Cameron Roubique has been a horror fan since birth. He grew up devouring Goosebumps books and any horror movie his parents would allow him to watch. He graduated up to Stephen King at age nine and also began writing little short stories. In high school he sang and played guitar in pop punk bands, and became obsessed with 80s slasher movies. He returned to writing in 2012 when he began work on his first slasher novel Kill River. He also paints all of his own cover art. He met his wife Darla in 2007 and married her six years later. Now they live north of Denver with their cat and pug, and he has recently released his fourth slasher novel Golf Curse.
KR: I’m delighted to announce that Cameron will be joining the Kendall Reviews team with his first post due early June.
KR: Could you tell me a little about yourself please?
I live north of Denver in the United States. I’ve been a huge horror fan since birth. I love reading horror books and superhero comics, music, traveling, amusement parks, and of course 80s slasher movies.
KR: What do you like to do when not writing?
Well, I like to read a lot of trashy old horror paperbacks from the 70s and 80s. I also love reading old silver age superhero comics a lot. I work a boring landscape and maintenance full-time day job to pay the bills, but I’m far more passionate about writing.
KR: What is your favourite childhood book?
Growing up, I was a huge fan of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books. It’s really hard to narrow it down to a favorite, there are a lot of classics in that series. The Night of the Living Dummy books stand out the most in my memory though.
KR: What is your favourite album, and does music play any role in your writing?
Oh yeah, music plays a huge role in my writing. I can’t listen to music while I write, but beforehand when I’m in the daydreaming/imagining phase, I listen to a lot of 80s music and sometimes full scenes just play out in my head to go along with whatever song I’m listening to. All my books come with soundtrack playlists. My favorite album is probably Blink-182’s Enema of the State, or Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual.
KR: Do you have a favourite horror movie/director?
I really can’t narrow it down to one favourite horror movie, but my favorite horror director is definitely John Carpenter. I love his simple and scary style, the slow burn building to a tense climactic end, and the creepy synth music. He’s really inspiring to me.
KR: What are you reading now?
At the moment, I’m beta reading a book for a friend of mine. It’s his first novel, so I’m really excited about it. But I have David Sodergren’s The Forgotten Island to look forward to next.
KR: What was the last great book you read?
Over the winter I finally got around to reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books. They were a lot of fun, and now I feel like I understand his middle-earth stories a lot better.
KR: E-Book, Paperback or Hardback?
I can go either way between E-book or paperback. E-books are really convenient if I’m traveling or killing time somewhere. But I really love holding an old school mass market paperback in my hands.
KR: Who were the authors that inspired you to write?
Definitely Stephen King and R.L. Stine. I still reread the Goosebumps books to this day, and every summer I listen to my favorite Stephen King audiobooks. Reading their stuff always gets me in a writing mood. Also Ian Fleming inspires me because I’m a huge James Bond fan, and he led a really interesting life traveling the world and writing Bond books in Jamaica.
KR: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Well, since I write 80s slasher stories, there’s a very familiar story structure that I have to follow to make my books feel like they are old slasher movies. My books follow the typical slasher Halloween/Friday the 13th format: 1st act – killer stalks in the daytime, 2nd act – secondary character kills, 3rd act survivor chase and fight scenes. That gives me a lot of freedom to have fun with all the little details and give it a creative original spin. And yes, I do have to outline quite a bit, mostly to keep track of where all the characters are and figure out how my killers can get from victim to victim while still staying scary and mysterious.
KR: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
I mostly just research as I write, and 99% of that is googling what years songs and other things came out. For Golf Curse, I had to do some of technical research on pumps and things, but I worked at a golf course for seven years, I all I really had to do was call up my friends.
KR: How would you describe your writing style?
I always try to keep my writing style simple, scary, and fun. I think of my books as popcorn books, meant to be read for pure cheesy entertainment. I like to imagine that they’re novelizations of hypothetical 80s slasher movies co-directed by John Carpenter and John Hughes.
KR: Describe your usual writing day?
It really varies from day to day. I work a full-time day job so I write in the evenings and weekends when I can. Working out at the gym and listening to the songs I have in mind for the story really helps get me focused for writing too. It’s usually slow and difficult in the beginning and goes faster and gets easier as I get closer to the end.
KR: Do you have a favourite story/short that you’ve written (published or not)?
No, my books are like my kids, I can’t pick a favorite. I had a lot of fun writing all of them.
KR: Do you read your book reviews?
I actually try not to. I really appreciate every review I get, but I find that reading reviews can be kind of distracting, and pull my mind away from whatever story I’m working on.
KR: How do you think you’ve developed as an author?
When I wrote my first book, I was just kind of writing whatever, and running purely on instinct. Now though, I consider so much more: the structuring of the chapters, making characters distinct from one another, trying to stay succinct while really painting a vivid picture, whether or not I’m being repetitive, stuff like that. I definitely put a lot more consideration into it than I did seven years ago.
KR: What is the best piece of advice you’ve received regarding your writing?
One of my writing teachers in college told me that I should always use “images before ideas,” which was kind of another way of saying show don’t tell. Also I think it meant that memorable images in a story leave more of a lasting impression on the readers than an intricate plot.
KR: What scares you?
Haha everything. Spooky dolls, ghosts, demons, creepy people. My imagination runs wild whenever I’m in a spooky place at night. I picture all kinds of crazy scenarios in my head and usually freak myself out even worse.
KR: Can you tell me about your latest release please?
Golf Curse is my latest 80s slasher book. It’s about a golf course maintenance crew working through the night and getting picked off one by one by an undead killer. It’s a really special book to me because I spent seven years working at a golf course, and I’ve talked about writing this for a long time. I made a ton of friends there and have so many great memories, I tried to cram as many of them as I could into the story. This is also the first supernatural slasher story I’ve done, and that really opened up a lot of options for scary scenes.
KR: What are you working on now?
As soon as I finish rebuilding my backyard deck, which is almost done, I’ll be spending the summer out there writing Kill River 3. I’ll be watching Sleepaway Camp and The Burning repeatedly, and going to my local water park WaterWorld a lot for inspiration.
KR: You find yourself on a desert island, which three people would you wish to be deserted with you and why?
You can choose…
a) One fictional character from your writing.
Cyndi from Kill River because she’s super cool and would have a lot of great music to listen to.
b) One fictional character from any other book.
Bill Denbrough from IT because IT is my all-time favorite book. I’d love to read his horror novels and hear spooky stories about Derry.
c) One real-life person that is not a family member or friend.
Andrew WK because he’s awesome, he’s the king of partying and positive thinking, and he’d probably bring a lot of pizza.
KR: Thank you very much Cameron.
You can follow Cameron on Twitter @lil_cam_ron
You can find out more about Cameron by visiting his official website www.yearofblood.com
Ronnie has the perfect summer job at the Indian Hill Golf Course. All day he gets to ride around on mowers and golf carts, check out the beautiful drink cart girls, joke around with his best friend Mark, and get plenty of fresh air and sunlight.
That all changes when a huge late spring hailstorm blows in one night, leaving the golf course in shambles. As they clean up all the limbs and downed trees, Ronnie and Mark learn about the Native American Kikawa tribe that was brutally massacred at the top of the hill near the seventeenth green, and the evil medicine man known as Chief Tomahawk who supposedly put a curse on the land. It seems that the curse may prove to be real as the golf course is dogged with bad luck, and a dark figure wearing a wooden Chief’s mask and a black-feathered headdress is watching them from the shadows.
Now, in preparation for the biggest golf tournament of the year, Ronnie and the maintenance crew have to come in and work through the night.
They are about to find out that Chief Tomahawk has returned, and he wants revenge for his slaughtered people.