CJC Photography

Author Spotlight: Candie Leigh Campbell

SEEK saga, "Search" by Candie Leigh Campbell, Janessa Rose, CJC Photography, Boston photographer, book cover photographer, romance book cover photographer1)      How did you get started as an author and what made you want to pursue that field?

My journey to becoming an author took quite a few turns before finding a starting point. As a child, I wanted to make movies and write plays. But I was severely dyslexic and I didn’t think it would ever be possible. It wasn’t until I was older and started writing storybooks for my kids that I first tried to write a novel. I made it about five chapters and gave up. But once I realized the desire to write was never going to go away, I finally decided to commit to it.

2)      What hurdles have your overcome while striving towards your goals?

I’ve jumped many hurtles to get to where I am, including conquering my learning disability.

But life is funny. Every time I thought I was getting close to being published, it would throw something new at me. My latest hurtle would be when we adopted our two youngest babies. I tried to continue my writing, but it was too much and I decided to set my dreams aside for a while.

Then one day I got an instant message from a certain photographer we all know and love. Yes, I mean Christopher. He introduced himself and said hello. Confession: I almost ignored him. You know—instant messages from men you don’t know can turn creepy really fast.

I learned that one the hard way.

Anyway, we got to talking and he sent me the link to view some of the photos he had available. I glanced around, just to be polite of course. (Don’t tell my husband, but I admit they left me drooling. *wink wink*) I told Chris how great his work was. But unfortunately, I didn’t think his steamy photos could work for me since I wrote YA.

“No problem,” he said. “I have a couple that might work for YA.”

And he sent me another link.

I didn’t have anything to lose. I wasn’t in the market for pictures since I hadn’t written seriously in three years. But I clicked the link anyway. And the first thing I saw was my leading character, Keira, staring back at me. And not only was it her, but her expression was telling me to forget traditional publishing, she just wanted her story to be told.

I messaged Chris back immediately. I explained that I liked the picture but I had a series, I needed four covers. Again, I got another link. He had a whole page of this amazing cover model. And not only did he have her, but he had my character’s love interest and a girl who looked like her sister also.

There they were. Four covers with my three main characters from the series. Fate had given me a sign. I bought all four photos right there.

3)      Which novel has been your favorite to write and why?

I have to say this story is my favorite so far. SEEK was originally one book. But as the story grew and grew, it became too much—too much drama for one title. But I’d fallen in love with the world and I couldn’t stop writing. So now it’s four books.

4)      For those looking to become an author, what advice would you give them?

Don’t give up! Writing might seem easy, and for some it probably is, but it takes more than good writing to publish a book. It takes thick skin, persistence, and the ability to write even when it seems no one cares if you write or not.

5)      Favorite motto?

“Of all that is written, I love only what a person hath written with his blood.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

This quote speaks to me. I repeat it often when writing seems too hard.

6)      In one word, how would you describe your writing style?

Hmmm—in one word? Intense.

7)      Which author inspires you the most and why?

Every author is an inspiration. It’s really hard to pin it down to just one. Some authors inspire me because of their journey to publication. Others through their ability to arrange words in such a way that I’m left speechless. And then there are those who forgo the purple prose and effortlessly (seemingly) weave a story that rips my heart in two. They are all to be admired and given the utmost praise.

8)      What is your writing process like?

I’m not a fan of the outline. Instead, I’ll write a chapter or two (whichever scene comes to mind when I get the story idea). Then I’ll write a synopsis. I know, right? Who voluntarily writes a synopsis?

9)      Goals for the remainder of the year?

I’m elbow-deep in revisions on the second book of the SEEK Saga. Evade is set to release November 2016.  So, my number one goal is to make the book as awesome as I can and get it out there on time.

10)   What new projects are you currently working on?

Along with working on the SEEK Saga, I’m also toying around with a series that takes place in the same world, but one thousand years later with a new cast of characters. I’m pretty sure that’s what I’ll do next. Since my mind is already writing the stories, I may not have much of choice. Ha!

11)   Any final thoughts you would like to share with the CJC Photography readers?

Yes, I’d like to give a special thanks to Chris for making this all possible. I would probably still be wallowing in self-pity if he hadn’t come along and brought my characters to life. And a huge thanks to my superstar cover model, Janessa! Girl, your face is the reason these books are a reality. Love you guys!

Connect with Candie on Facebook!

Seek is now available here.

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