JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Rochelle Campbell, author of Leaping Out on Faith
“Leaping Out on Faith” is a collection of short stories about four women at different stages of their lives and the decisions they make.
Depending upon their age, the women choose vastly different paths. Some of those paths are reasonable. Some? Not so much. Yet each story represents a truth for a woman in that moment that rings true emotionally.
There’s teenage romance in one story. Violence and abuse in another story, and still another story has the glitz and glam that we find in Harlequin romances. And the final story deals with religion and how it plays into this particular relationship.
“Leaping Out on Faith” is about life and how these four women handle the cards Life dealt them and the consequences of their actions.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write Leaping Out on Faith?
Rochelle Campbell: Inspiration came in dribs and drabs over approximately 15 years. The first story in this book was written during my last year in high school, and the last story was written a couple of years ago.
I am inspired by TV news reports, snippets of conversation overheard, dreams, what-if scenarios and by Life.
As a youngster, I lived in my head a lot and read voraciously anything that was put in front of me. (I was reading about Taoism when I was 15 because of a good friend of mine whose family had to escape from China to save her life.)
Hardcore stories such as my friend’s which combine the larger societal issue with the individual/personal issue to me is the stuff of great fiction.
JP: What sets Leaping Out on Faith apart from other books in the same genre?
RC: “Leaping Out on Faith” is different because these short stories showcase the experiences of women from different backgrounds and lifestyles.
Sally is a 20-something White woman who has to find another way to handler her seemingly genetic anger management issues. Sarah is a White teenager who has to understand her own sensuality. She has to come to terms with who she really is before she can understand what and who she wants in life
One woman is nameless just as her fears are nameless. Salera is African-American and follows a non-traditional religious path which she hides from her man. But when a child enters the equation Salera needs to be upfront. How will her man react?
These stories are diverse, interesting, compelling in their voice. All of them take you on a ride and bring you back safely to your life but with new ideas to contemplate.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to Leaping Out on Faith getting out to the public?
RC: Persistence and plain old stubbornness! I refused to stop trying because I had stories I was told were engaging and that I should get them out there.
I took the time to learn the basics of writing, plotting and building believable characters. My writing mentors made sure I knew what a plot was inside and out and further instilled the desire to be read by others.
However, the main key that “Leaping Out on Faith” was published was the point at which I became tired of giving myself the same old tired excuses of I’m submitting and waiting for a response from XYZ.
In today’s world, waiting to be published is a thing of the past. Sometimes you must open your own doors.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish Leaping Out on Faith?
RC: As I mentioned earlier, “Leaping Out on Faith” was a culmination of 15 years of effort. I wrote many more short stories but did not feel they all belonged together.
Generally, my process is to create a 6-point outline that gives the milestones of the book. I create a rough sketch of the characters and their motivations (and their names!), and I begin writing following this loose map.
I find that with this outline I am able to write freely and ad-lib some things while knowing I’m staying within the broad strokes of the story I want to tell.
JP: What’s next for Rochelle Campbell?
RC: Currently, I am editing a full-length supernatural cop thriller. It took me 4 months to write it, and it’s taking much more to edit! LOL.
“Finding your passion in life is key to your inner happiness. Material things can make you giddy with excitement, but for that lasting ‘get-up-every-morning-with-a smile-on-your-face’ happy, you need to find that thing that lights you up inside; that thing you’d do for free.” ~ Rochelle Campbell