About Charvella J. Campbell:
Charvella J. Campbell is the author of newly released short story collection A Life Interrupted. The author also owns Campbell Editing & Proofing Services, Inc., and volunteers for nonprofit agencies as a grant writer. Campbell is a contributor to HERS Magazine and regular blogger on Working Mom Website. Hobbies include reading, singing and baking.
What inspires you to write?
I’ve been a writer for most of my life, crafting short stories and novellas. Writing is not simply a hobby or profession for me; rather, it’s part of who I am as a person. No matter where I go or what I’m doing, some observation prompts me to jot down ideas and begin creating characters.
Tell us about your writing process.
For the writing process I use a combination of methods. I employ character sketches, mapping and simple outlines to build the foundation of a story. As I begin writing, I just allow the thoughts to flow. The next day I’ll go back and read the draft again, revise if needed and work on another portion of the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
For fiction, characterization is critical to forming a strong story or novel. I usually visualize what the character looks like, what he or she is feeling, thinking, saying, etc. What is his or her experience? What plight does the character face? As I review my drafts, I may ‘talk’ to the character and inquire: Why did you do such a thing? Was that your best choice? To illustrate, one of my love-hate characters is a troubled, selfish mother. In creating her as such, I wanted to evoke pure emotion, resentment towards the mother for rejecting her son. On the other hand, I empathize because the woman lacks a maternal instinct and expressed her love the only way she knew how–by giving him away. Yes, it’s conflicting, but she is who she is.
What advice would you give other writers?
Keep writing, if not daily, then as often as you can. In addition, challenge yourself to create characters unlike your personality or circumstances. It is natural to write what we know, as we should. Nonetheless, tapping into wider areas can only enhance our skills.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Most of my work has been self-published. Independent authors tend to go this route because of the flexibility in marketing, promotion, creativity, etc. This has worked for me, so I stick with it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The market for book publishing is grand, which has its pros and cons. From a positive view, more resources, social media and publishing options have been made available. The flipside is learning to stand out in a competitive market, which is saturated with equal talent. I don’t believe there really is such a thing as “Best Author or Book of the Year.” In the past, I’ve read novels or books that were rated as such, only to consider them good or okay. Some of the best work I’ve read has been through independent authors or those less well-known.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?: Southern, African American and Contemporary Women’s Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print