I am really excited to welcome debut author Camilla Isley to Bookaholic Confessions. Camilla’s novel, I Wish For You is released TODAY (click here to get your copy) and it sounds brilliant. I Wish For You has quickly become one of my most anticipated reads and I am the tiniest bit in love with the cover (and the story line!) Camilla shares how it feels to have your first ever novel out there in the big, wide world…
Hello Camilla, welcome to Bookaholic Confessions! I’m thrilled to have you on the site, thank you so much for participating in this interview. Would you like to start by introducing yourself…?
Hi Holly, and thank you for having me. About me, I’m an engineer gone writer. I made the transition after leaving my corporate job to follow my husband in an adventure on the other side of the world. I’m with my head in the clouds most of the times and there’s nothing I love more than to get lost in a book.
I’m also addicted to coffee, shoes, bad TV, and cats (if I could I would adopt all the strays out there).
Can you tell us a bit about your debut novel, I Wish for You (released 23rd July 2015) and what inspired you to come up with this storyline?
Have you ever asked yourself—if you could have a super power what would that be? Or what would you do if all your wishes could suddenly come true?
I Wish for You is one hilarious, long answer to that question.
Who hasn’t fantasized about getting a magical solution to all their problems, especially after hitting a low bend in the road…?
For example, if you saw you ex-boyfriend that you still love with a Victoria’s Secret model look-alike, would you wish for her to have horrible skin and twenty more pounds to bring around?
I wanted my story to be filled with possibilities, romance, and to be fun to read. I was always fascinated by fables and fairy tales, and I wanted to create a romantic world where wishes do come true.
That’s what inspired me to write a magical comedy with a lot of humour that I hope will make my readers dream and laugh on the journey to Happily Ever After.
If you found yourself in a similar situation to Ally, what would you wish for?
My biggest dream already came true when I married my husband—twice—in 2014. I apologize for being so corny, I’m blushing as I say this, but it’s the truth. So I could only wish for us to be always as happy as we are today, or more. There’s always room for more happiness.
Ah yes, maybe I would wish for my book to be a great success 😉
Is Ally completely fictional or is she based on anyone in real life?
She’s fictional, but we might have something in common. As a writer I think that it’s almost impossible not to project a little bit of yourself into your characters, especially when writing in the first person. So let me see…we both love Croissants, Lemon Drop Martinis, and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days is one of my favourite movies. I named her cat, Sugar, after my first pet. And as far as personality goes I like to think that I’m as determined to go after what I want as she is in the book, and sometimes I have to admit that I’m also as clueless.
What’s the best thing about writing romantic comedy?
Writing a feel-good book is great for the soul. Sometimes I find myself smiling at the screen with a dreamy smile on my lips, or laughing at some of my own jokes, and I have to confess that I’ve shed a tear or two, but mostly of happiness so it’s ok. I would put it in the same category as nestling on the couch on a rainy day with a good book and a purring cat.
How long did I Wish for You take you to write?
I would say about a year. But that was “just” the writing. It took another six months for everything that came afterwards and that I hadn’t quite anticipated. I had many editing and re-editing cycles; first with myself, then with beta-readers, and finally with my editor. Then it was the time for formatting and design, followed by the publication process with all the different retailers. But I pushed through every single stage one word at a time and finally I Wish for You is here ready for the public. It’s been a long journey and doing it all felt daunting at times, but I couldn’t be prouder.
How does it feel to have your debut novel out in the big, wide world?
It feels exciting and empowering, so far I’ve received many positive feedbacks and a lot of support, starting with the book blogging community, and it’s heart-warming.
On the other hand, it’s also scary. There are so many wonderful books available for readers that getting your work noticed can seem overwhelming. And putting my story out there in the open makes me feel vulnerable to the world. The book is so new that I haven’t had any bad reviews yet, but I’ll let you know how I’m coping when/if the first one strikes.
Can you give any advice to any aspiring authors out there?
My biggest advice would be to never give up. If you have a story you want to tell then do it. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Even if you only have ten free minutes per day, use them to write. With self-publishing so widely available no one can say no to you, or your story, if you want it published you can make it happen. All it takes is hard work and perseverance.
Who are your favourite authors and which genres of books do you like reading?
I have so many. Of course before becoming a writer of Romantic Comedy I was a voracious reader, and Sophie Kinsella is my favourite. I also enjoy historical fiction, my go-to author is Ken Follett. Fantasy, George R.R. Martin. Classics, Jane Austen, Alexandre Dumas, Mark Twain, and many other. Finally, I grew up with Harry Potter, so I adore J.K. Rowling. I’m sorry that the younger readers will never experience the excitement of a new Harry Potter book coming out, I remember that I could hardly contain myself it was something unique.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re up to at the moment?
Well, right now I’m in full Book-Launch mode, but I plan to write a second book very soon. Actually, I’ve already started it and I can tell you one thing, I’m going to be very mean to my protagonist, I plan to put her through a lot.
Just a little teaser, the story will begin with my heroine at the top of her game, with a job she loves, the perfect guy she just married, and a wonderful honeymoon ahead. Then of course I’m going to completely wreck her life… Literally!
A huge thank you to Camilla for participating in this interview. ♥
Click here to get your copy of I Wish For You.