Jamie Urban and Cameron Dane are the same person. Why write under different pen names? How are the book different?
As a reader I always want to have a pretty good sense of the type/feel/tone of the book I’m buying. Is it super intense and hardcore erotic or is it more lighthearted and romantic? I love to read both, I love lots of genres and styles, but I also want to know at a glance, by looking at the author’s name on the cover, the feel/tone of the book so that I can pick the right one for my reading mood at any given time. This is why I created Jamie Urban.
I love creating Cameron Dane stories. I can’t see myself ever not writing them. But Cameron Dane books are full of over-the-top angst and heightened emotions, they often have dark and hard edges/themes to them, there is a high concentration of sex scenes in the pages, and they are often very long at over 300-350 pages. However, I sometimes have ideas for shorter, more lighthearted, sweet and tender stories, stories that will only have 1-3 sex scenes vs. 7-9. That’s where Jamie Urban comes into play. I will direct those ideas I have for the shorter, sweeter stories into Jamie Urban books. These books will still have the same emotion in them, the same love and adoration and care I put into creating any of my characters, they’ll still run the gamut of M/M, M/F, and Ménage, they’ll just be more lighthearted in overall tone and have less sexual content.
For me, the best way I can think to describe Jamie Urban and Cameron Dane is to view them as two different candy bars, maybe one a Snickers and one a Twix. If you like chocolate and caramel then both are yummy; one isn’t better than the other, but they are different, and if you’re in the mood for a Snickers you don’t want to open the Snickers wrapper and find a Twix bar inside. You want the Twix tomorrow and it should be in its proper wrapper so that you, the consumer, can easily identify it. That is the distinction between Jamie Urban and Cameron Dane. It’s a quick glance at the wrapper that gives you a better idea of what’s inside the package. I hope you love both. I know I have the same great time living with all of these different characters and telling their love stories.
Do you have
a Facebook or Twitter account?
No, Iím sorry. I donít have either one. You can get in touch with
me by using either the Contact Me page or the Tell Me About You
pages on my website. It might take a couple of days, but I do reply
to every e-mail sent to me. Make sure to check your SPAM! I suspect
my replies get dumped in those various trash folders sometimes.
Do you have plans to write
more stories for the Hawkins Ranch series? Quinn Security? Cabin
Fever? Seeking Redemption? Etc?
I have plans to add
to each of the series I have going right now. If you click on the
Coming Soon page and scroll down, you can see my Work In Progress
as well as my plans for Upcoming Projects. I donít have all of the
books I plan to write for each series listed but do have a note
about at least one upcoming book for each series. As I complete
a book in each series, I will add the next title to that list.
How long have you been a writer?
I canít remember a
time when I didnít enjoy writing. My first memory of writing
a specific story was a homework assignment I did for my brother.
(Yes, I did his homework. It was just that one time.
I swear!) I was in fourth grade and he was in third. The story
was about a boy who got the power of invisibility and how he goes
to see a movie for free and eats all the popcorn and candy he wants
without having to pay for it. I thought it was award-winning
material, my brother got a good grade, so everyone came out of that
one a winner.
On a more serious note,
I fully committed myself to my writing in 2002. It was at
that point I started holding myself accountable to writing something
every day. I used a weekly planner to keep track of how many words
I wrote per writing session. It was also at that point I stopped
trying to write Ďaroundí what I loved to read so much. I started
making the focus of my stories the character interaction and the
romance. Once I started doing that I knew I was doing what
I was supposed to be doing with my life, which was writing romance
novels. Iíve never looked back.
How did you get started?
As I mentioned above,
Iíve always loved writing. In junior high school I used to
make writing notes to my friends an epic event. When I did,
they would always tell me they loved reading them. (That might have
had something to do with the fact that almost everything I wrote
was completely fabricated bull*%#t designed to make them laugh.
I donít know, itís just a theory. ) Anyway, their enjoyment was
a huge high for me. That style of writing carried on to an
annual Christmas Letter I created for a cousin and her husband.
(again, all snarky, sarcastic crap) They always seemed to enjoy
reading them, which again boosted my writing ego. Somewhere
among all of that I had my first serious break-up, but instead of
moping (well, in addition to, anyway) I decided to channel all of
that anger, hurt, and sadness into a fictitious story rather than
a bunch of endless journal entries about how I was feeling.
Truthfully, thatís where it really all began for me. I never
did get that story published, but Iím still very proud of it for
a host of personal reasons. The rest, as they say, is history.
How do you get your ideas?
I donít get ideas so
much as I get characters. The idea of a particular man or
woman will come to me very specifically and tell me who he or she
is. That person will stay in my head for a couple of days
and slowly show me the world he or she lives in along with the other
people who populate that world. I try to get all of that important
information down on paper before it leaves me. Nine out of ten times
Iím already in the middle of writing something else, so I know it
could be awhile before I start writing his or her story.
Other times eventual
heroes or heroines are sub characters in the story Iím working on
at that time. In the case of Cain Hawkins (Falling: An
Erotic Love Story available in January 2008 from Loose Id) I
knew his entire story by the time Iíd finished writing Demon
Moon. I knew exactly who and what he was, I knew he was
meant to be with Luke, and I knew how they were going to get to
their happy ending. By the time Iíd finished writing Cain
and Lukeís story I knew the three stories that would follow in the
town of Quinten, Montana, ending the series of related books with
Caleb Hawkinsí story. With luck, enough of you nice folks
will like Demon Moon and Falling, and Loose Id will
want to publish all of them. (Fingers crossed!)
Do you like writing sex scenes?
I like writing them
just as much as I like writing any other part of a story.
The trick is to try your damnedest not to be repetitive, and that
can sometimes be a challenge. More important for me, however,
is to always try to have something else important happening in that
scene beyond the sex. What I care about the most in a romance
novel Ėand this is true in any genre I read, erotic romance included
Ėis the characters, how they interact, and how often they interact
with each other throughout the book. Every book on my keeper
shelf has two characters that I absolutely fell in love with,
not necessarily some high concept story that was well written and
executed beautifully. So, now that Iíve rambled completely
off point, the answer is yes, I do like writing sex scenes.
They always allow me an avenue to reveal a piece of one characterís
heart and soul to the other in a completely vulnerable and intimate
Iím a writer. Any tips
The first piece of
advice is a simple one, but one that can be the toughest to implement.
It is this: write every day. That can be difficult, especially
if you have a full or part time job, a family that needs you, etc.
But hereís the thing. You can have the greatest idea in the
world or the most wonderful couple ever imagined toiling around
in your head, but if you never put it to paper (or computer file)
it doesnít mean squat. You donít have to be perfect, and you
will not be psyched to write every day (just because you love it
doesnít mean you feel like doing it every single day) but you do
have to do it. If you donít, you will never become comfortable
with the process and youíll never get better.
I would also recommend
that you join an organization that supports writers. For me,
the best move I ever made was joining RWA. (Romance Writers of America)
It not only gave me inside information to the business, but when
I was ready to have my work judged and get feedback RWA offered
a complete listing of contests open to what I was writing.
Be aware though, the feedback isnít always kind. Just like
in any other profession there are critics that are wonderfully helpful
and supportive in their critiques, while still being honest about
where your story needs work, and there are people whose notes are
harder to receive because they are written in a condescending, mean-spirited
way. If youíre ready, go for it --but be prepared. Make
sure youíre ready to have strangers judge your work. I found
that I was ready to handle it, and that gave me a sense that I was
ready for the next step Ėsubmissions.
Well, one quick thing
before submissions. Write what you love to read, and know the criteria
for getting a story of that type published. Word count is
hugely important, and doní t think youíre going to be the exception
to that rule. They cap off at about 120,000 these days, and
that is considered on the high end. About four years ago (before
I joined RWA and learned these things) I cluelessly wrote a fantasy
romance that ended up being 230,000 words. It encompassed
three complete romances into one big story. I just had no idea when
I was writing it that there was no way anyone was going to publish
it, no matter how good it was. Nothing is ever an accident
or a mistake though, and I ended up learning a ton of good stuff
while writing that book. It has some great scenes and wonderful
moments that Iím very proud of, so who knows, maybe one day Iíll
put it up on my site for people to read for free. No professional
editing, grammar warts, constantly shifting POVís, everything left
in. Weíll see.
Finally, when youíre
ready, send out your work. If youíre so afraid of rejection
(and yes, it does hurt) that you never send your stories out, youíll
never have any shot of being published, at all. This is also
where an organization like RWA can be a huge help. Theyíre
always interviewing publishers, agents, and editors, and you just
might come across an interview with one for submission requests
that fit right in with what you just finished writing. Make
it a point to visit publisherís websites, read their submission
guidelines as well, and try to follow and respect their submission
format and guideline requests.
The single most important
piece of advice in anything, and this most definitely includes writing,
is to love what you do. I love writing. I love telling the
stories of how my characters meet and fall in love. My goal
and greatest dream is to one day be able to earn a living with my
writing. If for some reason the universe doesnít have that in store
for me, I always make sure I love what I write, just in case Iím
the only one who ever ends up reading it.
of luck in everything you do.
P.S. If I didn't answer your question,
submit it, and I'll do my best to update this page regularly.