Jourdan Cameron is the author of the science-fiction, young adult novella "Me Squared," about a boy named Hildan Hegennerry, who discovers he has a clone. Hildan's discovery prompts a series of adventures and dangerous discoveries that raise timely questions about bioethics.
Cameron also writes poetry, is a prodigious taker of photos, and enjoys reading and writing video game criticism. He also serves as editor-in-chief of Blackman 'n Robin, featuring reviews of music, movies, video games, and comics. You can also find his work on his blog.
And he graciously shared some of his most memorable, favorite, and inspiring reads with Books, Ink.
What is the first book you remember loving?
That's a good question. I believe it was "Are You My Mother?" by Eastman.
What is a book that inspired you to be a writer?
I can't really point to one in particular, since there are a ton of books that I came to know and love before becoming a writer. If I had to point to a series, it'd be "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket. It does so many brilliant things with trope subversion and has a wonderful writing style, interesting characters, surreal settings. It's really fantastic.
What was the first thing you remember writing?
"The Sky is Blue" in my journal. I was six years old and hated writing.
What book did you read in school that you did not fully appreciate until later?
"Hard Times" by Charles Dickens. I enjoyed reading it, but I didn't realize how relevant it was today until about a year after I read it.
What book would you make required reading in school?
That's hard to say--it depends on what's being taught. I have three books that I'd make mandatory, namely, "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury, "Brave New World" by Aldous Huxley, and "Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind" Hayao Miyazaki. The last one's actually a very long manga series, but it's tremendously well-written and covers complex themes such as the ethics of biological warfare (among many others).
What's the last great book you read?
Well, I would've said "Brave New World," but I'm not finished with it yet. The last book I finished reading was "Ender's Shadow" by Orson Scott Card, a really really good book, but not quite great. Call me crazy, but I'm talking about "Nausicaä" again, because I haven't read anything that hit me as hard as it did in recent memory.
What would you call a "great American novel"?
A great novel that happens to be American or a great novel that somehow paints a picture of an entire nation? I'm honestly not sure what constitutes "Great American Novel," though I'm confident to call "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck one of them.