Author Interview: Camille Picott

Camille Author Pic
Camille Picot

warrior

Welcome to my stop on the tour for The Warrior & the Flower by Camille Picott.  This is an adult high fantasy, and to celebrate Chinese New Year the tour is running Jan. 27th-31st with mostly reviews and only a few interviews and spotlight posts.  Be sure to check out the tour page with additional info and list of tour stops.

Today the lovely author Camille Picott is in the spotlight! The blog tour is highlighting her recent novel The Warrior & The Flower. Check out my review of it here.

The Warrior & The Flower – Synopsis

Yi, a retired soldier, has lost everything he loves — his wife, his daughter, and his home. He seeks refuge from his heartache by plunging into a secret mission for the World Emperor. The assignment takes him to the doorstep of a brothel, where he witnesses the madam beating a young girl. Drawn by the child’s striking resemblance to his lost daughter, Yi rushes to her defense and negotiates for her purchase — after all, how hard can it be to care for one little girl? But between the child’s inquisitive nature and the dangerous secret she carries, he gets more than he bargained for.

Find the book: Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Thank you for your interview. Can you tell readers a little about yourself?

I’m a mom and wife who writes Asian-inspired speculative fiction. I work full time for a California winery doing purchasing, planning, and new packaging development. I write at night and on the weekends. I’m a passionate trail runner and health food freak.

What inspired you to become a writer?

When I was a little kid, I always told stories to my stuffed animals at night before falling asleep. As I got older, the natural progression was taking the stories in my head and typing them out on the computer. I was twelve years old when I started getting up early before school to write. I kept that going for many years, although now I prefer writing at night.

18194896Could you tell us a little about your main character, Yi?

Yi is many things. First and foremost, he is a loyal soldier and a father. He takes both duties seriously. When his wife and daughter are murdered, part of him dies. It’s not until he adopts Tulip that he finds a reason to live.

Who are a few of your favorite authors? What are a few of your favorite books?

Susan Ee, Lois McMaster Bujold, Suzanne Collins, Octavia Butler, Jacqueline Carey, Molly Harper, Diana Rowland, Markus Zusak, Cassandra Clare, Rhiannon Frater, Brandon Sanderson . . . wow, this list is getting long! There are so many writers I love!

Instead of favorite books, I’ll list a few of my favorite series . . . The Hunger Games, Mistborn, Kushiel’s Legacy, The Mortal Instruments, As The World Dies, White Trash Zombie.

Where do you like to write?

I write all over the house. I like to spend time with my family, so I tend to write wherever they are. Right now I am sitting in the kitchen with my daughter. She’s watching Tinker Bell while I write. At night I usually write on the bed while my husband watches television. My husband also made a desk for my treadmill, so I can run and write at the same time.

Do you have any other books in the works?

I’ve always got at least two things in the works! I like to keep busy. I’m writing a series of non-fiction articles called Writer’s Toolbox. These are articles aimed and helping science fiction and fantasy writers improve their craft. I’m also working on the second book in my Sulan series.

What are your future goals as a writer?

My immediate goals are to finish my Writer’s Toolbox collection and the second Sulan novel. Long term goals are to complete the Sulan series (3-4 books total + 3 novellas) and the 3 Kingdom series (3-4 books total). I’ve got ideas for another series I want to write, but I’ve promised myself not to start any other series until I finish these two!

What do you want readers to take away from The Warrior & The Flower?

Being a mother is something that’s very important to me. One of my goals with this novel was to write a story that explored a parent-child relationship. I wanted the relationship between the Yi and Tulip to be one of the driving points of plot and character development.

It’s something I haven’t encountered in other speculative fiction books I’ve read. If there is a parent-child relationship, it exists as a side sub-plot. More often, children are often left at home while the parents ride off into adventure, or else, if it’s YA, the kids are the ones off on adventures.

About the Author

Camille Picott is a fifth-generation Chinese American. She writes science fiction and fantasy books with Asian characters and/or Asian settings. Camille grew up reading speculative fiction stories largely devoid of Asian characters and culture. This, coupled with a passion for her heritage, is the reason she strives to bring some aspect of Eastern myth, legend, culture, and ethnicity to all of her writings.

Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

This tour was organized and put together by CBB Book Promotions.

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Coming Soon: Confessions of a Bad Teacher

17016779Confessions of a Bad Teacher: The Shocking Truth from the Front Lines of American Public Education by John Owens (Sourcebooks, 2013)

John Owens is an editor, journalist, and photographer. Formerly, he was the Senior Vice President and Editorial Director at Hachette Filipacchi Media, where he oversaw brands including Road & TrackPopular Photography, and Travel Holiday. He has made more than 100 national media appearances, including Good Morning AmericaCBS This Morning, CNN, FOX News, and NPR’s All Things Considered.

New Book Claims the Problem with American Public Education Is Not “Bad Teachers”

Author Exposes the War on Education: School Reform Earns an F for Cheating Children, Demonizing Teachers, and Mistaking Data for Learning

“John Owens’s book is an eye-opener about what happens in real classrooms today. It shatters many of the myths about ‘school reform.’” Diane Ravitch, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education and bestselling author of The Death and Life of the Great American School System

Author John Owens left his lucrative publishing job in Manhattan to teach English at a public high school in New York City’s South Bronx, the nation’s poorest congressional district. He thought he could do some good. Faced with a flood of struggling students, Owens devised ingenious ways to engage every last one. But as his students began to thrive under his tutelage, Owens found himself increasingly mired in a broken educational system, driven by broken statistics, finances, and administrations undermining their own support system—the teachers.

“Everyone claimed that the kids were the top priority,” says Owens, “but the students were just cast members of a bizarre, heartbreaking drama that only looked like education.”

The situation has gotten to the point where the phrase “Bad Teacher” is almost interchangeable with “Teacher.” And Owens found himself labeled just that when the methods he saw inspiring his students didn’t meet the reform mandates. With firsthand accounts from teachers across the country and tips for improving public schools, Confessions of a Bad Teacher is an eye-opening call-to-action to embrace our best educators and create real reform for our children’s futures.

“Billionaires blame teachers for America’s educational problems and throw money at ‘fixing’ our public schools without understanding the dynamics of teaching,” says Owens. “Public education is a precious part of our democracy. Our families, our future, and our country are paying an unbelievable price as ‘reformers’ dismantle an education system that once was—and still should be—the envy of the world.”

As Owens points out in Confessions of a Bad Teacher, the real issues in American public education include:

  • Poverty, the leading cause of problems in schools, not the teachers trying to overcome issues beyond their control.
  • Test scores and other data used to evaluate student and teacher performance. Not only does a constant barrage of tests impede learning, but such a single-minded reliance also invites cheating.
  • Discipline, which is not taken seriously, and a system that forces teachers—and teachers alone—to handle even the most serious problems and most disruptive students.
  • Teacher evaluations, which vary widely from district to district, and focus on punishing educators rather than helping them improve.

Here is what one fellow NetGalley reviewer had to say about Confessions of a Bad Teacher:

This is my school, this is my experience, this is my career. And it’s all laid out far more succinctly and calmly that I could ever have done. This book is going into the school library if I have to pay for it with my own money. The teachers (and parents, if any of them pick it up) have got to see that what we are going through isn’t just us, it isn’t just an isolated situation. God bless John Owens, where ever he is.” –  Allison Dollar – School Librarian, Gallup, NM

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