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In Conversation with Todd Cameron

How long does it take you to write a novel?

The entire process—blank slate to publication—is about 18 months. Approximately 6 months to research and outline, 6 months to write, and another 6 months to do structural/line edits, submit the manuscript to my editor, and work with my graphic designer on the cover, maps, and formatting. Working concurrently I can publish one novel a year. 

Are your novels part of a series?   


Yes, the novels are a series, all set on a fixed timeline and within the same universe, however they are not published chronologically. The books can be read standalone in any order, wherever a reader finds themselves jumping in. The series crisscrosses back and forth, with each book connected and woven into the others, the stories all layered upon real-world locations and events.

Who are some of your favorite authors? 

Wilbur Smith, James A. Michener, Clive Cussler, Ross Macdonald, Agatha Christie, Donald E. Westlake, Thomas Harris, Stephen King, Lawrence Block, John. D. MacDonald, Sidney Sheldon, Lee Child. 

Favorite movies?

Although I am a writer and avid reader I am heavily inspired by film, notably:


Dead Calm, Key Largo, No Country for Old Men, Carlito's Way, Thief, Heat, The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Palmetto, Fargo, Night Moves, The Big Heat, Against All Odds, Sorcerer, Blood Simple, White Lightning, The Third Man, Scarface, China Moon, The Silence of the Lambs, Manhunter, Body Heat, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Shawshank Redemption, True Romance, Blue Ruin, Miami Vice, Reservoir Dogs, The Deep, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Blow Out, L.A. Confidential, Rolling Thunder, Dirty Harry, Chinatown, Cold in July, Bad Lieutenant.

I owe a special nod and a great deal of gratitude to the 1982 film The Thing. I have paid tribute, studied, and vowed for decades to this masterpiece, and it has given back in spades. A close second is Jaws.

What does your typical writing day look like? 

Unless I'm traveling, I keep a somewhat structured daily routine. I work first thing in the morning for about 6 hours—either writing, editing, or outlining. Most days now I will come back in the late afternoon for a couple of hours to review the morning’s writing or work on plot outlines and build out the series. Again, working concurrently like this I can complete a novel a year.  

Are you a plotter or pantser? 

I’m definitely a hardcore plotter—I have a novel fully outlined before I begin writing. That said, a book truly comes into its own during the writing process.


What are you currently working on? 

I have started writing my fourth novel; Twisted Straits publishes Dec. 3, 2024.  

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?


Since my daughter came into my life—a totally unplanned and unexpected bundle of absolute joy—I cherish spending time with her, seeing her smile, laugh, learn, and experience everything for the first time. I enjoy traveling, especially to destinations and locales that are settings in upcoming novels. I love being out on the water; we’re incredibly fortunate to have some of the best shark diving in the world right off the backyard. My wife and I have a goal to visit all 175 of Florida’s state parks . . . we are chipping away at it. 

Any tips for those starting out? 

Without question, writing a novel is a challenging and lengthy endeavor that requires serious dedication, commitment, and consistency. For many, including myself, the blank page of "Day 1" can be the toughest part. You're going to be spending months alone at a keyboard engaged in a world and characters of your own design. Fortunately I find the daily creative progress of working on and completing a novel a ton of fun and extremely rewarding. If not, this would be a tough game. 

1. Read voraciously. 
2. Write consistently. Get started—and then keep the ball rolling. 
3. Write for yourself first; write the book you want to read. 

4. Feel, don’t think. Show, don’t tell.

5. Always keep a pen and notepad nearby—you never know when a fantastic idea is going to hit. 

6. Keep lots of snacks close by—I love dark chocolate and Shark Bites!


Shortfin mako I photographed off Rhode Island.
Blue Dynamite!"

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