Monday, 2 July 2012

Authors In The Limelight: Stephanie Campbell

I want to thank and welcome author, Stephanie Campbell for sharing her personal writing journey with us on my blog today. This is Stephanie’s second appearance on my blog. Her book, Dragon Night was featured on November 17th, 2011. Please click HERE to read it. Her new book, Hot Wheels can be purchased from Musa Publishing, Amazon, and other on-line bookstores.

I understand you never take a break between books. With all the social media and marketing an author has to do nowadays, how do you juggle your time, Stephanie?
Very carefully, honestly. I section off my hours according to what I'm doing. I'll usually workout from eight to ten just to get my head and stories in order (which helps me focus in the long run and gets my jitters down.) I will then sit down for three hours. I'll write one story for one hour and another story for another. I will then edit for another hour. After lunch I tackle the more business side of things. That's when I query people for the projects that I have available and I blog and try to update my website. I will also self-edit for another hour during this time.

I'll go for a walk around five to keep myself from going insane and then will return to my office where I will edit other people's books for a couple of hours. I even schedule in my own thirty minute reading time slot in the evening because if I don't have it written in my schedule, I'll be too exhausted to do it; however, because I believe that reading is equally important to a writer as writing, it's something that I do no matter what. By this time, seven o'clock has usually rolled around and I'll be dribbling drool from my mouth and staring at the wall. I'll watch television for a couple of hours to help clear my mind.
And that is my schedule. I schedule everything. It's a bit crazy. My friends call me "hermit" because even on weekends I'll be so caught up with projects that they'll have to force me from the house in order to keep me from working.

Whew, you’re one busy woman! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write Hot Wheels?
My brain is a very strange thing. I can see literally anything and get a story off of it. An elementary school uses a play that I wrote on gummy bears every year, and I got the idea for the play from a bag of cherry gummies I saw on the kitchen counter. Hot Wheels was a bit of the same thing. It was actually a short story in a contest and was inspired by a YA romance writing prompt. (It won second place.) Kathy Teel, an editor, asked me to make it longer and turn it into a book.

I get strange! What sets Hot Wheels apart from other books in the same genre?
Well, I hope it isn't bad that I say this, but the fact that my protagonist is a girl in a wheelchair sets her apart from other main characters. She has to be strong because of a physical disability in a place that is hard enough when you don't have one—high school. 

How have you evolved as an author since I first interviewed you for your book, Dragon Night last November?
I used to focus primarily on YA, but I have been getting more into adult fiction lately. That could be the fact that I am growing up with my characters. A lot of writers start when they are adults. I didn't do that. I started professionally when I was sixteen. Now I'm twenty one—still a kid by most people's standards, but every year my work gets a more mature feel to it as I turn into the adult I want to be. In a business that is as difficult as publishing is, you have to gain maturity and levelheadedness if you want to survive. For example, you have to be able to bend to your editors' wishes and if somebody says no, you can't get frustrated. To me, traits like that make you an adult.

Yes, you sure have to grow up fast in this business! How long did it take for you to start and finish Hot Wheels?
Not long. Probably about a month, as far as I can remember. It was shorter than what I usually write, but that's one thing I really like about the e-book revolution. Not all books have to be long.

Besides never giving up, what advice can you share with aspiring writers, Stephanie?
Network, network, network. The people that you talk to can make your career. I've made friends with people who have ended up being my mentors. And when you do get rejected—because everybody in this business does—don't talk back. Seriously. I helped a friend of mine while she was on vacation with her slush pile. You would be shocked what people write to you when you politely decline their work. The editors will remember you, but as the person they don't want to work with. 

True that! What’s next for Stephanie Campbell the author?
Oh, I am so glad that this was asked. I am about to start the query process for my book, Racing Death. Racing Death is about this man, Jerome, who meets Death personified as a person. Death tells Jerome that this girlfriend, Bridget, is going to die. Jerome will try anything to save her.

I love it. I don't know why, but my writing had a different tone when I wrote this book. It was like Jerome was writing himself. The story is darker and kind of edgy. Then again I say that about all of my "babies."
Oh, and I also will be a guest speaker at the SLC literary conference this August, so if anybody wants to come talk to me in person, I'll be there.

Best of luck with your speaking gig! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series– If you could time travel and meet anyone in history, who would you meet, and why?
This is random, but I'd want to meet Edgar Allen Poe and I'd bring a copy of that thriller movie based on his final days. I'd want to see what he'd think of it.*Laughs.*

Author Bio:
Stephanie Campbell is a novelist in Ogden, Utah, where she lives with her family and   dogs. Her interests include history, traveling, classic movies, and biographies. She published her first book at seventeen and has continued to write with the goal of being a career novelist. She is the author of the novels Poachers, Dragon Night, Tasting Silver, Keeping Freedom, Late but not Never, Case Closed, Icy Tales of Draga, E is for Eternity, Specimen X, and P.S. I Killed My Mother, all of which are being published or have been published by traditional houses. She has been interviewed by All Romance e-books, Hobbes End Publishing and Night Owl Reviews.

Her blog is

Hot Wheel's Bio:
Lindy thinks her life is defined by her wheelchair, but one secret admirer sees more—he sees Hot Wheels.

Lindy Harris is a quiet, studious high school student who’s in love with books. When she sees a note written in her favorite poetry book to “Hot Wheels”, she’s in disbelief. That’s when she realizes the book belonged to the sender—Mark Ferry, the student body president. She’s all but convinced when she finds out that he, of all people, wants to go out with her.


  1. Stephanie, your writing schedule is so organised. No wonder you produce so many stories.
    Wonderful interview, Sharon. :-)

    1. Thanks, Amaleen! I think Stephanie should bottle her energy and sell it to authors like me! Woot!

  2. Gosh, keeping such a schedule is pretty inspirational. If I didn't have kids I'd stick to it!