Michael Camarillo Author Spotlight
Tell our readers briefly about yourself.
I was born in California and raised in Texas, but I strive to be a citizen of the world. I hold a dual-Bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Archaeology and Architectural Studies, and I am currently pursuing a Master’s in International Relations at Troy University.
I have published a non-fiction travel book as a part of my product development in my family travel business, Novel Excursion Travel. I am also working on a children’s book series that will put our business vision (changing the world one nameless stranger at a time by bridging cultures through travel, education, and service) into action through the eyes of my two children exploring the world around them and meeting new people.
I love travel, culture, baseball, and anything involving outdoor activities. My greatest passion is my family—Amanda (wife), Sarah, and Adrian.
What books do you have available? Can you give us a short description of them?
“Keeper 829” - This dystopian fiction reshapes the way the world works by mixing historical storytelling with an imaginative (and dark) future. In this cautionary tale, readers are taken to a world on the brink of collapse where humans are just another experiment in a cosmic vision fueled by genetic engineering. The oppressive organization that provides global harmony is not what it seems. Something inhuman is lurking in the shadows, and once the veil is dropped, readers will join a race against the extermination clock in a multi-book series. (Fiction)
“Explore! San Antonio Your Culture Guide for Educational and Service-Oriented Travel” - Explore! San Antonio gives you the opportunity to experience over 300 years of history from a different perspective. The transformative qualities of travel emerge from the people we are exposed to rather than the destinations we seek. You will be immersed in San Antonio’s rich heritage and vivid culture as we take a journey from yesterday to tomorrow. Explore! San Antonio is the perfect guide to accompany your next trip to “The Alamo City” as we learn from and give back to the local community. (Non-Fiction)
Do you stay in one genre when you write or do you find yourself veering toward others?
When I write, I let the story tell itself. I don’t try to stay in any specific genre. Honestly, I initially hoped to write historical fiction since that is my favorite genre, but the sci-fi/dystopian side really created itself.
Are you a panster, planner, or someone in between?
I’m somewhere in between. I did everything in a very unorthodox manner in my first go for fiction writing. I didn’t even write a premise until I was done with my first draft. Now that I have started Book 2, I had every intention to be more of a planner. However, I found all my planning is in my deliberate research. I do lots and lots of that. In terms of plotting, I have a general idea and I just go with it.
What is your writing routine like?
I don’t really have a routine. I have so much going on with running a business, freelancing, raising kids, and consistently traveling, that I get it in whenever I can.
Tell me about your favorite character that you’ve created?
Set is a truly dynamic character. He is not my main character in Keeper 829, but he came to life as I wrote and rewrote my story. He is the epitome of a chaotic neutral character, and you will be guessing where his allegiances lie the entire story. A huge cliff hanger at the end reveals a major development of his identity. This was an intentional addition during the rewrites, as I grew so enamored with him that I plan on him being the title character in Book 3.
Where do you get your ideas for world building?
Travel. Travel. And more travel. I spent 3 years living in Germany and traveling all over Europe and the Caucuses. Every place I write about in Keeper 829 is from first-hand observation. I try to give a real sense of every setting from my own experiences. The governmental and political structures in my 2098 world were derived from my past career as a Military Intelligence Officer and my Master’s degree program in International Relations.
Do you add romance to your writing? Is it steamy or clean?
None whatsoever, which is ironic given that my two main characters were modeled off of my wife and me.
What was your favorite scene to create?
There are a number of flashbacks throughout the story, where Nesha is retelling history from her point-of-view and her impact on those seminal moments. If I had to choose one, I would pick two, and those would be a flashback to the birth of Siddhartha (the future Buddha) and the burning of the Library of Alexandria.
Where do you get character inspiration?
Real people. Most of my characters mirror people I have interacted with directly in my life.
What genre do you prefer to read?
Do you have any specific authors you follow and try to craft your work after?
Do you have any recurring themes in your book?
There are a ton of metaphysical and psychological themes throughout. Religion, or lack thereof, is a big part of the plot, as the society is completely faithless with all religion being abandoned. This is ironic as my characters actually created all religions known to mankind. I also touch on numerous contentious social and geopolitical themes that may be quite provocative for modern readers.
What does your editing process look like?
I edited for months on end, until I was advised that I was spinning my wheels and needed an actual editor. When I finally found one I could afford, we developed a very strong bond and we went through chapter by chapter with a lot of back-and-forth dialogue.
Do you have a preferred drink or snack that you eat/drink while writing?
I never thought about it. I do love drinking coffee, though I pretty much only do decaf now that I’m out of the military. I am a very snacky person…keep that candy hidden, or I will find it!
When is your favorite time of day to write and why?
Whenever the inspiration strikes. Though, I am a morning person.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
I absolutely loved Croatia, though the forests in Slovenia were amazing too!
Marvel or DC? Do you have a favorite character?
Marvel. Iron Man!
What hobbies do you have?
I play in an adult mens baseball league all year long, run every day, cycle when I can, and spend tons of time with my family.
Where can our readers find you?