Author Interview with cameron yorke
Please introduce yourself – your full name (as well as pen name, if any, your country and where you are currently based, age, if you wish to)
Hi, I’m Cameron Yorke, I’m 52 years old, from New Zealand originally, but I’ve been abroad for some thirty odd years. I tried going home last year, but having lived in Europe for so long, I simply don’t fit in back home – it was the longest five months of my life! It was made more difficult of course because my Father was very ill, and passed away while I was there, so some painful memories, but at least now I no longer have any ties there, I’m free to live back in Europe again, I divide my time between my houses in Monaco, Andorra and Cyprus, but spend most of my time in Monaco.
When and how did writing happen to you?
I’ve always been an avid reader, and used to love writing essays at school, but then adult life consumed me somewhat, and I forgot about it after leaving university, however in a midlife crisis at the age of 38, Living in Australia, I sold my business and split with my partner, and decided on a 6 month break to explore the Europe I hadn’t seen.
I started writing emails home to friends, which resulted in a column in one of the major Australian lifestyle magazines, and it was those memories which grew into my book Tales of My Travels – Europe which has sold over 12,000 copies in total. I was then offered freelance opportunities in other travel publications, and then started writing for in-flight magazines, lifestyle and fashion publications. I’ve been lucky to have been able to earn a living writing about all the things I love in life – good food, travel, fashion and lifestyle. Through this I’ve lived in over 35 countries worldwide, and visited over 130. I’ve stayed in the most prestigious Hotels, dined in the most celebrated restaurants, and been fortunate enough to wear the most hallowed fashion designers’ creations.
My latest project, The Chemsex Trilogy was something I felt I had to write, because so many of my friends were falling victim to this Chemsex phenomenon, which is reaching epidemic proportions throughout gay communities worldwide. It’s the process of combining recreational drugs, usually crystal Meth, with sex parties, where up to 100 guys take drugs and have sex with multiple partners for sometimes three or four days without a break. It destroys relationships, careers and lives, and often results in legal battles, prison and sometimes even suicide or death from overdose. I wanted to provide advice for those who hadn’t yet partaken so that they didn’t go through the same traumas as I did, and support for victims, so they felt they were not alone, but also help in raising awareness for loved ones coming to terms with it, and advice to support groups such as probation officers, and ultimately governments in creating a better understanding of the underlying problems, so they can better formulate policy. Sadly the British Government think they know it all already and are too belligerent to care!
What has been your driving force throughout your writing journey?
I think for me its the burning need to let people know about things. I’m always extremely passionate about all the topics I write about, so more than anything it’s a desire for people to know the whole story. Whether its writing about fashion, or food, or a boutique hotel, its important for me to get inside the heads of the people behind these creations, and find out their vision, and goals, and relay that to the public. With The Chemsex Trilogy it was there same, I wanted people to understand that this is not just boys behaving badly, it’s actually, in most cases, a symptom of much deeper underlying issues.
What is your genre and for which age group do you write?
So far I ave only written non-fiction, and mainly biographical memoirs, or self help, which is not to say I wouldn’t try something fictional, but for me it doesn’t hold the same appeal as something which can help or inform others, and hopefully make their lives better.
How many hours a day you write?
I’m always writing! Whether it’s a book, or notes, or copy for marketing my books, but when I have a project, I typically spend 10 hours a day in front of my laptop. Regardless, I always make sure I write something every day, as I find when I have a break, its harder to get back into a routine, and the quality of work suffers. How do you select the names of your characters?
Writing non-fiction, I don’t need to invent characters, because I write about real people. I usually only use their first names to protect their privacy, although I have been known to name and shame occasionally 🙂
Which part did you enjoy most as a part of your entire writing journey?
Oh, that’s easy – I love telling a good yarn, so I get the greatest of pleasure out of crafting a ripper story that people love to read.
How long on an average does it take you to write a book?
Well I wrote Tales of My travels based on my magazine articles, so it was quite quick to put together, and Chasing the Dragon, Candy Flipping and Double Bubble I wrote in Prison, so they took considerably longer, but I was extremely disciplined, and wrote at every opportunity I could find, in fact at one point, I would get up at 3 am every morning and write for five hours whilst my cellmate was sleeping – at every waking moment he would watch either bad, daytime TV or Jason Statham movies so it was the only chance I could get! I think on average each one took around 6 months. It’s not so much the writing that takes the time but the endless editing, and re-editing to make sure the pace is consistent and the entertainment level maintained. Books of any genre should be interesting and enjoyable!
What is your current book about? Which category does it falls into – fiction/non-fiction?
Again, non-fiction. I have two I’m working on currently. The first is called The Deported – Citizenship by Criteria, which is the final chapter if you like, to The Chemsex Trilogy, and deals with immigration and deportation in Britain at the moment, and the fallout from the UK Home Office Hostile Environment Policy, and how they are trying g to deport and discourage as many as they can from living in the UK. Again it’s something I felt I had to write, as the British Government’s treatment of foreign nationals is inherent racism and frankly, inhumane. The second is the sequel to Tales of My Travels, called Shotguns & Vodka – Living in the Riga. It chronicles 6 months living in Latvia, in 2005, before they became an EU member nation, when laws and rules were much more fluid than they are now. It’s a humorous travelogue of a period in time, and immensely funny.
Tell us about your life outside of writing?
I’m currently single, (not by choice!) gay, a full time writer, I love the ocean and the beach during summer, and the ski fields in winter. I still read a lot, and occasionally produce documentaries and television shows, I love the theater and opera, good friends, good food and good wine. My hobbies are horse racing, Formula 1, anything equestrian, and I love a good party!
Who inspires you the most?
I think ordinary people do extraordinary things. I find inspiration in the people I meet in everyday life, and I hope I inspire others in the same way.
Do your books have a message?
Yes, always. The current series of books are mainly self help, motivational, and my travel books are almost comedic, but they also have underlying messages of caution or assistance in the thread.
What are some of the best lines from your book?
‘Ironically Mummy, I’m having to deal in drugs to pay my extortionate legal bills!’‘Oh Cameron, Now is not a time to be Glib!’ ‘I’d never ever had any problem dropping my slides in front of hordes of boys at any one of the hundreds of gay sex orgies I’d hosted over the past twelve months, but somehow, now I was having to do it in front of a bunch of lecherous old prison officers it was a different story!’
Your suggestion(s) for novice writers?
Write! If you have a passion for it, no matter how good or bad you think you may be, just get the story down in whatever form you can. Its amazing what can be done in an edit if the story is good enough or if you are passionate enough about it.
Please share the author links / buy links / sales information and your social media links where people could find about your books.
Chasing the Dragon – Are You Chem-friendly?
Candy Flipping – The Sex and Drug Cocktail
Double Bubble – Inside Britain’s Prisons
Tales of My travels – Europe
Coming soon;The Deported – Citizenship by CriteriaShotguns & Vodka – Living in the Riga
We wish you all the best Cameron Yorke!
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