Monday, May 9
Author Interview: Tracey Lee Campbell
Author of Starcrossed: Perigee
Hi, Tracey, thanks for agreeing to take part in this interview.
First of all tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a chocaholic Aussie and a part-time school teacher. I have four kids, a husband and two dogs, one of which slobbers and moults all over the place (no I'm not talking about my husband!) My children think I'm a bit of a nut and a bit embarrassing because I am into anything creepy, mysterious or spooky. I love history and travel, photography, and of course, writing.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I remember writing a 'book' when I was about ten years old - pages and pages of messy handwriting in pencil on that old style computer paper - the one with the holes down each side. (I'm probably showinf my vintage here!) I've been writing stories regularly ever since, but writing and publishing a book has always been on my 'to-do' list most of my life.
Your debut novel has recently been released, how do you feel about that?
I'm very proud and excited - not just because I think it's actually an interesting, enjoyable read, but also because I am a terrible procrastinator, so finishing it was a real achievement.
How long did it take you to write Starcrossed: Perigee?
I got the idea for it early 2010, and it took me a year, writing on and off, to finish it.
There is a lot of paranormal aspects of the book, mainly aliens, did that arise from a personal interest of yours?
Yes! I have a keen interest in anything 'highly strange' and strongly suspect there's something to this world other than the mundane reality we're presented with. I saw an amazing UFO when I was a small child, and have been fascinated with the topic ever since.
Was there any inspiration for any of the characters?
I have a teen daughter whose friends are over all the time. When I started writing the book I began to take more notice of the way they behaved, thought, spoke. Lucy is really bits and pieces of the teen girls I know.
I wanted Aric to be the 'ideal' teen girl's fantasy boyfriend. I don't think anyone could be as 'perfect' as Aric, so he isn't based on anyone. I think I managed to make him loveable and perfect on the outside, but deep down, a little flawed too. Someone who's too perfect is probably kind of boring.
Well it definitely worked coz i fell in love with Aric straight away. How did you come up with the idea of the Innaki?
Many of the seemingly 'way out' ideas in the book are actually based on established ideas in UFO ideology. It's fascinating stuff and I urge people to start looking it up! A researcher called Zacharia Sitchin proposed the idea that an extra-terrestrial race called the Annunaki created the ancient Sumerian people, possible so they could be used as slaves. I don't know whether it is true, but it is a cool story, and my Innaki (a name I produced from an online name generator after submitting the work 'annunaki'!) are a nod to Sitchin's proposal. Of course, many, many people all over the world have reported being abducted by these strange grey alien beings. I constructed the story around this theme and tried to come up with an idea of why the E.T's are doing this.
So how soon can we expect the next book?
I'm hoping to have the next book in the Starcrossed trilogy, entitled 'Dark Matter', out within six months. I have some very exciting ideas for it, including more tension between Lucy and Aric, and I'm adding some creepy new paranormal creatures, so I can't wait to see what they get up to.
What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love anything spooky, and I love romance fiction, so paranormal romance is right up my alley. I also enjoy historical fiction and historical romance.
Do you have any favourite authors that you'll read their books no matter what?
I really enjoy Barbara Erskine's books. She writes with a paranormal leaning - in particular her stories often feature 'ghosts' which are linked to the the present and the protagonist through some kind of time slip.
Is there a book that you can read again and again and never get bored of it?
I can't think of one - I suffer from ADD and have a terribly short attention span so, if I re-read a book, it has to be many years down the track to hold my attention again.
Lastly, do you have any advice for any budding authors who want to get published?
Treat your writing as a life-long learning experience. It is something which improves with practice and there are some great writing articles with useful advice out there, particularly on the internet. Read and learn, and apply what you've learnt to your writing. Very few people (if any) are instantaneously perfect writers. Hang out and network with other writers, authors, agents and publishers (on writing forums and social networking sites such as Twitter.) You will learn a lot about the publishing industry and writing itself.
It looks as if indie publishing is the way of the future - check it out, it seems the gatekeepers to the publishing industry are becoming dislodged and there's more hope for the independent author (so long as you're good - which is why I suggest you practice and learn to improve your craft).
Thank you very much for your time and I hope you'll stop by the blog again sometime.