Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Getting To Know...Marie Campbell

Today I am kicking off my new feature Getting To Know... with the absolutely lovely Marie Campbell, author of Baby published in July 2016.  

Your book, Baby, is a psychological thriller, is there something that draws you to that genre or did the story just take you there?

Psychological thrillers are my absolute favourite books to read, so it just came naturally to me to write in that genre. I tend to find that there is a dark side to whatever I write!

Baby is set in Edinburgh, where you live, what is it about this city that you love?

I’m originally from the North East of England and moved to Edinburgh around eight years ago – my partner’s from Edinburgh and we decided to move up here. We live in the south of Edinburgh, with our five-year- old son. I’m from a small town, so moving to a capital city was a big change, but an exciting one. What I really like is the fact that you can be in the city centre, the countryside or the beach within a short drive of home. I love the different seasons here – the city really comes alive in the summer, especially at Festival time, and in the winter, Princes Street is amazing, with the winter wonderland, Christmas markets and New Year fireworks. It has palaces, castles and breath-taking scenery and architecture on the doorstep. I chose to set Baby in Edinburgh because I wanted to get the details right – whether it was the route of a particular bus, or how long it would take to walk somewhere, or the view from a particular spot.

As well as being an author, you also run your own proofreading business, can you tell me more about the process and how long it takes?

I took a career break from my job as a civil servant when I had my son. I’ve always been interested in proofreading and editing, and many of my roles involved this. I decided to do some formal training and set up a business from home, which works well with my family commitments. The process and time vary, depending on what I am working on and the client’s requirements. I’ve proofread books, essays, CVs – I like the variety that this job brings.
Did you always want to be an author, or was there something else you wanted to be growing up?

I went to university with the intention of being a teacher. I think, like many people at that age, I was unsure of what I wanted to do, and teaching seemed a good option. However, I found it wasn’t for me, and left my course with the intention of doing something different the following year. But then I got a job, and started working in the civil service, where I did a huge variety of things from working out National Insurance contributions to staff training. I’ve always written (although there have been periods of a few years when I’ve not written a word) but didn’t have the confidence to write a book. When I was 40, I decided to do a creative writing course. I loved it, so I did another one. After a novel-writing course, I had a very rough version of the book that was to become Baby. I love to write and it is something I can’t ever imagine not doing. 

When you’re not reading or writing what would we find you doing?

I know we chatted earlier about my proofreading work – I spend a lot of time working on developing my business. My real job is bringing up my son – although he starts school this year so maybe then I’ll get further on with book number two! I love exploring Edinburgh and the surrounding areas – my son loves finding new playparks and castles. I enjoy eating out and trying out the new bars and restaurants Edinburgh has to offer. I also head down the A1 to visit family and friends in my home town regularly.

Do you have a set routine or a favourite place to write?

I always carry a notebook and pen, and make notes whenever and wherever I am, but my main writing is done on an evening, usually at the kitchen table. I fit it in when I can, and although I try to set myself a daily word target, that doesn’t always work out! I like the process of getting a first draft done, then going back over it many times to try to get it just right.

If you could give your younger self any advice about your writing journey, what would it be?

As I mentioned earlier, there have been lengthy periods when I haven’t written because life got in the way. I suppose I would tell my younger self to have more confidence and just write.

Apart from writing, do you have any other hidden talents?

Unfortunately not. Although I am really quite good at Lego…

Do you have a favourite author?

I couldn’t pick just one favourite, but Stephen King is one of them. I read everything he wrote when I was young, and more recently, his book On Writing has been a brilliant source of guidance. I also love Nicci French, Kate Atkinson, Gillian Flynn and Erin Kelly. I really like reading books by new authors.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I’ve started writing my second novel. It’s another thriller, with a theme of revenge. 

Thank you so much to Marie for answering my questions and kicking off my new blog feature! I really hope everyone enjoys reading Marie's answers as much as I did.

You can connect with Marie Campbell in the following ways:

Writer Website 
Proofreading Website
Author Facebook Page
Twitter @mariecampbell72
Author Newsletter Sign Up

And to pick up a copy of Baby - click here

Book synopsis

When Michael Stanton goes to work one day and doesn’t come back, everyone – friends, family, police – thinks his pregnant girlfriend Jill should accept he’s left her. After all, he’s done it before. But Jill just won’t believe that Michael would walk away from her and their unborn child. Increasingly desperate and alone, she’s determined to find him. Just where is Michael? What Jill doesn’t know is that his beautiful ex, Anna, wants him back, and won’t take no for an answer. And it isn’t just him she wants… In a maze of captivity, sexual tension and dark desire, Michael battles with his feelings. Does he really want his normal life back, or could there be a future with the woman who terrifies, controls and fascinates him? Baby is a compelling, sexy, disturbing and unforgettable thriller.

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