Interview with Candie Leigh Campbell

What do your fans mean to you?
OMGosh! My fans are the best. They mean EVERYTHING to me. They're why I write. I remember how alone I felt as a teen girl (school, family and friends can just all feel like too much sometimes) and books were my escape. My place of refuge. I want only to create that for my fans. And in turn my fans make me so flipping happy and proud when they write me notes or draw my characters.
Just wow! You guys are such strong and amazing girls. Keep searching, keep SEEKing and keep up the hunt. I know you'll find all that you need in life and more.
What is your writing process?
Writing is glorious chaos for me. First, I have an idea which I make a note of and save it in my laptop or phone. I let the idea grow for a few days to see if really takes hold. If it does, then I try writing a sample scene. It's my way of trying on the characters. I need to see if they're relatable before I'll commit too much energy to the project. If I can get a few promising chapters down then I'll begin any technical research and make a Pinterest board about the world and what the characters look like. And then I'll begin the rough draft. That part is my favorite. Creating the story and the world is the best part about being a writer.
Once I have a rough draft, I let it sit for a couple of weeks before I peek at it again. If it still looks like an un-fixable mess, I'll walk away until inspiration returns. Finally, I'll tackle the revision process. I do three rounds of revision to start with. One to fix big picture issues and get the story arc just right. Then I'll do a round of primping the text and descriptions before I do one more pass for grammar and word choice. After that, I send the MS to beta readers. And they send it back with their suggestions and notes on plot, storyline, and characters. I work my way through the manuscript a few more times based on those notes and then--whew, no wonder I'm tired--I send the manuscript to an editor who sends it back with a (hopefully not too long) editorial letter.
This is when the real magic happens. The pages of jumbled bits of cleverness and "what does that even mean?" turn into a book.
What are you working on next?
I'm finishing the SEEK saga at the present, but I've a very special surprise in store for fans of Keira and Jonathan. Keep watching my website for clues.
As for the book I'm finishing right now, I'm elbow-deep in the revision process on Evade (SEEK Book 2). It's got so many crazy twists to the story--things readers haven't seen coming from book 1--and even more hints of the things to come in book 3. Writing 4 books at once is a wonderful challenge. In case you haven't found the hidden path of clues in book 1, you're not alone (most haven't realized they were clues either--not even my editor) and now I'm getting to implement those clues and bring the story to life. It's really fun.
What do you read for pleasure?
I am a Young Adult Teen Fiction fangirl all the way. Not that I won't read out of that genre but my go-to books are all in the YA section. I just adore the otherworldly feel of teen books. The world is full of so much promise and possibility when you're sixteen or seventeen. It makes me happy.
After all, who needs reality? We get enough of that everyday, right?
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Mostly I read on my laptop or my phone. I do own a Kindle and an iPad, but I rarely use them for reading (go figure) because I'm too busy writing (when I need a break I'll read instead) or I'm away from home and have my handy phone to pick up the story I'm currently reading.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I get a message from a reader telling me how much they love my characters, that's pretty amazing.
I don't write for fame or fortune. I write because I have too many people in my head and if I don't share their stories they'll drive me crazy until I do. But I try to make their stories fun, exciting and relevant to what young girls might be dealing with. Search (SEEK Book 1) tackles topics like loyalty to family and friends, choosing what's right over what's easy, and falling love--even when you're not sure if you can ever really trust someone. Those are the things that seemed too big to handle when I was young, and I wanted to make my character have so much more to deal with (like murder, supernatural beings, kidnapping, adult responsibility, guilt, betrayal, and self-doubt) just to make sure that real-life teen readers might be empowered by her story and relate it to their everyday lives.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It wasn't my original goal to go indie (I wish I was that noble).
When I began taking my writing seriously in 2009, I had every intention of traditionally publishing. I worked at a newspaper at the time. I was already writing on a daily basis, but I wanted to really be a "writer." I set my mind to it and wrote a few books over the next couple of years. I researched, joined writing groups, found beta readers, went back to school (BA in ENG LIT Creative Writing) and began attending as many writer's conferences as I could. Finally, I thought I was ready to begin querying agents (in actuality, I wasn't, but I was close). And by 2012 I had some interest. I was revising and polishing and following the advice of editors and agents and on the verge of submitting my revised manuscript when my world turned upside down. In an amazing way.
My husband and I adopted two babies. At once!
While I rejoiced in our growing family, I struggled to find even a coherent thought, let alone write. Three years went by before I finally felt able to take up the pen again. And when I did, I wanted to finish what I'd started, a four-part saga about a girl who hunted parasitic shadows. I felt I owned it to myself and to my characters to tell their story. So here I am.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I ever wrote was about President Theodore Roosevelt and his stuffed bear, "Teddy." It told the story of how teddy bears got their name while his bear embarked on a real journey to see his boy become president.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Coffee. Haha. Lame, I know. But seriously, I couldn't function without my coffee. I believe coffee is actually the blood of all the authors who've come before us. It beckons me, "Candie! Wake up and drink or you'll amount to nothing. Nothing!"
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a nerd. If I'm not writing I'm either on vacation at Disney World or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or I'm reading by the pool, or shopping for books and Funkos.
Published 2016-06-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Search (SEEK Book 1)
You set the price! Words: 62,970. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
As a trained SEEK hunter, seventeen-year-old Keira thinks she knows what’s going on in her world; the shadows called Khayal are real and they bite. But the truth is more complicated, especially when her next target turns out to be Jonathan Steed, good looking, green-eyed, fast-talking—and very HUMAN. Now no one is safe, especially not her heart.