We were lucky to catch up with Carol A. Campbell recently and have shared our conversation below.
Carol A., thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Let’s talk legacy – what sort of legacy do you hope to build?
I hope that I leave a legacy of hope and inspiration. The genre I chose isn’t inspirational, but I hope my life story is. Over the years, I have talked about writing a book, but I have never had the time to take action on it until now. Each of us has a dream tucked away in our hearts, and mine was to become a writer. Through sharing my story, I hope to inspire someone to pursue their dreams, and it’s never too late. Through my books, I aim to capture my readers’ imaginations and create stories they can enjoy (and spook them) for generations to come. My goal in life is to leave a legacy that my son, daughter, family, and friends will be proud of and say she accomplished her dreams.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
My interest in ghosts started at age five. My dad and I were in his car at the railroad tracks, waiting for the train to pass. As the caboose went by, I started waving. My dad asked me who I was waving at, and I replied, Molly. He looked bewildered and asked me where do you see her? I explained that she was standing on the back porch of the caboose and waving goodbye. He laughed and told me to stop acting foolish because no one was there. When we arrived home, my mom told my dad that Molly had just had a heart attack and died. I experienced several ghostly encounters through the years, which sparked my interest in ghosts even more. Horror has always been my favorite genre, and I prefer characters that are twisted rather than ordinary. When you mix that with a ghost story, this is the inspiration behind my books. Rosie’s Rage, Izabelle, Julie’s Deadly Wishes, Elaine, Shivered, and the book I’m currently working on, Deadly Tradition, are all twisted ghost stories and contain colorful characters. The character of Mrs. Gulley in Elaine has been my favorite so far. She’s a funny, smart mouth older woman with a huge secret. Each of the books has a strong female lead character.
I often use my family, friends, and fans as characters in my books. I enjoy making them a part of my journey, and I think they enjoy it too. They may not have enjoyed reading about their character being butchered, LOL. However, they know it’s just their name, and they always reappear as ghosts or in other books. Cindy Blevins, my best friend, has been in every book, and I even convinced my daughter Jamie to be a part of one. My mom and dad, both deceased, are on my logo, along with my very much alive ankle-biter chihuahua, Jack (I call her my co-author). Being able to share my journey with all of them has been one of the most rewarding aspects of writing.
How did you build your audience on social media?
Besides asking if anyone would like their name to appear as a character in my next book, I also make merchandise. In the book Elaine, there weren’t as many characters, so I took their actual photographs and made coffee mugs, t-shirts, keychains, and posters. Because Shivered takes place at a Country Inn, there are many characters, so I cartooned them and separated them into different scenarios from the book, such as card night and karaoke. I intend to do the same with my next book, Deadly Tradition. Additionally, I create book trailers, sometimes featuring the characters from the book, which I post on YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and my website. A combination of giveaways, having their name appear in a book, sneak previews on chapters, asking advice on book covers, and seeing their faces on merchandise and book trailers keeps my audience engaged and growing.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
The most important lesson I learned as a writer is that not everyone will enjoy your book. When I received my first negative review, I remember how horrible I felt. I quickly googled other authors and discovered that even the ones I considered to be the best received bad reviews. All you can do is strive for excellence and write stories about which you are passionate. I have published six books, two of which have been translated into Spanish. The journey of self-publishing is hard enough. As a writer, editor, cover designer, and promoter, you have a lot on your plate, and to succeed in this field, you must have thick skin and not focus on the negative but rather on the rewards and, most of all, never give up.