Saturday, May 22, 2010

Author Interview: Chelsea Campbell

Last month I met debut author, Chelsea Campbell, who graciously agreed to answer a few questions and let me post them here. Her novel, THE RISE OF RENEGADE X, launched in the middle of May and has risen to the top of my TBR list. Congratulations, Chelsea, here's wishing you great success!

Bio:  Chelsea Campbell grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where it rains a lot. And then rains some more. She finished her first novel when she was twelve, sent it out, and promptly got rejected. Since then she’s written many more novels, earned a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek, become an obsessive knitter and fiber artist, and started a collection of glass grapes. As a kid, Chelsea read lots of adult books, but now that she’s an adult herself (at least according to her driver’s license), she loves books for kids and teens. Besides writing, studying ancient languages, and collecting useless objects, Chelsea is a pop culture fangirl at heart and can often be found rewatching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, leveling up in World of Warcraft, or spending way too much time on Livejournal and Facebook.

On Writing:

Favorite thing about writing a first draft:
The emotion, whether it's romance, comedy, or adventure.

Best thing about writing for kids and/or teens:
It's fun.  I feel so bogged down a lot of times when trying to read books for adults, but so many books for kids and teens have great voices and fast moving plots.  It doesn't feel like they're trying to prove anything to anyone, just make a good read.

Favorite word?:

One word that describes your path to publication:

If I could have two dream careers, I’d be an author and a:
Singer on Broadway.

On Life:

If I could snap my fingers and solve one of the problems here on earth, it would be:
Making it so Arrested Development and Firefly didn't get cancelled.

Best thing about being a child:
Time moved so slowly.

Worst thing about being a child:
I always felt immensely stupid and babyish when around adults, because no matter how smart I was or how long I could entertain them, eventually I would say or do something that was completely childish and lose their interest.  On the flip side, when talking to kids my age I would often talk about, say, a sitcom on TV I liked, and the other kids would just give me this blank stare and then change the subject because they had no idea what I was talking about.

Best thing about being a teenager:
The bright, anything-is-possible future ahead of me. feeling of having a bright, anything-is-possible future ahead of me.

Worst thing about being a teenager:
Everything seemed like it was in the future, not happening now, no matter how hard I was working towards my goals.

Most memorable teen moment:
A couple female friends and I snuck into the boys bathroom to put flyers up after school and ran into two of the younger/cooler teachers on our way out. 

A quote I live by:
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it."  -Goethe

In My Perfect World…
Everyone would get paid and get hamburgers at least once a week.

There would be an abundance of toilet paper and mayonnaise.

No one would be deprived of good TV shows.

Every child would have a tiny pony.

No one would ever throw up.

Travel would be free for everyone.

You can purchase a copy of Chelsea's debut novel, The Rise of Renegade X, here:

Chelsea's website:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Too Busy to Blog

This month I set some lofty writing goals and in so doing, I have little time for posting. Next month I plan to post a bundle of author interviews to make up for May's blog blahs.

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: My Life in Pink and Green (L. Greenwald) A Conspiracy of Kings (M. Whalen Turner) The Six Rules of Maybe (D. Caletti)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chasing Up Trees and Throwing Rocks

Last month at the Western Washington SCBWI Annual Conference, I had the privilege of meeting and listening to advice from funny guy and NY Times bestselling author, Jay Asher.

On Sunday afternoon he lead a breakout session on writing suspense called "No Bookmarks Allowed". Since I read his bestselling novel Thirteen Reasons Why in one shot, I suspected the talk would be worth my time. And it was worth a whole lot more than my time.

What is the one thing he said that has echoed through my mind for the past month? "Chase your main characters up a tree, and then throw rocks at them."

I'm not sure if that quote was original, or whether he borrowed it from someone else, but let me tell you, I'm having loads of fun incorporating that advice into my works-in-progress.

How about you?

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Something, Maybe (E. Scott) Little Brother (C. Doctorow) Jellicoe Road (M. Marchetta)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Twists and Turns

One of the things I love the most about driving down the road of a new story is the amazing twists and turns that take me places I never imagined. Along comes a detour and I must consult my creative map and find a new path. Sometimes it's a one-lane unpaved highway riddled with potholes, but it gets me where I need to go. Bumps and all. Never mind the unexpected people I encounter on the way. That's a whole 'nother thing.

This week I found myself in the middle of a demonstration at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Paris, 1940).

WHAT I'M READING THIS WEEK: Undercover (B. Kephart) The Sky is Everywhere (J. Nelson) Chasing Tail Lights (P. Jones) Bait (A. Sanchez)