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Newsletter Dated: 8/31/2008 10:43:12 PM
Subject: Soup*s On
Andrea Campbellís Newsletter
*** Greetings! ***
This newsletter is being sent to you because you are a writer, professional friend of Andrea*s, or a fan and reader of her books. If you are new to the list, welcome. There are a ton of newsletters and e-zines out there to read, thanks for requesting and reading mine.
New! We are now going to accept writing-related or book debut advertising. The ads will be limited in number, minimal, and inexpensive. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for information and rates.
In this issue:
ē From the Author*s Desk
ē Interview with Kathryn Casey
ē 40 Tips for Better Life
*** From The Author*s Desk ***
I will be e-teaching at a new homeóRenegade Writer. Get ready to gear up for another session of my e-course Publish That Book: How to Write a Nonfiction Book Proposal That Sells. Circle the start date September 15ókids will be back in school and itís a new beginning. If youíve wanted to write that book but canít seem to get it together, this e-class is your solution. Students are already on board! Check it out at: http://therenegadewriter.com/new-renegade-writer-classes/#andrea
Have you thought about article writing? Iíve gone in for it in a big way. I am the Home and Living Examiner for Examiner.com and I have lots of how-to articles up at eHow.com. You can help me tremendously by: visiting the site, rating the article or adding comments, subscribing or recommending it. I donít know how this will pay off, but if you help, Iíll share the results in a report in a later issue. And besides, Iíd like your feedback. Links below:
*** Interview with Kathryn Casey ***
Kathryn Casey is on the women in crime ink blog http://www.womenincrimeink.blogspot.com with me and a whole roster of really talented criminal justice professionals and authors. I am really pleased to present this interview with Kathryn.
Q.: Kathryn, Welcome. Can you tell Soup's On readers a little about your background?
A.: Sure. I started out as a magazine journalist, working first for Texas-based magazines then expanding to national ones Ė Rolling Stone, Readerís Digest, TV Guide, Ladies Home Journal, More Ė in the late eighties. During those years, I covered celebrities, politics, health, and crime, lots of crime cases. I kind of got hooked on the crime cases, found I enjoyed the research and attending the trials. In 1995, I ran into the fascinating case of a woman married to a serial rapist, and found an agent who sold it as a book. That case became THE RAPISTíS WIFE. From there, I wrote four more true crime books, and, finally, my first fiction Ė a crime novel, of course Ė SINGULARITY, which came out in June (2008).
Q.: True crime has been your bailiwick, how has that venue been for you in terms of readers, success, and business?
A.: The great thing about true crime is that it has such dedicated readers. Folks who read true crime often read little fiction. Theyíre true blue to the genre.
I do my best to write thorough, enlightening, and entertaining books. Sometimes, I go a bit overboard, interviewing as many as 150 sources for a single book. I go to the trials, and spend hours poring over documents. But the response from readers is great. The books sell very well, and the reviews are excellent, so itís worth the effort.
Q.: Singularity is a new genre for you, what made you decide to write fiction?
A.: It was time. Iíd been covering real cases for twenty-some years, and that was a lot like going to murder school. I interviewed crime professionals, from police officers to prosecutors to defense attorneys and judges to the forensic experts. I learned a lot. In true crime writing, the characters and plot are all given to the writer, because itís a real case. I was ready to try winging it, letting my imagination go. It was great fun. Iím excited that SINGULARITY is the first in a series. Sarah Armstrong, my main character, will star in at least two more books!
Q.: Did your background in true crime help to inform your new book Singularity?
A.: It did. It also gave me a wide range of experts to go to with questions. When I wondered about the role the FBI would play in a case like that in SINGULARITY, I called an agent Iíd met. Recently, for the second Sarah Armstrong novel, I needed information on suicide scenes. This time I knew a forensic expert to call who went over the details with me. There are a lot of great people working in different aspects of criminal investigation, and I have something of a network to draw from. Theyíre all much appreciated.
Q.: Please share some of the storyline and a tidbit about your character.
A.: Sarah Armstrong, my main character, is a Texas Ranger, one of only two women in the oldest law enforcement agency in the nation. In SINGULARITY, we meet her at a very difficult time, one year after her husband, Bill, died, while she and their daughter, Maggie, 11, are still grieving. To be around family, Sarah and Maggie have moved in with Sarahís mom, Nora, onto the familyís horse ranch outside Houston.
When it comes to work, Sarah is the Rangersí only profiler. As such, she travels Texas, analyzing crimes, narrowing suspect lists, and constructing profiles of UNSUBs, Unknown Subjects. She has jurisdiction throughout the entire Lone Star State, and sheís a talented investigator, intuitive and dedicated. In her spare time, Sarah, who was a psychology/art major in college, sculpts clay faces on human skulls. SINGULARITY opens with Sarah investigating a bizarre, ritualistic double-murder in Galveston, that of a prominent and wealthy Texan and his mistress.
Q.: Can you speak to some of your process when you write?
A.: I work out of a home office, so the commute is great. I start about nine each morning and work most of the day. With the true crime books, I research and gather information, and then put it all on thousands of index cards. When Iím done, I shuffle the cards into the order that becomes the outline for my book.
With fiction, I let the book unfold as I write it. I have general ideas, concepts in mind, perhaps a thin plot, but nothing too constricting. I want to be free to change my mind as I go along. At times, Iím actually surprised at where a book takes me.
Q.: Do you have an agent? And how have you found the experience with your publisher?
A.: I have an agent, Jane Dystel, whoís great. Her partner, Miriam Goderich, works as an editor, and she was very helpful, giving valuable feedback, when I was pulling SINGULARITY together. I was having trouble getting the book to flow, and her suggestions helped me rethink a couple of problem areas.
Iím also lucky to work with two superb publishers: HarperCollins, for the true crime books, and St. Martins, for fiction. My editors, Sarah Durand and Daniela Rapp, are terrific.
Q.: Can you share what some of your efforts at promotion and publicity have been?
A.: When a new book comes out, I work with the public relations folks at both the publishing houses. Since I had two books debut this past June (2008), I was busy. Jessica Rotondi at St. Martins handled SINGULARITY, while Buzzy Porter at HarperCollins worked with me on A DESCENT INTO HELL, my true crime book on Austinís Colton Pitonyak case. Jessica and Buzzy fielded inquiries and sent out manuscripts and wrote and distributed promotional materials to build interest. In the end, I did quite a few radio interviews and some television. My biggest show, I guess, was when THE RAPISTíS WIFE, came out and I appeared on Oprah. (Sheís taller than she looks on TV, but every bit as warm and welcoming.)
Q.: Is there anything you'd like to offer (advice or a tip) to up-and-coming writers?
A.: The most important advice I can give is to follow your own interests. Donít write about politics if youíd rather write about gardening. Itíll make you miserable. As writers we spend way too much time alone with a computer to be locked up with subjects we care nothing about. Besides, youíll write a better book if you write it with passion.
Q.: Is there any question you've not been asked that you'd like to address here?
A.: Perhaps what Iím working on now? Iíve just finished the second Sarah Armstrong novel, and Iím currently writing SHATTERED, a true crime book on Houstonís David Temple case.
Thank you, Kathryn.
*** 40 Tips for Better Life ***
1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day. Buy a lock if you have to.
3. Buy a DVR and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to _______ today.'
5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2007.
7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of 6.
9. Dream more while you are awake.
10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the energy vampires away.
18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
26. Forgive everyone for everything.
27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
28. GOD heals everything.
29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
33. The best is yet to come.
34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
35. Do the right thing.
36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!) Hey I'm thinking of ya!
37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
40. Please forward this to everyone you care about.
*** Future Newsletters ***
In upcoming newsletters we will share a new interview or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writerís tips. If there is any area you would like to discuss, just send me a note. Thanks for the read.:0)
Copyright©2008 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.