When did you decide to be an author?
For me, being a writer wasn’t a decision, just like a person can’t one day decide to breathe. It sounds melodramatic, but for me, it’s true. I never had a moment when I said, I think I want to be a writer. I just always knew it was what I was. I wrote my first book, though a sloppy one, at eight years old and never looked back. I may be only twenty-one now, but I’m certain this career will be the one which I will embrace for the rest of my life.
What was your first piece published?
When I was ten, I wrote a short story for a Reflections contest. It won district and I got twenty dollars. That was an impressive amount of money for a kid who never got allowance.
What character is most like you?
Miley, probably. In Zombies of Water’s Edge, she is a gothic cheerleader. She isn’t what people expect. I’m a lot like that. I’m a writer, so a lot of people see me as a coffee shop dwelling creature with a dark, mysterious demeanor. In reality, I like coffee shops but LOATHE to write in them. I like quiet for my work. I am bubbly and happy. I don’t really drink. Also, I am far from mysterious. My favorite thing in the world besides writing is dancing (or running.) Basically, I feel like mishmash. I’ve never had a place I fit in just right, and I see Miley as the same.
What was the first story you wrote as a child?
I wrote a book about a girl named Epiphany when I was in elementary school that remains the one closest to my heart. Epiphany was a woman who was beaten mercilessly by her parents until she was beyond recognition. They did every horror to her anyone could possibly imagine. She had no self-esteem in herself. She was downtrodden. Depressed. Lonely. Deep down, Epiphany believed nobody would ever love a creature such as her. After all, her parents hated her and showed it. What kind of person was so unlovable not even her parents loved her? Then a man came, a soldier who was no prince and was of average wealth. Her father forced the man to marry Epiphany via blackmail. The man learned to love the girl. Through his love, Epiphany learned to love herself and finally became happy. The two of them had a child together. They loved the child like a child deserves to be love—with passion, affection, and gentleness.
Of course, I’m older now and understand no man can ever save you from your problems, even a great one like the soldier Ajax in my story. If I ever get married, I want to have a daughter and name her Epiphany, after my first story character. (Piphy for short.)
Do you have any advice for anyone writing a book?
Plan out the same writing time every single day. Even if it’s just ten minutes a day, KEEP AT IT.
Who is your favorite author?
J.K. Rowling. She was so poor when she started and she never gave up. I love that about her. It’s her soul which makes her such a special person. If I could get the chance to even lay eyes on her, I would weep with joy. She also says the most beautiful things. She stands up for people with weight issues and she lost her billionaire status because she donated so much to charity. To me, that is a woman worth idolizing. I want to be like her not just because of her brilliance as a writer but because of her brilliance as a person. I want to be strong and generous, loving and open-minded. I believe that is why God chose her to touch so many people. He chose her because He knew she was such an amazing person she would bring light into the world. I was the generation that grew up with Harry. I waited at the midnight releases and endured puberty right along with him. I am a blessed person for getting that privilege.
What technique do use write (make it up as you go, plan it)?
I outline, then deviate from my outline. I never seem to be able to stick with it, but that’s okay. My characters think for themselves and I like that. I never get stuck in my books, thank heavens. The voices in my head seem to know what they’re doing, which is great because I usually feel like I don’t.
What piece are you working on now?
I am working on a piece called The Mechanics of Being Human. This is a book about a girl named Fawn who wakes up in the middle of a fire and has no idea who she is. Her parents come to get her, but she doesn’t know them. She doesn’t know herself. All she remembers is a man named Jax and a dark workshop. Still she can’t fight her parents and leaves with them. While there, she meets a boy name Gavin. Together they begin to unravel the secrets of her past and discover who she is.
This book is a YA romance.
What is your favorite book?
I don’t have one. I love too many books to choose. It’s pretty much whatever I’m reading at the time. So much work goes into books that I always see something wondrous about each one. Every author is different and their writing is beautiful in their own way.
Did you receive any awards for a book of yours?
I wish I had a big one to report, but I don’t. I did receive a bestseller’s star on All Romance. Maybe someday in the future.
Zombies of Water’s Edge Book One:
The town of Water’s Edge is suddenly turned on its head when soldiers flood in, evacuating citizens. Twelve-year-old Kevin Mara and his friends Charity, Miley, Deacon, and Trent question why, but nobody gives them an answer. When Charity, the girl Kevin has had a crush on for forever, decides she wants to stay behind, he is anxious. Still she pushes it and Kevin chooses to wait with her and hide out. Miley, Deacon, and Trent decide that if Kevin and Charity are staying behind, they will too. The mistake turns out bigger than any of them bargained for, though, when Water’s Edge gets a devastating surprise—killer zombies.
Zombies of Water’s Edge Book 1 Excerpt:
Twelve-year-old Kevin Mara was surrounded by a black world. Nothingness. Where am I? What is this place? He sat up, sweat pouring down his back, and gasped. He could swear he felt his bed beneath him, yet he was sickly aware of the darkness surrounding him. An endless darkness.
A cold world without feeling or time.
Kevin stepped forward, feeling a floor beneath him though he could see none. He plundered through the darkness, his fear enhanced by the sound of a low, deep moan. He could hear his gulp as his adams apple bobbed. He breathed in deeply as he reached into his pocket searching for anything that could be destructive. Those self-defense lessons might have been a good idea after all, he thought. He remembered the coach saying anything could be used as a weapon—a pencil, a key. I would feel more comfortable with a steak knife.
Kevin searched his pockets. Desperate fingers blindly sought out anything only to retrieve a few pieces of lint. Deadly lint? Yeah, right.
“Darn it.” The words escaped his mouth before he realized. Instinctively, he covered his lips, forbidding further noise.
In the same fraction of a second, a high-pitched voice echoed his words. “Darn it.” What was that? Some sort of ghost?
If the hair on the back of his neck could really stand up on end, Kevin was sure it was doing exactly that. His mind began playing images of a woman dressed in all white, holding him down in bed. He felt sick. Maybe watching that horror movie with Charity hadn’t been such a good idea after all. Charity? Suddenly he felt frightened for her. A gut-wrenching fear for her safety.
His hands trembled and grew balmy as he pictured Charity being pressed to the wall by that same woman dressed in white. The woman’s fist, pale with bulging blue veins, clutching Charity’s throat and causing her eyes to bulge in fear. No, not Charity. Anybody but Charity. His heart pounded harder, so hard he was surprised it didn’t echo along with his voice.
Kevin took another step forward, desperate to rescue Charity from the strange woman. His red high-tops reverberated a high-pitch squeak. A giggle, high-pitched and loud, cut through his thoughts. A familiar giggle. Was it Charity? It sounded like her. His mind once again flashed to the vision he had had.
Charity, held up by her neck against the wall. Charity, eyes bulging with fear with sweat dribbling down her forehead in clear rivers. Charity, desperate for him to save her.
“Charity?” he cried. “Charity?”
The person giggled again, sounding like a wind chime during a storm.
A figure appeared before him, tall, dark, and thin. A person with long black hair and a face as pale as his bed sheets. Red rimmed eyes with chestnut irises glared out at him. In a panic, he rushed at the person and grabbed them, wrapping his hands around a pair of thin shoulders. The vision flickered in and out. For just a second, he could have sworn the person had hair of fire. But then the woman was dark-haired and evil again.
Kevin began to squeeze and squeeze until the shadow screamed, “For heaven’s sake, Kevin, get off of me. Jeez.”
This manuscript’s rights are available via my agent, Sheri Williams, at http://www.redwritinghoodink.net.
About the author:
I am the published author of The Willow Does Not Weep, Racing Death, Case Closed, Mirror of Darkness, Hot Wheels, Dragon Night, Poachers, Dragon Night, Tasting Silver, Late but not Never, Specimen X, Tales of Draga, E is for Eternity, and P.S. I Killed My Mother. I have written another screenplay available, His Name was Dan Jose. My short story, The Beauty in Ugly, is being produced by Lower End Productions. I am represented by Sheri Williams of Red Writing Hood Ink.
If you want to read more about my release(s) or just want to keep up with me, please feel free to join with me on any of the following websites.
My blog: http://www.stephaniecampbellsblog.blogspot.com/#!/
My website: http://stephaniecampbellreleases.weebly.com/
My Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Stephanie-Campbell/540104712672670
My Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephanieECamp
My agent’s page: http://www.redwritinghoodink.net/
You can also hear me talk on The Candy O’Donnell Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/candyodonnell/2012/10/23/author-stephanie-elisabeth-campbell.
I have also spoken with Silver Star Media at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/angelsandwarriors/2012/10/27/meet-stephanie-campbell