Welcome author Camelia Miron-Skiba to the Wickedly Sexy stage. Camelia is on her very busy tour for her latest release, A World Apart, but decided to sit down with us for a bit of a chat.
WSW: Welcome, Camelia. Please introduce yourself to our readers meeting you for the first time.
C.M.S: In a few words…
I’m a dreamer
I’m a sinner
I love my books
I conjure hooks
And heroes with good looks
Romance is my guilty pleasure
Taking me to places with new decor
Come join me if you dare
I promise not to bore
If you like to read my stories
Pray my husband continues snorin’
For he’s the one who keeps me up at night
When I give my heroes wings and flight.
WSW: Oh, love that. Tell us, when did you know you wanted to be an author?
C.M.S: To tell you the truth, I never introduce myself as an author. I’m either Chris’ wife, Patrick’s mom, Bella’s owner, Kip’s assistant, Lumi’s sister… I’m so many other things before I’m an author. I knew I wanted to write since I was a teenager sneaking into my sister’s room to read a YA novella she wrote, but to be considered a real author is such a big difference for me. I’m just having fun with it.
WSW: We can understand that. Was it difficult to take the first step to begin writing?
C.M.S: It only took me 25 years to actually sit down and start writing. I doubted myself one too many times, until one day, sharing with my son memories of childhood dreams he encouraged me to write. For some reason, his words touched a very soft spot in my heart, plus I could disappoint anyone except him. Now he is my biggest supporter!
WSW: A World Apart, your latest release, is self pubbed. Talk a little bit about why you made such a bold choice.
C.M.S: I wouldn’t have it any other way! Since I’m a control freak, choosing the self-publish route was the best venue for me. I don’t shop my work around, but rather invested all my energy in writing the best stories I can. I write what I want and how I want. My critique group influences me, but they don’t alter the story. I’m in complete control over book size, format, cover, price, where it’s distributed, marketing, everything. I choose how many books a year I want to write, and determine my own publishing dates. To sum it all, I run my own show.
WSW: That does sound like the way to go. Has being self-published opened your eyes to viewing the publishing world differently?
C.M.S: Self-publishing is nothing more than a dream come true. It reinforced my belief that if you want something bad enough you can get it. It’s up to you to make it happen. Be it singing, painting, running a marathon, speaking another language or reading a book every day. The only one stopping you from fulfilling your craziest dream is you. Not mom, not God, not the herds of agents or the neighbor’s cat. You and only you.
WSW: Hear! Hear! What do you think the pros and cons to being self published are?
C.M.S: Pros: deciding all aspects, from book size, to format, cover, to royalties and marketing.
Cons: your books aren’t shelved in bookstores, but all major online retailers carry them in e-format and paperback.
WSW: How would you advice someone thinking of going the self pubbed route?
C.M.S: If holding your books means something to you, then yes, by all means go for it. But do NOT ever, ever, ever publish without editing your work gazillion times. Nothing will turn a reader off more than an unedited novel. Find the right group of critique partners (try until you mesh nicely with them) and don’t hold back. Ask questions, and do a lot of research.
WSW: How would you describe your writing style?
C.M.S: It depends on how easy words come to me. Sometimes I write from the moment I arrive home from work until I can no longer keep my eyes open. Other times I wake up in the middle of the night with a scene so vivid in my head I have to get up and put it on paper. I have days, maybe weeks when no words come to mind or times when I’m so inspired I can write several chapters at once. Either way, I just go with the flow. Writing is a passion therefore nothing is forced.
WSW: Do you consider what you write ‘erotic’? Why? Why not?
C.M.S: Let’s get things straight. I’m a shy person. Talking about bedroom stuff is a BIG no-no for me. Not because I don’t like (what happens there) but it’s mine, way too private, way too sensitive to put it out there for the public eye.
While publishing was a dream, writing sex scene was something so far out of my mind, the next galaxy was still closer than that. And yet, my imaginary friends aka my heroes, have different outlook on this matter. Not only do they want to talk about it, they want it on the paper.
I finally got over my shyness after a talk with my… father in law. Yes, you read correctly—my father in law. At a family reunion he asked how my writing was going. I told him about my problem and he invited me for a walk. Holding my arm he said, “Honey, sex is hot. Without it humanity wouldn’t exist today. Sex sells. You want to sell books? Then get busy.” Now, mind you my father in law is 83 and one of my biggest supporters. He reads simultaneously 4-5 books daily. He’s a living, breathing, walking library with a wicked grin and a sprint in his pace that puts even the fastest runner to shame. And yes, he knows books.
Leaving the reunion I went home, my father in law’s words still playing in my ears. I locked myself in my office and made peace with my heroes and myself. The result? Two books published, going on third (and yes, there are sex scenes in all of them; not explicit, but they are).
WSW: LOL Thank God for the Father-in-laws. What does your friends and other family think of your writing?
C.M.S: I didn’t mention anything up until my husband asked me point blank if I was having an affair. I didn’t tell him what I was doing for so long on the computer. LOL. I was so scared he’d laugh at me, I just didn’t find the courage to tell him. I couldn’t do it without my family’s support. It happens many times the laundry is not done or there is no food in the fridge, but not once have they complained. And my friends are always rooting for me, so I consider myself blessed.
WSW: Share the blurb from your latest release with our readers.
C.M.S: Short version: In a war that’s not hers, she loses everything.
Everything she loses is because of him.
Forgiveness is not an option.
Lieutenant Cassandra Toma, trauma surgeon in the Romanian National Army starts her deployment at a joint-unit air base on a wrong foot, clashing on her first day with her new commander, Major David Hunt. Her rebellious nature and sassiness rival her excellent performance in the operating room—the only reason why she’s not reprimanded, or maybe not the only reason.
They meet. They clash. A forbidden passion consumes them with the intensity of an erupting volcano, leaving her heartbroken and him with tarnished honor and pride as an officer. The only way out for David is disappearing into the dangerous warzone in Iraq. Their flame was supposed to be over when destiny brings them back under the same roof, this time with a common goal—to find Cassandra’s brother, Maj. Robert Toma, kidnapped by insurgents while on patrol.
To rescue Robert, Cassandra and David put aside their resentments, uniting forces against a common enemy. Trying to forget the painful past, Cassandra opens up to give David—and their love—another chance. What she doesn’t realize is that her anguish is the result of David’s impetuous action—one reckless choice he made for which she may never forgive him.
His mistake, his secret, could cost them both the love they’ve finally found.
WSW: What was it about this story that you had to write it?
C.M.S: David and Cassandra wanting desperately to leave the small confinement of my brain, and me to get rid of their voices… Humor aside, I’ve never lost anyone at war. I can’t imagine how a family left behind goes on with their life after losing a loved one on the front line, be it in Afghanistan, Iraq or anywhere else our soldiers fight the enemy. Yet, they do it, and because of that I needed to do my part and give back, keeping alive our soldiers’ memory.
A World Apart is my dedication to all men and women in uniform serving in the army. I can’t bring back the ones we lost, but I can give them life through my story. Their story. A World Apart.
WSW: What do you hope readers take away from your stories?
C.M.S: That love conquers all and giving and taking a second chance is worth the trouble.
WSW: What’s your favorite place in your entire house to write?
C.M.S: The guest room: lavender and cream walls, desk set in a corner, a large Queen palm knocking on my window…
WSW: What does sexy mean to you?
C.M.S: Hugh Jackman. Andy Withfield.
WSW: Amen! Any warning labels to describe you?
C.M.S: Handle with care. Fragile. Hot to the touch. Keep out of reach of children. For adult use only. Store in a dry place. Harmful if swallowed. Refrigerate after opening. Can’t touch this. Hammer time. Do what I say, not what I do. I’m too sexy for this shirt. If you don’t know where you are, you don’t belong here. Carpe Diem!
WSW: LOL We like! What food/drink can’t you do without?
C.M.S: Food: ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. Drink: ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream.
WSW: A woman after our own hearts. And finally, tell readers what other works you’ve got in store for us this year.
C.M.S: I’m working now on a novel I plan to release in December. It’s Chiara’s story, Tessa’s sister from my debut novel Hidden Heart. She’s actually dark and distrustful, unlike any other characters I’ve dealt before with. She’s quiet, sitting in an obscure corner, knees pulled to her chest and NOT saying a damn word. Not going anywhere, not letting anyone coming closer. Such a troubled heroine scares me since I thought I could handle whoever comes into my head. Can’t lure her with cookies or ice cream (not even with alcohol), can’t make her talk, but I feel her in my head with the same intensity I feel my breath.
EXCERPT from A WORLD APART
“You need to calm down,” David inched closer to Cassandra, fixing her with such intensity her face caught fire.
“Calm down? You want me to calm down?” she snorted, jutting her chin up, hands on her hips.
“Yes. You need to calm down. What was that all about? Why are you so furious?”
“You want to know why I am so furious?” Cassandra grounded her feet apart and pushed her chin forward. “You really want to know? I’ll tell you why. I’m so sick of your bigheaded attitude, of your ‘I’m an American—I do whatever I want’ arrogance!” She shoved a finger at David’s chest, poking it and leaning forward. Her gaze locked on his, their faces close. “You act like some god on our grounds, like you’re doing us a big favor, honoring us with your royal presence as if we are a bunch of idiots you cannot stand. Anything that comes your way that is Romanian, you dismiss with such vehemence one might think it’s poisonous. Nothing we do or have is good enough for your nose.
“But let me tell you something, my friend. My people might not have everything so technical and so advanced, but they are good and hard-working people. They have good hearts and above all, they have dignity. When you live for generations under communism and are treated the way we were, maybe only then you can understand what it means to be so ‘primitive’. To be given nothing and be expected to work wonders. Your standards and ours obviously don’t match, but who are you to judge us? What do you know about us that gives you the right to treat us this way? Huh?
“And for your information, in case nobody had the courage to tell you, this is not our war.” She made a large circle with her arms. “We haven’t asked for it and we are doing you a favor allowing all of you to be on our soil. And not vice versa.” Cassandra straightened her back, pushed away a curl that fell on her face and held her arms up. “Here you have it, I said it.”
She walked around David, opened the door and before leaving, said without looking back, “And don’t forget to write me up.”
Amazon (Kindle Edition): http://www.amazon.com/A-WORLD-APART-ebook/dp/B006NZWHF2
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/World-Apart-Camelia-Miron-Skiba/dp/1466226676
Barnes & Noble (Nook Book): http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-world-apart-camelia-miron-skiba/1108016741
Smashwords (All Formats): http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115952
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I WRITE. I LOVE. I DREAM. I WRITE.
I’m Chris’ wife, Patrick’s mom and Bella’s owner. During the day, I’m the assistant to the Director at SESE at Arizona State University, and romance’s slave at night.
I moved to the U.S eight years ago, following my heart and the man who stole it. I love comedies, historical dramas and happily-ever-after stories. English is not my native, not my second, but my third language.
Some fun facts about me:
Each year I participate in one big event that requires me to physically train. My biggest sportive accomplishment was the 3-day 60-mile Susan G. Komen Walk.
Annually I pick a color I decree my favorite (this year it’s salmon).
I refused to text until 2010, always preferring to hear voices rather than sending emotionless messages. Politic bores me to death and I have no tolerance for arrogance.
“A World Apart” is my second book. My debut novel “Hidden Heart” came out March 2011.
Many thanks to Camelia Miron-Skiba for spending some time with us today. Ever so generous, Camelia is giving away a copy of A World Apart. To be entered, simply comment here with your email address.