Monday, December 10, 2012

Welcome Patty Campbell today

Welcome to my Reading Nook,  Patty Campbell. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

How nice. I could use one today. Oh, please, have that dark-eyed hunk by the bar bring it to me.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

Can you please share with us a little about yourself? 
I’m the oldest of five daughters, and my husband and I have five grown sons between us. I was a widow when I met Larry.  We took a writing classs together in North Hollywood. He’d done some screenwriting, and I was interested in honing my writing skills with the goal of being published. The upshot—he quit writing and I’ve been writing ever since. That was in 2001. I’m a romantic, so I write romance, love, family, loyalty, commitment and living with the life choices one makes.

I’ve also been published in erotica, under a pen name that I’ll take to my grave. The only way my family will ever know is if a royalty check arrives after I’m dead.

Tell us about your latest book, including its genre. Does it cross over to other genres? If so, what are they? 
Jelly’s Big Night Out was published in March of this year.  Jelly’s not my first book, but the first one to be published. It’s a straight R rated romance with elements of humor, passion, tragedy, and a happily ever after.

How do you come up with ideas? 
Sometimes it’s something I read in the newspaper or magazine, or an overheard conversation in a public place, or speculating about an interesting looking stranger. Much is from my personal experience or people I’ve known. My best ideas come when I’m out walking -- or ironing. Don’t look at me like that! Some people still own ironing boards. I started ironing piece work when I was 13 to earn money for new school clothes. I came to love it. It’s by far my biggest stress reliever and idea hothouse.

What do you enjoy most about writing? 
I enjoy the powerful feeling of creation.  I love creating characters, situations, outcomes. I’m master of the universe when I’m writing. I can be anyone and experience everything.

Where do you start when writing? Research, plotting, outline, or...? 
I start with a character. In my current WIP (work in progress), Risky Business, my heroine is a quirky and bizarre dog rescuer, and my hero is a lusciously handsome undertaker. Once I have the characters I write a short bio on them, for my purposes only, then ideas start. How will these two people ever get together? What will happen to them to keep them apart once they become attracted? What obstacles, within and without, will they need to overcome? How hot will the passion burn?

What did you learn from writing your first book?  
I learned that I needed to know a lot more about the craft of writing. I was lucky to know a published author who was generous with her wisdom and friendship. She said, “If I can do it, you can do it. So do it!”

Is your muse demanding? 
This muse of mine is very contrary. He tends to inspire me around the time of day I should be thinking about what’s for dinner, not when I’m sitting in front of my computer. I put my butt in the chair every morning, but for some reason I can’t really get anything meaty down on paper until later in the day, or often late at night.

Are your stories plot or character driven? 
They’re all about character. I’m definitely not an advance plotter. My characters take over and do what they want to do. Every now and then I have to put my foot down and show them who the writer is. Time to give the story structure and theme.

How do you balance a life outside of writing with deadlines and writing muses? 
After thirty years in the travel business, meeting payroll and all the other burdens of owning and operating my own companies -- 9/11 hit me with the revelation that I had a different life to live and different goals that weren’t going to wait. I sold my travel agency, home, coffee bar, and shook off the craziness of California. We moved to Jackson, Wyoming. The combination of breathtaking mountains, heart-stopping wildlife, clean air, and living in a town with less than ten thousand population injected me with a new breath of optimism. I’m in my second life and loving every minute of it. Six years ago we moved to southwest Florida. Coats not required.

If I was a first time reader of your books, which one would you recommend I start with and why? 
Well, since Jelly’s Big Night Out is the only one published so far, that’s it. But be on the lookout for - Once a Marine - Heaven Won’t Wait - Hullo Love – and Risky Business. Somebody is going to buy those stories and make them available in eBook and print. I just know it.

A biography has been written about you. What do you think the title would be in six words or less? 
It’s a Wonderful Life.

If money were not an object, where would you most like to live? 
Summers in Jackson, Wyoming, and winters in Kauai.

If you came with a warning label, what would it say? 
Warning: The picture and description on the outside of the box are identical in size, shape and quality as the product inside.  Batteries not needed.

Care to tell us what may be coming next from you? 
Right now I have Once a Marine circulating the publishing houses while I work on Risky Business.

Anything else you want to add? 

I have an author profile on Amazon:

Thanks for taking the time to be here today. I wish you many sales and wonderful reviews.

Thank you, Dawn. It was my pleasure.

Jelly's Big Night Out by Patty Campbell
Etopia Press

            She has an eye for fashion, but family commitment comes before romance.

            After life takes a tragic turn, Jelly Swanson has no time for men. Providing a safe, nurturing home for her little sister and running a successful boutique left her too busy for much else, and forced the idea of a love live to the back burner. But when she goes to school for a teacher conference, her sister Emi’s science teacher takes Jelly completely by surprise. The chemistry between them is undeniable.
            When Emi goes missing, a tangle of secrets and past loves may destroy any chance they have at happiness.

Teaser Excerpt:

Simi Valley, California, Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.

     “What? I have a conference with your teacher this morning?” Jelly looked at her kid sister. “I swear, Martha Elizabeth, you keep pulling this kind of baloney, one of these days I’m going to kill you.”
Emi stood glaring at her, her usual defiant stance. She tried for a mean look, but her sweet face at fourteen still had some rosy baby fat. The oversize Jonas Brothers tee shirt hung almost to her knees over faded jeans. Jelly struggled to keep a straight face.
“Don’t call me that! My name is Emi. Go ahead and kill me if you want to, it must run in the family. Then you can go up to Folsom and share Daddy’s cell.”
Jelly heaved a sigh. “Let’s leave Daddy out of it for today, all right?” She turned back to the mirror to finish her hair. “You must have known about this teacher conference for days. Why are you telling me now? Are you in some kind of trouble?”
     Hands on her hips Emi yelled, “No! I just forgot, okay?” She flashed her big sister a look of disapproval. “You can’t go see Mr. Henry looking like that. You wear way too much makeup and stuff.”
     “Look, kiddo,” Jelly turned from the mirror and pointed at her face, “this is the way I look. This is the way I dress. Live with it. At least I don’t go around looking like I live in a homeless shelter.” She dropped her brush on the counter. “You know that today is the biggest sale of the year for Big Night Out. I’ve planned and advertised it for weeks. How am I supposed to take off for an hour or more in the middle of the morning? My new girl started yesterday. I haven’t even had time to train her.” She closed the door on the medicine cabinet with sharp snap. “You make me nuts, Emi.”
     “I know the feeling.”
     Jelly mimicked her posture. “You know the feeling? Tell me, baby sister, what is it that I’ve done so wrong in the past twelve years? I quit school to take care of you when Daddy went to jail for killing that bastard who murdered our mother. We were lucky this house was paid off or we’d have been on the street.
“Aunt Martha had to hang around here for months afterward to keep the Child Welfare people from putting both of us in foster care. I got a job to feed us, went to night school and then opened Big Night Out three years ago. I don’t even have a life to call my own!”


Catherine Cavendish said...

Inspirational interview, Patty. It must have taken a lot of courage to take that leap of faith after 9/11. Glad it's worked out so well. 'Jelly's Big night Out' looks like a great read! Good luck with it

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Catherine. Courage is usually there when we need it.

Larry said...

"What you see is what you get"-- that's Patty, and what you get is a lot. She is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Patty's husband Larry

Barbara Floyd said...

I enjoyed learning more about Patty and now understand where some of her insight came from when writing "Jelly's Big Night Out". I look forward to her upcoming books so hurry and get them published.
Patty is very generous about helping other aspiring writers and lives up to the phrase "paying it forward".
Keep up the good work, Patty. You go girl!

earwig said...

Great interview! The book is a lot of fun too!

Anonymous said...

Patty is an inspiration and great teacher. She's helped me so much. I admire her talent and creative ability to take you away with her books. She's inspiring, funny, witty and a great writer!

Molly Jebber

Anonymous said...

Patty's spirit and sense of humor really come through in this interview, just like they do in the book!

Guy Campbell said...

From Guy, one of Patty's sons: This erotica comment has piqued my interest... more investigation is required. Jelly is an awesome read. After every chapter I'd pinch myself and say, My Mother wrote this? My Mother wrote this?

Anonymous said...

Great interview mom. Go girl.

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