Welcome to Hound Day, Renee!
By Jeff Salter
Delighted to welcome Renee Campbell as my Guest Fox on Hound Day. I first became acquainted with Renee when I was inadvertently sitting in her chair at a recent local author event. Let me explain.
At our county public library’s annual Local Author event last month, I plopped down next to Kathy Ragle, who heads up the Gibson-Ragle Publishing outfit. Since I enjoy supporting local and regional authors, I have hosted three authors (so far) from that publishing house.
“Kathy,” I said, “have you got another author for me to feature on my blog?”
Kathy smiled and handed me a bookmark for Redemption. It turns out Renee just had her first novel released and was due to arrive any moment… and take her place at the author table with Kathy. So, you see, I truly was sitting in Renee’s chair.
When I later introduced myself, Renee won my heart right away — she handed me a tiny box wrapped in brown paper and tied with string. Inside that box was CHOCOLATE.
Besides that, Renee also loves old automobiles!
Author Renee Campbell resides in Somerset, Kentucky with her husband and five children. Renee works in a busy Cardiology office. She loves reading, writing, and outside activities with her family and friends. She has a passion for vintage cars.
- In my younger life, I visited the Biloxi area frequently, so I’m very familiar with that portion of the Gulf. My brother lived in Mobile for about ten years and I visited there often. What was it like for you to live near the Alabama Coast? What brought you all the way up to KY?
[R.C.] — There is nothing like being on the Gulf! The beaches are beautiful and the fresh sea food is amazing! I love the water! There is something so relaxing about the ocean. The ocean is what I miss the most. Moved from Kentucky to Alabama in 1991 for my father to take a church in Mobile. I lived there until 2006 when we moved back to Kentucky to take care of sick family.
- Besides working in the medical field, what jobs have you held? Which did you like best?
[R.C.] — I have held medical related jobs most of my life. I have worked as a Registered Medical Assistant in gynecology, pediatrics, family practice, as well as performing bone density scans. I also worked as a lab tech for years. I love my current job in Cardiology.
- Your FB timeline has photos of you in clothing styles from what looks like the 1940s. Was that a special event, or do you identify with that period? If so, why?
[R.C.] — My husband and I attend a lot of car shows and for some of those people dress in 40’s -50’s attire. I love the era. I love that life was less complicated then. The style was classy and clean. The beauty was real then. I have a lot of fun with it.
- I also saw several photos of antique cars. Do you help restore them? Buy and sell them? Or just enjoy driving around in automotive history?
[R.C.] — My husband and I have a 1956 Chevy 4 door Wagon and a 1934 Chevy Pickup, both of which are still works in progress. I love that we share a passion for old cars. I spend a lot of time in the garage getting dirty. I don’t know a lot about what needs to be done but my husband is a good teacher. We attend a lot of car shows and have a great time.
- I get the impression you’re involved with school athletics. Were you an athlete in school? Or is this mainly as a coach or sponsor of your kid’s teams?
[R.C.] — My daughter is a very talented athlete so I spend a lot of time at athletic events. I was not involved in athletics in school. I stayed very busy with other activities. I was into drama club.
- How long have you been writing fiction?
[R.C.] — I have been writing in some fashion since I was a child. I wrote short stories and essays in school. I was told that even as a small child I would gather the kids in the neighborhood and tell them stories on the front lawn. I have toyed with writing a book for years and one day I decided that I was not getting any younger. I decided that it was time to mark it off my bucket list. Fiction has always been my favorite. I love that with fiction you can become anyone and go anywhere.
- Your novel, Redemption, looks like a thriller. What nudged you in the direction of this genre?
[R.C.] — Thrillers are my favorite type of book. I enjoy the suspense, the twists and turns in thrillers. The guessing about what will happen and why excites me. Thrillers seem to come fairly easy to me.
- If sales (money) and critics (reviews) were immaterial to you, what genre and length would you write?
[R.C.] — I would probably write longer novels if cost were not an issue. You do keep up with the number of pages when cost is a issue.
- You’re collecting some terrific reviews on your first novel. It’s not easy getting readers to review your books — how did you do it?
[R.C.] — I have asked readers to review the book based on their feelings. I have posted messages on social media asking readers for their opinions and they have graciously followed through. I am so very pleased with the reviews that I have seen so far.
- Have you ever encountered people who seem unable / unwilling to comprehend that writing is something you are driven to do?
[R.C.] — I used to want to be an author as a child, but I was told often that I needed a real job. I don’t think people really believed that I could make a living writing back then. No one I knew had ever written a book so it didn’t seem possible.
- If you were not a writer, can you imagine what else you might do to express the creativity within you?
[R.C.] — I really don’t know what else I would do if I were not writing. I might try to learn to paint or draw. I would have to put forth some major effort, I don’t think stick people count as art.
- Give us at least one example of someone who has contacted you and expressed how much your writing meant to them.
[R.C.] — I have had a reader contact me to tell me that she bought my book and read it in one day. She said that she could not put it down and that she was so very glad she read it. She asked me to let her know as soon as my next book Vengeance is available.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me, Jeff! I am so happy to be talking with you.
C.J. Cummings had a simple life in small town Riverton Township until Evil itself found its way in. A serial killer is targeting the people she loves the most and leaving C.J. messages at each scene.
Will she be able to find the connection that has drawn this killer to her town?
Will C.J. be able to stop him before she loses anyone else?
– – –
Vengeance — Book 2 in the series is coming soon.
Question for today’s blog readers:
What would you want to know most about Redemption? Is there a character in the book that you like the most… and why?
[JLS # 332]