Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Soapbox Spotlight: Rochelle Campbell

Thanks for joining me, and welcome to another installment of Soapbox Spotlight! We're kicking the holiday off with Rochelle Campbell.  She is an avid blogger and reviewer while also the author of three books: two novels and a children's book.  Today, she is talking to us about what she loves about writing.

Tell us about yourself, Rochelle.

I am a writer by nature, a loner by circumstance and forever a child of learning.  I started writing in my early childhood, and when I reached 5th grade, I realized that artfully putting words on a page was my calling.  In the '90s, I wrote only journalistic pieces.  I was a beat reporter for local papers.  I progressed to writing press releases, business proposals and the like.  During those days, in the wee hours of the morning, when Truth always stares us in the face, I dabbled with short stories.  I've written over 30 short stories and have thrown many of them away!  It was only after having children did I seriously attempt my first novel.

You never throw them away!  I have a large tote full of everything I've ever written.  Some of my best stuff if derived from things I thought was "whack" back in the day.  Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

From a young age I enjoyed reading.  No matter what was going on, you could rest assured my head was stuck in a book.  I guess my love of reading (and ultimately writing) originated with my mother reading to me every night.  I vividly recall books where words were replaced by pictures so even when I could not read I could still take part in the storytelling.  Those days were magical and set the tone for me wanting to create magical moments for others.

What inspires you to write and why?

I am inspired by everyday things -- an unusual news report, a random snippet of conversation, a beautiful landscape, or even an old shoe in an odd location.  The everyday inspires me because that's what we, as humans, experience normally.  The ordinary then takes us to the extraordinary…if we let it.

I love that!  What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

The most challenging thing about writing a novel is its sheer length.  My first love is the short story art form.  There, the brevity gives you total and complete control of your piece.  With the novel format, your characters come to life and begin telling you how things should be and they change scenes on you!  This makes the novel a bit contentious.

I have to agree with that.  I got my start in short stories, too, and I still love it.  What kinds of things do you look for in a book cover?

I look for covers that convey the central theme or meaning of the story.

What genre of books do you read, or do you stick with the genre you write in?

I adore sci-fi/fantasy, romance, thrillers, mysteries, political thrillers, medical thrillers -- you name it and I'll read it.  However, I write in the women's fiction/romance/inspirational (New Age) genre.  (Yeah, a mouthful!)  However, this genre is as natural to me as breathing.

Interesting!  What books have most influenced your life?

Cuckoo's Egg - CJ Cherryh
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein
A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
In Death series - J.D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts)

Funny, most of them are sci-fi/fantasy…

The whole A Wrinkle in Time series was a favorite of mine growing up.  I still own my copy!   Have you ever considered anyone a mentor?

My writing mentors are Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah.  Between the two of them, they birthed the writer within me and they continue to help me develop as a writer to this day.

How do you deal with rejection?

I have every single rejection letter I ever received! (laughing)  Seriously, some of my "No's" were extremely positive and spurred my passion and hope.  In fact, the last rejection letter I received was so positive that it was one of the major factors that encouraged me to strike out and publish my work via Amazon.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest, and why?

Yes! Jason Tesar, author of The Awakened series.  Within a matter of days, I had completely finished reading books 1-3 and went in search of the rest.  What I didn't realize is that they weren't written yet!  So, I devoured Tesar's blog.  That's where I first learned how simple it was to publish one's work online.
Besides this, Tesar's clear prose and his vivid characters, who are passionate and unforgettable, drew me in!  And again, his work is sci-fi/fantasy.  He's created an imaginary world that intersects with our own (Earth) making the story very dynamic.

Sounds like an amazing read! What else do you do to unwind and relax?

To relax and unwind?  Read a book, of course! (laughing)  I also love hot yoga.  Between the heat and trying to perfect my yoga poses (asanas), it takes me completely out of my head and re-focuses me.  As writers, we need that desperately -- time away from our own minds.

I agree!  I really enjoy yoga too!  Well, thanks for stopping by, Rochelle.  It's been wonderful!

Thank you for having me, Ray!

The Grim was reviewed on Rochelle's blog here.  You can also find my interview with her here.

You can find Rochelle at the following sites:

Website: http://thenotebookblogairy.com/
Blog: http://notebookblogairy.blogspot.com/
Twitter: @NotebkBlogairy

You can find Rochelle's books at the following sites:




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