In this great journey of self-publishing my own novel, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many other self published authors. One of them is the amazing Kate Campbell, who has a way with words that I wish I could bottle up and steal for myself. Kate and I also have a very similar history, starting in journalism and moving to self publishing your own novel, so I’m very excited that I was able to score an interview with Kate regarding her writing to celebrate the release of her novel, “Adrift in the Sound”.
Stephanie: How did you know you should become an author?
Kate: That’s like asking how did you know you should breathe. I have always told stories. Journalism is a small canvas, however, and I’ve always wanted to paint with words on a big expanse. Perhaps I have spent too much time thinking about and studying the masters. A better question might be how did you know it was OK not to be perfect? That’s a more important question for me. I think close examination of the world’s great writers can be paralyzing. I don’t recommend the approach.
Advice from many great writers to beginners is to write, don’t read the work of others and compare. I got confidence in telling a story fully from, of all places, Walter Mosley, a writer of Los Angeles mystery/detective novels. In his book, This Year You Write Your Novel, he said a novel has the space to tell a long story, but it’s not an excuse for sloppy writing. I got the sense from this that I could write as much as I want, but must be disciplined about using that much canvas. I recommend Mosley’s book on writing. It gave me the kick in the pants I needed to get on with who I am.
Stephanie: How do you react to a bad review?
Kate: So far I haven’t had a bad review, but when Adrift in the Sound was critiqued in workshop and I got feedback like: “Banal writing. The main character isn’t loveable. Ordinary narrative, not enough drama. The writing sounds like it’s copied from Wikipedia. Who cares about a bunch of junkies? Boring.” I couldn’t write for six months after that. I cried. I doubted. I took up knitting. I hated myself and I got over it. Adrift in the Sound is a better book because of those critiques.
Stephanie: If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
Kate: The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, because of the jazz-age panache.
Stephanie: In your wildest dreams, which author would you love to co-author a book with?
Kate: Joan Didion, Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, Amy Tan, Janet Fitch, Caroline Leavitt, Cheryl Strayed, Lynn Freed, Pam Houston, Joy Haro. Sorry, can’t name just one. There are so many accomplished writers my list could go on and on. God, I love these women and learn so much from them.
Stephanie: If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play the lead role and why?
Kate: A young Elizabeth Taylor or Vivian Leigh—stunningly beautiful and so much more.
Stephanie: What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Kate: Put the seat of your pants in the seat of the chair and just do it—write!
Definitely some great advice! Go over to amazon and check out her book, Adrift in the Sound, which is only 3.99 and available for those of you with Kindles from the lenders library. As a special Thanksgiving treat for you, it will be goes free for Kindle Prime members Nov. 20 to 22. It’s a definite must read!
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre – Literary Fiction
Rating – PG13