Also today, I”m so excited to have Camilla Downs talking to us on Meet the Author. Camilla is such a kind, caring, warm and beautiful person and I’m delighted to be chatting with her! Read on to find out all about Camilla and her wonderful family, what her Halloween film tradition is, why healing is so important, her most recent book, Words of Alchemy (and read a couple of her poems) and much more…..
Non-fiction, memoir, free-verse poetry
Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Camilla (pronounced like Pamela, but with a “C”) and I live in Northern Nevada, USA in the beautiful city of Reno. We live in very close proximity to Lake Tahoe with great walking and hiking in forests surrounded by fir and pine trees, with gorgeous lakes. I love reading, going for swims, going for walks, and taking nature photographs.
How many books have you written and published?
I’ve written two books, and contributed to two others for a total of four books. I’m an indie author and publisher under my own imprint of Loving Kindness Books.
December 2019: The latest to be published is the free-verse poetry memoir, Words of Alchemy.
January 2018: My 19 year old daughter’s book, Where Would You Fly and Other Magical Stories. This is a collection of her short stories and poetry from the age of 5 years old through 16 years old.
October 2016: My 14 year old son’s book, Biggest Little Photographer. This is a collection of photographs that he took during a 365 photo a day project, beginning when he was 8 years old, concluding at 9 years old.
February 2012: D iz for Different – One Woman’s Journey to Acceptance, a memoir of my journey to acceptance of becoming a single parent, acceptance of becoming a parent to a special needs child, acceptance of myself, and acceptance of financial ruin.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
Before I became a mom in 2001, I was a paralegal for 10 years and before that I worked in the mortgage industry. My day job for the past 18 years has been being mom to my two kids, 19 year old Lillian, and 14 year old Thomas. I’ve homeschooled (well, unschooled them) for about the past 5 or 6 years, with Lillian graduating in June 2019. Lillian is special needs, having a chromosome deletion called 18p-, so I’ve been her caretaker too.
Throughout the past 13 years, I have had many “jobs” so that I could focus on being a parent, being in charge of my own schedule. I’ve made jewelry, been a social media consultant, been a substitute teacher, Reiki practitioner, mentor, delivered newspapers, dog walking, cat sitting, and elderly visits.
Name one book you think everyone should read and tell us why?
I recently read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. I know, very late to the game with this one. However, I was swept away by the story, and kept finding myself comparing it to modern times. A must read for anyone who has been living under a rock, like me. Hahaha!
What’s your favourite film of all time and why?
It’s impossible for me to name a favorite of all time. So, I’m going to share the first movie that came to mind …. Frank Capra’s Arsenic & Old Lace. We watch this every year on October 31st. My son and I love the oldies, especially Frank Capra movies. Here’s a link to the trailer … https://youtu.be/GCWBDwkhGN0
What is the best thing you’ve done in your life so far?
The best thing I’ve done in life so far is spending the past 15 years on healing myself, getting to know myself, loving and appreciating myself; while solely single parenting two unique kids.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
My superpower would be a heightened and clear intuition. Specifically, having to do with myself, where I would be happiest and most useful at contributing to society, while also supporting my family. This is a blind spot for me. Others can see the areas in which I shine. Yet, it is not clear to me.
You win a million pounds – you give half to charity. Which charity do you pick and why?
I would donate to the Equal Justice Initiative (https://eji.org/). The work that Bryan Stevenson does through EJI is much needed, and speaks to my heart. I cannot fathom if someone I loved experienced what those who EJI helps experience. It’s maddening and heartbreaking. I watched a movie recently based on the case that Stevenson took on that created the EJI. It’s titled, Just Mercy, and it is a powerful movie.
What would you do with the rest of the money?
I would invest some of the money. With the remainder, I would take my family on a lovely vacation. Then, I would buy a piece of property, and build each of us a small house on it. My daughter will always need someone with her, or at least really close. This way she could experience being independent and I would get a BREAK from her!! Hahahaha!
What is your favourite time to write, and why?
My favorite time to write is in the morning. I feel more alert and in the zone during that time. However, I’m okay writing at any time, whenever content decides it’s ready to be written!
Would you like to share a poem from your book, Words of Alchemy?
Yes! I would love to do that.
Here’s a link to two of the poems: The Light of Freedom and The Lure of Words … https://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/excerpt/
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
Words of Alchemy is the poetry memoir of a single mom who travels through the ups and downs of life with reverence and reflection. This book is for those who are in need of uplifting, easy to read poetry that leaves you feeling comforted, inspired, and with a different view of how life can be lived.
In Words of Alchemy, Camilla Downs invites you to walk with her to share her love of Nature and Life through a heartfelt free-verse poetry memoir.
During her daily strolls she is mindfully present as she delves into life in the raw and experiences her heart’s observations.
Camilla embraces what happens when she opens her heart and invites the written words to flow. The Alchemy of Love and Healing is what happens.
Where to Buy:
Words of Alchemy: If you’re in the U.S. and would like a personalized, signed book – free shipping! (I will ship internationally, if the reader would like to pay the international shipping fee): http://camilladowns.com/books/words-of-alchemy/
Amazon – Words of Alchemy: mybook.to/WordsofAlchemy
Amazon Author Central: amazon.com/author/camilladowns
Thank you, Michelle! I very much appreciate your time and the space on your lovely blog! Wishing you all the best!
Camilla Downs is a bestselling author, indie publisher, mentor, and mom. Nature and life experiences are a constant source of inspiration for her writing. She enjoys living a minimalist lifestyle, practicing meditation and mindfulness, reading, going for walks, and capturing nature’s essence with photographs. Camilla is the founder ofMeetingtheAuthors.com and lives in Northern Nevada, USA with her two kids.
thank you so much for coming over and chatting with us Camilla. It’s always lovely to talk to you!
Make sure you give Camilla a shout if you have any questions or comments!
Now have a wonderful Halloween!! I’m off to carve my pumpkin!