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Andrea S Campbell

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Newsletter Dated: 12/31/2008 10:49:59 PM

Subject: Andrea Campbell*s Soup*s On

Andrea Campbell’s Newsletter

January-February 2009

*** Happy New Year ***
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.
In this issue:

• From the Author*s Desk
• Interview with Perri O’Shaughnessy
• Interview with Mary Shafer

*** From the Author*s Desk ***

Want your new book to be featured in Soup’s On? Are you up for a Q & A interview to promote your publishing industry topic, or, are you just an enthusiastic reader or fan of books who has something to say? Tell me who you are and what your message is:

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 January 12, 2009. If you’ve wanted to write that book but can’t seem to get it together, this e-class is your solution. Check it out at:

Please visit my article sites. It would help if you rate them or add comments, and, of course I would love if you subscribe or recommend them.

*** Interview with Perri O’Shaughnessy ***

Q.: For someone who is new to Perri O'Shaughnessy, there are two of you collaborating; fill us in on your background and how you came to be.

A.: Perri is a combination of two people, Pam and Mary O’Shaughnessy. We are sisters who began collaborating in the mid-nineties when we both had trouble finishing a novel alone. The process of collaborating is different for every book—sometimes one does a lot of writing and the other rewrites; sometimes we split the original work; sometimes one pitches in when the other falters.

We are inspired, competitive, and challenged by each other, and that adds a lot of zest to what can be an otherwise long, hard slog to completing a novel. We also have writerly egos, and that’s probably the biggest source of friction. Having developed over the years into two separately competent writers, we have come up with new approaches to our collaboration that don’t compromise our individual visions for a work.

Q.: How difficult is it to work with a relative? Any tips for someone thinking of doing the same?

A.: It’s hard to imagine tips sufficient to make such a complicated arrangement work for other people.

The only advice might be: choose your collaborator wisely. We are close friends in addition to being sisters. We’ve enjoyed sharing our successes and failures. And working with anyone less obligated to love and forgive you for screwing up would be rough.

Q.: You new book, SHOW NO FEAR, just came out. Can you tell Soup's On readers a brief story line?

A.: SHOW NO FEAR takes readers back to Nina Reilly’s first murder investigation, the case that ignited her passion for criminal justice.

Working as a paralegal and attending law school at night, she has her hands full. She’s fighting for custody of her young son and overseeing a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her mother, whose health is in rapid decline after treatment by a shady acupuncturist.

Things take a personal, tragic turn when a woman falls to her death off Bixby Creek Bridge near Big Sur. Suspecting more than an accident, Nina hunts for a killer—a killer only she believes exists.

Q.: Who created the character Nina Reilly? You say this is a "new Nina," how so?

A.: Pam started a novel, inventing a small law firm in Monterey that had a minor character, a background paralegal originally named Roberta. As we worked together to complete a draft, we realized we had the beginning of a series character. We gave her more history, a complicated personality and family, and voilà, in stormed Nina Reilly.

SHOW NO FEAR’s Nina is new to our readers, although not to us, since we knew her in this form since the beginning—young, sexy, energetic, but bedeviled by family and professional troubles. Since she’s not yet a lawyer in this novel, she has a long way to go before she becomes the skilled advocate who can smack ‘em down in the courtroom in some of our later novels.

Q.: Who is your publisher? Do you use an agent?

A.: Our current publisher is Louise Burke, Executive Vice-President and Publisher of Pocket Books, which is a division of Simon & Schuster. We’re lucky to have strong support and enthusiasm from our publisher and also our astute editor, Maggie Crawford. Nancy Yost, of Lowenstein-Yost Associates, Inc., has represented us since 1995. She’s a great friend and powerhouse agent.

Q.: Have you noticed anything different about working in this economy?

A.: Like every other business, publishing is feeling the pain. However, it’s our belief that there’s nothing like digging into a good, gritty story to stop you (temporarily) from grinding your teeth about how everything’s going to hell. Stories are here to stay, although we do believe the industry will be making major changes in how books get sold and distributed.

It’s Mary’s opinion that Amazon’s electronic reader, Kindle, is one new wave, and on the whole, an optimistic one. People buy more new books if they cost less. No trees die. The delivery is instantaneous. Publishing’s here to stay, just not here to stay the same.

Q.: Anything you'd like to add?

A.: Happy reading, all! And for more on Perri O’s life and times, please visit our web site at

*** Interview with Mary Shafer ***

Q.: Mary, you are editor of the new book, ALMOST PERFECT: Disabled Pets and the People Who Love Them. Can you tell readers a bit about your background and then how the idea came up?

A: Well, I’m a full time freelance writer who makes her living about equally in three different areas: marketing/commercial copywriting, editorial articles for trade magazines, and books. My last book was my first self-published effort, and I decided to do it right, launching a full-fledged publishing company with the intent to provide a forum for other less-well-known writers like myself. So that’s how I came to be a book publisher. “Almost Perfect” came about because of a particular experience I had as a pet owner.

My partner, Shelly, and I have four cats, all rescues with special needs. I scraped Weaver off the highway just after he’d been hit by a car. We got Winkie from an older woman who already had six cats and felt unable to take him after he wandered into her yard with his eye hanging out. Boo Kitty was a feral girl who’d been brought to the SPCA across the river, which wouldn’t keep her because she’d been bitten on the spine and they couldn’t guarantee potential adoptees that she wouldn’t develop rabies or some other such disease. But the critter who inspired the book is Idgie, who came to us through an adoption program at one of the big box pet stores. She was born without eyes and testing positive to feline leukemia.

I’ll let the book tell that whole story, but it was watching Idgie grow up and insist on living a full life despite all the odds against her that made me think other people must have similar stories to tell about how a supposedly “disabled” creature changed their lives through inspiration. So I put out a call for submissions via the Internet at a bunch of writing and pet sites.

Q.: How did you choose the stories that went into Almost Perfect and how many submissions did you receive?

A.: I received 42 stories in reply. Chose them first according to quality of writing and storytelling, then culled a second time according to what species were being covered. I didn’t want to have too many of one and not enough of something else. I would like to have had more variety, but of course most people own cats or dogs. I did chose one rat story, which is great.

Q.: What can you tell us about Word Forge Books?

A.: It’s a small, independent press that I formed in June, 2005. I have eclectic interests, so we have eight different imprints. Heavy on history, animals, weather and MidAtlantic regional topics. Our tagline is “Bringing You the World Through Words.” A secondary tag is “celebrating what’s good about the world.” That’s my main goal: to inform with nonfiction and give people hopeful fiction, too. I don’t think we need any more nihilist or depressing stories on our shelves. One thing we try to do with appropriate titles is identify an organization that meshes with our subject and do a give-back. For instance, 25¢ from every copy of “Almost Perfect” sold goes to support Animal Welfare Karpathos on the Greek isles. One of the book’s contributors founded this pet rescue and still volunteers there.

Q.: Is this book in other formats? and, what is your opinion on e-books or the future of e-books?

A.: It’s still just in print, but will very soon be available as a downloadable PDF. I’m working on getting our website ready for that functionality right now. We’re also looking into making it available for the Amazon Kindle and the Sony eReader. I’ll likely also make it available as an audio mp3, if not on CD-ROM. As for the future of eBooks in general, they’re here to stay, no doubt in my mind. Especially as iPhone-type mobile accessories evolve, mp3s and eBooks will only get more popular. Commuters, moms waiting in the doctor’s office, students between classes—anyone with time to kill, who’d rather use it productively. Also great for business people wanting to improve their skill sets, and audiobooks are hugely popular with long-distance drivers and frequent flyers. But unlike many, I don’t believe any kind of eDevice will ever completely overtake traditionally printed books. There’s just a warm, tactile quality to the printed page that you can’t get any other way. And you don’t have to have any batteries!

Q.: What would you like readers to know about Almost Perfect?

A.: I’d most like them to come away from it with the idea that the next time they see a disabled animal, they think of the animal’s power to inspire first, instead of the disability. I want readers to think about animals with disabilities in a new way, instead of “Oh, poor Fluffy,” or whatever. I want them to marvel instead of feeling sorry. The book was intended to inspire and celebrate. And that they can order online at or call toll-free, 888-320-WORD (9673).

*** Future Newsletters ***

In upcoming newsletters we will share a new interview or two, talk more about publishing, and provide additional writer’s tips. Thanks for the read. : 0 )

Copyright©2009 Andrea Campbell If you wish to quote from here, fine, just attribute it to me and my web site.

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