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Cam Blackwell: Scaring You with Heart

When people think of novelists, there is no singular term to describe them. Some of them write because of events they have gone through, while others write because of emotions they have felt at one time.

Cameron Blackwell originally wanted to be a cartoonist when he was little. He would draw many characters, imagining how they could come into motion.

“When my grades began to suffer in sixth grade, my father grounded me and forbade me from doing anything that looked line fun,” Blackwell recalled.

From then on, Blackwell wrote adventures under the guise of writing reports. While it did not turn into a cartoonist career, it increased his love for writing. As he grew, he had to pick exactly what he loved to write more.

“When I started writing, I enjoyed sci-fi and fantasy, or superhero stuff,” he lamented. “As I have progressed my writing career, I’ve branched into horror.”

Blackwell has five novels officially placed on his website. He also intended to write a murder mystery novel this year. His love of horror movies has influence much of his work and impacted the style he uses in his books.

With characters, there is a little variety in what he does to create characters. Some authors use name generators, while others prefer basing them off people they know. While Blackwell bases some characters off people he knows, he has other ways of forming characters.

“Most of my main characters are based on myself either as I am or wish to be,” he added. “On one hand, I want to be a leader; strong and brave. On the other hand, I am also reluctant to take action and have to be pushed to be the leader they know I can be.”

As with most authors, Blackwell puts his main characters against tough odds with the idea that they can overcome anything. It is that fabric that leads to the story and the plot.

One of his stories “Monster Night at the Carnival from Mars” combines elements of horror with the basic idea of going to a carnival. Blackwell recalled getting the idea for the story from a set of card games he played with. The premise of these games included creating a horror movie with props, characters and cards. Many of the cards featured included B movie horror movies. The object of the game was to form words from six cards and create a title from them.

“Monster Night was my first attempt at horror,” he said. “So it’s the most faithful to the horror conventions, including the sex. I had never written any sex before, and found it very daunting and awful. But I pushed through it.”

The story, available on his website, was a stepping stone for Blackwell’s other work. It helped inspire much of his current writing, and the way he takes a story to new heights.

“Monster Night holds a special place in my heart because it showed me what I liked about what I did and what not to bring into the second story, ‘Zombie Hospital’ where I allowed myself to play with the horror conventions in my own way.”

Blackwood illustrated that his favorite series to write in his selection of novels was “Meanwhile in Space”, which he has named “Perils of S.P.A.C.E.”.

“It’s a sci-fi adventures serial in the vein of Flash Gordon following a trio of adventurers as they discover new exciting ways to get into trouble.”

Blackwell has posted an episode for the series every Tuesday over five years, totaling 73 episodes. It is his longest running series to date. While selling a lot of books would be ideal, Blackwell has a bigger goal.

“As a young reader, I noticed that most of the characters I read about were white and straight,” he said. “None of them were like me, gay and black. I wanted to change that. So I’m making a point to create the space for Queer People of Color in my stories. I’m hoping to inspire others to create similar spaces for themselves and others.”

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