Mar 7, 2014

Blog Tour: Sing Sweet Nightingale by Erica Cameron

Welcome to the SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE tour! If you're just joining us, I am so very happy to welcome Erica Cameron onto the blog to show off her new debut novel! Look at that cover! Anyone recognize the model? Huh? I'll give you a hint: she's a blogger. ;)

But Erica is actually here to talk about her writing and the inspiration for it.

     It’s probably one of the most commonly asked questions once people find out you’re a writer: Where do you get your ideas?
     It’s like people think we have access to some huge database of amazing concepts that no one else is allowed to see. I wish! It’s not that easy and, at the same time, it kind of is. The idea database is called the universe and everyone can see exactly what authors see, all we do is ask more questions.
     The way that I create my stories is by questioning things. Song lyrics, situations I’m in, photographs I find, random things I see while I’m driving—any and all of it could create a story. Sing Sweet Nightingale, for example, came from two questions I asked after listening to “Creation Lake” by Silversun Pickups and “Mariella” by Kate Nash:
     What happens in the 25th hour of the day?What would make someone swear a vow of silence?Combine the two answers and I get a silent girl with access to another universe.
     Another time, I was driving home from work and passed a hotel. Sitting outside of the hotel was an ambulance with its flashing lights on but no sirens. Two paramedics were standing near the hotel’s pool talking, just talking. Immediately, the snarky voice in my head goes, “Well, I guess it’s not that much of an emergency, huh?” That question spawned another, much more obvious, question: “What happened?” Understandably, I had no way of getting a real answer to that question without tracking down one of the EMTs and tossing a bunch of questions they probably wouldn’t legally be able to answer. So I made it up! My story was likely a lot more gruesome than the truth, but it was also really interesting and the birth of a complicated thriller.Another entire world was born out of a conversation I had with a friend of mine. The conversation itself is irrelevant. What’s important is the question that came out of it: What would happen if aggression was so normal within a society that mercy seemed completely alien? What would that kind of a society look like and how would it function? From that question came another and another and then, a world! That world actually had very little to do with the concept of an aggressive society except for the fact that one existed in the book. But whatever. The question still gave birth to a story.I love questions. Most of them anyway. They help me process things and stir up ideas. They’re fun and they help me find inspiration in that wonderful database called the universe.
     But then there’s actually writing. This is another really common question I’ve seen writers get during panels and workshops: What is your process like?
Like the question on inspiration, the people asking the question seem to believe that there’s an answer, some method or outline or habit that will instantly make them able to write 10,000 words a day and produce a novel that will catapult to the top of the bestseller list the day it’s printed.
     Yeah. It doesn’t work like that.
     Even between novels within a series, my process isn’t the same. Sometimes I write chronologically, sometimes I jump and skip and go back and flash forward. Sometimes the world comes first, sometimes a character, sometimes a moment in time. The closest thing to a process I have is that I usually go with whatever pops into my head first (world/character/moment) and write it down, then keep writing until I hit a wall. Once I’m drawing a blank on what comes next, I either put it away to come back to later or, if I know the characters well enough to predict what they’ll do if I put them in random situations, I start outlining. If I get a good flow going, I can draft really fast. Take Sing, for example. The first draft of the novel was written in six weeks. 106,000 words in six weeks. Other novels take a bit longer. The second book in The Dream War Saga took me a few months to get through because I kept getting stuck. Some books have been written in bits and pieces over the span of years. It depends. On many different factors.
     The important part of all of this relatively useless information is this: just keep writing. Try different things and use what works for you. Take notes and document everything in Excel sheets if that helps. Don’t outline a single scene if you hate the thought of planning. What matters is that you’re writing. Even if your first draft of something is all over the place and generally a disaster area, at least you have a whole book. You can’t fix something that doesn’t exist, so get it down on paper or on a screen. Get the words out and then fine-tune them. That right there? The fine-tuning? That is the ONLY part of the process that’s guaranteed. There will be editing. Lots and lots of editing. Learn to love it. 

Mariella Teagen hasn't spoken a word in four years.

She pledged her voice to Orane, the man she loves—someone she only sees in her dreams. Each night, she escapes to Paradise, the world Orane created for her, and she sings for him. Mariella never believed she could stay in Paradise longer than a night, but two weeks before her eighteenth birthday, Orane hints that she may be able to stay forever.

Hudson Vincent made a pledge to never fight again.

Calease, the creature who created his dream world, swore that giving up violence would protect Hudson. But when his vow caused the death of his little brother, Hudson turned his grief on Calease and destroyed the dream world. The battle left him with new abilities and disturbing visions of a silent girl in grave danger—Mariella.

Now, Hudson is fighting to save Mariella's life while she fights to give it away. And he must find a way to show her Orane’s true intentions before she is lost to Paradise forever.

Release Date: March 4, 2014
Pages: 320
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press

About Erica Cameron:
Erica Cameron knew that writing was her passion when she turned a picture book into a mystery novella as a teen. That piece wasn’t her best work, but it got her an A. After college, she used her degree in Psychology and Creative Writing to shape a story about a dreamworld. Then a chance encounter at a rooftop party in Tribeca made her dream career a reality.

Erica is many things but most notably the following: writer, reader, editor, dancer, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse. She loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon d├ęcor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.
Her debut novel Sing Sweet Nightingale releases March 4, 2014 from Spencer Hill Press. It is the first book in The Dream War Saga.

Erica is represented by Danielle Chiotti at Upstart Crow Literary. However, for subrights inquiries on Sing Sweet Nightingale, contact Rebecca Mancini at Rights Mix. Regarding publicity for The Dream War Saga, contact Cindy Thomas at cthomas {@} spencerhillcontemporary {.} com.

To contact Erica, try:  
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads
Tumblr  |  Pinterest  |  Google+  |  The Mystical Demystified
 Photo by Lani Woodland


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The Tour:
Week One:
3/3/2014- Bookish Things & moreReview
3/3/2014- Bibliophilia, PleaseInterview
3/4/2014- Lola's Reviews- Review
3/4/2014- A Backwards StoryGuest Post
3/5/2014- YaReadsReview
3/5/2014- Addicted ReadersInterview
3/6/2014- Once Upon A TwilightReview
3/7/2014- Seeing Night Reviews - Review
3/7/2014- The Irish Banana ReviewGuest Post

Week Two:
3/10/2014- Chasm of Books- Review
3/10/2014- Lost in Ever AfterInterview
3/11/2014- The Demon LibrarianReview
3/11/2014- Paulette's PapersGuest Post
3/12/2014- Poisoned RationalityReview
3/12/2014- The Best Books EverInterview
3/13/2014- Spiced Latte ReadsReview
3/13/2014- Dark NovellaGuest Post
3/14/2014- A Dream Within A DreamReview

3/14/2014- Parajunkee's View- Interview


  1. I think writer's brains are constantly questioning and asking that all-important question: What if? And, with that question constantly ringing in writer's brains, it's almost impossible to run out of story fodder (the hard part comes when you have to actually turn that idea into a story, right?).

    1. Yes, pretty much! Question everything and you will never run out of ideas, but drafting and editing are really difficult. Consuming even. I only recommend doing it if you cannot see yourself doing anything else.

  2. What a very intriguing story. I want to know who is Orane and what influence he holds over Mariella. I'm already cheering for Hudson to rescue Mariella.

    1. Hudson is definitely phenomenal! I hope you like him if you get the chance to read the book! :D

  3. Such an interesting post! I think asking questions - especially those that don't have concrete answers to and make you really think outside the box - really makes you open up to creativity. I have seen this book floating around lately and it sounds pretty good!

    1. So true! If you give yourself the ability to question everything, you leave yourself open to the best possibilities. :D

  4. It sounds very intriguing! Paradise, you say? I want to try this one out! :D


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