- an entrepreneur, hopeless creative, adventure enthusiast, proud father, and eternal wanderer
Readers, let’s give a good, hearty welcome to this week’s guest!
Michael Camarillo was born in California and raised in Texas, but he strives to be a citizen of the world. He holds a dual bachelor’s degree from Brown University in Archaeology and Architectural Studies, and he is currently pursuing a Master’s in International Relations at Troy University.
He has published a non-fiction travel book as a part of his product development in his family travel business, Novel Excursion Travel. He is also working on a children’s book series that will put his family’s 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 his two children exploring the world around them and meeting new people.
Michael loves travel, culture, baseball, and anything involving outdoor activities. His greatest passion is his family—Amanda (wife), Sarah, and Adrian.
Michael, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with the boring stuff, but I know what readers REALLY want to know.
If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?
Griffin without a doubt! This has nothing to do with Harry Potter, as my wife will poke fun at me for. I am a HUGE history buff, and I studied Archaeology in college. My area of focus was the Augustan era of Rome; however, I spent a significant amount of time studying the Eastern Mediterranean and Levant regions during Antiquity. Naturally, I was fascinated with legend, folklore, and myth. The griffin interests me so much that I have a tattoo of one and the creature makes an appearance in my debut novel.
What an excellent choice! (I don’t doubt your motivation.)
What do you write? And how did you get started?
My biggest project is a science fiction/dystopian series, The Keeper Program. This planned-four book series is kicking off with Keeper 829 on December 31, 2021. It mixes sci-fi and apocalyptic elements with historical narratives and discourse on contemporary social and geopolitical issues.
I started writing this book in 2019 when I was going through a major transitional moment in life that was emotionally straining. I wrote the first 10 chapters by hand; eventually moving to a computer.
I first published a non-fiction culture guide for my family travel business, Novel Excursion Travel. That book is titled “Explore! San Antonio Your Culture Guide to Educational and Service-Oriented Travel.” I am also working on a children’s book series that will follow my two children in their travels around the world as they try to make the world a better place.
Wow! It sounds like you’re always on the go, with a massive hustle attitude!
What do you like to read?
I read everything from non-fiction and academic resources to dystopian fiction and classic literature. I am working on earning my Master’s degree while building a travel business, so much of my reading time is taken up in the professional or academic realms.
When I do have free time, I prefer to read anything with psychological and philosophical themes. I like books that make me think, force me to contemplate my place in the world, and challenge norms. My favorite author is Anne Rice, and my two favorite books are The Vampire Lestat and The Picture of Dorian Gray.
What a great array of genres.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you
Create character profiles
Building character profiles and sketches. Granted I may need to force myself to work them in as my books get more complicated, I haven’t found it very necessary.
For me, it depends if my story is more plot/setting driven, or character driven. When I have only 1-2 main characters, it’s easier to just ‘know’ about my character in my head. When I start trying to juggle an ensemble cast, I find the profiles and sketches become more important.
Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that works for you
Do what works for you.
I wish I could think of one. I am a proponent of trying everything and mixing things up. There isn’t a single thing that has worked for me perfectly that I cannot live without. I would say that you just need to write your own story. That’s the biggest thing for me.
Shameless Self-Promotion time!
Keeper 829 (Book 1)
In 2098, a shadowy organization called The Institution governs a harmonious collective society. The new, faithless world is a veritable Eden.
Or is it?
Nesha Gray looks human but she’s not…
A letter and a stranger thrusts Nesha into a darker reality where humans are a crop for reaping. In a world of betrayal, deception, and genetic engineering, Nesha finds her purpose isn’t what she thought.
Only questions remain…
Who is coming? Are humans worth saving? Who are the real enemies?