CB: First, briefly tell us who Bernice Camp is, growing up and now?
BC: Cindy, thank you for having me. Growing up was very hard. I'm the eldest in a family of daughters and our father lived, and died, an alcoholic. During my childhood years one of the most difficult aspects of that environment was the stigma of being in an alcoholic family. My mother was a model of inner-strength, and I credit her for any goodness I have and any accomplishment.
Like most women, I have worn many hats. I am a daughter, sister, part-time caregiver for a sister, wife, mother, grandmother and now, a published author. Life - due to unforeseen circumstances, has pushed me to continually evolve and reinvent myself. As an adult I'm still experiencing what life has to offer, learning and growing as a person and a woman.
CB: You've one published book and one in production now. What is the first book and briefly describe what it is about?
BC: My first book, Broken Vessels-Tribute to a Family, traces the lives of five sisters born and raised in the shadow of alcohol and abuse. ‘Broken Vessels’ reveals the healing process from the crippling effects of our childhood through adulthood. And how one sister's prayer, "I want my family whole," brought us full circle.
The "Quality of Life" issue comes to the forefront when a sister becomes ill and her sisters come together to be life-long caregivers. ‘Broken Vessels’ was written to inspire, encourage and give hope to readers that find themselves in similar life circumstances.
CB: And this one now in production, what is it about?
BC: Forgotten Memories is again, a story of women of inner strength. Ella Martin is the main character, a young woman who seems to have it all - until the dreaming starts - forcing her to follow a chain of events that propel her back in time into a past she doesn't remember. Ella's quest is to reclaim her forgotten memories and her childhood.
CB: Which of the two was easiest for you and which more difficult to write, and why do you think that was?
BC: Broken Vessels-Tribute to a Family was the hardest to write. During the writing, I had to force myself back into my childhood and relive what I spent forty-five years trying to put behind me. My mother and I spent endless hours reliving the years of pain, living with an abusive alcoholic and later, the family tragedy of a terminally ill sister.
CB: What do you hope your readers will take away with them after reading one of your books?
BC: Broken Vessels-Tribute to a Family and Forgotten Memories are books about real, everyday families that find themselves in circumstances that seem insurmountable. I hope readers of my books can identify with the characters I bring to life and with hope and prayer in their hearts, push on, not giving up or giving in.
CB: Are you working on anything now and if so, what?
BC: Yes, I've started my third book, not titled as of yet. I again want to portray real women in real life situations. In this case, hint: the story line will be a situation that is unavoidable and eventually affects all women of any location and status.
CB: What motivates you to write and why do you think that is?
BC: I hope to honor my mother who passed away before my first book was in print and emphasize with my writings, women of strength. Maude, in my first book, and Helen in my second, found the inner strength to do what they thought was necessary to protect the family.
CB: What obstacles have you encountered in getting published and promoting your published work and how have you overcome those?
BC: I've been blessed to have two books published by PublishAmerica. Promoting and marketing has proven to be difficult. I live in a small southern Illinois town and exposure is limited. I have been fortunate that within a radius of fifty miles Barnes and Noble, and Borders, have regularly scheduled me for book signings. I was invited to participate in the 2008 Book Expo featuring seventy authors at Washington Square Mall in Evansville, IN.
CB: What advice would you give to aspiring authors still waiting to be published?
BC: Push on and don't quit. It's never too late to have a dream come true.
CB: Where can we learn more about you and your work?
BC: My website is www.freewebs.com/bernicecamp. I would like to invite all to visit and sign my guest- book. If anyone would like to email me, my address is email@example.com
CB: Where are your books available for purchase and do you offer signed copies?
BC: Broken Vessels- Tribute to a Family and Forgotten Memories, are for purchase at www.publishamerica.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.target.com, www.borders.com and most online bookstores.
CB: In parting, is there anything else you would like to say to your readers that we may not have touched on?
BC: I wrote Broken Vessels- Tribute to a Family and Forgotten Memories to inspire and encourage. I would hope that after reading one of my books, the reader keeps a "little something" in their heart. God gave us an amazing gift. The human heart can be broken and amazingly with his love, can be healed.
Cindy, thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and my books with you and your readers.