Happy Monday, book peeps! And are you ever in for a treat! It’s my absolute pleasure to have on the blog today my WFWA and 2020 Debuts pal Lainey Cameron here to tell us more about herself and her Women’s Fiction debut The Exit Strategy. I had the pleasure of reading an ARC of Lainey’s book and it had me gripped from the first page.
Lainey’s FB book launch is THIS WEDNESDAY, so be sure to pop by for a great conversation and to help her celebrate!
Public event – Wednesday July 8th , 8pm EST / 7pm Central / 5pm Pacific
The Exit Strategy: Live Stream Launch Party with Liah Alonso, streaming on Facebook
Congratulations on your wonderful and thought-provoking debut, Lainey! And on a personal note, thank you for being one of the most support writers I know!
AK: Tell us a little about yourself.
LC: Hi, I’m Lainey Cameron and I’m a digital nomad and author of women’s fiction. I’m also a recovering tech industry executive. I worked for twenty years in Silicon Valley, and this book was inspired by my personal experience of not-so-subtle sexism and often being the only woman in the boardroom.
Being a digital nomad means that my hubby and I pick locations around the world to work and write, normally for 6 months at a time. As a result, this upcoming novel was written in France, Mexico, the UK, Cartagena in Colombia, and in an RV in multiple states across the Western USA!
AK: What’s the premise of your book?
LC: It’s best described as a mix of Silicon Valley, sexism, and the power of female friendship.
The story revolves around the story of two career women, placed in an impossible situation. My main character, Ryn Brennan, is a venture capitalist, meaning she invests in start-ups for a living. She’s bet everything on the deal of her career. What she didn’t imagine is facing her husband’s mistress across the negotiating table.
AK: What inspired you to write it?
LC: The question I wanted to pose is what would it take for us, as women, when plunged into that type of dilemma (being forced to work with your husband’s mistress), to rise above it and still work collaboratively?
The stereotypes would say women are their own worst enemies, fighting over the guy who dumped them there. But I wanted to take this book in a different direction that breaks with that tired and ridiculous cliché, because the women I know and love are better and smarter than that. Ultimately, this is a book about female power and friendship.
AK: What are you most looking forward to this debut year? And conversely, what are you most nervous about?
LC: I’m most enjoying being part of the community of debut authors. The sense of kinship that I’ve found among other writers, especially in the women’s fiction space, is what has got me to this point, that my debut is releasing on July 8th! Whether it’s learning to edit, querying agents, sticking with it, finding a publisher… every step along the way was supported and advised by other women writers.
I’m most nervous about falling into the trap of comparison. I’m with a small publisher and I have no extended marketing team, so certain things like the book turning up in People Magazine or the “Most Anticipated” lists are out of reach for me without a publicist, which should be just fine–I know that going in.
However, it’s too easy to fall into the trap of jealousy instead of celebrating your peers’ success. To combat that, I’m keeping a journal where I note down all the small moments that have made me happy at each stage of release, including every single time I hear from readers!
AK: What authors do you admire and/or have influenced your development as a writer? Please feel free to add specific books, we love recommendations!
Oh man, how long have we got? J You’ll probably not be surprised to hear that I love women’s fiction. Among the best-sellers, I’m a huge Camille Pagán and Kerry Londsale fan. Camille takes deeper topics and through her loveable heroines helps us see how even the worst situations can be survived with the addition of a little humor. Kerry writes page turners and her storytelling gets you completely absorbed.
But I’d also love to highlight a few new authors this year. Alison Hammer, with her first novel, You and Me and Us, is one of the most skilled writers of the upcoming generation of women’s fiction writers. Samantha Verant is based in France and her novel, The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux is magical. Who wouldn’t want to be whisked away to a chateau, surrounded by dragonflies and amazing French food?
And of course your book, Anita, Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters, is not only poignant and captivating , but as I wrote in my review; one of my favorite debut reads this year. (AK: Aww, thank you so much! xo) One of my goals is to read more books that extend my reading into other cultures and backgrounds, and I adored your book not only for the great writing, but for this reason, too. From that angle, I also just finished Daughters of Smoke and Fire by Ava Homa, first Kurdish female novelist writing in English and I’m excited to read The Mountains Sing by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, set in Vietnam. Currently, I’m absorbed in The Talking Drum by Lisa Braxton, which has such a skillfully written narrative.
AK: What are you working on now?
LC: I’m working on the first draft of a new project which draws inspiration from my life as a digital nomad, since becoming a writer. The novel is about an adventure travel instagrammer living under a new name to hide her tragic past. Given her new-found fame, she fears her identity will be exposed and she’ll have to face a history she’s fought valiantly to escape.
Along with that, I’ve been working on various marketing activities for The Exit Strategy and I’m excited by the chance to hear from readers and talk with book clubs. Please contact me if you’d like to invite me to yours!
AK: What question do you wish I had asked, and answer it!
LC: My question: What advice would you give writers earlier in the journey than you?
And my answer is don’t get so caught up in trying to get it “right” and listening to all the supposed “rules” of writing that you forget the most important; finding your own creativity and voice, and getting words on the page.
From there, everything else can always be worked on or improved, but in the early days it’s easy to become frozen with all the advice on what you shouldn’t do. We all have something unique thing to say—you just have to keep putting words on the page until you find out what that is and from there you can learn how best to say it.
Release date: July 8th, 2020—everywhere in English.
Silicon Valley, sexism and the power of female friendship
Silicon Valley investor Ryn Brennan is on the verge of achieving everything she’d dreamed. She’s proven herself in the male-dominated venture capital world, benefits from the support of her successful husband, and is about to close the deal of her career.
Everything is going exactly as planned, until she meets Carly, her husband’s mistress, across the negotiating table.
Carly clawed her way back from being a teenage runaway to become an accomplished scientist, loving single mom, and co-founder of her startup. Once she marries her perfect fiancé, she’ll secure that ‘normal’ life she craves. But she’s blindsided to discover her not so perfect fiancé is already married—to Ryn, her company’s biggest investor.
In an industry full of not-so-subtle sexism, can the two women rise above, and work together to overcome heartbreak and ensure their success?
Where to Get Your Copy:
Bookshop.org (profits go to indie booksellers)
Indiebound (order through local bookstore)
Barnes & Noble
Let’s Get Social:
Resources for book clubs: http://laineycameron.com/the-exit-strategy/bookclubs
Publisher’s website: https://www.thewildrosepress.com/