Hello readers. The lovely, multi- talented Marliyn Campbell took time out this week to tell us about her books, her writing process, and how she developed her psychic intuition. Pour another cup of coffee, get comfy, and join me as we get to know Marilyn a little better.
I know you have two new books out right now, Zenith Rising and Ghost Lover. I'm a paranormal fan and a Marilyn Campbell fan, so I can't wait to learn more about both. Let's start with Maggie and Noah in Zenith Rising.
Thank you so much for having me for coffee today. As to Zenith Rising's Maggie, I've done some time as a temp and actually had some interesting experiences, but none of my secret fantasies ever came true while working any of those jobs. That said, half the fun of my being an author is the opportunity to create characters who get to do whatever I dream up. As to my adorable Noah, I confess to having a huge weakness for geeks--the quiet, highly intelligent men who tend to have an instinctive ability to seduce a reluctant woman and please her beyond all her imaginings…if she can just see past his shyness.
How long did it take you to write this wonderful story and was their anything particularly different about this story than others you have written?
Zenith Rising took me about two months to complete, but it wasn’t all spent writing. Because it had paranormal and time-travel elements, part of that time was used building the world for the Crystal Island series and another chunk was taken doing research about the wild and crazy Roaring Twenties era, since that is when the island first appeared off the Florida coast. Once I did that I knew I had to send Maggie and Noah back to that time to solve one of the ghost stories connected to the Island.
Which character in Zenith Rising was your biggest challenge?
Actually, it was characters, plural. Creating the Council of Abstracts--Love, Death, Karma, Time, etc.--was definitely a challenge. Once I had decided they were the ones pulling all the strings, I needed to give them individual personalities that would show through with a minimum amount of dialogue.
I know you experienced an NDE in 1982, how much does that experience influence your writing? Could you share a little about the experience with us?
During the birth of my son, I bled out and flatlined for about a minute. It took years to resurrect all the memories of what happened while I was out-of-body, but during that time my extrasensory abilities were enhanced. The result is that I am just as passionate about my metaphysical work as I am about my writing. I think most fiction writers tap into an expanded consciousness when they tell their stories and create their multi-dimensional characters. I know mine are quite vocal about their names, personality traits and plot directions!
Did what you learned from your NDE help you in writing Ghost Lover?
I believe so, particularly about the choices we have when we pass from this life--to move on immediately or stay for a while as a disembodied spirit--but also the awareness that there is so much more to life than what we experience in one of our flesh and blood bodies.
Tell us more about Hope and Ryan's story?
“’Til death do us part,” Hope and Ryan vowed on their wedding day, and honeymooning at the Davenport Hotel on Crystal Island made it a dream come true. Tragically, that dream was shattered by Ryan’s death far too soon. However, not even death could break their bond or dampen desire that continued to burn.
To celebrate their anniversary, Hope returns to the hotel with her ghost lover. Under a magical full moon, they wish for one more night together. In the middle of an erotic fantasy, Ryan becomes corporeal and they revel in the miracle. But a night of pleasure is only one of the surprises in store for Hope. After all, on Crystal Island anything can happen.
What do you think creates this chemistry between Hope and Ryan that gives them a love that defies even death?
My belief is that the most intense, long-lasting bond between two people is born in friendship and made stronger over time. But the chemistry is what keeps it burning hot. In the case of Hope and Ryan, however, the Abstract, Love, mixed up a stronger than normal brew to make up for the predetermined short term of his life.
Do you find it hard to come up with new ideas for your books? What inspires you?
I have often said I have too many ideas as opposed to not enough. I have two file folders filled with ideas for characters or plots that have been inspired by a fleeting thought from the blue, a serious question from a friend, a movie or television show that I would write differently, or a current event, just to mention a few of my sources. The hard part is taking one of those ideas and planting my butt in a chair long enough to turn it into a full story.
Do you have any upcoming chats, appearances, and book signings?
I'm a regular contributor on the Passionate Reads blog. Each month I post astrological forecasts for all the zodiac signs in a column called SexyScopes.
If you could be one of your characters for a day who would it be and why?
Oh my, what a fantastic question! I think it would have to be Cherry Cochran from Stardust Dreams, traveling the Universe with the mysterious Gallant Voyager. Based on that choice, I don't suppose you'd be surprised to learn that I'm a huge Doctor Who fan today, but I wrote that book decades before I met The Doctor.
What are you working on now?
The third book in the Crystal Island series is in progress. This one will reveal the secrets of the Davenport family and the origins of the Island as a portal to other times and dimensions. Simultaneously, I have started the process of converting my backlist to digital form.
And now I have a question for the Coffee Time Readers:
If you had the chance to travel to any time period, past or future, with a guarantee of a safe return, when would it be and who would you like to meet? @marilyncambel3 (twitter)
Thank you, Marilyn for this look into your writing process and your stories. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the Crystal Island series and Ghost Lover.