Authors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…
Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.
Melodie Campbell got her start writing comedy (stand-up and columns.) She was invited into the Toronto Press Club in 1994. In 1999, she opened the Canadian Humour Conference. She has over 200 publications including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories and 4 novels. Her fifth novel, a mob caper entitled The Goddaughter’s Revenge (Orca Books), has been nominated for the prestigious Arthur Award for Best Novella. She has won 10 awards for fiction, and was a finalist for both the 2012 Derringer and Arthur Ellis Awards.
Joan O’Callaghan interviews author Melodie Campbell:
JO What have you written?
MC The award-winning comic crime Goddaughter series (The Goddaughter, The Goddaughter’s Revenge, The Artful Goddaughter).
The best-selling Rowena Time Travel series (Rowena Through the Wall, Rowena and the Dark Lord, Rowena and the Viking Warlord).
A Purse to Die For (with Cynthia St-Pierre).
40 short stories (ten awards for short fiction) and 100 comedy credits.
JO When did you start writing ?
MC At the age of 4. My parents called it lying. That was so short-sighted of them.
JO Why write mysteries?
MC I love the twist at the end. I love to surprise and delight readers. There is nothing more luscious than a well-crafted crime novel where you don’t see the ending coming.
JO Why do you think people like to read mysteries ?
MC Again, it’s an intelligent ‘read.’ Mysteries are well-plotted. Something ‘happens’ in a mystery, and there is a resolution at the end. Usually, it’s a resolution that includes justice. That doesn’t always happen in real life.
JO Is there a favorite place you like to write or a ritual you go through when writing ?
MC Sitting at the rickety desk in front of the pretty arched window, with Frankenpoodle reclining on the chaise beside me. Peace and comfort, with odour of dog.
JO How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family ?
MC I don’t. I am completely unbalanced. I fall over regularly.
JO What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing ?
MC The Toronto Sun billed me as Canada’s “Queen of Comedy” (Jan. 5 2014.)
I’ve won ten awards for my short fiction. Most recently, The Goddaughter’s Revenge won the 2014 Derringer (US). The same book has been shortlisted for The Arthur in Canada. Cross fingers…
JO What are you working on now?
MC The Goddaughter Affair. Yes, Gina and Nico are off on another clandestine caper in The Hammer! This time, coffins and counterfeiting share the limelight.
JO As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
MC I’m paraphrasing into my own words: Writing is work, hard work. Some days it doesn’t seem like work, and those are the days we live for.
JO What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?
MC It’s FUN! What a great bunch of clever and witty women. I love it when we get together.
JO Is there anything you’d like to add ?
MC Worst mistake? In 1993, a producer from HBO saw my play ‘Burglar for Coffee’ in Toronto, called me ‘completely nuts’, and offered me a spot writing pilots. Which I turned down. This is probably the worst mistake ever made by someone not legally insane. Who had ever heard of HBO in 1993?
By day, she is the highly proper Executive Director of Crime Writers of Canada. By night she transforms into a fevered scribe of comic crime and time travel novels. There is no truth to the rumour that she once did a somersault off the press club billiard table.
THE GODDAUGHTER (Orca Books)
“Impossible not to laugh” Library Digest
ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL (Imajin Books)
“Hot and hilarious!” Midwest Book Review
Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.