Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stephanie Campbell, Multi-Published Author

AUTHOR: Stephanie Campbell
BOOK TITLE: Crossing Over
PUBLISHER: No Boundaries Publishing

1.     Please tell me how long you've been writing, and why you decided to become a writer.

I've been writing since I was a little kid. I remember in elementary school that it was "pig week." I wrote a story about pigs on lined paper, complete with illustrations. When I showed the librarian, she told me to put it up there with the other stories. I felt so proud then. It's still one of my fondest memories.

2.     Are you a full-time writer or a part-time writer, and how do you organize your writing time?

Full-time. I honestly spend all day, every day writing. I don't believe in weekends. During the day, I am a novelist and at night I'm a journalist. Two different styles of writing that are fun. *Laughs.*

3.     What influences your writing?

My emotions, mostly. That's why I flop back and forth between genres. I also use my dreams a lot for my more serious works.

4.     Is this your first published work?  What other types of writing have you done?

No, I've done quite a bit. I write pretty much everything that goes my way. I love to write anything from fluffy women's fiction to deep, dark horror. Right now, my life has been predominated by children's books, though.

5.     Why did you choose to write a children's story?

I think some of the most intense parts of our lives happen when we're kids. It affects who we are. That's why I think that it's such an incredible group to write for and about. When you get older, a lot of people know who they are. Kids don't. I love to explore that journey. It's hard and wonderful at the same time.

6.     What was the process of creating this book from the first idea to the final published book?
            I outline, write, and then edit three times before sending the book in to my publisher. I did that               and then sent it away. For this book, it was really a rather painless project. The same could not be said for my other books.

7.     What are your thoughts on traditional versus self-publishing?

As a person whose done both, I say go with traditional. I self-published when I was sixteen and paid thousands of dollars that I earned at a pizza shop after school. It was a bad choice, honestly. The book was poorly edited and the advertising that was supposedly "top dollar" didn't do me much good at all.

Later, I used Smashwords and published some things for free, which was okay. That just wasn't for me. Publishers that you don't have to pay for are better. Yeah, even as an in-house author you get a rejection every once in a while and the editors aren't afraid to tell you what's wrong with your piece, but I have grown so much. I have bonded with many of my editors, too. It really does make a village to make a novel, and I value their guidance.

8.     What is your marketing strategy?

Gosh, that is honestly one I'm still trying to figure out. I use social media and blogs, and I also do book signings (if the book is hard copy) and do presentations. I have more trouble with that. It's very odd, because I try hard at every stage of the process.

9.     What are your thoughts about children's writers needing an agent or not needing one?

*Laughs.* Well, I love my book companies thus far. I honestly say it depends. I am working my way into having one just because I think that books sell better through large companies who have more money to spend on promotion. I can't say that for sure, though. While I have many wonderful publishers who I love to work with, I don't have an agent yet.

10.  Where can people find out more about you and your writing? is the best website to go to. I check all of my comments, too, so contacting me with questions is easy.

11.  Do you have any tips for writers who are new to children's literature?

Oh yes. I actually get asked this a lot. Pick a time slot every day for writing. A lot of people quit writing mid-way through. Even if it's just ten minutes a day, eventually you'll have a published book.

12.  Please give us a brief synopsis about your current book and when and where it will be available.

Twelve-year-old Jimena has always been poor. That is nothing new to someone who lives in Metlatonoco, which is the poorest city in all of Mexico. No one there knows what it's like to have proper food or clean drinking water. Instead, their education comes in the form of a tiny, one-roomed shack taught by a relief teacher, and to them, being able to read a children's book is considered a great feat. Still Jimena's family is morale...until her brother begins to change.

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