Hi Realmies! Morgan Busse here as your new blog hostess. I’m so happy to introduce you to my friend Joan Campbell! One of the neat things about Joan Campbell is that she lives in South Africa. And yet because of the advancement of technology, we can talk and share as if we lived next door. Joan is a fantasy author published by Enclave and the next book in her series, Heirs of Tirragyl, comes out next month. Here’s Joan!
How many books do you own?
J: I think about 600 or so. I stopped counting at some point because it felt a little like a shopaholic counting her pairs of shoes.
M: Sounds like me! Good thing I went to kindle 🙂
If you could spend the day with one spec fic character, who would it be?
J: Elrond. Not because I think he’d be sparkling company, mind you, but mainly because it would mean a day in Rivendell. Natural beauty and peace are two things that feed my soul and that’s the sense Rivendell gives me.
M: Excellent answer!
How many books have you read so far this year?
J: 21. I only know that because I write a review on Goodreads for every book I finish.
M: You have me beat >.>
You have a free weekend. What do you do with it?
J: I’m a real homebody so I’d make a lovely english breakfast (eggs, bacon, the works) and enjoy that with my husband and daughters on the patio. I’d read or write in the morning and might go play some tennis in the afternoon. We’d head out for dinner (Greek or Italian) and a movie (Action or Fantasy) in the evening. After church on Sunday, I’d have some friends around for a ‘braai’ (our word for a barbeque) – we South Africans live outdoors. There would probably be a nap in there somewhere too.
What book has made the most impact on you?
J: The Light of Eidon (Karen Hancock) which was one of the first Christian fantasy books I ever read. It was a beautifully written page-turner with a deep message that has stayed with me till this day. I came away thinking I want to write a book like that. It’s probably been the greatest influence on my writing.
Would you rather live in Middle-Earth, Tatooine, or aboard the Starship Enterprise?
J: Middle Earth
How did you get into writing?
J: I’m not sure I ‘got into’ writing as much as writing got into me and wouldn’t let me go. As a young mom I felt frustrated because I was constantly pouring myself into motherhood. I knew I had to do something for me. I’d had the desire to write nagging at me for many years but that was when I actually sat down behind the keyboard and started writing The Poison Tree Path Chronicles.
M: I know what you mean! Same with my writing journey.
What was the inspiration behind your most recently published work?
J: Heirs of Tirragyl is the second part of The Poison Tree Path Chronicles and the inspiration came from a conversation on a bus with a Zulu girl, whose twin brother had recently passed away. According to their traditional beliefs the ancestors would probably come back to claim her too and so her family wanted her to lie on top of the coffin in the grave and ‘fool’ the ancestors into thinking she was dead. That story stayed with me and crept into Heirs in the form of royal twins who—the Tirragylins believe—share a soul.
M: Love it!
Why do you write?
J: I wrote a blog post called “I Write Because…”. It’s my declaration to myself and I often read it when I’m feeling discouraged. To quote just one line from that: I write because it is who I am in the deepest part of me. To not write feels like a betrayal of myself. A stunting. A death.
Why do you write speculative fiction? What draws you to it?
J: The pure escape of it. As a child I got lost in the fantasy worlds of books. As an adult I still get lost—except they’re worlds I’ve created. I also love the way you can play around with spiritual themes without being ‘preachy’. My faith flows naturally into the storyline. I’m not sure I’d get that right in any other genre.
Is there a step in the writing process that you dread/loathe/wish you could throw over the side of a cliff with a mill stone tied around its neck?
j: Opening the email from my editor with the comprehensive edits attached. You read that document and think, “I know nothing…I should never write another word again!” After a few sessions with chocolate and a good movie (Pride and Prejudice is better than therapy) you start to think, “Yes…she’s right. I can so improve that,” and then you know you’re going to be okay. But that first read through of the edit document is just plain horrible.
Thank you so much, Joan, for joining us! Here is where you can find out more about Joan Campbell and her books: