Author Spotlight

I recently had the opportunity to chat with a very talent author, who took time out of her busy schedule to chat with us.  So, without further delay let’s hear from

Phyllis Campbell

Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Actually, no.  In school, I hated to have to write a report for my English class.  I had a hard time coming up with ideas.  Then again, I was never asked to write a romance.  I started reading romances the year after I was married in 1985, and I think that had a lot to do with it…that, and my movie-like dreams.

What was the best piece of advice that you received when you first started out?  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Hmmmm…good question.  I received a lot of advice.  Probably the best advice was to learn everything I could about writing.  Don’t stop learning!  To this day I follow that advice.  My advice to others would be – Don’t give up!  The writing / publishing world is a crazy place to be, but very rewarding.  Keep at it and don’t give up your dream!

What makes Phyllis tick?
I didn’t know I ticked…although my daughters will tell you I can be a time-bomb... If your question is what keeps Phyllis writing, well, it would have to be the dream I’ve had since I first started writing.  I want to be published with the big guys.  I want my book at bookstores all around the world.  And a nice paycheck would be wonderful, too.  What keeps me trying?  All the wonderful reviews I get from my books, along with the encouragement from my critique groups.  I want to do this just to prove I can!  I love competition, and I’m going to be in this fight until the end.

Your books have some humorous aspects in them. Do you feel that humor is an important part of life?
Of course!  Gads, what a depressing place this would be if we couldn’t find something to laugh about.  Right?  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have goofed up a time or two in my life.  I’m clumsy and fall over myself and say the wrong things from time to time…  Hey, it makes life interesting.  Well, I believe there’s got to be a little humor in my stories, too.  I want to hear a reader say, “I laughed, I cried, and I couldn’t put this story down.” <grins>

How do your story ideas come to you?
They first started coming to me in dreams.  Not like a whole story, but a scene at a time.  From that scene (or scenes) from my dream, I’d piece together the story.  Play the ‘what-if’ game, and figure out my character’s goals, motivations, and the conflict keeping them apart.  Now my ideas come from a scene I’ve written from another book, or a song I hear, or something I read on the internet or see on television.  It’s usually something little, but by the time I’ve figured it out, it’s a very long story!

How does the writing process work for you? Do you plan it all out or do you write page by page?
I’m a panster.  I rarely plot a story.  Before I start writing, I think about my character’s GMC’s (goals, motivations, conflicts).  Then I decide where I want the story to take place, and in whose head I want to start…and I write.  After about the fourth or fifth chapter, then I sit down and plot a little more.  I rarely know the ending until I get there.  I let my characters write it for me, and so far, I’ve yet to be disappointed.

How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
When I first started writing ten or so years ago, I didn’t have a computer.  I had thick notebooks and several pencils.  It took me six weeks, sometimes two months.  Of course, I only worked part time, too.  Now that I work full time, it takes much longer.  Although…if I get a request for my story and I only have about half written, I can finish the story in about a week.  I figure I can type approximately twenty pages a day – which in my books are a chapter.  This, of course, doesn’t count the editing time.  I think I work well under pressure!

Tell us some of your favorites: foods, color, movies, music, books, authors, holidays, and any other favorites.
Food: Chinese

Movies:  Anything that has a romance in it and has a Happily Ever After. So far, my favorite is Phantom Of The Opera, only because I’m a sucker for a hunk who can sing… heehee

Music:  I’m an 80’s girl!  Anything from the 1980’s, baby!

Books: Historical romance…Regency, Victorian, and Western.

Authors:  Too many to count, but I think Kathleen E Woodiwiss will always be my favorite because it was her book, The Rose In Winter that I fell in love with, which is what made me start reading romances. 

Holidays:  I’m a Halloween freak.  Strange, huh?

Favorite Type Of Man:  Tall, Dark, and Yummy!  I don’t know why, but my men must have dark hair – and glorious muscles!

If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be and why?
You’re asking the wrong question.  You forget, I have published several stories…and I still have several that need to find a home.  And it wouldn’t just be any character – it would have to be one of my heroes.  Then again, I would have a hard time picking between Edmund Knight one sexy rogue from my Victorian Her Knight Of Seduction, and my sexy and lovable Damien Giovanni from my romantic comedy Ten Ways To Melt A Man’s Heart, and my very sensual family man, William Braxton from my Colonial, Pretend I’m Yours.  These have been my favorite.  Although…that’s not saying any of my others aren’t yummy, too.  They all have different personalities, so I love them for different reasons.

Do you have a difficult time letting your characters go when you are finished with their stories?
Oh yes!!!  And because of this, I usually write other stories that share my characters.  I have a five-book series, even.  LOL  I’m very bad for doing this…

Do you enjoy hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
Definitely!  Good or bad.  I want to know if I’m doing something wrong, too.  I know I can’t please everyone, but I can try.  Thankfully, I haven’t heard anything bad yet… <crossing fingers it doesn’t happen>  But my readers can contact me through my email address: phylliscampbell84302@yahoo.com

What would a perfect day for you involve?
Not having to be at my eight hour a day job, having the house to myself, and not feeling guilty about not fixing my hair or putting my make-up on…and especially not feeling guilty about cleaning the house.  A perfect day would be when the things mentioned above would happen, plus my muse would become like the Energizer Bunny, and I could write and write and write…

Are your family and friends your biggest fans?  Do they read your work?
Well, I’ve still yet to convince my husband that my writing is a good thing…  But both of my daughters have read my books, and they are my fans.  I will only let my mother read a few of my books – only because I know I write what she doesn’t like to read (sex scenes!!)  Mainly, I have to rely on people I don’t know to read my books and become my biggest fans.  There are six ladies who I work with that have read all my books…and they keep asking for more.  That’s a good thing.

Do you believe in one true love and have you found yours?
Gads, I hope so.  I’d hate to think I’ve wasted twenty-two years with the wrong guy!  ACK!  But some days I wonder…  heehee

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I want to thank Joyfully Reviewed for interviewing me.  What an honor!  Also, I want to encourage those who haven’t read my books to try me out.  Check my collection on my website – www.phyllismariecampbell.com

     

© All Rights Reserved 2005-2010 - www.JoyfullyReviewed.com

All reviews are the opinion of the reviewer.
Graphic Design by Valerie Tibbs