Interview with Cameron Beyrent

When did you first start writing?
I started writing in high school. I used to utilize the blog feature on MySpace a lot, and I would write about outrageous things to try and ruffle peoples' feathers. I didn't necessarily think of myself as a writer at that point; I just liked to shock people. I'd write frankly about sex and what it felt like to grow up queer in the South. I would also write about all the local oddities that frequently crossed my path in Nashville when I was a teenager. Not much has changed. I'm still fascinated by invisible people, and I've spent my 20s expanding on that topic and doing what I can to make people feel seen through my writing. I'm by no means a hero. I just think we all deserve to be seen and acknowledged for who we really are.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There's a punk spirit in being a true blue indie author. The word "indie" hardly means independent these days. There's a model for it now, which means there's money to be made by big companies that are posing as "indie" companies. I like Smashwords because we're all legitimate indie writers. Big publishers want nothing to do with us, "indie" companies want nothing to do with us, and a lot of us want nothing to do with them. It's an opportunity for everyone to share their work, and it's also a middle finger to the system. That's my shit.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy in writing happens when I get to celebrate what it means to live a life through the stories I get to tell while having an emotional exchange with people that I never thought I could relate to. That's basically the definition of empathy. That's the goal.
What do your fans mean to you?
I think "fans" is a lofty word. If I looked in the mirror and saw Joan Crawford or Madonna looking back at me, I might feel comfortable with the word "fans". But I'm just a dude trying to survive by telling his story. But if you've read something of mine and it means something to you, then that means everything to me.
What are you working on next?
I've had an idea for an anti-YA novel for years. It's about psychotic cheerleaders torching the patriarchy. I'd also like to write about samurai drag queens. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm getting a little tired of writing about myself. Hopefully more fiction is what will come next.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote is called "Dinner at Waffle House", and It appears in a book I wrote called Caged Boy Sings. It's about a prostitute and a transgender Waffle House Waitress. They help each other sort out their emotional baggage over an All Star Special. People often tell me it's their favorite piece of mine, and I've been trying to top it ever since.
How do you approach cover design?
I design my own covers, and it can be an absolutely hellish experience. But when you finally get it right--when the ball hits the bat--it's so worth the trouble. I encourage everyone to give it a try, but I honestly have no particular approach to it. I fuck it up over and over again until I get it right, just like everything else. Have patience, and you'll eventually figure it out. I try and apply that to everything.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I have three:
Beautiful Losers--Leonard Cohen
The End of Alice--A.M Homes
The Sluts--Dennis Cooper

The first book in that list made me want to be a writer, the second book reminded me that I wanted to be a writer, and the third book horrified me into being a writer. If you decide to read any of them, be careful--especially if you're under the age of 18.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I currently live in New York City, and I have a tendency to crash land here every time the wheels come off. I spend a lot of time slogging through the avenues, listening to music and trying to come up with ideas. But sometimes crazy stuff happens. Sometimes I wind up wallflowering at an orgy; sometimes I wind up at a drag show, and a queen wrapped in red latex will spit fake blood on my neck; sometimes I wind up partying on a roof top in Brooklyn with mean-spirited supermodels. The list goes on. New York has fleeting moments that make you think that the struggle is worth it. That being said, most of the time you can find me sitting by myself in Times Square, debating for hours about whether or not I should bleach my hair, write another book, or pack it all in and go home to Nashville--and get drunk with all my crazy friends for the rest of my life.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Published 2019-03-19.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Spring Break
Price: Free! Words: 13,840. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2019. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » General
Spring Break takes you on a wild ride through the unreliable memory of author Cameron Beyrent. After being forced to spend his first Spring Break in his “white-bread munching” hometown, our narrator quickly falls head-first into an unexpected circus of bat-crazed characters, proving that you can still have the best night of your life—even if you’re stuck in the last place you want to be.