CAMILLE NOE PAGÁN: THE STORYLINE OF LIFE CAME DURING A WALK IN SANTA MONICA
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Camille Noe Pagán is a freelance journalist in the sector of health care. She is ready to present her second book Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.
The official release is set for November 1, but we’ve got a chance to learn something more about the story in advance. The readers already enjoyed the book with very high valuated reviews. Let’s say welcome to our next guest Camille Noe Pagán.
– Camille, what is your book Life and Other Near-Death Experiences about?
– It’s the story of Libby Miller, an unflappable optimist who finds her glass-half-full view of life suddenly shattered when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the very same day she receives a devastating diagnosis. She reacts by leaving her safe, comfortable existence in Chicago and fleeing to a Puerto Rican island that her mother—who died when Libby was just 10—loved. But what’s supposed to be a straightforward escape becomes increasingly complicated as she begins to fall for the pilot who nearly killed her on the flight over. At its core, Life and Other Near-Death Experiences is about finding the courage to embrace life and love, even when you’re at rock bottom.
– How did you decide to write the story?
– I was on a work trip in California and had taken a break to walk along the shore in Santa Monica. Almost at once, the storyline came to me, and I began writing Life as soon as I returned home.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– Initially, this particular book had a very different ending, and I had to rewrite the second half of the book from scratch before I sold it. I’ve never done a rewrite quite so extensive, but it was worth it—the story is so much stronger now.
– Tell us something more about your main character Libby? Is she close to someone from your real life?
– As it happens, I’m very different from Libby; if anything, I have much more in common with her brother Paul, who’s a pessimist with anxiety issues. I love writing about protagonists who are distinctly different from myself; it makes for a more creative, enjoyable writing process it.
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– It took me six months to write the first draft, six months to revise and rewrite the second half, and about three months to edit the story again with my editors at Lake Union.
– Did you expect such a great response by the readers with average 4.7 Amazon stars from 100 reviews?
– I didn’t! It’s been a wonderful surprise. I love that readers are using words like “life-affirming” and “deeply moving” to describe this book, because it certainly feels that way to me.
– Give us some insights about The Art of Forgetting?
– The Art of Forgetting is a story of two very close friends and how their relationship is upended after one of them suffers a brain injury, and in the process, reveals deeply buried secrets about their past. Like Life, it’s a book that’s moving, but also uses a good deal of humor.
– Who are you?
– I’m a mother, wife, and lifelong writer. I love reading—and writing—stories that are both funny and sad, because to me, that sums up life.
– What are your writing habits?
– I write most days, usually in the morning before work; then I write out scenes by hand at night so I have a place to start when I open my computer the next morning.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I love chatting with book clubs in person and via Skype, and hope I’ll have the opportunity to keep doing that with Life.
– When we will see your next novel and would you unveil something more about it?
– I try not to say too much about the books I’m writing because I never know if it will “work” until I’m done. But I am halfway through a new novel, and I’m really excited about it.
– How much your work as a journalists helps to your creating writing of novels?
– It helps immensely! Both of my novels center around medical trauma of some sort, and I used my journalism skills to comb through medical research in order to give an accurate portrayal of both situations.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be? (Don’t forget to answer)
– What’s the last great book you read? A friend’s unpublished novel; and as a second answer, Lauren Fox’s Days of Awe.