Dear Readers, it’s a great pleasure for me to introduce you to Kristy Cambron and her debut novel. We share the same agent, and we’ve become friends through the agency. When The Butterfly and the Violin first arrived at my house, I read it right away. Normally, I’m not too fond of World War II novels, but this one grabbed my heart from the first page. The characters wouldn’t let go of me until the very end. This truly is a page-turner. I kept it with me and read it every time I could grab a few minutes. It was a spark of beauty in a horrible time in history. A lyrical quality.
Bio: Kristy Cambron has been fascinated with the WWII era since hearing her grandfather's stories of the war. She holds an art history degree from
and received the Outstanding
Art History Student Award. Kristy writes WWII and Regency era fiction and has
placed first in the 2013 NTRWA Great Expectations and 2012 FCRW Beacon
contests, and is a 2013 Laurie finalist. Kristy makes her home in Indiana University Indiana with her husband
and three football-loving sons.
Welcome, Kristy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Quite a lot so far. There are moments between Adele and Vladimir – our main characters from the WWII storyline – that have been taken right from the years my husband and I were dating. And Sera? She’s an art history buff like me. We both love all things vintage and have a borderline obsession with
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
It’s a present quirk that my editor assures me is not too odd… I like to write on my iPhone. In fact, the majority of The Butterfly and the Violin was written on my iPhone, during the early morning hours I was awake to feed our newborn his bottles. Since that time, I’ve found that writing chapters on my phone really fits with my always-on-the-go lifestyle. I’ve even been known to jot down a sentence or two on a long elevator ride. J
Wow, I don’t see how you can do that. I’m a sit in front of my desktop writer. I’ll edit on my laptop, but on a smart phone? No way. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
It was in early 2001 when I was working a late-shift call center job. My husband had purchased an old refurbished laptop so I could write during the dead-air time in-between calls, and I was sold. I literally remember a wave washing over me, feeling like I’d come home somehow when I was typing away at my first story. But to become an author? That was a dream that surpassed anything that young writer could have imagined at the time.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I try not to read books of my WWII genre, especially when I’m writing or editing one of my books. It’s too risky to find that some of that author’s voice or their research will melt into the story I feel called to write. But in reading for pleasure? I love anything historical, especially set in Regency England. The Jazz Age is also a new interest that’s sparked for me. I’m reading on it right now in hopes that I can set a novel in that immersive era.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Easy – my husband keeps it for me. J With three young sons, a full-time job and writing career that comes alive at night, I really have little sanity to pull from. My husband is the one who cheers me on, who partners with me and takes care of all of us. He demands very little in the way of fanfare, so it’s my hope that I can do it here.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
What a fabulous question! (To which I have a secret answer…) I watch old black and white movies. Classic movies are a passion of mine and I find some of the most interesting names while reading the credits. I also pull names from my favorite works of literature. (In fact, Adele came from one of the characters in my favorite novel, Jane Eyre.)
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
It’s not an accomplishment, but a very candid reality that I survived the loss of a very dear loved one. We never know how we’ll respond in life until we’re tested. And while I’m not particularly proud of the way I struggled through the days leading up to my Dad’s passing, I am extremely grateful for the Savior who restored, comforted, forgave, encouraged, loved, and in those tough moments, never left me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I can’t tell you how much I love this question! My ultra-quick answer is a penguin. They’re fun. Laid-back. Quirky and unconcerned with anything too cumbersome. I’d love to have one day where I could waddle around in a little tuxedo, hopping and swimming without a care in the world.
What is your favorite food?
It’s not really a food per se, but I am completely smitten with coffee. Put it in ice cream form, make it into candy, or put it hot and steamy in a vintage tea cup and I’m completely sold.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I’m going to serve up a little transparency here… I had no idea what I was doing when I started writing! I didn’t have a firm grasp on plot design, character development, or how to craft a story that readers will never want to put down. I haven’t completely overcome it (because we should always keep exploring and learning new things to polish our craft), but I have fabulous editors who are helping me along the way.
Tell us about the featured book.
My heart has been wrapped up in the prisoner camp art of
since I first learned of it in an art history class more than a decade ago. I
was truly humbled that these artists were willing to risk death to create
beauty in such a horrific place. Their watercolor images if butterflies, their
sketches of children in striped uniforms and the stunning images of landscapes
of such a hellish place are haunting to this day. When Auschwitz
was liberated in January, 1945, found in the rubble of the camp was more than
1,600 pieces of art that had left behind.
Perhaps the reason your book resonated with me so much is that my aunt was an army nurse in
during the trials after the
end of the way. She had shared with me a lot about that time period, even had
pictures. Please give us the first page of the book for my readers. Germany
“Is this it?”
Sera James bounded through the front doors of the
gallery, so excited that she nearly slipped for running across the hardwood
floor in her heels. She came to a flustered stop in front of the large canvas
hanging on the back wall.
Breathless, she asked, “You’ve confirmed—this is her?”
“Did you run all the way here, Sera?”
“Yes. Wouldn’t you?” She wasn’t ashamed to admit it. From the second she’d received the phone call, Sera had pushed and shoved her way off the subway in a frenzy and had run the eight blocks back to the gallery, dodging taxis and cracks in the side- walks all the way.
Penny nodded. “The guys in the back just opened the crate. Can you believe it’s been there for a week and we didn’t even know it?”
She shook her head in disbelief. “Unfathomable.”
Sera unwound the chiffon scarf from her neck and shrugged off her trench coat as she stepped away for a moment, draping them both over the antique wooden counter stretching the back of the room. She twisted her long ebony hair and tucked it into a loose bun, then secured it atop her head with a pencil she found nearby. It wasn’t until she turned back to her assistant that she noticed the girl hadn’t moved an inch. Penny stood like a statue, her only movement an index finger that twirled a lock of strawberry blond hair at her nape.
Sera laughed. When her assistant took to whirling a strand of hair around her finger, something had to have completely captured her attention.
“You’re doing it again, Penny.”
The action was telltale. But Sera didn’t blame Penny in the least. This moment was special. If the painting was what they both thought it was, standing in awe was warranted. The rest of the city could have flown by outside the front windows and neither one of them would have noticed. Or cared.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
You can connect with Kristy at:
Facebook: Kristy L. Cambron
GoodReads: Kristy Cambron
The Butterfly and the Violin, Hidden Masterpiece Book #1 – Available now!
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