Friday, November 18, 2011

Feature: Author Interview and DOUBLE GIVEAWAY with Cambria Hebert, author of Before

It's FRIDAY!  Today is an exciting day; we have some fun things planned for this weekend (including Breaking Dawn -- I know, not exciting for everyone, but whatever...), and then next week is my favorite holiday ever -- Thanksgiving!

You should be really excited too because I FINALLY have my pal, Cambria Hebert, on my blog!  She has some awesome things in store for everyone over the next month or so, and I'm thrilled to be able to share with you all!  

Today is release day for her short teaser story "Before" which I reviewed HERE yesterday.  Next week, she'll be releasing another story, "Whiteout" (see blurb in giveaway section below), and then December 16th her debut novel, Masquerade, will be available!  I'll be posting my review of "Whiteout" very soon, and you can definitely expect to see her back when I feature Masquerade next month.

It's a good thing we love her so much! :-)  Now, let's get on with the interview and don't forget to enter the giveaway...

Author Interview
Cambria Hebert

Gathering Leaves:  Introduce yourself to the lovely public, please.

Cambria:  My name is Cambria Hebert and I have thirty-one cats. I like to knit sweaters for each of my cats… Okay, not really!! My name is Cambria Hebert but I only have two cats. Okay… three…but only because it refuses to leave and I keep feeding it. I am really an author and a blogger. I am also a mother of two and married to a U.S. Marine.

I really, really like coffee and I really, really love werewolves. I would have thirty-one of those if I could. I also co-host Journal Jabber with our blog host, Cassie. She’s always more prepared than I am for the show. Lol.

GL:  Well, I’m not so sure about that, but I try! J

GL:  Now tell us about your work—Before and Masquerade.

CH:  Before is the short story teaser (or prequel) to Masquerade. It’s basically an introduction to the characters and a little hint at the plot. Before is being released as an ebook on November 18, 2011. Masquerade is my debut novel and is being released December 16, 2011. Masquerade is about a young girl named Heven who becomes horribly disfigured and doesn’t remember how. She was once popular and beautiful; she had it all, but now everyone thinks she’s a freak and whispers behind her back. Sam comes to school and sees beyond her scars… But Sam has secrets of his own….

GL:  Do you have anything else published or publishing soon?

CH:  I do! I have a short story being published on Novemeber 23, 2011. It’s titled “Whiteout”. I think it’s a great story for the holidays. It has something for everyone. Something you will learn from this short story?
Never trust a woman with a shotgun.

GL:  What inspired the Heven and Hell series?

CH:  The voices in my head told me I had to write it. LOL. Kidding! One day I got the idea to write about a girl who was disfigured and everything she went through to hide herself. Then I got to wondering about how this girl got disfigured… The idea grew from there.

GL:  Did anyone in particular inspire the characters?

CH:  No, I made them all up. Lol. They told me who they were as I was writing. I did get Heven’s name from a friend of mine whose daughter is named that.

GL:  Who was the hardest character for you to write?

CH:  Sam. I wrote in his POV after the rest of the book was done. When I went to write his scenes, I kind of stared at the computer and realized I didn’t know him very well. He was good at keeping himself a mystery to even me. Lol.  But once I got to know him a little better, his scenes came a lot easier.

GL:  What sort of roadblocks did you hit while writing or preparing to publish?

CH:  Rejection. Every writer’s nightmare. I got rejected a lot. At least 100 times. Sometimes multiple times from the same person year after year. I never gave up though. And you know, lack of knowledge was a roadblock too. A lot of things I just didn’t know how to do, but I learned them. It pays to take the time to figure things out because that info becomes invaluable. Even after I finally got a publishing contract through Otherworld Publications, I have hit some roadblocks; well, not really roadblocks but challenges. Time. There is never enough of it. Marketing and Promotion has been never-ending but so important. Also, just my inner nerves about finally putting my work out there and thinking to myself “gee, I hope that the last three years worth of work are worth it and people really respond to this book.” Going into it is scary because you have no idea if people will be receptive.

GL:  Do you have a specific writing routine?  Do you set aside a certain time to write?  Do you have a daily/weekly goal?

CH:  I don’t. When I sit down to write I try and write as much as I can. As much as my head will pour out. When all I had to do was write, I would say “I would like to be at X amount of words by Friday…” Usually I exceeded those expectations, but now that I am doing more than writing, I try not to say that because if I don’t make the goal I get upset with myself. J When I do write it is usually when my kids are at school or at night after they go to bed.

GL:  Without whom could you have not survived the writing/publishing process?

CH:  My husband, Shawn. He puts up with a lot of stuff (i.e. My spacy attitude—he calls it Cambriaville) and he really helps me out around the house when I am trying to write/work. He also gives a really mean massage for those back muscles.  Also, Amy Eye, my editor who really helped me get this book into shape and keep my head on while doing it- even if she did say I was bi-polar!! – heck I think she’s right. He he. You know this is a hard question because there are SO many people that go into making a novel. The support I get from everyone makes things a little easier every day.

GL:  I think we've gotten a sampling of Cambriaville :-).  And, Amy IS pretty darn awesome! 

GL:  What is your favorite book to read with your kids?

CH:  Tacky the Penguin. There’s a whole series of books on Tacky the Penguin. They are hilarious!! My most favorite Tacky book is TackyLocks…. Way funny, he plays Goldilocks in a play. He he he he.

GL:  I haven’t heard of these. We’ll have to check them out!

GL:  Is there anything you fear more than chickens?

CH:  Oh girl, I am a paranoid person. I could fill up this page with things that frighten me. For instance. Do you really know who is sitting in a theater with you when you go to the movies? It’s dark and full of strangers. Frankly, sometimes I have anxiety I might get stuck in there with someone with a gun. I personally always locate all the exits whenever I sit down. And when I lie in bed at night, I think up plans of attack of what I would do in case someone broke into my house. Hairspray and razors (yes, the kind you use on your legs) are usually involved.

GL:  If you could travel anywhere real or fictional, where would you go?

CH:  In real life, I would love to go to England. And Paris. I would love to tour the castles over there and sit at a café drinking coffee and eating croissants. The art museums and the architecture there would be amazing. Fictional? I think going into the pages of a fairytale would be exciting. And the singing would be fantastic!

GL:  I can totally picture you breaking out in song with a forest full of animals…

GL:  What one item is essential to your sanity/survival?

CH:  Coffee. From Starbucks. (if I could list another, I would say eye cream from Clinique.)

GL:  I did hear that women who have at least three cups of coffee a day (caffeinated) are less likely to have cancer and/or be clinically depressed.  Who woulda thunk it??

GL:  Is there anything that you just absolutely would not dress your dog in?

CH:  A chicken costume. I saw this at Petsmart and was appalled. Truly frightening.

GL:  I think Cocoa needs a little chicken friend, don’t you??

GL:  Please give us some of your famous parting words of wisdom… J

CH:  Always look before you sit. On the toilet. Yes, I look every time. You never know what kind of toilet snake is in there ready to bite your butt.
And here is a quote I enjoy. “Be the kind of man or woman that when you get out of bed the devil says “Oh, Crap! They are up!””.
He he he he he…

GL:  Thanks so much, Cambria!  I know these next couple of months are going to crazy busy and exciting for you!  Congratulations on being published, and I truly wish you all the best!  (((HUGS)))


Cambria is offering up an ecopy of each of her short stories, "Before" and "Whiteout"... 

Here's the blurb for "Whiteout":

Lost in a world of white, I lay. Pain and cold were my only companions. How long would it take me to die? Would the cold freeze my heart and stop its beating? 

A red plastic sled saved the day. A woman saved my life. 

Unfortunately, saving my life might cost Grace her own. We get one day together, Christmas day, one day of bliss among misery. Too soon the tree is down and all that’s left of the cinnamon biscuits are crumbs. 

The people who want me dead come back to see their task complete. I didn’t have a plan, but Grace did. 

Never trust a woman with a shotgun. 

Fill out the form below to enter.  There will be two winners - one for each story.  Good Luck!!!