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Writer Wednesday: Marie Campbell

I was born in Hetton-le-Hole, in the north-east of England, in 1972. Growing up, I spent many hours reading and writing stories and can still recall the pride when, aged eight, my story was chosen by the primary school teacher to be backed in cardboard and put on display.

Fast-forward several years, via an abandoned teaching degree, many years as a civil servant and a new baby; driven by a lifelong passion for words, I embarked on an online writing course. I wrote many, many short stories, and then I decided to write a book.

Over the years, I've written everything from reports to magazine articles, blogs to short stories. I write mostly at the kitchen table, picking up a pen, thinking, 'What if...' and seeing where the story takes me. When I'm not writing or looking after my son, I run a freelance proofreading business ​Marie Campbell - Proofreading. I also love to read and do so wherever and whenever I can.

1. Why did you want to become a writer?
It’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, from a very early age. As a child, I wrote handwritten stories in exercise books. I’ve always kept diaries and journals. And for many years, I have written short stories. There is something magical about creating a story, with characters and a theme, and seeing where that story takes them. Reading is one of my favourite ways to spend time, and from that love of words and books, the urge to write took hold.

2. What’s the toughest part of the writing process for you?
Finding the time – or at least, finding as much time as I would like. I am also not good at remembering details and facts, but I always make sure I have a notebook and pen at hand (or I use the Note facility on my phone) to deal with that problem!

3. What’s the most enjoyable part of writing?

When the words are flowing, and the story is pouring out faster than my fingers can type. I also love getting to the end of a first draft, then going back to polish and develop a story.

4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?
Oh that’s a tricky question! There are so many writers and books that I love. I would have to choose something by Stephen King as I’ve admired his work for as long as I can remember. The Stand is an awe-inspiring book for me – the characters and descriptions and attention to detail are amazing. If I was allowed a second choice, I’d go for The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Romance isn’t usually my thing, but I wish I had written this book for two reasons – I love it so much, and I didn’t want it to end.

5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, which would you pick and why?
Well, Baby is my first book so I don’t want to give away any spoilers about the characters in it! But Jill is the one who has the least control over her situation and the circumstances she finds herself in, so it would have to be her.

6. If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and why?
Another tricky question! A lot of my favourite characters are not people I’d want to spend time with (Annie Wilkes and Hannibal Lecter spring to mind!). I did think that spending a day with a character from one of my son’s favourite books might be a lot of fun (who wouldn’t enjoy a day with The Gruffalo?), and as a nod to my childhood, I’d be keen to meet up with the folk from The Faraway Tree, but I’ve finally settled on Laura Ingalls. I’d hang out with her and her family, go to school and into the town, and just generally enjoy a completely different way of life.

7. What can we expect next from you?
I’m working on another psychological thriller, with the theme of revenge.

8. Is there any particular writing advice you wish you’d been given at the start of your writing career? If so, what is it? If not, what advice would you give to someone starting out?
I wish I’d known early on that writing every day, or as much as possible anyway, is key to honing your craft. There have been great chunks of time in my life when, for various reasons, I haven’t written, but I know now that practice is hugely important. I also remember my English teacher telling me not to ‘hide my light under a bushel’ when I wasn’t keen to read out my work in class. It’s taken me many years to heed this advice and be less secretive about what I do.

9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you.

I fit in writing around looking after my young son, and working as a freelance proofreader. Most of my creative writing is done at night, when my son is in bed. My partner works away from home, so I spend a lot of evenings at the kitchen table with the laptop. I always carry a notebook and pen with me, and note down thoughts and ideas whenever they come to me (I have to do this – my memory is terrible…).

10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment?
I always have a pile of books that I want to read, and at the moment I’m reading Erin Kelly’s latest, The Ties That Bind. I’ve read all her previous books, and this one doesn’t disappoint.

*

When Michael Stanton goes to work one day and doesn’t come back, everyone – friends, family, police – thinks his pregnant girlfriend Jill should accept he’s left her. After all, he’s done it before.

But Jill just won’t believe that Michael would walk away from her and their unborn child. Increasingly desperate and alone, she’s determined to find him.

Just where is Michael?

What Jill doesn’t know is that his beautiful ex, Anna, wants him back, and won’t take no for an answer. And it isn’t just him she wants…

In a blurred maze of captivity, sexual tension and dark desire, Michael battles with his feelings. Does he really want his normal life, or could there be a future with the woman who terrifies, controls and fascinates him?Baby is a compelling, sexy, disturbing and unforgettable thriller.

Follow Marie on Twitter | Buy Baby on Amazon |
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