Camille Faye lives in Missouri, loves on her family, and writes while her kiddos are in school. Her award-winning novel, Voodoo Butterfly, was inspired by her experiences growing up in a haunted house and her travels to 27 countries and counting!
Van Buren: What made you want to become a writer?
Faye: Even at the age of nine, I distinctly remember sitting down at my mom’s electric typewriter to write stories about princesses and Oscar the Grouch. Several years later, I went on to write for my high school and college newspapers, report for an NBC affiliate, and teach writing at universities in Missouri and Illinois. I have also blogged and now I write novels. I just love all types of writing and reading. I’ve been an avid reader my whole life; something encouraged by my parents from a very young age.
Van Buren: What inspires you to write?
Faye: I love learning about other cultures. My Voodoo Butterfly series is set in New Orleans, an American city with a culture all its own. In the series, I also write about my husband’s home country of Malaysia. Another thing that inspires me is that writing allows the writer to explore really big questions like, “What happens after death?” Science doesn’t have all the answers. I believe in science, but I also know that we are always advancing our understanding of how the world works. Will we ever know what happens after death? Probably not. But that doesn’t make me sad or frustrated. The ambiguity is a beautiful question that I, as an artist, get to explore with my words and stories.
Van Buren: How do you select the names of your characters?
Faye: I like to research the meanings of names to help it fit the character. Sophia Nouveau, the heroine in Voodoo Butterfly, is a woman trying to find her life purpose. Her name translates as “new wisdom.” I explore different spiritual ideas to wrestle with the big question, “Why are we here?”
Van Buren: Are your characters based off real people or did they all come
entirely from your imagination?
Faye: I definitely use certain characteristics from myself, as well as friends and family, but I don’t feel right copying someone totally from real life onto the page. My character, Taj, is the only character who fits someone very closely in real life: my husband.
Van Buren: Who is the most famous person you have ever met?
Faye: I bumped into Molly Shannon when I had a layover in New York City. She was nice enough to give me directions to Rockefeller Center and I resisted doing a Mary Katherine Gallagher impersonation. Superstar!
Van Buren: If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction who would you write about?
Faye: I’m really enjoying writing about my character, Sophie Nouveau, and her struggles to find love and purpose in her life. As for real-life stories, I don’t have a specific person, but I am a sucker for an underdog. I really admire those who rise to the occasion, do something brave or inspiring or impactful, and leave the world a better place.
Van Buren: Are you working on anything new at the moment?
Faye: Currently I’m working on the third book in my Voodoo Butterfly series. The second book has been contracted and is scheduled for release in June 2018.
Van Buren: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Faye: Have patience, relax, and enjoy the process. I think so many people seek fame and fortune when they’re writing, but the typical day for successful writers is spending time working on the craft. There have been some exceptional days in my writing life, like when I sign a book contract or earn an award, but I write because I love the actual writing process. The everyday task of writing puts me in my happy place.
When twenty-five-year-old Sophie Nouveau inherits her grandmother’s voodoo shop, she knows nothing about voodoo. Or her family’s history of Mind Changers who have the power to change evil people good. To complicate matters, someone doesn’t want Sophie in New Orleans and sends a series of death threats to scare her away from her new enchanted life.
Tipped off by her grandmother’s ghost, Sophie realizes her mind changing spell has been missing one magic ingredient: true love. If Sophie cannot experience transformative love, she cannot make her spell work, and she will be powerless to fight back when confronted by the one who wants her dead. Read an excerpt of Voodoo Butterfly at www.camillefaye.com.