Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best this year when Library Digest compared her to Janet Evanovich.
Melodie got her start writing comedy (stand-up and columns.) In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 4 novels. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books) will be released Oct. 1. She has won 6 awards for fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards.
Melodie is the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. Her humour column ‘Bad Girl’ appears in The Sage.
Connect with Melodie on the web:
Why don’t you begin by telling us a little about yourself?
I got my start writing comedy. I started writing freelance humor columns for newspapers. Picked up a regular column, and then was approached by a comedian who read it and liked my style. I started writing standup for comedians. Then moved on to short humorous fiction and novels. I have won 6 awards.
When did you decide you wanted to become an author?
I have been making up stories from the age of 4. My parents called it ‘lying.’ Really, that was so short-sighted of them.
Do you have another job besides writing?
I am the Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. I also write crime comedies, The Goddaughter series.
Tell us a bit about your latest book, and what inspired you to write such a story.
This is book 2 in the Land’s End comic fantasy series, which some reviewers have called “Game of Thrones Lite” and “The Princess Bride with sex.” Again, I wanted to give readers total escape with rollicking adventure. Here’s a quick peek:
When Rowena is abducted back to medieval Land’s End, all is in turmoil. Gareth is trapped in the middle-world. Cedric is losing his soul to the black arts. And her beloved Thane is stuck back in Arizona.
What’s a modern girl to do? Learn how to control her powers of magic, of course. Things go wrong when she accidently conjures up a Roman Legion in mid-battle. Now she has to prevent Roman and Land’s End warriors from killing each other.
A royal banquet quickly dissolves into a brutal battle. The Dark Lord appears and raises the stakes by trapping Rowena in a cyclone of lust and passion. Once again, Rowena is torn between the man she loves and the mage who fires her desire.
What was your goal when writing this book?
My goal is to make people laugh – to lighten their day. That has always been my goal, as witnessed by my stand-up days. Truly, there is no greater high for me than taking a reader out of real life for a few hours and giving them a fun escape.
What types of scenes give you the most trouble to write?
The battle scenes. As my series grows, it becomes important to up the danger stakes. I’m writing in a sword and sorcery medieval world. The ‘sword’ part has required extensive research into weapons and how one actually uses them. I have male friends who have schooled me in hand to hand combat and I run every battle scene by them for advice.
What is(are) your favorite book/author(s)? Why?
Douglas Adams and Janet Evanovich. I guess the reason is obvious. These authors have paved the way for other comedy writers like me.
What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
I pass this on to all my students. Writing is work – hard work. We all think it should be easier, but it’s not. Sometimes, in those magic moments, it doesn’t seem like work, and that is grand. Those are the moments we live for.
Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work?
Yes! I run a comedy blog called Bad Girl Comedy, where I post a lot of my former comedy shorts.
I also have a website where you can find all my book series.
Do you have another book on the works? Would you like to tell readers about your current or future projects?
Book three in the Land’s End series, ROWENA AND THE VIKING WARLORD, will be coming out this fall. It finishes the first trilogy.
I also write another series for a different publisher, of comedy crime capers. The second in that series, THE GODDAUGHTER’S REVENGE, will be out Oct 1. Here’s what Library Journal said about the first in that series, THE GODDAUGHTER:
“Just right for Janet Evanovich fans…impossible not to laugh.”
As an author, what is your greatest reward?
I’ve won six awards for fiction – BUT – have to admit - the most rewarding day of my writing life was very recent, when a reader found my email address and wrote to tell me that ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (first in the Land’s End series) was the best book she had ever read. I actually cried. That’s the best reward I can imagine.
Anything else you’d like to say about yourself or your work?
In 1993, a producer from HBO saw my play “Burglar for Coffee,” called it “completely nuts” and offered me a spot writing pilots for them, which I turned down. This has to be the worst mistake ever made by someone not legally insane. I mean, who had ever heard of HBO?
Thanks for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here!
Causes Mayra Calvani Supports
World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA)
Almost Heaven Golden Retriever Rescue & Sanctuary