Sure. I’m C. A. Campbell, and I’ve been writing since I was eleven and Lord of the Rings inspired me to pick up a pen. I live in Kansas City, MO, with my husband and our three ridiculous but adorable dogs. I like to say I have three careers. Besides writing, I’m full time faculty at a nursing university, and a part-time neonatal intensive care nurse. I love my nursing career, but it’s always been a dream of mine to be a write and publish a book, so I decided to figure out a way to make both things happen. And here I am, publishing my first novel. Sometimes, you can have it all.
Funny story, actually. My characters began as original characters that I put into Harry Potter fanfiction. I’m sure you could find it out on the internet somewhere if you really tried (please don’t). When I knew I wanted to start original fiction, I decided to keep them with me, because I loved all of them so much. I had the concept of being a ‘Heretic’ -- being different than the world wanted you to be, so I knew I wanted something along that. And that’s where I struggled for the next ten years while writing this book.
The theme of ‘being different than what the world wants you to be’ is something I felt as a teenager (when I first started this book), strongly. But I had to go on a journey. I had to own that in my own life--truly make the decision to be myself even though the people around me may not like it. I also needed to see many other individuals--much braver than me--who have had to make that decision as well. Only then could I write this story that addresses the topic at the core of my own story.
How do you dare to be different in a world that tells you exactly what to be?
The Heretics Saga focused mostly on two main characters--Shiloh Haven and Jacob Osgood--while also following three other ‘main’ characters - and a few friends who join them along the way. In Heresy, we get to see the POV of three of them.
Shiloh Haven is the orphaned daughter of heretics whose grown up in a cruel place, called a Haven, with other children of heretics. As a Haven, she has been despised and had to fight just to survive in Arcadian society. Because of this, she lives by strict rules in order to survive--which is all she really wants. This really gets tested over the whole of Heresy when the survival of people she cares about suddenly depends on her -- and saving them might mean signing her own death warrant.
Jacob Osgood comes from the complete opposite of society. As the son of one of the nation’s leaders, he could have anything he wanted--except freedom. Jake’s a rebel without a cause at the beginning--doing anything he can to disrupt the perfect dance his father, United Councilor Samuel Osgood, forces him to perform too. In the story, we get to see what happens when he actually finds a cause to stand with and something worth fighting for. But he makes reckless choices and the consequences will be devastating.
Nicolette Howell is a young rebel who has lived most of her life on the run. She’s driven by loyalty to the cause fighting against Arcadia, but when she’s captured, she’s dumped into a strange world where she’s unsure who to trust, but she knows she can’t escape on her own. And if she doesn’t escape--more than her life will end.
And Val and Stefani...well, you’ll just have to read to know a little more about them.
Oh goodness, so much stories. There were so many things that ultimately couldn’t make it into the book. I’m sure I’ll have to write bonus scenes or novellas to show all the things I know about the characters.
It would be smoky and woodsy, with a little sweetness-- like a fire burning cedar, wth just a hint of cinnamon. I would call it “Smells like Teen Revolution”.
HERESY is the first book in The Heretics Saga. Right now, the series is slated to be four books, but it’s always subject to change. I hope to release them all within two to three years.
I hope you love my book, but more importantly, I hope you learn from it. I hope at the end you choose to be a Heretic--to be fearlessly, unapologetically yourself even in a world where sometimes that feels dangerous. Because who you are is not wrong. Who you are is perfect and amazing. And never let anyone convince you otherwise.
I don’t know. If it’s anything like being a teacher, it would probably involve a lot of hair pulling of -- “Why weren’t they listening?” “I know they hate this new law but can’t they see it will make them better?” “Why do they hate me? All I’ve ever done is love them.” And then I’ll probably have servants stress feed me chocolate.
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. I know, I know, it’s not fiction, but it’s amazing. Here’s just one quote of a million from her book. “Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
Self-doubt is a liar. Punch it in the face, and just write your book.
It was tricky business coming up with a title as the novel is two intertwining stories with different characters, though some overlap, and in some ways, there exists an almost ensemble grouping of characters in many important scenes. The title refers to the lead character and antagonists of the main story-line. There is something about the ring of it that appeals to me, though I can't put my finger on it.
Yes. I have written one other book that is not currently published and I am going through extensive edits at the moment. It takes place in the 1950s through the '80s in The United States and has a strong paranormal element to it. I also have the third book, which is the second in the Phineas Varga series, in which I've completed the outline and written several parts, but I am now realizing I am farther than I initially thought from completing that.
Several. I find that writing two stories simultaneously for part of the time, at least, gives me perspective and the ability to notice things I might not otherwise see if I'm only focused on one work. Often, I'll take a week away from one book to write on the other, and then when I return, things jump off the page needing my attention that I think I would have otherwise overlooked.
Computer, but occasionally I will print out a chapter and edit with pen, then return to make corrections in the electronic file.
I am not a fan of social media but use Instagram for work, and I am being told that I need to start using Twitter. I know that in 2020 this mindset is probably beyond "quirky," but I suppose I got a bad taste in my mouth years ago when I tried Facebook. I found myself simply overwhelmed by it all . . . the need to "like" posts, the expectation that I should in turn post things of my own, and the time-suck that could occur when going down rabbit holes regarding people I had neither spoken to nor seen in twenty-five years, etc. I know that there are many good things about these types of apps, and by my not using them, I certainly acknowledge that I am missing out on the daily occurrences of distant friends and acquaintances. However, I am increasingly wondering whether the bad that comes along with them has come to outweigh the good and if man is innately incapable of collectively and positively wielding a tool with such power. That being said, if you email me, I will always respond.