Welcome, Jacqueline Campbell. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions.
1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
I love words. Growing up, I always had a book or two nearby. I would read anything: fiction, non-fiction, ingredient lists. I have always loved to write and kept notebooks filed with half-completed stories through middle and high school. I see my son and daughter doing the same thing now. Scrabble was a big deal when I was growing up, too. Unfortunately, no one will play with me now because they don’t think they can win. No one except my niece, that is, who still harbors dreams of beating me. She may yet do it.
2. What types of books do you write?
I write children’s fiction.
3. Who's your main audience?
My main audience is girls under 10.
4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
I think my strong points when it comes to writing are the beginning and the end. I hate when stories just stop, so I pay extra attention to how mine end. My weakness is dialogue. It is sometimes hard to create believable dialogue for a character that doesn’t sound like me!
5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
Writer’s block, oh how I know thee! I think it is an appropriate term because in sports, when someone is blocking you, you have to push through or around them. Same thing with writing. To overcome it, I just walk away and do something else. I have to let my subconscious handle it. The answer usually comes when I’m in the shower.
6. How many books have you written?
I have written 2 books, with a third in the mulling stage.
7. How many are published?
I am about to publish the first one. It is taking some time to get it ready because I am doing the illustrations, too.
8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The hardest part is starting. If there is some research I want to do, I can get totally involved in that and end up with nothing written for days. Maybe that’s a form of procrastination?
10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy fiction, mostly. As long as there is a good story, it can be science fiction, mystery, whatever. I also enjoy reading the books my kids read. They have shared some real gems with me, and of course we have all read the Harry Potter books and the Hunger Games trilogy.
11. Who's your favorite Author?
You would think that the author of my favorite book would be my favorite author, wouldn’t you? I don’t know if that’s the case, or if I have a favorite author. Hmmm….
12. What's your all time favorite book?
Hands down, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
13. How long does it take you to write a book?
Because these are designed to be picture books, I can get the whole story out in a day. It’s the re-reading and editing that can take a while.
14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
Much as I love the main character in the book I am about to publish, I think I like the girl in my second book best. Her name is Charles Amelia and she reminds me of my daughter!
16. What does your family think of your writing?
My family is fantastic! My husband and both kids are very supportive, and my daughter is my first-line editor. If she doesn’t like it, then it needs reworking.
17. What does your writing schedule look like?
Since I am currently in the illustrating phase, there isn’t much writing going on, unless you count my blog, where I try to post a couple of times a week. I write best in the morning.
18. Do you manage to write every day?
I write most days, but that’s mainly blog posts right now while I work on these pictures.
19. What's the latest news you'd like to share?
Ummm…I guess that peanut butter sandwich I had for lunch isn’t news, is it?
20. Do you have any advice for new writers?
I wish I had something original to share, but I don’t: Read, read, read! And then just start writing. The first draft doesn’t have to be any good; just start somewhere because you can fix it later. And if that doesn’t work, take a shower.
Jacqueline Bryant Campbell, author of soon-to-be-published picture book Ruby in Red. Updates will be posted on my blog at www.jbryantcampbell.blogspot.com.