Thursday, May 16, 2013

Meet Cam Crowder, the Runty Little Ginger

Cam Crowder is an avid gamer, reader and guitar nut who's had fancies of writing since he was runty little ginger sitting on his grandfather's knee. Finally, he decided to do something about it and chase after his dream, like his grandfather always taught him to.

(He's also plotting to take over the world, but don't tell anybody!)

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

My upcoming project is called Revelations. It's the third and final book in the Broken Bloodline series, which follows a group of bad-a vampires (who don't sparkle) from a "minor" plot to wipe out their race, all the way to large-scale apocalypse-prevention. My plan is for the last book to be as explosive and exciting as possible, bringing every character arc to a nice, satisfying close before the series is done.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

The issues I tend to come back to are trust, betrayal, love, loyalty and brutality. There are others I touch on as well, but those are probably the biggest I deal with. Some, like trust, I don't openly dissect in my work, but instead I engrave the idea deep into the characters and let it show (if you're looking) in the way they act and interact with each other and the world around them. Personally, I think trust is one of the most important values human beings can hold onto, and who we trust kind of defines who we are.

What would be your dream project?

I've thought about that a few times over the past few years, and in all honesty, the only thing I can think of would be a list of authors I'd like to collaborate with, rather than a set project I'd like to work on. Dan Wells, Brandon Sanderson, Neil Gaiman and Peter J. Tomasi are a few I'd really like to work with in some capacity. Gaiman especially, I think, just because I get the feeling he'd challenge me to break out of my comfort zone and experiment more.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one would it be, and what would you do?

I don't have an insanely large body of work to pull from, but what I have written, even given the chance to go back and fix some mistakes I've made, I'd probably leave it all alone. Not because I think it's perfect, but the opposite. No work is perfect, and sometimes what you think might be a flaw is something the reader is really drawn to.

What inspires you to write?

Living, breathing, walking, running, driving, hearing my fiance' say "I love you.", etc. Everything I do or see in life inspires me to some degree, I think. Music is a big factor as well; I can't tell you how many times the tone of a song I'm listening to has given me an idea for a story or character arc. All of that inevitably finds its way into my writing, no mater what, and I'm more than fine with that. If we try to hard to filter the things we go through and keep it from affecting our stories, our writing becomes stale and lifeless. I don't want that to happen to my work. I want it to be as alive as I am.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

The biggest literary writer to influence me would have to be Robert Jordan. When I was fifteen and picked up The Eye of the World, it blew me away and completely changed the way I look at writing and Fantasy. It was after finishing that book, and I realized the way it had impacted me, it hit me that that was what I wanted to do. I wanted to make stories that take people on a crazy-fun ride, while at the same time maybe address things that challenge the way they think. That's the type of writing that's always appealed to me the most. Even if it's a point I don't agree with, I like it when a writer at least makes me stop and think about it. Beyond Robert Jordan, Jon Foreman (the most amazing songwriter alive today, in my opinion) has had a huge impact on the way I think and write. There are a lot of other writers that have influenced me to some degree; Joss Whedon had a hand in the way I write dialogue, Peter Tomasi influenced the way I go about character interaction, Brandon Sanderson gave me great ideas on world-building, and so on.

Where would you rank writing on the "Is it an art or it is a science continuum?" Why?

I'd say it's a pretty equal marriage. The ideas, the characters, the setting, all of the initial creation that goes into a work, I consider it straight art. Pinning all of those things down on a page, however, comes down to a bit of a science, like it or not. So I'd say the first half of your work is art and the second half is science.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

Once Broken Bloodline is done, I have three other major projects I want to do, the first will probably be a two-part series about a young man given superpowers against his will, and rather than using those powers for good, uses them to retaliate against the government who experimented on him, and eventually, believing he can run the world better himself, establishes a sort of totalitarian regime. It's kind sort of my version of a Superman gone horribly wrong and having to be brought down by the people closest to him that he had complete trust in. (See? There's that trust issue again, haha!)