I blog about arts and our world at jadicampbell.com. I wrote for massage therapy magazines for a decade and I’ve kept a journal since childhood. But the creative writing…. I got serious about writing fiction at the age of 50 when I reread all those old journals. By the fifth time I read “I wish I was a writer like I always dreamed of being” I wanted to hurl the journal and myself against the far wall. Clearly, it was time to finally give creative writing a shot!
If you had to give an elevator pitch for Grounded, what would it be?
Grounded is a road trip set in a tense end-of-the-world love story. Nicole is visiting her brother’s best friend Glen when cyberattacks cripple the globe. She needs to get to Seattle to meet her husband and children. Nicole doesn’t know if they’re safe; they’re camping somewhere without a phone. She and Glen, now lovers, get in a car to drive to Seattle. As Glen and Nicole grow closer, they fight to keep moving in a world in crisis. By turns funny and thoughtful, Grounded is the story of how tragedy wakes us up to reality – and the ways our inner worlds are the greatest threat of all.
Which comes first for you, characters or the plot?
Both, actually! A distinct character trying to make his/her way out of a distinct situation… I enjoy watching the two interact and the way plot and characters unfold and reveal themselves.
If any of your books were to be made into a film, which would you choose and why? And who would you cast in the main roles?
My first book Broken In: A Novel in Stories could be a film. Actually, now that I think about it, I would choose Broken In because it could even be a series of films, or a tv series. I wrote the novel in tales that overlap. A single event sparks a chain reaction. Each character could get his or her own episode. Hmm….
- Terrance Stamp as Gabe Burgess, the bar tender with a need to go to the remote places in the world.
- Alicia Vikinger as Abby Riddon, a shy wife with a wicked sense of humor.
- Charlize Theron as Judy Diver, the restaurant chef who drives men to kill for her.
- Edward Norton as Errol Schmitt from ‘Good Neighbors’, not at all who he seems to be.
- Kit Harington as Jeremy Riddon, tattooed, tormented by jealousy, and wearing a terrible secret.
- Selena Gomez as Maricela Howard, a finance wizard with a sick roommate - and a past.
- Michael Fassbender as Adam Kersch. His mistakes this night will set everything in motion…
What was the first book that you read that made you think 'I would like to write something like that one day'?
My favorite book as a kid was Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. Harriet spied on others, writing down all her observations in a journal. This is the perfect definition of a budding writer! The book is funny and moving and true to how children – and adults - feel about life.
If you could give some advice to your younger self about the whole writing/publication process, what would it be?
Forget about shortcuts, gimmicks, and getting famous fast. There is so much that happens once you decide to be an artist; enjoy all of it. Don’t wait for the day you win an award or get a publishing contract. Savour each moment of your life as writer: Getting up on stage to read the story you wrote. The day your writers’ group tells you your piece is perfect and not to change a single word. Do your best work, and eventually the accolades and awards will come. They say you must paper a room with your rejection letters before you finally sell a story or win an award. I joked (it wasn’t a joke) that I’d begun wallpapering the ceiling. But my second novel Tsunami Cowboys was just longlisted for the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition award!
If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with and why?
I’d have to pick the British writer John Fowles, because I would learn so much from him. Fowles is incredibly versatile. He’s the author of The French Lieutenant’s Woman, The Magus, The Ebony Tower, The Collector, journals, essays, and much more. There’s always a story under the story and his writing is elegant. Here’s just a fragment, from The Magus: “…, houses spilt like a million dice over the Attic plain.” Fowles is a writer’s writer.
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