Please everyone welcome Christine Campbell to the Author showcase!!!!!! Her new novel Flying Free is getting ready to be released. In the meantime check her out as I ask her some personal and not so personal questions. Connect with her on her blog and Amazon pages.
Tell us about yourself…
I am a mother, a grandmother and a writer who loves life and loves people. Loving people helps, I think, when you want to be a writer. It’s only by observing the human race closely, at work and at play, that you can really write about them. And that’s what I do. I watch people, I interact with them, I enjoy them. Perhaps that’s why my novels are always character driven.
2) What do you do when you are not writing? Day job?…
Over the years, I had a few different jobs, but, when my children were young, I was a full-time, stay-home mum…a luxury not everyone can afford, I know. I also home-schooled my youngest child right the way through and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Now that my family have all grown up and married, I have more time to enjoy my writing and crafting projects. I make cards and collages. I also do volunteer work.
3) How did you choose the genre you write in?…
I don’t know that I did consciously choose it. I think it chose me. ‘They’ say to write about what you know…well, people are what I know, so I write about people and their relationships and their struggles and adventures.
I’m not even sure what genre my novels fall into. I think ‘General Fiction’ or ‘Contemporary Fiction’ comes the closest. My novels have the elements of romance, mystery and crime in them, but they don’t really fit into any of those genres. To place them on the bookshelf under any of those labels would be misleading. I know it would make them more commercially viable if they fitted neatly into a standard genre…but they don’t, and I’m okay with that. They are what they are, and I have readers who love them…so I’m happy.
4) When did you start writing?…
I don’t really remember a time when I didn’t write: diaries, essays, poetry, short stories, articles, novels. I started writing novels thirty or more years ago, but didn’t publish the first one till 2008. I was slow to find the courage to share my work.
5) Biggest influences as a reader/writer?…
Reading has always been important to me and the realization that people enjoyed reading the things I wrote really spurred me on to get published. Many years ago, I allowed a friend to read one of my finished but unpublished novels and she professed to be deeply affected and helped by it. That was a great Inspiration to me to continue writing. The idea that my writing could actually help someone is a huge thing.
6) Is anything in your writing based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? Where do your ideas come from?…
Oh, yes, there is much in my writing derived from life experiences…not always mine. My characters are a melange of people I know and people I have observed. There’s often sides of them that are me. Sometimes my story ideas come from things that have happened to people I know, sometimes from things that have happened to me. But there is always a large dollop of imagination in there too. A big ‘What if?’
7) Planner or Panster?…
A bit of both. Mostly Panster, I’m afraid.
8) What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?…
The toughest criticism has been that my novels are ‘not commercial enough’. It’s a tough one because I can’t do anything about that if I want to stay true to my writing.
The greatest compliment? Reviews like this one about Family Matters are nice:
‘For a parent the death of a child is traumatic. Sudden death, by whatever means, adds to the tragedy. The author,with great sensitivity and skill, guides the reader through the back story of the family in this book as the central characters and their lives are revealed to us, in particular, that of the mother.
It could be anybody’s family story
A good worthwhile read which will keep the reader engaged throughout each chapter.’
And being told more than once that my writing reaches right into the heart and changes people. What more could a writer want?
9) Tell us about your book (s). Favorite thing? Hardest issue to overcome?…
I have two published novels: Family Matters and Making it Home.
Family Matters…a novel about loss and recovery. The main protagonist, Sarah, was abandoned by her husband and brought up her two children alone. When her son dies, her husband reappears, starting a chain of events that have Sarah reeling.
Making it Home…a story of loyalty and trust, and three women who want that and more. For various reasons, they are dissatisfied with their lives and, as their friendship grows, they find they can help one another find fulfillment. It’s a story about the emotional journeys of the three women, of different ages and circumstances and shows the joy of friendship across the generations. It’s also about learning to love life, and the steps, sometimes big, sometimes small that lead to that.
It has one or two dark moments and deals with age-old relationship problems as well as the fairly modern phenomenon of shopping addiction. Something many will relate to in these credit-crunch times.
Both books are available on Amazon as paperbacks and eBooks.
My next novel, Flying Free, is almost ready to be released.
Flying Free is about a woman who has to shake off the shackles the past has fastened round her emotions in order to let herself love and be loved. It is another character driven novel but this one has more of the romance element than my last two.
A novel takes me a long time to write: I choose my words carefully and edit and rewrite constantly. Because of that, I can follow my characters through all sorts of moods and emotions.
I write poetry too and I tend to write it quickly…then edit and rewrite…so it usually expresses one mood with its accompanying emotions.
My favorite thing about writing is getting lost in the story, getting to know the characters so well I laugh with them and cry with them.
The hardest issue to overcome? Stopping. Recognizing the novel is ready. I can’t edit it any more: I have to let it go now.
10) Advice for aspiring writers?…
Write! Get something down on the page. Let it flow until you are exhausted and elated at the same time. You can edit tomorrow before you start again. I’ve always found going over the previous day’s work allows me to edit my way back into the groove of the story, then I’m off and running again.
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