JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Melodie Campbell, author of Rowena Through the Wall, Expanded Edition
When Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped – not once, but twice, dammit. Unwanted husbands keep piling up; not only that, she has eighteen-year-old Kendra to look out for and a war to prevent. Good thing she can go back through the wall when she needs to…or can she?
“Hot and Hilarious!” Midwest Book Review
“The Princess Bride – with Sex!”
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Rowena Through the Wall, Expanded Edition?
Melodie Campbell: I got my start writing comedy and had a humor column for several years. In 1993, a producer from fledgling HBO say my play Burglar for Coffee, labeled it “Completely nuts” and offered me a spot writing pilots, which I stupidly turned down. This goes on record as one of the worst decisions ever made by a human not officially insane. (I mean, who had ever heard of HBO?)
Rowena was the story I should have written back then. I wanted to write a comic adventure, something akin to The Princess Bride, but from the point of view of a strong female. It also had to be a vehicle for wacky humor. I can’t seem to write straight. Every time I do, the gremlins take over and twist the words.
JP: What sets Rowena Through the Wall, Expanded Edition apart from other books in the same genre?
MC: As I am a former comedy writer (stand-up and columns) writing humor is my second nature. Rowena Through the Wall is a rollicking time travel adventure, full of action and comedy. I want readers to have fun with it, and perhaps not take it too seriously.
My inspirations are always Douglas Adams and Janet Evanovich, the great comedians of fiction.
Is it a spoof? Some readers have told me it is a delicious spoof of bodice rippers and serious time travel. I’ll never tell.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Rowena Through the Wall, Expanded Edition getting out to the public?
MC: I’ve had over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits and 30 short stories. I have received 6 awards for short fiction. I’m a finalist for the 2012 Derringer awards. So my name is perhaps ‘out there’ as a comedy writer in some circles.
For new writers, I always advise getting some short story credits first, in well-known magazines like Alfred Hitchcock, etc. Credits in commercial magazines get publishers to look at your work. I’m with two publishers now, and those short stories made a difference.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Rowena Through the Wall, Expanded Edition?
MC: I am the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada, so I have a day job. My fiction gets written on nights and weekends. I generally finish a book in 6 months.
I always tell my writing students: if you are going to write, you are going to have to give up something. I don’t watch much TV. And I gave up going to the gym. I didn’t give up eating, however.
JP: What’s next for Melodie Campbell?
MC: Another comedy! The Goddaughter, a comic mob caper, comes out this summer from Orca Books: “Stolen gemstones, smoggy Steeltown, and a reluctant mob Goddaughter make for a whole lot of laughs!”
How do you know you will like this book?
If you like funny, rollicking adventures with a little bit of heat, you’ll probably like Rowena Through the Wall.
This is also a great book for people who love animals (Rowena is a vet and animal whisperer).
But above all, have fun reading!