Author Interview Camaa Pearl's new book Call Me Jemila 

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Novelist Camaa Pearl talks about what inspired her new book Call Me Jemila.

Author Interview Camaa Pearl's new book Call Me Jemila 
Written by JJ Barnes

I interviewed Camaa Pearl regarding her life and profession, what inspired her to write, and the story of her latest romance, Call Me Jemila.

Tell me  who Camaa Pearl  are:

Author Interview Camaa Pearl's new book Call Me Jemila 
Camaa Pearl

I’m a Nigerian writer living in the United States of America,  project manager, and author of over 10 books who loves good food, dance, sex education, and behavioral science. You’ll find some things in my books that I love, and readers commend my books for being relatable, refreshing, unique, and an antidote to tedious reading.

When did the first want to write a book?

At nine years old. Usually, they send me home for late payment of tuition, and the grumpy and sad me, who wanted to stay in school with friends, goes to my father’s library to delve into many books – encyclopedias, non-fiction, fiction .. .and she realized that she liked books with happy endings and wanted to write them.

When did thou decide to start writing?

At that time, I  moved to a new neighborhood with his family, so everything changed, from the community to the school to the church. I wanted to make new friends but we all know how hard it can be for some guys, I’m included. My brother wrote stories and I took them to school to read. My classmates were interested in what I was reading and collected numbers to take turns reading my brother’s story. They even offered to pay to have his stories read, and it got to the point where he just wasn’t writing fast enough. It was a wow moment for me.

How long did it take you for your first book, from the initial idea to publication?

I always knew I wanted to write a book, but I didn’t know where to start. When I was about fourteen  I had planned to publish a book by twenty-one, but life went on into my mid-twenties and I knew that if I wanted to do it I had to do it. Using an idea journal  I created in 2017, I started writing in November 2018 and after losing 80% of my 50,000-word draft to a computer virus  I published my first book in May 2019.

How long does it take to finish? Your latest book, from idea to publication?

I have learned that the art of writing and publishing amazing stories is to let the ideas and first drafts sit for a while before writing the book. It took me about 13 months to think of the idea and two months to write Call Me Jemila.

Focus on your latest version. What inspired you to write Call Me Jemila?

In writing Call Me Jemila, I explored an international college student’s journey in search of love and her burgeoning sexuality (capacity for sexual affection) and how the community prepared people to respond to and approach reproductive health issues react.

Author Interview Camaa Pearl's new book Call Me Jemila 
Call Me Jemila

What were thy biggest challenges writing Call Me Jemila?

Live up to the book’s sexual themes and complete the story. I had to make the ending of Happy Ever After  (as expected in romance novels) worthwhile.

Who or what stimulates thou to create The Protagonist?

My experience and that of other African international students in the US.

Who or what stimulates you to create The Antagonist?

men who experienced emotional trauma related to contact with women.

What is the fire incident in Call Me Jemila?

A likable introvert leaves his apartment weeks after deciding not to hurt anyone to meet a recovering drug addict with whom he falls in love.

What is the primary conflict of Call Me Jemila?

FMC’s past is revealed to  MMC and it’s a break for him.

Were you going to call me Jemila, or did you fly by the seat of your pants and write freely?

I write in advance so if I get stuck I can skip chapters and rewrite the missing parts.

Did thou get editing assistance and how much editing does Call Me Jemila require?

A lot! Reviewers, beta readers, my trusted editor, and proofreader. It’s a process I follow with all my books.

What is the first piece of writing counsel ye would give someone that inspired thou to write a story?

Outline an idea for a solid beat storyline in this genre, then repeat this story to yourself/spouse/friend until you feel the major gaps in the storyline are covered, then write.

Can you tell me what other books thou want to write?

I have a series called Lagos Lovin’, and the second book, Bottom Belle, an interracial love story coming out in November and is available for pre-order

And finally, are you proud of thine Success? It was worth it?

I am!!!!! These are my sons. All the watchful nights and migraines were worth it. It is worth picking up my books and hearing from readers from different parts of the world that I have never seen or will never meet.

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