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JamieUrban.com

 

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 way.

 

Iím a writer.  Any tips for me?

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.

 

Best of luck in everything you do.

Cameron Dane

P.S.  If I didn't answer your question, submit it, and I'll do my best to update this page regularly.

  

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