Cameron Garriepy: I Am a Romance Novelist

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My official bio mentions my first novel. A teen romance typed on pink paper with an antique typewriter. It was equal parts Sweet Valley High and All My Children. I wrote it in middle school; like a late-eighties Dickens with puffy bangs, I delivered new episodes over a few giddy weeks in the seventh grade. The curvaceous, volumized-haired heroine, tragically named Heaven Leigh (after a VC Andrews heroine, no less), changed boyfriends and best friends more frequently than socks. Loyalty rated somewhere below toilet scrubbing, but in the end she vanquished her arch nemesis, whose name is lost to history, and secured life-long happiness with Nick, her One True Love.

I don’t remember writing before that, but I’ve been reading since I called my Mom out on a fib somewhere between Albany and Syracuse on I-90 West. “I’m hungry,” four-year-old me asked, according to family legend. My mom told me there was nowhere to eat until we got to the lake. “But Mom,” I’m told I said, pointing out the back seat window, “that sign says Food.”

I suppose the compulsion to tell stories was a natural product of a huge imagination and a steady diet of books. By high school, Heaven Leigh had given over to angsty poetry (not-surprisingly influenced by early Indigo Girls albums). I fell in love with performing and drifted into musical theater, but words were never far from my heart.

My first taste of publication came from my prep school’s literary review. I don’t remember eating ice cream for the first time, but I imagine it’s similar. Sweet — so sweet — heady and rich on the tongue. Unexpected and magical. In college, I studied writing when I wasn’t singing, gobbling up courses in playwriting, screenwriting, and essay, but my One True Love?

Romance.

No matter how many beautiful works of literary fiction, how many gut-wrenching memoirs, sweeping fantasy epics, or nail-biting mysteries I devour, it’s a tender and sexy romance I come back to time and time again.

When I started blogging, it was 2005. I was newly married, desperately unhappy at my job, and in possession of a laptop. For four years, I journaled sporadically online, but my stories lived in notebooks and Word files on my computer. It wasn’t until the fall of 2009, when I found myself without a job, stuck home with a toddler, that I let myself dream of writing a book. Blogging and writing didn’t intersect until the following spring when I first published a piece of fiction.

I never looked back. I found the ladies of the Red Dress Club (now Write on Edge), where I met so many incredible writers, including my amazing hostess. They helped me grow, they pushed me to be better. I drafted that novel. I independently published a short story, and then another.

Last year brought a middle grade adventure novella and finally, my first romance. Buck’s Landing was written on the beach where it’s set. The characters walked off the Boardwalk and onto the pages. Bringing it to print was one of my proudest moments.

I am a romance novelist.

As I type, there’s a Scrivener file lurking behind my browser. On it is the latest draft of that first novel I wrote in 2009. By year’s end I plan to be actively seeking representation for it. One more step, one more stretch; my writer roots are strong and wide. I know they’ll support me as I grow.

headshotSelf-described shenaniganist and unabashed romantic, Cameron wrote her first romance novel on an antique typewriter, using a stack of pink paper. Detours between that draft and her publishing goals have included a BA in Music, a professional culinary education, and twelve years in the child-wrangling industry. Cameron writes from the Metro Boston area, where she lives with her husband, son, and two poorly behaved dogs. She blogs at Cameron D. Garriepy | Author and is a managing editor at Write on Edge.

Her work is available in digitally and in print at major online booksellers.

Amazon (print & Kindle) | B & N (Nook) | iTunes Bookstore
Sony | Kobo | Diesel eBookstore |
Smashwords
Personalized paperback copies

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kpiccini Kirsten Anne Kovaleski Piccini

    Cameron, your talent and way with words is such a gift to those of us who get to read you. I am just so happy that you now get to share it with the world. I have shared your books with so many people OFF LINE and will continue to do so…because they deserve to be READ.

    I am so glad that Erin featured you here….and I’m so glad to read that line” I am a romance novelist” …it’s the perfect description for you.

    SO proud for and of you.

    • http://twitter.com/camerongarriepy Cameron Garriepy

      Thank you, Kir! You have been such an incredible supporter. I can’t wait to see our books hanging out together on Amazon!

  • http://twitter.com/camerongarriepy Cameron Garriepy

    Thank you, Erin, for asking me here. It was fun to think back on what brought me to where I am (and to tell the Food sign story!). You have been such a wonderful advocate for my writing since we met, and an inspiration as a writer. I cannot wait to see where you go next!

  • Jana

    This is great, Cameron! I have already told you how much I loved Buck’s Landing, but I love your story so much, too!

    • http://twitter.com/camerongarriepy Cameron Garriepy

      Thank you again, Jana! The Food sign story has been waiting to be told… and my awful Heaven Leigh? She was a piece of work.

  • Lady Jennie

    You are definitely a writer if your passion started that young! :-)

    • http://twitter.com/camerongarriepy Cameron Garriepy

      Thank you! Though Heaven Leigh and her adventures were… um… a beginning. We shall leave it at that.

  • http://www.erinmargolin.com/ Erin Margolin

    Cam,

    I admire you so much. I’ve been thinking recently about writing a children’s book about having gay grandparents (like my kids do)…not for little little kids, but for my kids’ age group, maybe 7-10 ish? I have a lot on my plate right now, but I’ve always wanted to write. Yes, the documentary is important, but the books and the writing are my calling. I long one day to be like you. I love and admire you. You’ve gone and put yourself out there and done the hard, scary things. THank you for being here today and sharing your roots with me/us. xoxox

    • http://twitter.com/camerongarriepy Cameron Garriepy

      You’re so welcome! I can’t wait to see that book of yours born into the world, and for our paths to finally cross!