Becca J. Campbell has a knack for creative characters and whole new worlds for us to explore! She was kind enough to answer my Blogger Book Fair Mini-Interview questions. Take a look and get the scoop on what she has coming for us in the future. Also, snag a free story and get a chance to win another!
Brandon Luffman: To start things off, tell us a little about yourself. What do you write? Why do you write?
Becca Campbell: I write speculative fiction, usually hovering somewhere between Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction, but often crossing into other genres as well. Some of my stories lean more toward Suspense and all of my works have a sprinkling of romance. I have a thing for super powers, so most of my stories involve some type of superhuman abilities. My works fall into the New Adult category, featuring main characters in their twenties.
I write because I believe that good fiction inspires, expands the imagination, and enriches lives. I write because I want to touch others. I write because I believe that good books can change the world.
BL: What’s your latest release?
BC: I’ve recently published two short stories in the Sub-Normal series: Not the Norm (#1) and Unmasked Alloy (#2). These stories are set in a dystopian reality where genetically enhanced humans populate earth, and the few who have refused superpower-style enhancements and chosen to stay genetically “pure” are labeled sub-normal and exterminated by the government. I will be releasing more stories in the series, and hope to eventually package them all as a set.
You can pick up Not the Norm for free on Amazon Feb. 7th – 8th. I’m also running a giveaway of Unmasked Alloy during the Blogger Book Fair. Go here to enter for a free copy.
BL: Do you have a process when you write? What do you do to make it all come together?
BC: I’m big on prewriting. I’m a pretty organized person, so I typically create an outline that’s a full chapter-by-chapter long synopsis, listing each scene before I begin writing. I often even break the climax of the book down to six individual points. I also write character descriptions for my main five to ten characters, research personality types, and browse photos for ideas of people or scenes.
This helps me tremendously. Detailing all this doesn’t make it law though, it just gives me somewhere to begin. I always have to change things as I go, sometimes adding or deleting full chapters. It’s important for me to be flexible.
BL: What about the editing and revision stage? What’s your process there?
BC: When I finish a first draft, I let it sit anywhere from six weeks to two years before I look at again. That way, when I revisit the story, it’s fresh and my eyes are more objective.
I do a full read-through, either with a hard copy or on my Kindle. I take plenty of notes, but I can’t work in the actual document because I get too tempted to start fixing things before I’ve given it a full review.
After that, I fix all the major things I see, mark the lingering issues I’m undecided on, and send it off to one of my beta readers. They give me feedback, I revise and revamp, and I send it off to someone else. I like to have made at least four revisions before moving on to the copyedit stage.
BL: What’s something not related to writing that no one knows about you?
I can juggle—a little. I’m not that great at it, but I taught myself when I was a teen and I can still keep the balls in the air briefly.
BL: When you get an idea for a new story, what do you do with it?
First, I write it down, even if it’s only a single phrase or idea. Then I mull it over for a while. My best times for developing a general idea are when I’m in the shower, doing housework, or late at night when I’m supposed to be falling asleep and can’t stop thinking about the concept. When thoughts begin to flow, I’ll pull out my scribble book or notebook app on my phone and get as much down as I can. At this point, I’m not writing the story, or even the outline yet. I’m just recording the bursts of ideas so that later I can sit down and make sense of them, mold them into a plot.
BL: Who is your ideal reader? Describe who you feel your books are directed at.
BC: My ideal reader is someone much like me. It’s someone (likely female, but not necessarily) who enjoys a story set in the real world but with a good dose of fantastical elements thrown in. My ideal reader is in his/her twenties and enjoys a story with some twists and turns and a little clean romance thrown in as well.
BL: How did you decide to take up writing as a serious pursuit?
BC: It all began when I was in the middle of a church service. I had this idea of creating characters with superhuman weaknesses—sort of like super heroes in reverse. I went home, started writing like crazy, and eventually ended up with three books called the Flawed series. (I plan to publish the first of these in late 2013 or early 2014, depending on how things go.)
Since beginning that first novel nearly four years ago, I have fully immersed myself into all aspects of being a writer, and now I have six novels and several short stories to show for it. I think it was sometime in my second year that I decided writing was a lot more than a hobby.
BL: What’s next for you and your work? What’s your next project?
BC: My next novel, Gateway to Reality, will be released in March. It’s a mash-up of Science Fiction and Urban Fantasy (see what I mean?), and has plot elements similar to The Matrix and Inception with a little romance thrown in for good measure (of course). Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:
Talented artists shouldn’t be waiting tables, scraping by, and living mediocre lives. But that’s exactly what art school graduate Wes Teague is doing.
Then he wakes from a bizarre dream, haunted by the sense that his life isn’t real. A harrowing truth presents itself–the real world lies in his dreams, not when he’s wide awake.
The dream world he enters each night is rich and vibrant. Chicago appears the same on the surface, but chaos runs rampant as gravity, physics, and other laws of nature become fluid, changing unexpectedly. There, Wes’s parents, brother, and sister are strangers. His girlfriend Emily doesn’t recognize him. Suddenly Wes longs to return, to unlearn the truth about his dual reality.
Wes would sacrifice almost anything to get back to blissful ignorance in a false world.
But now he has feelings for the real Emily.
About Becca J. Campbell
An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca J. Campbell looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity.
Becca’s journey into writing began as many of her other creative endeavors do – by daring herself to try something new. The question “what if I wrote a novel?” and some hastily scribbled notes on a church handout were the inspirations that jump-started her first book. Since then, she has written half a dozen additional novels and several shorter works.
As the wife of a musician and mother of three young boys, Becca’s life is never dull. Whether it is writing, painting or knitting, she enjoys making stuff that wasn’t there before.
Thanks for having me, Brandon!
Thank you for participating in the interview! 🙂
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Hey would you mind sharing which blog platform you’re working with? I’m looking to start my own blog in the near future but
I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your layout seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique.
P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!
Hi! I’m just using the straight WordPress blog. Not the self-hosted version, but the sort that’s hosted on their servers. Their system allows you to choose from a wide variety of themes, and then you can customize the theme you pick.
So, in this case, I’m using a theme called “Piano Black”, but I’ve added custom background artwork (taken from the cover art to my upcoming novel, Frostwalker), my own header artwork at the top, a custom navigation menu at the top as well as in the top of the sidebar, and so on.
I haven’t tried any other blog platforms, so I can’t speak to the utility of those, but I’ve been VERY happy with WordPress.