Cameron Bane is the pen-name for an author who has written several other thrillers but has chosen to now write under this nom de plume. We asked him, why the change?
“A few years ago I wrote a couple inspirational novels that sold well, but don’t really reflect my style now. The split came when I wanted to explore darker, more mature themes than that market would allow, and rather than force the issue, I simply left it. With my newer works, including PITFALL, I was looking for a name that was memorable and a little dangerous-sounding; thus, Cameron Bane.”
A little bit about “Cameron Bane:” Presently I live in Cincinnati with my wife of thirty-plus years, the love of my life. We have two grown sons (our oldest one married) and two rambunctious grandsons. I’ve been writing professionally for over a decade, with six novels commercially published. I’m also a member of the Authors Guild, and for three years I was on faculty at a nationally ranked writers conference held near Santa Fe. There I taught tracks on plotting, theme, dialogue, and character development.
With a background in broadcasting and journalism, I’m very comfortable in dealing with all aspects of the media. I also have an active on-line presence, and I’m a member of such diverse sites as AbsoluteWrite, deCompose, and James Lileks’ blog, who’s a popular columnist for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Finally, I’m close friends with my mentor, writer James Scott Bell, author of the popular Plot and Structure, published by Writers Digest Books.
On Writing: I’ve been at this game for decade and a half now, and people sometimes ask me how I got started. Glad to oblige.
I’ve always liked to write, even from my early teen years when as a seventh-grader our English class was challenged by our teacher to write a one-page story each week. “Challenged” is probably the wrong word; a “requirement” is what it was, but I found it surprisingly enjoyable. After that year was over I still noodled around with writing, even starting a science fiction novel that died a squirming and well-deserved death.
Then in college I majored in film and minored in journalism, and so was handed the thankless job of student affairs editor for the school paper (“Yeah, is this Eata Bitta Pi? Cameron Bane for the Progress. You guys still planning that kegger this weekend at Marsh’s Creek? Cool …” “Yeah, is this Tappa Kegga Bru? Cameron Bane here for the Progress. You still planning that pool shoot-out this Friday at Dirty Ernie’s? Yeah, if it’s open competition I’ll bring my stick …” “Yeah, is this I Felta Thi? Cameron Bane here for the Progress. You guys … ?” You get the idea. Real Pulitzer Prize stuff.
And then college was over. I got married to the best woman on the planet (still am), fathered two fine sons, and began running a financial planning firm (“Yeah, is this J. Jonah Gotbux? Cameron Bane here from Money Talks. Say, have you ever …?”)
Time passed, and my love for writing seemed to fade. But on New Year’s Day a few years later it came roaring back, and in an unexpected way. I was watching one of the bowl games on TV when suddenly I started seeing something different on the screen. Don’t laugh, but it was almost like I was watching a movie. During that fugue I was unaware of the passing of time. When I roused myself I found only a few minutes had passed, but amazingly I had the entire plot of my SF thriller completely lined up in my head; then it was just a matter of putting it down on paper and editing it (yeah, “just”). That process took about a year.
Finding a house that would take such a controversial novel proved to be a challenge though, and it wasn’t until some time later it was sold to small house, now defunct, God bless their incompetent hearts. Once the publisher assumed room temperature the rights were returned to me, and a year or so ago I completely revised and re-edited it, putting it up on Kindle and CreateSpace, where it’s doing very nicely, thank you. In the intervening time I wrote and sold a series of thrillers, plus for three years I taught fiction tracks at a nationally-ranked writers conference held outside Santa Fe. But then all the stars aligned when my uber-agent Chip Macgregor began marketing PITFALL, the first of my John Brenner suspense/thriller series. In April of this year it was picking up by WildBlue Press, and I know it’s going to soar.
Which brings me a final point. I’ve been asked if I’ve ever come close to giving up on the dream. Admittedly, sometimes; the line between throwing in the towel and coming up with one more killer sentence can be vanishingly thin.
That’s then I tell those good people a story I once heard about Winston Churchill.
The time was either the late fifties or early sixties, and by then Churchill was quite elderly when he was asked to give the commencement address for a large university. The day came, and the auditorium was packed with students and alumni wanting to hear strong words of wisdom from the man who’d basically saved Britain during the darkest days the country had ever known.
Slowly Sir Winston took the platform. Then standing behind the podium he gazed out at the sea of faces, and setting his famous bulldog jaw he ground out these words: “Never give up. Never, never, never give up.” He fixed them with a gaze of iron. “Never.”
Then he sat down. And the place erupted in praise.
That’s what I tell aspiring scribes. Never give up.