Although Camille Anderson asserts that her truest passion is writing, the L.A.-based author has dabbled into many areas of the performing arts?”singing, songwriting, and poetry, to just name a few.
Anderson, a native of Chicago’s South Side, began writing poetry and short stories in elementary school. Her poetic style, she said, most resembles the work of Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou and Gwendolyn Brooks.
Her recently released self-published book of poems and short stories titled “Word Pictures,” finds Anderson musing about, among other things, lost loves, God, and her curiosity about church and the “Holy Ghost”. Word Pictures is her first book.
Anderson appeared at African-Accents, 5847 W. Chicago, on Saturday for a book signing and reading.
Anderson decided to copyright and publish the book independently, learning a lot about the ups-and-downs of the competitive literary industry.
“During the process of writing and publishing and marketing the book I learned the importance of just believing in your project, no matter what road blocks come your way. I think my belief in my work made this project a success.”
Anderson said part of the book is based on her own life growing up as the youngest of two with a strict mother who emphasized education.
“Mom didn’t let me date until I was 16, and even then she made sure she knew exactly who I was going out with, who his parents were and when we were going to be home,” Anderson recalled. “She was probably stricter with me than my older brother, and at the time, I may have felt she was a bit overprotective, but now I appreciate her for being so active in my life.”
At African Accents Saturday, Anderson read from her book, including her slavery-themed poem ‘African.’
“They fought through degradation and years of segregation, defamation and inhumanity/ Gained a rich heritage we reclaimed our dignity as descendants of mother land
royalty/We are African not Afro-can’t not Afro-could, but Afro-should.”
Recently, Anderson submitted a short story to the Black Family Channel, which she is hoping will be selected for development of their new show, “Stories from the Soul”.
Anderson said her interest in the performing arts began as a young singer in her church choir, and later at Lane Tech High School and Roosevelt University.
“I wasn’t sure at the time whether I wanted to pursue the arts full time,” she said of her time at Roosevelt. “I did take dance, music and theater as electives. It wasn’t until later that I chose to follow a different course.”
That eventually led her to move to Los Angeles in 2003. She would go on to appear in commercials for Ford and KFC. It was late last year that Anderson decided it was time to publish her book.
Right now, though, her primary concern is promoting her book, which she said has “a universal appeal” because of its mix of social commentary, biographical information and fairy tale elements.
“I want my book to appeal to young people and adults who remember what their curiosities, disappointments and triumphs were at a younger age.”
For more information about Anderson, visit www.wordpicturesbook.com.