Author Spotlight: Amy Campbell

19 Apr

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing a new author to your attention. I’m going to go ahead and say “You’re welcome” now, because once you read the rest of this post, you’re going to Amazon one-click this chick and get her debut novel into your grabby, greedy little hands. Again, you’re welcome.

This is really exciting for me because not only is Amy Campbell a previous co-worker, she’s a friend, and someone who has supported me in my writing career as well. But I know you’re probably not going to read a bunch more words before getting bored, so I’ll just drop this here to retain your attention.

Again, you’re welcome. Get Breaker here.

I know, right? You’re already intrigued. As if you needed more incentive, here’s the blurb:

Walking Disaster. Ruiner. Spook. Sorcerer. The reason we can’t have nice things. 

The citizens in the town of Bristle have called Blaise every name in the book. Born a Breaker, his unbridled magic wreaks havoc with a touch. As his peers land apprenticeships, Blaise faces the reality that no one wants a mage who destroys everything around him. When enemy soldiers storm the town hunting for spellcasters, he has no choice but to escape and rush headlong into the unknown. 

A chance encounter with a pegasus sets Blaise on the path to a new life. Despite the machinations of a surly gunslinger, he finds a place to belong in the hardscrabble world of the outlaw mages.   

But even an outlaw mage can’t outrun his past, and Blaise’s returns with a vengeance, threatening his chosen family.  Can Blaise find the grit to harness his volatile magic into a saving grace, or will his most dangerous challenge be his last? 

Now that you’ve drooled over the cover (so gorgeous) and gotten hooked by the blurb, you’re about to get more with an interview with the author herself. Amy has graciously answered all of my questions so that you, dear reader, can get to know her a little bit. Allons-y!

Imagine two gals in two tufted wingback chairs chatting fireside while sipping tea and having nibbles. Go on, I’ll wait.

Got it? Good. Now, here’s Amy.

What was your favorite part of “Breaker”?

Definitely the interplay of the characters and seeing them find their voices and grow.

What was the hardest part to write?

This is going to sound ridiculous but…the plot. I’ve tried to be a reformed Pantser, but my characters tend to apply dynamite to any outlines I create and things just don’t work. So hammering out a cohesive plot was a real challenge.

What do you wish was different about this book?

That it was already an audiobook too, but wow are they expensive to make! Otherwise I am really happy with Breaker.

Can we expect more in this world or with these characters? When?

Oh, definitely. Breaker ends with a mini-cliffhanger (sorrynotsorry). Book 2, Effigest, is in the works and I hope to have it out before the end of 2021!

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Oh, there’s so many great authors. Mercedes Lackey, Robin Hobb, Kevin Hearne, Anne Bishop, Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs. I need to read more indie authors, which is one of my resolutions, but I also need more time to do so. I love The Heralds of Valdemar series though I have not been able to keep up with it. Hobb’s Farseer series. Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid. Bishop’s The Others series. I’m a series reader.

What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever gotten? From whom?

Just keep writing. Not sure from who, lots of people seem to say it and it’s overall good advice.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author? How did that impact your writing?

Since I got back to writing, I haven’t done a lot in the whole critique area beyond sending my book to betas and my editor. My experience from 15+ years ago has made me shy of it since there were some rather venomous people back then. I guess you could say it impacted my writing by making me not want to write, though that wasn’t fully why I stopped writing. (Trad publishing was an uphill battle, not enough time, etc.)

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I really want to be a plotter but I just can’t do it. I’m probably more a plantser because I have a rough road map…and then my characters drive over a cliff.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

Many of the characters in my head are 20+ years old, from my previous time writing. I have stories to tell about them, though the plot ideas are different than they were years ago! So for me the characters definitely come first.

Why did you choose this genre to write in? Do you see yourself branching out into other genres?

I’m a fantasy reader, thus a fantasy writer. Though I mostly seem to enjoy reading urban fantasy with some high/epic sprinkled in. Breaker turned into a weird western fantasy (which was not the original intent, but I went with it because it was fun). If I branched into other genres it will likely first be other fantasy sub-genres.

What project are you working on now?

The next book in the series, Effigest! Like my readers, I have to know what happens to these crazy characters!

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?

It varies by project. Breaker is about found family and having confidence in yourself. The next book will carry over some of those themes and branch out with some new ones. I’m very excited that one of Effigest’s overarching themes will be “You can’t save the world, but sometimes it’s enough to change one person’s world.”

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Can I send my kids to have dinner with 3 people and I can eat a quiet dinner myself, reading a book? No? Well, it was worth a try. Chris Evans, because who wouldn’t want to have dinner with real life cinnamon roll Captain America? Lamar Burton because c’mon, Reading Rainbow! And Neil Gaiman with the hopes that maybe whatever makes him successful might rub off on me in that short time.

My thanks to Amy for taking the time to answer my questions. Just one more thing. Cinnamon roll Cap? Yes, please.

Of course, now that I’ve gotten you interested in Amy and her debut novel, here’s a bit more about her and where you can find her online:

A librarian, mother, and wife, Amy somehow carves out time to also write. Magic is probably involved. She developed a passion for reading and writing from an early age, inspired by armfuls of horse books checked out from the local library. Amy still checks out too many books, so some things haven’t changed.  

Alllll the social medias:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rawrbear

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramycampbell

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authoramycampbell/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@amycampbellauthor

Amazon Author Page

Now that you’ve met Amy, gotten to hear from her, and are on your way to one-click Breaker, all that’s left for me to say is:

One Response to “Author Spotlight: Amy Campbell”

  1. Raina Nightingale April 19, 2021 at 3:27 pm #

    I, too, have – though it was more common in the past – the experience of having a rough idea of the story but then having the characters run off to something else. I’ve not tried to be a plotter or a reformed pantser, though. But I can say that with all the novels I’ve written (some of which I threw out, some of which are published, and some of which are in the editing stage), I’ve gotten better at knowing the characters from the beginning and not having too many ideas about the plot too far ahead of time; though, for some reason, plot usually comes together for me now without much work, but, who can count all the thousands of pages I have filled with words?

    This interview is really cool, and your writing advice is great, Amy! I should probably check out some of these other favorite authors of yours, while we wait for Effigest. The overarching theme you suggest sounds awesome!!

    Liked by 1 person

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