An Interview with Author Julie Campbell
This week I am interviewing Julie Campbell. We are colleagues in the OWG writing group and I find her ideas and style of writing quite interesting and creative. Julie recently received some very exciting news. Her story ‘Arabian Dreams’ was just accepted for e-publication through Quake. It is my privilege to introduce Julie, to discuss writing, publication and her experience as a writer.
I recommend checking out her blog at http://phoenixfirewolf.livejournal.com and www.writerjacampbell.com I look forward to Julie posting the release date of her new e-novel ‘Arabian Dreams’.
Hey Julie! Welcome to Pat’s Writing Blog.
-Thanks, I’m really excited that you asked me to be here today.
I am not sure any of my readers know much about Julie Campbell. Could tell them a little bit about yourself to start? – Sure. I’m a servant to three cats, playmate to one dog and partner to my horse. When I’m not writing I can usually be found fulfilling one of those roles or reading. I love the outdoors and I love fantasy. I often try to combine the two.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
– That’s a tough question. I guess the real answer is in college in the early 2000’s. At least that’s when I started to thinking about being a published author. I’ve been writing stories since I was very young but I didn’t get serious until college and I didn’t get real serious until NaNoWriMo 2005.
Who are your favourite authors?
– Kelley Armstrong and Timothy Zahn
Who or what has been the greatest influence on your writing?
-That’s a tough one too. There have been a few really telling influences. I think the first big influence was my sixth grade-reading teacher. She’s the one that told me I would be an author someday. Another big influence has been my horse. She truly does transport me to new worlds when I’m riding her in the mountains and that has fuelled my imagination. I also have to say I wouldn’t be here today without Kelley Armstrong’s online writing group.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
– If I need information, i.e. research, Google usually has all the answers. A lot of it I pull from my real life and twist into fantasy. A lot of my ideas come from dreams, or things I see or overhear or sometimes they just pop into my head during brain storming sessions with my writing buddies.
What do you think makes a good story?
– Adventure, characters people can connect with and a whole lot of doom.
You write from a non-person POV in some of your stories.Tell us about that. And, what prompted this idea?
– Doc is a vampire hunting border collie, and I tell his stories from his point of view. What really prompted this idea was a fellow Author (I giggle with joy when I write that). She has a forum on her blog and she was doing some flash fiction contests. She begged me to write a story and though I’m not usually good at short stories I said I would try. This author has a lot of Australian Shepard’s in her novels and that got me thinking about my dog, who is a border collie, and vampire hunting. So essentially, I again pulled stuff from my real life and twisted it.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
-Read, Ride my horse, play with my dog, cuddle with my cats, do something outside (usually riding). I also shoot guns on occasion.
How many novels have you written? Which is your favourite?
– I have completed seven novels since 2005, none before that though I did write a lot of shorter fiction and parts of novels. Four of the novels I have taken all the way through the polishing process and the one I just finished will get more work this summer. I have to say that so far my favourite novel is either Senior Year Bites or Arabian Dreams. I keep going back and forth. I’m very proud of both of them and I enjoy it when I go back and reread them.
How many have you queried for publication? How many rejections have you received?
-I have queried the original version of Arabian Dreams, the updated version, which was accepted, Senior Year Bites, which is still out on submission, and another novel that features my favourite character. It was the second novel I finished, so it’s probably just as well no one ever wanted to look at it.
-As for the number of rejections I’ve received… I’m honestly not sure. I have all of them, but some are electronic and some are in letterform. Let’s just put it this way, probably close to 100. If not more.
You recently received good news to have ‘Arabian Dreams’ e-published by Quake. How did you feel when you received this news? How do you feel now after it’s had a chance to sink in?
– I was ecstatic. I actually cried on the phone, it was very embarrassing. It was really cool that they actually called me. That is getting more and more rare from what I understand. In every material sense, that was the best day of my life and I’m actually still choked up thinking about it. I’m still so excited. There is a lot of hard work ahead with editing and promotions but I now feel like I’m on the path I’ve set for myself instead of just milling around at the starting line.
I had a chance to read your first chapter of ‘Arabian Dreams’, and must say it’s very good. I really enjoyed it and your main character Anna who has a special horse. I noticed the name of the horse in the story is your horse’s name. Is that correct? How much personal life do you bring to your stories?
– Sabaska is the name of my horse and the name of Anna’s horse. I have based a lot of the fictional Sabaska’s personality off my own horse. Yes, she is just that awesome. However, they are obviously not the same beings however much I wish it were so. I bring ideas from my life into my stories, but I’ve never felt that I am writing myself as my characters. They might have aspects of me, but I’m not Anna.
What are your future writing plans? Do you have current projects in the work or are you starting anything new?
– I’m doing the first round of edits on Arabian Dreams right now. It’s a daunting task, but it is going well. I’m also staring the sequel to Senior Year Bites. I know what the story is, I just need to make some notes from the first story so I don’t miss plot lines I need to keep going or tie up. Then I’ll be working on the sequel to Arabian Dreams.
You have a favorite animal. Tell us a little something about Sabaska.
-Sabaska is amazing. She’s a purebred registered Arabian Mare. She’s a granddaughter of Bask, who was a pretty big deal in the Arabian world back in the 70’s and early 80’s. I got her from a friend, and oddly enough, no one had ever trained her even though she was in her teens. I started working with her and fell in love with her willingness to learn and her ‘can do’ attitude so I bought her. I trained her and we used to compete in endurance rides until the gas prices went through the roof. Now we just trail ride as much as we possibly can and do a little bit of jumping and other fun arena work on the side. I’ve even worked her on cows though I ride English style. She’s been with me for seven years.
I noticed you love quotes. If you had to pick one, which would be your favorite?
– When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. When life gives you zombies, you work out your anger issues.
Quick Round (one or two word answers)
1. Cats or dogs? both
2. Coffee or tea? tea
3. Movies or books? books
4. (In a man)Brains or brawn? brains
5. The Louvre or Disneyland? Disneyland
6. Beach or Skiing? Beach
7. Art or History? History
8. City or Country? Country (bet you couldn’t have guessed that one)
Do you have any advice for new or other writers?
-The best way to learn to write is to write, and don’t ever give up.
What have you found is the most important key to becoming a published author?
-two things actually… writing my fingers off and not giving up.
Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
-Thanks for stopping by. I have really enjoyed being here today. For readers, I hope you enjoy Arabian Dreams when it is published and for writers, believe in yourself. You CAN do it.
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Julie. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you as a person and as an author. I wish you success with your novel Arabian Dreams and with all your future endeavours. 🙂