I C Camilleri is a medical doctor and author living in the UK. Her novels include The Blake Soul, The Blake Curse, The Blake Mistake and Week of Lies.
Time to chat with Isabella!
What is your latest book?
Week of Lies was published just over three months ago. It is a revenge thriller and romance set in London and it spans a fateful week of lies and deceit. The opening chapter takes us to New Year’s Day where Beth Banks wakes up to find her father dead in their multimillion pound house in London. It appears to be a suicide, but Beth has her doubts. She looks back on her previous week, her introduction into the cryptic world of Rob Menezes, the righteous law graduate desperately seeking a living, the man she has grown to love and trust despite his many facets. She sets out in search of the truth and she uncovers a dark secret that could radically change her life.
What else have you written?
My first novel, The Blake Curse, was published in 2012. A year later it was nominated for The People’s Book Prize UK, a national competition voted for by the public. After a three-month vote The Blake Curse became one of the three finalists in the Summer 2013 Collection. The next two books in the Blake series, The Blake Soul and The Blake Mistake, were published a year later. Each book could be read as a stand –alone and they could be classified as supernatural thrillers with a romantic background.
How much research was involved in writing your book? How did you go about it?
I use my medical background to mould the backbone of all my novels. The susceptible young mind lost to alcohol and drugs features in The Blake Curse. The sanctity of human life is highlighted in The Blake Soul. The detrimental effect of childhood psychological trauma features in The Blake Mistake. And the dangers of internet pornography are highlighted in Week of Lies. I try to raise awareness…whether I succeed to do this in all my novels remains debatable, I guess, but the intention is there.
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?
I absolutely love that first eureka moment when the idea for a plot starts to germinate. I shut myself in my own world and start to craft scenes and characters. That is where I’m at my best, my happiest moments….which will eventually shatter as soon as the novel is finished and I have to market the book. I absolutely abhor marketing and I’m pretty bad at it too. I guess I was born lacking sales techniques but I try to fumble along, learning from experiences and believing, perhaps naively, that the books will sell on their own if they are good enough.
Is it important for you to know the ending of a book before you write it?
No, not really. I usually have a skeleton outline and the story often adapts and changes as I go along. But that’s the way I do it, others might prefer otherwise.
Some writers edit excessively as they write; others wait until a novel is finished to do the bulk of the editing. How about you?
I think I do a mixture of both, adapting as I move along the storyline. But generally I try to give it a good edit in the end.
Do you dread writing a synopsis for your novel as much as most writers do? Do you think writing a synopsis is inherently evil? Why?
Yes, I dread writing the synopsis, those few precious sentences that are meant to capture the soul of the whole novel. I think that ideally it should be written by someone with a business marketing brain rather than the creative author who knows too much about the story to express it so succinctly.
Do you have any advice for first-time authors?
Writing a good book is the first crucial step…but that is not enough. A business strategy and marketing experience is equally as important. So yes, I would advise to research that side of publishing a book.
Please, tell us about your experiences with social media. What are your favorite and least-favorite parts of it?
Twitter is my main marketing tool. I like socializing and getting to know different people across the globe in between tweets about my novels as well as promoting other authors. I do Facebook too but I find it a bit dry and restricting. I have no websites of my own, I’m still trying to get down to it but time is a commodity these days.
What do you like best about the books you read? What do you like least?
I like a good storyline with powerful characters whatever the genre, be it thrillers, romance, historical novels etc. I am extremely versatile. I read anything and everything and I try to see the beauty and art behind every little book or article I read. There is always something to learn. However, I hate waffling and technical jargon and I tend to skim read over that. I’ve got a science oriented brain and I tend to prefer novels that get straight to the point without a lot of unnecessary words.
Where do you live now? If you had to move to another city/state/country, where might that be?
I was born on the Mediterranean island of Malta but I moved to the UK more than sixteen years ago. Do I regret the move? No, not really. I miss my little island in the sun but I love the rolling green hills of Britain too. I might go back to my roots when my end is near but I’m still thinking about it!!!
If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do?
You would probably find me immersed in a book had I had the luxury of being invisible and doing whatever takes my fancy. And I would probably read all day too. I wish I could say I would also go cycling or swimming or something equally active but I guess I can’t lie. I should be promoting exercise but alas, listening to music and reading are my only other interests.
What are three things you think we can all do to make the world a better place?
Tolerance, kindness and consideration….in other words to think hard about the consequences of your own actions and always do to others what you would like them to do to you.
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