This month I am checking in with some very busy authors with books releasing this spring/summer to see how they are doing during this Covid-19 health crisis. Today the spotlight is on Camille Di Maio.
Camille Di Maio
Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of twenty-three years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too.
Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal.
She is an Amazon Bestselling author as well as a Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee. Her books have won: The Beverly Hills Book Award, the Golden Quill, and been a Holt Medallion finalist several times over. They have been translated into French, Hungarian, German, Estonian, and Persian.
Q & A With Camille Di Maio
Q: Who are you quarantined with and how is it going?
A: Oh, the irony! We intentionally downsized a few years ago knowingÂ that our two oldest were about to go off to college. I wanted less to take care of in order to make more room to live life. And now….we are back to six people under one (smaller) roof. My girls are back from New York and Nashville for the time being. With two more at home. The good part is that we have homeschooled for the past seventeen years and my husband and I have both worked from home for the past thirteen. So that particular aspect is quite normal for us and there were almost no adjustments to make. Other than I miss writing at the library and my coffee shops.
Q: Have you learned a new skill, accomplished something unexpected, tried a new recipe, cleaned your closets?
A: Oh, I cleaned my closets on Day One. Our Goodwill is accepting donations and when the store opens up, I can only imagine the thrifting heaven it will be. Everyone is dropping stuff there right now! I have found it difficult to write and be creative, but have been working hard on research for my next book, so it’s been a very productive time. And I launched my fifth book, so that was also a great project on which to focus.
Q: How has this social distancing impacted your world when it comes to book marketing, writing?
A: For the most part, it has actually had great consequences!! This push to have to launch a book into a virtual world has sharpened my knowledge on media such as Zoom. I already have a You Tube channel and have had a goal of adding author interviews to it, but just never found the time. Now, I’m actively working on it. I’ve probably spent more virtual face time with my writing friends than I ever get to in person.
Q: Do you think this odd time will show up in book settings moving forward?
A: Since I write historical fiction, I get to happily steer clear of this time period, ha, ha. I just read a new book that takes place over 2020 and of course, the author had no idea that this would be the world we would live in. So it will be interesting for people to read books like hers in the future and scratch their heads because they will *know* that the 2020 of those books is not the one of history. I do think it will show up in future fiction – it’s too big a world event with built-in drama – to ignore. *But* I think it will take a little time. I don’t personally know any contemporary writers who want to tackle it right now. And since we also don’t know the end of the saga, it could be difficult to approach.
Q: What is the silver lining for all of us and specifically for authors when it comes to the Covid-19 shut down?
A: As much as budgets are tighter, the free time for many has also drawn them to books. Book sales across the board are a little higher. I’m also seeing a lot of love for independent bookstores. We all know that Amazon will survive – and thrive. But our beloved indies may not. So lots of authors have been switching their buy-my-book links to indie sources. I would love to see this continue.
Q: What do you have going on right now?
A: Thank you! I’m working on my next book, COME FLY WITH ME, about two (fictional) flight attendants on Pan Am in the early 1960s. I’ve spent this quarantine time interviewing lots of former Pan Am employees from that era and have learned the BEST stories from them. And, my newest book, THE FIRST EMMA, just released on May 5. It’s inspired by the true story of a woman named Emma whose husband had two mistresses who shared her name. One of them murdered him and Emma the Wife took over his brewing empire and successfully navigated it through Prohibition.
And, in support of the indies, you can buy it at Shakespeare and Company here:
Or on Kindle here: https://amzn.to/2T0SWWe
To keep in touch: