say it would be familiar with an English play by a playwright I’d never heard of, and I didn’t want to misquote the line like it is today. Another time, I spent thirty minutes trying to find out if oranges were indigenous to the Caribbean, or if they had been brought from somewhere else, because I wanted someone to eat one, haha!

4.     LOL! That’s awesome! Have you always had a love of pirates? If so, how long and where did you find you find your initial love of pirates?

I have always loved pirates, probably from when Pirates of Caribbean first opened however many years ago. However, I do have a particular affinity for Captain Hook on Once Upon A Time, which is why Tristan is Irish.

5.     Speaking of Tristan . . . your main characters are Tristan and Sam (short for Samantha). Both are from different times. Did you have a hard time getting their differences to blend together? 

Thankfully, no! Tristan, being a Templar as well as a pirate, believes that there is truth in all things, so he usually goes with the flow. Sam latched right onto him because he was the only person willing to help her in a strange world. At times, they seem to argue about what her place is among everyone else, because she wants to be treated like she would in her own time. Tristan, of course, treats her as an equal and sees her as someone on his level, if not higher because she comes from the future. Everyone who doesn’t know who she really is, though, expects her to be submissive and kind of quiet when it comes to “manly” things, and she doesn’t really like that.

6.     Did you always want to be an author? If not, what was your original plan, and are you still pursuing it?

I didn’t ever plan on being an author, haha. I was coerced into writing a short story for an anthology and decided I wanted to try another book when it was finished. I guess I never stopped trying, haha!
I want to be a performer, musical theatre being my favorite form. I love to sing and musicals have always held a special place in my heart. I would love to do any of it, though; film, television, straight plays, musicals, even street performance. Currently, I’m working more in the improv/street performance vein at the Arizona Renaissance Festival. I just finished a play at the college here (Treasure Island. It was a blast! I played Billy Bones and had a fake beard I ripped off my face every night during a fast costume change to another character). I’m just starting to get back into performing, after taking a few years off to spend with my kids.

7.     Spending time with those cute kiddos of your is always good! If you could do anything you wanted, right this second, what would that be?

I’d probably hop a plane to New York City and see The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and a few other shows I’ve always wanted to see. Either that, or fly to the Virgin Islands for some much needed relaxation with my hubby—and great research opportunities for the next Swept Away book!

8.     What kind of books might other readers find sitting on your nightstand?

I like to read a variety of things, and I’m not someone who reads one book at a time. At this moment, I actually have four books on my nightstand—The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, The Fifth Wave, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, and Unhooked. A General History of the Pyrates usually manages to make its way into the stack every few months or so, as well J

9.     I also know you’re a beautiful singer. Do you have a recording you could share with us so others can hear you sing as well?

Haha! I don’t have a recent recording, but here’s one from a while back, before I took my break from performing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87Sunx1srqI

10. Two Part Question:
Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Hopefully living in New York City, in my brownstone that I’ve bought and renovated to be exactly what I want, haha! To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve ever thought as far as five years in the future. I would like to still be writing and I would LOVE to be a member of the cast of The Phantom of the Opera. Whenever I think of the future, I see myself walking down the sidewalk as part of the city crowd, perfectly happy and where I belong.

What has been your favorite author experience to date?

Someone emailed me right after Swept Away came out and asked me if the history in the book was true. We spent around an hour talking about the Templars and their treasure, King Philip, Oak Island, all of it. It was so awesome! And then, someone left a review calling the story “Outlander meets Pirates of the Caribbean” and I was so touched. I love both of those stories so much. It was an honor to be compared to them at all!


BOOK PITCH: In 5 sentences or less, tell us WHY we should go snatch up a copy of your new release, Carried Away:

Carried Away is a continuation of the events in Swept Away, but it’s so much more emotional. Things happen that will tug at your heart strings, make you happier than you could think, and fill you with such hate that you’ll probably be a little surprised you could dislike a fictional character so much, haha! It’s a wonderful adventure, full of romance, lost treasure, and a history so rich, it’s almost impossible not to be carried away with the fantastic nature of it all!

Mark Bell is being haunted.
Ever since his friend, Samantha, drowned in the Treasure Pit, he’s been running from her ghost. When his path takes him to a historical site and shipwreck in Texas, he hopes the past will stay where it belongs. However, the more he uncovers, the clearer it becomes that something is not right. Old friends need his help, and he doesn’t know if he’s the man to get the job done. 
Samantha O’Rourke is a time traveler trying to survive in the past. Trapped in the social pyramid of the French Court and the secret society her husband, Tristan, defends, she feels more out of place than ever before. Nothing ever stops a treasure hunter for long, though, and she soon finds herself caught up in another mystery, only to have life yanked to a precarious perch, where only the truly strong will survive.
Can the future be changed? Or is everything set in stone, destined to follow only one course?


Buy Link: AMAZON

GIVEAWAY:

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