I have always felt like I have interesting stories in my head that need to be told. It is a really good creative outlet. It fulfils me, and helps me feel like I am putting my soul into something. The biggest thing it has changed so far in my life is that my kids like telling and writing their own stories now. One of my daughters carried around one of my books under her arm for weeks and called it, “My Daddy Book.” That melted my heart.
Hi, my name is Cameron Sutter, but I write under the name C. Louis S. By day I am a software engineer, and by night I am an author of Sci-Fi/Fantasy stories. My wife pushed me to go into computer science. She saw that I loved computers and encouraged me to stop pursuing the dead-end degree that I was seeking and instead do what I really loved (other than writing!).
I have moved around a lot growing up. Right now, I live in Utah, USA, because there is a church school here that I have always wanted to attend. When I decided to pursue software development, I went there and found a job in the area. If I moved away from this area, I would miss the beautiful views and the nice people. If I stayed in the area but moved homes, I would not miss much. It is a nice home, but it is getting a bit small for my wife and all our little kids.
Like I said before, I am the author of several Science Fiction and Fantasy novels, mainly for young adults. I write daily, except for the weekends, when I am usually with my kids. I write during lunch, on the train, sometimes at night or early in the morning – basically during any free moment that I have. The earliest I can remember writing stories was in the 1st grade when my teacher scolded me for writing during her class. In 7th and 8th grade, I wrote my first novel during study period when everyone else was talking with their friends.
Right now I am working on a sequel to my first book. It is the first sequel that I have done and I have to say, sequels are hard. It is difficult to stay true to the feeling of the first book, while creating a whole new story with the same characters that is both fulfilling and entertaining. I like writing YA sci-fi and fantasy because they feel very open-ended, which means that you can basically create whatever your imagination can come up with. Both of my book series have trees, music, and ritualistic pain. I did not do that on purpose, but those three (apparently) are very symbolic to me. I write very Christian themes and there are things at the heart of life and love that run like a thread through everything we do. I feel like music is one of those … I am not sure where the trees and ritualistic pain come from.
In some ways technology can be a very creative thing. At least in the sense of solving a complex puzzle requires creative thinking. But art or writing is a whole different kind of creativity. I think they feed off of each other at times. Being creative helps me pursue more elegant solutions to problems or think of technology solutions in terms of beauty and elegance. Building tech helps me create my stories with a very iterative, technical discipline that is beneficial to the art.
I tell any new writer this: write a lot and do not give up. I was told that my first 5 books would suck, so I wrote six. Writing is not a skill that you either have or you do not. It is like learning the piano. Masters spend hundreds of thousands of hours to become great.
I would love to make writing something that I can do full time eventually. I do not think I would leave the technology world entirely though. I would have to maintain a balance of doing both because I love both. But until I make a book that is a big hit, I will just keep writing for my own enjoyment and for my kids.
Buy Cameron’s book, The Tellurian Suns, here.