{March 3, 2014}   Two Part Interview-Oliver Campbell and Danika Campbell Day One

I’m very excited to have both Oliver Campbell and Danika Campbell, a husband and wife who co-author books together.  Today’s interview is with Oliver, and tomorrow’s will be with Danika.oc

  1. Before we start talking about your latest book, why don’t you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

    I’m from the Midwest and have had an interesting career in video game journalism. I’ve done a bit of work as an editorialist and reviewer for a variety of smaller game news oriented sites including Hard4Games, EOGamer, and Video Game Scoreboard. I am also married to my co-author.

  2. When you’re not writing, what other things do you do in your spare time?

    As I’m a video game journalist, I spend a lot of my off-time gaming. Some games are for work, others for pleasure. Since storytelling lives in the territory of both games and film, I tend to consume a lot of both. I find it to be good study material to see where everyone else is headed, as well as helping me spot trends. Other interests that I have include baking, studying psychology and philosophy.

  3. You co-write with your wife.  Do you ever have conflicting ideas for your stories?  If so, how do you work through them?

    Oh, absolutely. Working in a team presents some interesting challenges, but we find ways to work through them. Early on we discovered that the best way to proceed was to learn how to separate our relationship from the work. When we’re in discussion regarding any of our projects, we treat it as a business relationship and act accordingly. When we have ideas or thoughts on progression that conflict with each other, we often use a pro/con approach to see which idea will present the most benefit to the work itself. Learning how to toss aside your ego for the greater good of the work is easily the most important thing you can gain from this method of creation.

  4. Where do you get your ideas from?

    The short answer? Everywhere. The longer, more fulfilling answer comes down to a simple question: “What if?” I’m a firm believer that almost every work of fiction asks a what-if question, and attempts to provide a potential answer to it within the narrative. Using this idea, I may hear about something in the news or may peruse an interesting fact in my studies that causes me to ask if circumstances were different, what the potential outcome might be. Here’s a few interesting questions for your readers to consider as story what-ifs:
    a) What would the world be like if there was no gold (the mineral) in it?
    b) What would human civilization be like if we consumed salt water instead of fresh water?
    On the surface, these two questions seem rather uninteresting and dull. If you look further into them, the entire world is changed in ways that are almost unimaginable. Gold is a precious limited resource and quite a few industries rely on it. Without it, certain technologies might not exist or alternatives would have to be found. If human beings consumed salt water instead, most human civilization would be found at the shores of oceans on every major continent and water would have to be imported in-land. These are just a few examples, but you can see how there’s a lot of wiggle room to create brand new worlds and scenarios that are worth exploring. Just change one tiny facet of how all of this functions, and you have a world much different than the one you know.

  5. Is it hard to come up with character names?

    For me, it’s not very difficult at all. The number one piece of advice that I can give other storytellers is to stop naming characters before you’ve settled on your narrative. It’s a common trap and locks you into certain things. When you’re naming a character, it’s important to consider their situation and the civilization that they come from. We choose our names based on a variety of factors including what we’re exposed to, current cultural norms and standards, and even what other people have named their own children. Sure, you might have settled on a really cool name that you like, but if it doesn’t meld and flow well with the other character names you have in your story, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb. In our first novella Rabbit in the Road, we actually sat down and studied the naming convention of America during the time period it takes place. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all stories; treat it as a guide and not a rule.

  6. Is music a factor when you’re writing?  Do you create playlists for your books?

    Music is absolutely a factor when we work. There’s an entire playlist of music for Rabbit in the Road (and those songs are even referenced in the book itself). Music is a powerful entity when it comes to constructing a narrative. As we know, music has long played a major role in human civilization. A song can be a motivator and other songs can be highly demoralizing. Music invokes strong feelings in people. When we construct our works, we make sure that there is music appropriate to the scenes that we are creating to put us in the right frame of mind. I can’t recommend it enough.

  7. Out of all of the stories you’ve written so far, what is your favorite and why?

    Oh, this is a tough one, but I’m going to have to say Rabbit in the Road. It was a very exciting time for us and a brand new venture. Rabbit in the Road was an incredibly successful endeavor for us, and an experience worth doing. There were a lot of things that we didn’t know and had to learn on the fly, and there was a great deal of impact on release. When we were at a wedding some months back, I was approached by several women whom I was not aware had read the book and told me how much of a difference the work had made in their lives. To be able to directly interface with your audience and to know that your work did in fact change the world, that’s a feeling that can’t be replicated by much else.

  8. Are there any genres you’re looking to branch into?

    There are several genres that we’re toying around in at the moment. Several works have been outlined in other genres including science fiction and romance. There’s also a super secret project in works in a genre that hasn’t even been invented yet. We’re really excited about that one.

  9. What is the hardest thing about being a writer?

    The most difficult part about being a writer is learning to grin and bear it. Not everyone is going to like your work, for many different reasons. I have found this to be true both in fiction and in my journalism work. The most important thing that I can tell any prospective writer is to not give your negative feedback so much attention. Sure, you should see if there is actually helpful criticism that might help you improve your craft, but if there isn’t, pay it no mind. Focus your attention on those who are strongly supportive of you and make sure you support them in turn. These are the people who are going to promote your work, so you would do well to give them lots of care. It will pay off.

  10. Why don’t you tell us a little about your latest work?  Please feel free to provide a blurb and a snippet, along with the cover image.

    TheTwistedWorldIOur latest work is The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger. It’s our first foray into high fantasy, and has been very well received. In recent years we’ve found it very difficult to find fantasy that is palatable to our tastes, so we decided to sit down and create a fantasy world that we would find enjoyable. One of the first things that we settled on was to turn genre tropes on their ear, and in that effort I believe that we’ve succeeded. Our target audience for The Twisted World has been primarily women, and we’ve REALLY resonated with that audience.

    “Kurt Kathan, the accidental king of Gwenaelle. A man who has everything that any adventurer could dream of having, and unsure of what to do with it.Sadah Loc, the woman from the land draped in near perpetual darkness. A beautiful songstress who can no longer sing.

    Piotr Carlyle, a rather unremarkable boy with a remarkable ability to change the world. Yet he has no desire to do so.

    Strange phenomena known as Twists litter the world of Su Nobieta, taking common place things and morphing them into seemingly impossible realities. Through chance, young Piotr is bestowed the power to undo the horrors that these Twists have wrought.

    This is the journey of these three fated individuals, each deeply scarred by a harsh world. They will uncover the secrets of the Twists, the nature of the Gods of creation, and most importantly, discover themselves.”

    The Twisted World Verse I: The Dusk Harbinger is an Amazon exclusive ebook title, and will soon be accompanied with a paperback edition to be released shortly.

Fun/Silly Questions

  1. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?

    Oh this one is easy. Definitely would have to be a Green Lantern with construct powers

  2. What is your favorite word?


  3. What is your least favorite word?


  4. What is your go to snack food?

    Tropical Skittles. Always does the trick.

  5. What is your spirit animal?

    Funny question, this one. One time when I was in New York City, I visited a palm reader for a goof. She ended up telling me about the book we were working on at the time (I hadn’t mentioned it or being a writer in any capacity) and also told me that my spirit animal was the wolf.

Oliver can be found on Amazon, Twitter, Facebook, and his blog on WordPress.  You can find Oliver and Danika’s other book, Rabbit in the Road on Amazon.


Tomorrow, I’ll have an interview with Oliver’s wife, Danika, and see how things work from the ‘other side’.


Reblogged this on Between him and her and commented:
Here’s Danika and I’s fantastic interview with Rebecca Poole. You’ll find Danika’s tomorrow!

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