Sunday, September 16, 2012

Getting to know Melodie Campbell

I’m pleased to have mystery author, Melodie Campbell, as my guest this week. Let’s get to know her.
Patricia: Melodie, where did you grow up? Did your childhood contribute to your desire to be a writer?
Melodie: I grew up in Vancouver, Canada. I was an only child for much of that time, and had a slew of imaginary friends. They always had grand adventures. So yes – I was writing from the age of 8. I won my first writing award at 16, for a children`s book called Horatio Hedgehog.
Patricia: Where do you live now? Do you use that locale for settings in your novels?
Melodie: I live in Oakville, Ontario, sandwiched between the two cities of Toronto and Hamilton. Greater Toronto is six million people, and very cosmopolitan. Hamilton is Steeltown, mid-century industrial, also known as The Hammer. Yup, I chose Hamilton as my city for The Goddaughter. It`s the perfect Italian Mob setting, full of character and shleppy craziness. I love the place.
Patricia: What inspired you to write your most recent novel?
Melodie: My family. WAIT. Did I say that out loud? I`ve written comedy for many years. I was looking for a vehicle that would allow for me to be as wacky in fiction as I have been in stand-up. One day, I was sitting at a family gathering, thinking, no one would believe this. NO ONE. The wacky dialogue. And while my family is perfectly law-abiding, I saw a way to…well, read The Goddaughter.
Patricia: Did you plan to write a series before or after you wrote the first book?
Melodie: I didn`t think that far ahead. First, was getting the initial The Goddaughter written. Then, this other plot kept infiltrating my head when I was trying to wrap up the first. Plots are like that. They have no manners at all. I`m always whacking them back.
Patricia: Name three of your favorite authors in the mystery genre.
Melodie: This is going to be obvious, if you know my writing style: Janet Evanovich, Lisa Lutz, and Agatha Christie. The first two are the Queens of Comedy. I would love to be counted in their number some day. And Christie – well, she is the Queen of Plot.
Patricia: What are your favorite things to do when you’re not reading or writing?
Melodie: Eating. I`m Italian, just like my heroine Gina Gallo, the Goddaughter. Oh, and food. I like to cook. And bake. Yum, cannoli.
Patricia: Do you like to travel? If so, what are some of your favorite places to go?
Melodie: I like hot and dry! Can you tell I`m from Canada. In The Goddaughter, my characters fly to Phoenix, a place I love to visit. I have also been to Italy several times, and adore the south. I`m a ruins geek, and love to stomp around the ancient Greek ruins in Sicily. The men are cool there too. And the food. Yum, gelato.
Patricia: How would you describe yourself personality wise?
Melodie: Had to ask my family about this one. They laughed. (Okay, they hooted.) Here`s the list I was given: colourful, smart, wacky. funny. dynamic. kooky. vivacious, generous, over the top. Okay, so there are a few nice things there. If I had to choose one word, I would say cheerful. What I want most from my fiction is to give others a laugh or two – to lighten the load of life if even for an hour.
Patricia: What’s your favorite color? Why?
Melodie: Blue. Cyan blue, with sapphire accents. Oh, and fuchsia. Purple is good too. I like jewel colours. Heck, I like jewels. They`re the plot of The Goddaughter.
Patricia: How would you finish this sentence? If I won a million dollars, I would . . .
Melodie: Probably die of shock before I could collect it.
Melodie Campbell has over 200 publications and was a finalist for the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis awards. She is the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada.
Library Journal says this about Melodie`s third novel, The Goddaughter (Orca Books, Sept. 2012):
``Campbell`s crime caper is just right for Janet Evanovich fans. Wacky family connections and snappy dialogue make it impossible not to laugh.``

Short Excerpt from The Goddaughter:
We got through the border with no problem at all this time. Of course, it`s much easier to get through borders without a semi-frozen dead body pretending to be asleep in the back seat.


Follow Melodie’s comic blog at