I am a YA MG writer, member SCBWI, GWA, SFWG, YMCA and the ABC's. Also, I'm a wicked smartypants who lives in the moment, but I'm not opposed to time travel, space travel, or any movies with Johnny Depp.
SIX MINUTES WITH CANDIE LEIGH CAMPBELL:
Joining LitPick today for Six Minutes with an Author is Candie Leigh Campbell! Candie Leigh’s love of Star Trek and Star Wars seem a natural progression for a woman who grew up with a rocket scientist father. She experienced what many would consider a dream come true, roaming the halls of NASA and attending rocket launches.
Candie Leigh’s dream came true with the publication of her first book, Search, book 1 in the SEEK Saga.
How did you get started writing?
I’ve always been a storyteller. The writing didn’t come until later. As a child, I spent much of my time daydreaming of far-off worlds, but I suffered from dyslexia, and reading and writing were a serious struggle. Instead, I acted out my adventures in the woods behind my house. As I got older, I always had a notebook beside me (yeah, I wish we had e-tablets back then, but I’m old). I scribbled everything down for years until they turned into stories. At first, they were short stories and then a few chapters would happen before I gave up.
Today, I still have a notebook beside me (yes, the old-fashioned kind) and it’s still filled with everything from grocery lists to story ideas and notes to myself. I guess it beats talking to myself out loud.
Who influenced you?
Judy Blume! Whom I finally met at a writer’s conference a few years ago. Dream. Come. True. And can you believe I forgot to take a selfie? Ugh!
Of course there were other authors and stories that influenced me over the years. A. A. Milne (Winnie the Pooh) books on vinyl taught me how to read. Walt Morey (Kavik the Wolf Dog), Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), Richard Adams (Watership Down) all changed my life forever, but it was Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret that first taught me reading didn’t have to be hard. It was first book where I forgot I was reading and fell into another realm. I’ve been a booknerd ever since.
Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one. I like woods and I love science fiction. I adore the combination of the two. Avatar is a perfect example of this. What I don’t like is limits. I don’t want to be constricted by genre. Fiction is about making the impossible possible, so why ruin it by saying—‘not like that?’ Magic, realism, science fiction, etc… they all belong together. At least in my world they do.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
Every interview I’ve ever read answers this question with either read or write. Both are true enough, but the most valuable thing you can do as an aspiring author is dream. Imagine—without limits—what you can do, who you can be, and what you can create. Then make it happen. Don’t listen to people who tell you can’t. YES. YOU. CAN!
The only thing that will stop you is giving up. So don’t give up.
Where is your favorite place to write?
Anywhere I’m writing becomes my favorite place—the world around me disappears—but since my favorite time to write is the middle of the night (when the world is quiet) my bedroom/office is my go-to spot.
What else would you like to tell us?
Life is hard. School is hard. Families are hard. Reading doesn’t have to be. Stories are for everyone. Whether you like to tell them or read them, if a story makes you happy, that’s all that matters.
Thanks for inviting me, LitPick. It’s been great. Love the site!
Thank you for joining LitPick for six minutes, Candie Leigh! And thank you for your kind words. We do love your advice to imagine.