Author Camille Booker is a high school languages teacher – French, Latin and ESL. She completed her thesis in linguistics while teaching Academic English to International Students. She has a Bachelor of Creative Arts majoring in Creative Writing through the University of Wollongong, where she lives with her husband and young son.
Camille’s debut novel, What If You Fly?, was Long-listed for the 2019 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize. Camille took on feedback, finessed the manuscript and went on to be runner-up in the 2020 Hawkeye Publishing Manuscript Development Prize. More work with a structural editor, and What If You Fly? was later signed by Hawkeye. Camille’s dedication to her epic novel is demonstrable of the work debut authors need to put in if they desire a publishing contract. As the Queensland Writers Centre says on the 2021 Project Guide, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”
Camille Booker has short stories in the Underground Writers Journal and the Lockdown Journal, and an academic paper in the European Journal of Education Studies.
Director of Hawkeye, Carolyn Martinez, says that What If You Fly? is “a book that will live on inside readers long after they’ve read it. Camille’s characterisation is thoughtful and powerful, and the places she takes us to through her book… just extraordinary. If ever a book deserved the moniker of ‘epic’, it’s What If You Fly?.”
Up Close and Personal with Author Camille Booker:
Coffee, perusing book stores, reading and writing.
Favourite holiday destination?
I’ve been really lucky in my life to have travelled. A special place for me is France because I lived there as an exchange student when I was a teenager. Another magical place is Yosemite National Park in California. I went camping there with my husband – we swam in the rivers, hiked through sequoia forests and ate s’mores round the campfire.
The Bronze Horseman left me with a very severe book hangover. It’s also the story that made me fall in love with historical fiction. Once I read every book I could find in the genre, I eventually wrote my own.
Favourite TV show?
I love shows with good writing and great characters. Peaky Blinders and Stranger Things are two that I really enjoyed watching.
What drives you to write?
After spending so much time in book stores, examining book covers, titles, and author’s names, I always knew I wanted to write a book someday. Then finally the stories and characters in my head just needed to come out. Now writing has become something I try to do every day. When I’m focusing my attention, I don’t check my phone or look at the clock, and it has become a sort of meditative practice for me.
I’m driven by the powerful emotional effects of reading. I want to make readers feel the way I’ve felt when I’ve finished a great book: to get lost in the story, to keep thinking about the characters with whom they’ve spent a few hundred pages, to have an impact on how readers perceive the world.
I’m also driven to teach my son the value of books and to show him that we should never stop trying to reach our goals.
Would you like readers to contact you?
Yes, please! I love talking about reading and writing and books in general. The best way to contact me is through the Hawkeye contact page. And please follow Hawkeye Books Facebook, or Hawkeye Publishing Instagram to keep informed about my appearances.
What If You Fly? will be released late 2021. For a sneak peak, here’s the draft cover for Camille Booker’s epic adventure.
What If You Fly? is published by Hawkeye Publishing.