Denele Campbell had her eye on writing from childhood. While pursuing her undergraduate degree in English, she filled her electives with writing classes. Life then did what it does to everyone, tumbling through love and children, household and jobs, pets and pursuits, leaving Campbell to fit in bits and pieces of authorship. Newspaper columns, articles on local history, biographical profiles and small evocative essays kept her writing passion on a low simmer until the mid-1990s, when a collection of non-fiction stories were published under the title “Notes of a Piano Tuner.” Graduate level workshops in writing sharpened her focus, and with more freedom in recent years, Campbell has begun fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing ALL DAY!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I'm constantly writing in my mind, describing places, smells, weather, so that my imaginary reader would get the full impact of whatever I'm writing about. It's easy to obsess about what specific word is most effective, or whether to put a sentence before or after another. This probably sounds a bit weird to lots of people, and frankly, I have no idea if this is something most other writers do. But it's been this way as long as I can remember.
The other thing about writing that brings me great joy is the overall creation of a book. I like thinking about what images work for the cover, whether to include any images in the interior--for nonfiction--and how to format the book to make it appealing. Maybe I'm a closet publisher, but I'm sooo happy that self-publishing allows me to play with all these elements for my work.
What do your fans mean to you?
Of course fans are simply readers who enjoy what I've written, and I can't think of anything that pleases me more than that.
Strange dim light, shifts in time, in perspective. Can we experience past lives? How do we survive the inexorably slow loss of love? Why do epiphanies slip up on us? What quirks of the universe drive us to the thoughts and deeds that ultimately define our lives? Campbell’s lyrical short stories explore pivotal moments, realizations, and inevitable conclusions in lives of unexpected dimension.
A visiting guinea? A ‘possum in the dining room? What strange and wondrous occurrences might one expect while living on an Ozark mountaintop for forty years? Ponder the passage of time through a lens of wonder and delight. The seasons bring summer heat, winter snow, pouring rain, the power of fire. What is our responsibility to this place, its creatures, each other?
Serving everything from Hummus Pita to delicious Peach Cobbler, spicy Split Pea Soup to savory, fork-tender Pot Roast, Trailside Café and Tea Room became a favorite destination for the few years of its existence. At the close of the restaurant in December 2011, the first edition of the cookbook sold out three printings. Now expanded with over 200 recipes for easy, inexpensive down home food.