For our final installment in the Carrick Publishing “Being Indie” series, we’re pleased to introduce you to an author who is sure to make you smile. Melodie Campbell brings all that is good to the art of writing: intelligence, wit, and a killer sense of humour!
Without further ado, here is Melodie Campbell, author of Rowena Through The Wall:
This post celebrates Indie publishing. But first, step back with me two years.
I’ve always been known as a writer of short mystery and suspense. With over 30 short story publications and 5 awards for mystery fiction, my first novel had to be a mystery. Everyone said so. I started three of them. Two weren’t bad. But somehow I could never get up the energy to complete them.
Then a strange thing happened. I was sitting at my desk one day, totally overwhelmed with work and parental caregiving, and thought, if I could walk through that wall over there into another world, I would. Rowena had her start that night. If I couldn’t walk through that wall, dammit, she could!
What I needed was to escape. Mystery novels have a lot of planning to them. I had enough of that at my day job. Why not just start writing something that is a total hoot to write?
For a mystery writer, this is akin to walking off the job. For the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada, it feels like treason! Write 80,000 words of comic fantasy?
Here is the truth: I was writing the kind of novel I wished someone else would write, so that I could read it. A no-holds-barred adventure story…sexy, funny, and a wild ride of fantasy.
But it wasn’t pure romance, and it wasn’t classic mystery. Where the hell was I going to sell it?
I submitted Rowena Through the Wall to one major publisher. They loved the premise, but told me to give them a rewrite with a more predictable romance structure. (Translation: a predictable plot where boy meets girl in first chapter, boy loses girl, boy get same girl back by the end.) For Rowena, this would be a major rewrite, and it wouldn’t be fun at all. I’m all about fun.
Was this the end of the line for Rowena? I tried one more avenue. I submitted to a small independent traditional publisher. Here’s what I’ve discovered:
Indie Publishers want smart, fun, readable fiction for their publishing lines too. But some are willing to slip the bonds of specific genres to experience something a little daring. That’s what you get as a reader, from Indie fiction – something a little bit different from the strict lines of genre rules that the huge publishers insist upon following.
Indie publishers will take risks. For a writer, this is magic. I am not a huge fan of big R romance, where the HEA (happy ever after) ending is predictable from the start. However, I love a little romance with my fantasy or mystery – something to spice up the plot and add motivation.
Enter my smart Indie publisher. She loved the fact that this novel was unpredictable. She said….”you know, with a little more romance, we could slide this into the paranormal romance market.” Tone down the sex a bit, she suggested. Add a little more yearning… “You don’t have to change the plot – just ramp up the desire.”
Will I do it? Yes! Finally – a publisher who has imagination and daring to match mine.
For writers, our books are like surrogate babies. We created them, and then after birth we pass them on to our publishers and editors to ‘raise’ them, and bring them to market. I have to feel that my publisher knows more about the market out there than I do. So we compromised on some things – to both our satisfaction.
Indie publishers see the writer/publisher relationship as a partnership. I always keep in mind that the Indie publisher is putting his/her own money into the production of my book. Making small adjustments to reach a larger market just makes sense.
Rowena didn’t care. She’s off on adventure number two, Rowena and the Dark Lord.
Melodie Campbell’s book Rowena Through the Wall (Imajin Books) is available at Amazon.com and Smashwords, in ebook and paperback.
Follow Melodie at
View trailer and read opening scene at http://www.melodiecampbell.com/
Melodie Campbell got her start as a comedy writer, so it’s no surprise that editors have called her work ‘wacky’ and ‘laugh out loud funny’. She has over 200 publications, including 100 humour columns, 30 short stories and three novels (two will be released in 2012). She has received five awards for fiction, and is the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada.
ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (No. 2 on Amazon.ca bestseller list, Aug 2011! (fantasy,futuristic)
“Is that a broadsword on your belt, or are you just glad to see me?”
When Rowena falls through her classroom wall into a medieval world, she doesn’t count on being kidnapped – not once, but twice, dammit. Unwanted husbands keep piling up; not only that, she has eighteen-year-old Kendra to look out for, and a war to prevent. Good thing she can go back through the wall when she needs to…or can she?
“Hot and Hilarious!” Midwest Book Review
“Jack Sparrow meets Stephanie Plum” Former editor, Distant Suns Fantasy Magazine
Excerpt from Chapter 16
“How did you do that?” Kendra gasped.
“I just saw you walk right through that wall!”
“Oh that….” I said, brushing myself off. “Look sweetie, not to change the subject, but I don’t have a whole lot of time-”
“And who is that?”
Kendra gaped at Logan, who stood at least a foot taller than her. He, in turn, gazed down at her as if he had just discovered the meaning of life, the universe and everything that might possibly be in it.
“Damn,” I mumbled. “Kendra – Logan, Logan – Kendra. Now that we’re all introduced, I really have to hustle.”
Kendra’s eyes widened. “Is he for real?”
“Yes, yes, he’s real,” I said, lowering my voice. “ Kendra, I have to whip home for my vet bag. It would be easier without him along. Can you keep him here? I’ll only be 20 minutes.”
“Sure, but how?” She could hardly take her eyes off him.
“I don’t know…flirt with him or something. But don’t let him leave this classroom. Got it?”
She gulped. “Okay.”
I ran to the desk and grabbed my car keys. Just as I reached the exit, I heard Kendra say, “So…is that a broadsword on your belt or are you just glad to see me?”