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Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

[ Edited ]

Please welcome this week's featured author, DANA CAMERON! Dana is here by popular request, since so many of our regular participants have been reading and enjoying her books.

 

 

Dana has had quite a year! This is from her website: 

http://danacameron.com/

 

Welcome to my website! 

 

 

 

Cape Cod Noir  

 

Crimes by Moonlight  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My urban fantasy "Fangborn" story, "Swing Shift," just won the 2011 Anthony and Macavity Awards for Best Short Story!   

 

My "colonial noir" story, "Femme Sole," was nominated for the Edgar®, Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Awards.

 

I have two new Anna Hoyt "colonial noir" stories, "Disarming" in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and "Ardent" in Cape Cod Noir. A third "Fangborn" story, "Love Knot," appears in The Wild Side.

 

I'm delighted to announce I will be the toastmaster of Malice Domestic 24, featuring Jan Burke as Guest of Honor and Simon Brett for Lifetime Achievement. Hope to see you there!

 

All the best,

 

Dana Signature Large

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

I borrowed this from Dana's Facebook page: www.facebook.com/dana.cameron

 

New England Agatha Nominees:
Katherine for Nonfiction, Hank for Novel, Dana for Short Story, and Sarah for Young Adult


 

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Dana Cameron with author Rachel Brady:

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

[ Edited ]

About Dana Cameron:

 

 

 

 

 

I was born and raised in New England and I live in Massachusetts now, with my husband and benevolent feline overlords. Mine is a quiet, fairly ordinary life. I love that because it's what saves me from an overdeveloped sense of paranoia and a tendency to expect the worst. Combined with an eye for detail and a quirky take on life, these traits give me a vivid internal life, one that's sometimes a little nerve-wracking, but very useful for writing mystery and suspense.

My interest in archaeology stems from childhood, where my interest in books and the opportunities I had to travel made me begin to think about cultural differences. The thing I like best about this work is that it is a real opportunity to try and resurrect individuals from the monolith of history. I've worked on prehistoric and historical sites in the U.S. and in Europe, and like to teach, in the field, in museums, in the classroom, and through writing.

 

In my first book, Site Unseen, my protagonist Emma Fielding discovers that archaeologists are trained to ask the same questions that detectives ask: who, what, where, when, how, and why. When I started on these books, I realized that archaeology is also good training for writing because research, logic, and persistence are so important to both endeavors. 

 

Naturally, that training worked with the archaeology mysteries--and it also helped with my first short story, "The Lords of Misrule," a historical mystery which appeared in the anthology, Sugarplums and Scandal. But how has it worked when I've tackled subjects as seemingly diverse as werewolves ("The Night Things Changed" inWolfsbane and Mistletoe and "Swing Shift" in Crimes By Moonlight) and noir ("Femme Sole," in Boston Noir)? Easy: it's all about getting into someone else's shoes and walking around for a while. Preferably, getting into (fictional) trouble while you do it. Asking "what if?" and thinking about how culture and subcultures--in addition to personality--shape behavior.

 

FAQs

 

1. How did you become a writer?

 

I never thought I'd be a writer--I thought it was too exalted a calling--but ever since I was a kid, I read constantly, fiction, social history, and lots and lots of plays. Later on, reading about how actors interpret their roles from the text of a play, I began to realize that they are doing the same thing that archaeologists are trained to do: drawing conclusions from the available data. It was a short step from interpreting the text to figuring out how to hide the clues in the text myself--not only the clues to a mystery, but clues to character. So when I started to write fiction, many of the tools were already there. I snuck up on it or it snuck up on me, depending how you look at it.

 

2. What would you do if you weren't writing?

 

Eat something or go for a walk. Oh, career-wise? Probably some other kind of job that involved researching and thinking and analysis and teaching. But really, where can you go after being an archaeologist and a mystery writer? Astronaut? I haven't got the math skills. Super model? I haven't got the legs. Secret agent? I haven't got the poker face. So I'm probably better off as I am, and very lucky, too.

 

3. How much are your protagonists like you (or vice versa)?

 

Hmmm.

 

It's funny; folks always assume that your protagonist is you. That makes sense, because you spend the most time in the head of your main character. But readers seldom remember that writers also conjure up all the bad guys, too. Remember: all that evil has to come from somewhere--bwahahaha!

 

As far as the archaeology mysteries go, Emma's a lot like me in that my experience is what shapes her professional life. We are definitely not the same person. For one thing, although we have a similar take on a lot of things, I have a stranger sense of humor (Emma is rather more straight-laced), can't handle caffeine (E would be incapable of functioning without her joe), and am at my best in the early morning (she thinks morning properly starts at 10:30 or so; I'm starting to think about lunch at that point). I think of her as an older sister with whom I am constantly competing. That means, as a writer, I'm always throwing something evil at her to deal with then grudgingly forced to concede she does okay when she outwits me.

 

But there are more similarities between me and Margaret Chase Chandler, Gerry Steuben (an ex-cop and werewolf), Amy Lindstrom (reporter for the Washington Post), and Spooky (a covert operative) than you might think. Even if I've had none of the experiences these folks have--and for the record, I've never been a man, a werewolf, or an assassin), there's got to be an overlap. We share some opinion, a home town, a craving for Cheetos. There's something in each of these characters that gives me a connection to them, and a desire to see what they'll get up to.

 

I never take my characters straight from life, there's never a carbon copy of anyone I know in my work.

 

For one thing, real life doesn't translate perfectly to convincing fiction; you'll always have to make leaps, tart things up, fix dialogue (ever really pay attention to the number of subverbal noises and um's you make in a day? It's not riveting dialogue, and neither are most mundane conversations). For another thing, it's much more interesting, from a writer's point of view, to endow a character with certain traits and then ask--why is she like this? What will these characteristics make her do in this story? There's more exploration that way and it's really much more fun.

 

4. Why is Emma an archaeologist?

 

I figured I could go one of two ways with a protagonist, both based on my professional research. I could endow a character with the skills an archaeologist uses to investigate the past and let her tackle a mystery with them. I'd also be able to use the unusual sort of situations, characters, and settings one encounters as an archaeologist and show readers life "behind the scenes," which I think is fun. That's what I do with Emma Fielding. The other great thing about using an archaeologist as a character is that I get to explore historical situations that I think are compelling.

 

The other thing I could do would be to take what I've learned about the past and create a main character who knows those things because she lived during those times. That's a lot more work because I have to make sure I keep my characters' personalities and opinions true to a particular period of history and not just dress a 21st-century character in a corset and petticoats. That's another way of teaching and showing life behind the scenes, I guess. That's what I do with Madam Margaret Chandler, an 18th-century Englishwoman who moves to Massachusetts and has to contend with life among the colonials.

 

5. Why mysteries and thrillers?  Why urban fantasy and historical fiction?

 

That's a good question. Part of the answer lies in the opportunity to examine different emotions and reactions that tend come out during situations where there is a lot at stake. Part of it has to do with the structure of a mystery or thriller--the crime, the investigation, and the solution (or the prevention of the Very Bad Thing happening)--which forces me (and every other writer) ask lots of questions that are worth thinking about. Part of it is the comforting notions that judgment will come to wrongdoers and that an individual can make a difference. Part of it has to do with being able to examine certain situations I've observed in life by creating a fictional story about them.

 

I like fiction because you get to tell stories. You also get to introduce a lot of complex ideas in a safe environment and play around with them: fiction can be the experimental simulation of real life. And I think there is a certain virtue in creating characters who you think set a good example, because there's always the chance it will resonate positively with someone. And crime fiction--as old as human story-telling--is a great form of recreation and I think we really need that.

 

6. What order should I read the Emma Fielding books in?

 

Although each of the books is designed to be a "stand alone," if you want to read them in order, it goes: Site Unseen, Grave Consequences, Past Malice, A Fugitive Truth, More Bitter Than Death, Ashes and Bones. If you don't read them in order, the only thing I would suggest is that you read Site Unseen before Ashes and Bones: the plot of Ashes totally gives away the ending of Site Unseen!

 

The short story, "The Lords of Misrule" is more fun to read after you've gotten to know Margaret through Emma's research. That takes place mostly in Past Malice and A Fugitive Truth. 

 

Werewolves and espionage are appropriate any time.

 

7. What organizations do you belong to?

 

It is hugely helpful to develop a community with other people who are interested in writing and reading mysteries. I am presently a member of Sisters in Crime (National and New England Chapters), Mystery Writers of AmericaThe Femmes Fatales and the American Crime Writers League.

 

 

 

 DanaWall

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Malice Domestic 24
April 27-29, 2012


Hyatt Regency Hotel, Bethesda, MD


Dana will be the Toastmaster!

 

Guest of Honor:  Jan Burke

 

Lifetime Achievement:  Simon Brett

 

What I'm Listening To:

 

  • Kings of Leon, "Radioactive"
  • Propellerheads, "History Repeating"
  • Silversun Pickups, "Future Foe Scenarios"

 

What I'm Reading:

  •  The Boy in the Suitcase, by Lene Kaaberol and Agnette Friis 
  • Savage Season, by Joe R. Lansdale

  • Updated October 28, 2011


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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Short Stories


Anna Hoyt “Colonial Noir”
□ “Femme Sole,” in Boston Noir
(Akashic, 2009) 
□ “Disarming,” in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine
(June 2011)
□ “Ardent,” in Cape Cod Noir
(Akashic, 2011) 

 

Fangborn Urban Fantasy Mysteries

 

□ “The Night Things Changed,” in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe|
(Ace Hardcover, 2008) 
□ “Swing Shift,” in Crimes by Moonlight
(Berkley Hardcover, 2010) 
□ “Love Knot,” in The Wild Side
(Baen, 2010) 
□ “The Lords of Misrule,” in Sugarplums and Scandal
(Avon, 2006) 


Emma Fielding Archaeology Mysteries

 

□ Site Unseen
(Avon, 2002) 
□ Grave Consequences
(Avon, 2002) 
□ Past Malice
(Avon, 2003) 
□ A Fugitive Truth
(Avon, 2004)
□ More Bitter Than Death
(Avon , 2005) 
□ Ashes and Bones
(Avon, 2006) 

 

"Love Knot" in The Wild Side

Urban Fantasy With An Erotic Edge edited by Mark L. Van Name

Baen, August 2011, ISBN 978-1-4391-3456-6

Fangborn vampire Claudia Steuben has always maintained the tightest control over her considerable powers, but what will happen when she encounters an artifact that makes her use of them highly...rewarding?

 


"Ardent" in Cape Cod Noir

A collection of all-new stories edited by David Ulin

Akashic Books, May 2011, ISBN 1936070979

Returning from London, Anna Hoyt's voyage is interrupted by murder and a perilous reunion with her first love. 

 

ElleryQueen_small.jpg

 

"Disarming" in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

June 2011

Compelled by a threat to her new independence, Anna Hoyt must travel to London to plot the downfall of a powerful man.

 

 

 

"Swing Shift" in Crimes by Moonlight

Mysteries from the Dark Side edited by Charlaine Harris

Berkley Prime Crime, April 2010, ISBN 978-0-425-23911-7

 

It's Boston in the 1940s.  An FBI agent calls on Jake Steuben to uncover the theft of information from a top secret computational laboratory, but everyone, including Jake, has secrets to hide.

 

Nominee, 2010 Agatha Award, and Winner, 2011 Anthony Award and 2011 Macavity Award, Best Short Story

 

"Femme Sole" in Boston Noir

A collection of all-new stories edited by Dennis Lehane

Akashic Books, October 2009, ISBN 1933354917

In 1740s Boston, Anna Hoyt owns a North-End tavern and all the local thugs--including her husband--want a piece of it.

 

Praise for Boston Noir:

Nominee, 2010 Edgar® Award, Best Short Story

[Starred Review] In the best of the 11 stories in this outstanding entry in Akashic's noir series, characters, plot and setting feed off each other like flames and an arsonist's accelerant. These include Lehane's own Animal Rescue, about a killing resulting from a lost and contested pit bull; John Dufresne's The Cross-Eyed Bear, in which a pedophile priest is caught between the icy representative of the archdiocese and one of his now adult victims; and Don Lee's The Oriental Hair Poets, which charts a literary feud that escalates into a police case. Two populations that define the city for outsiders--the elite WASP Brahmins and the hundreds of thousands of college students surging through to earn their degrees--appear only in passing. While Lehane expresses the fear in his introduction that Boston is becoming beiger, less tribal and gritty and more gentrified and homogenized, this anthology shows that noir can thrive where Raymond Chandler has never set foot. 

 

"The Night Things Changed" inWolfsbane and Mistletoe

A collection of all-new stories on werewolves and the holidays, by an outstanding pack of award-winning writers, edited by Charlaine Harris and 
Toni L.P. Kelner.

Ace Hardcover (October 7, 2008) ISBN 0441016332

 

"The holidays can bring out the beast in anyone. They are particularly hard for lycanthropes..."

 

Gerry Steuben is an average guy, a PI living in Salem, Massachusetts. He's also one of the Fangborn, an ancient family of werewolves and vampires secretly dedicated to protecting humankind from evil. When a series of increasingly violent murders is committed, Gerry and his vampire sister Claudia must confront an unimaginable supernatural threat on Christmas Eve.

 

Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Please welcome DANA CAMERON!

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Hi Dana,

 

Welcome to the Mystery Forum here at B&N. I'm so glad you could join us and it sounds like you came back from a very interesting trip. I love the pictures of the artifacts and I have enjoyed all of your Emma Fielding books. Looking forward to chatting with you.   :smileyhappy:

 

Optic

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DanaCameron
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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Thanks, Becke, for the warm welcome!  I look forward to chatting with readers here!

 

Hi Optic,

 

Thanks so much for your kind words!  I've had a lot of fun traveling recently, and always look forward to new destinations.

 

Dana

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Hi Dana,

 

I must ask you about your trip to the Berlin museum and the Nefertiti bust. I wonder what you thought when you saw the 3,300 year-old Nefertiti? My mom was born and grew up in Berlin and was captivated by Nefertiti's bust when she saw it. So much so, that she gave me both a gold and silver necklace of Nefertiti's image. It must be wonderful to travel with the eye of an archeologist, and the sensibility of a writer.   :smileyhappy:

 

Optic

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Hi Dana! I hear you have a rotten cold - hope you feel better soon!

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Good morning, everyone! Dana, I hope you're feeling a little better today!

 

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Hi Optic,

 

This was my second attempt to see the Nefertiti bust--that part of the museum was closed last year. The Neues Museum was stunning!  It was a privilege to see the piece, but I'm afraid my thoughts were quite archaeological rather than poetic. After realizing how gracile the figure was and how well the many pictures I'd see of the bust represented her, I was thinking about how the museum gallery was arranged and about the Met's Hatshepsut exhibit I'd seen a few years before!  So my response might be seen as very boring!  But I also thought about Elizabeth Peters' wonderful Amelia Peabody books, which I adore.

 

Dana

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Dana - I had a lot of fun poring over your website. I didn't realize you had written so many short stories! I love short stories, but some authors say they're harder to write than books. What makes them fun for you?

 

Do you have any new short stories in upcoming anthologies?

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Good morning, Becke!  I'm feeling better, thanks.  "Chatting" on-line makes it easy--my voice is a bit rough, but typing is no problem!

 

Dana

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!


DanaCameron wrote:

Hi Optic,

 

This was my second attempt to see the Nefertiti bust--that part of the museum was closed last year. The Neues Museum was stunning!  It was a privilege to see the piece, but I'm afraid my thoughts were quite archaeological rather than poetic. After realizing how gracile the figure was and how well the many pictures I'd see of the bust represented her, I was thinking about how the museum gallery was arranged and about the Met's Hatshepsut exhibit I'd seen a few years before!  So my response might be seen as very boring!  But I also thought about Elizabeth Peters' wonderful Amelia Peabody books, which I adore.

 

Dana


Dana - I've never been to Germany, but I'll never forget visiting the archeology section of the British Museum. Sooooo cool!

 

If you're ever in London, another really cool museum is Sir John Soane's Museum:

http://www.soane.org/

 

We have a very popular thread here at the Mystery Forum called "Mysteries with an Archaelogical Theme." Here's the link:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/Mysteries-with-an-Archaeology-Theme/td-p/1144236/page...

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!


DanaCameron wrote:

Good morning, Becke!  I'm feeling better, thanks.  "Chatting" on-line makes it easy--my voice is a bit rough, but typing is no problem!

 

Dana


It's awful the way a cold can drag you down. We'll keep sending get well vibes your way to help speed up the healing process!

 

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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

I forgot to mention Dana's Twitter link - you can follow her here:

@danacmrn

 

Dana - Love the shoes!

 

Dana Cameron

 

Dana Cameron

@danacmrn
Writer and recovering archaeologist.
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DanaCameron
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Re: Please Welcome Author DANA CAMERON!

Becke, thanks for the link!  Yes, I've spent a lot of time at the British Museum (including one summer as a visiting researcher) and it's wonderful!  I've never been to the Soane museum (I'm embarrassed to admit), but have heard great things.  The Museum of London is also wonderful--I love the period rooms there.