Interview with K. Robert Campbell

K. Robert Campbell

Interview Date: 9/6/2012


K. Robert Campbell draws on his experiences as a lawyer and a park ranger for this series of mysteries. Main character Cameron Scott’s home base is coastal North Carolina, but his cases and web of friends take him around the state. Wherever Cameron goes, trouble finds hime. Whether it’s a train ride in the mountains, or a presentation to an appeals court in Raleigh, murder and intrigue turn simple pleasures and simple cases into something else. Insurrectionists, shady corporations, and extremists of various stripes figure in the plots, as does Mother Nature who serves up hurricanes and tornadoes at the most inopportune times. Along to add a cool head and moral support is Cameron’s wife, Mary, who is a control room supervisor at a nuclear plant near the coast. The easy back-and-forth between Cameron and Mary provides a cozy element that lightens up this series of thrillers.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I started writing novels around seven years ago, although I write for a living as an attorney. I suppose the “event” that prompted the writing was the frequent twenty-minute trips to the courthouse, which gave me a lot of thinking time.

Kev's response: I hope you don't write your novels in legalese...! (Unless you market them as a sleep aid, I suppose.)

If you could have one superpower, what would it? (Assuming said power would be reasonably powerful.)


Kev's response: I was thinking about space (or at least our solar system) exploration via teleportation the other day. If the teleporter needed to see the location prior to teleporting to it (such as by a picture or video), I can see shooting little platforms with a camera, a platform (to teleport onto), and a transmitter being fired all over the place. Another interesting option would be to use an extremely high powered telescope, but to also teleport with another one in hand, allowing the teleporter to almost slingshot themselves from place to place farther into the system.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?


Kev's response: You do realize that interview answers could be cannon fodder for psychiatric evaluations? >:) Wait ... that bodes ill for me. Let's just ignore that.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

I enjoy storytelling, whether I’m telling it verbally around a campfire or in writing through a novel, short story, or stage play. I suppose my greatest inspiration comes from the reactions of my ‘listeners’.

Kev's response: What's really frightening is that the same statement could be said by both torturers and Dominants... Campfires rock, though. I missed my yearly camping trip this year.

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

A little of each, for the most part. I usually have a rough outline of the story in my head, but prefer to let the story come together seat-of-the-pants style.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

I have no set writing schedule. I’m not sure I’d say that I write when inspired as much as when I can find the time.

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

Writing: Suspense and humor. Reading : Humor

Kev's response: Would "Suspenseful humor" be a new category (if you combined the two)?

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Learning that people have enjoyed what I’ve written.

Kev's response: Big thumbs up to that one!

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

The necessary task of rewriting and then rewriting again.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

I’m a drummer in an oompah band.

Kev's response: I take it your band does not have a cello player? I've never heard of an oompah band, so I'm assuming you mean "a la Willie Wonka."

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

I often have a couple of projects going at one time, but concentrate primarily on my suspense novel series.

In my evil plot to take over the world, do you advise I use highly intelligent, self-motivated minions, or simple ones, and why?

I’d recommend highly intelligent, self-motivated minions, who will be able to help you persuade your foes to join your nefarious scheme.

Kev's response: Ooh, the "defeat by joining" scheme. Evil. Nefarious. Devious. I likes it.

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

Immediate future looks like a mix of paper and electronics, but far down the line, as future generations get used to more electronic communications, paper books may disappear.

What are your current projects?

I’m working on the fifth book of my Cameron Scott suspense series and looking for an agent to help my find a main-stream publisher for my literary fiction piece.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

I’ve actually given quite a lot of advice in a class I gave at our local community college, but the primary advice is: Always, always, always have a good, independent editor.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

I am temporarily siteless, but this site gives a good overview:
Twitter: @authordrummer

Kev's response: Ken, thank you for joining me! Good fortune on the suspense series, as well as your new literary fiction piece.

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