Kate Campbell is an author and avid reader who has a smallholding in the beautiful Scottish countryside with her husband and two dogs. She began writing from an early age, spending a lot of her time writing her own adventure stories in which she was the protagonist. As she got older, Kate became increasingly interested in the variety and magic of the fantasy world, but began to read more than write.
She studied English Literature at Southampton University, where her spark for writing was reignited. Now she specialises in writing fantasy but also delves into horror and the occasional children’s story. Her debut novel, ‘The Whisper of Calaresp’ was released on the 8th of June 2021, published by Wallace Publishing.
Kate started writing short stories in the Summer of 2020 and so far, has had nine stories accepted for publication. She hopes to continue this success and is also working on a second novel, a children’s book and a sequel to ‘The Whisper of Calaresp’.
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I started out writing little adventure stories when I was young, wherein I was always the protagonist. I like to think they were pretty good, although I will admit that I never actually finished any of them. Then as I grew up my interest in fantasy developed and so my writing went in the same direction.
When I’m not writing I’ll either be walking my dogs, reading or watching movies. I also have a smallholding with pigs, geese, goats and ducks, which takes up quite a lot of my time.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
‘The Whisper of Calaresp’ is my first book. It took me quite a long time to finish and even longer to send off to publishers as I lacked a little bit of self-confidence. Since then, I’ve gained more experience writing short stories and as a result, I’m now a much faster and more confident writer.
What genre is it, and what is it about?
‘The Whisper of Calaresp’ is a YA Fantasy novel, although I have every confidence that adults will enjoy reading it too! It’s a story about a young woman who finds herself suddenly thrust into a new world filled with adventure and magic. Her identity and ideals are brought into question as she battles forces of great evil.
What or who inspired you to write this book?
The initial concept for my book came to me whilst I was walking in the Scottish countryside. I would think about the history and the heritage of the landscape that surrounded me and considered how amazing it would be if you could just step through a portal and arrive into a fantasy world.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
To believe in yourself. If you want to be a writer then write, don’t let self-doubt stop you or block you creatively. Also, don’t try and compare yourself to other authors. Every writer has their own style and just because you don’t write like George R.R. Martin or Brandon Sanderson it doesn’t mean you aren’t as good.
What do you enjoy most about writing and why?
I love writing because it means I can let my imagination run wild, that experience allows me to travel to new worlds and to experience incredible adventures. When I don’t write I tend to feel frustrated as new ideas and narratives are constantly spinning through my mind and I lose them if I don’t manage to write them down. I also love the idea that someone who reads my books gets to experience the adventure I created.
List three interesting facts about yourself
My dad was in the army and so we spent a lot of my childhood living in Europe, most memorably in Bulgaria. It meant that from a very early age I had been able to visit all sorts of countries and experience a whole multitude of different cultures.
I currently live on a beautiful smallholding in Scotland with my husband. Since we’ve been here we’ve owned sheep, goats, pigs, ducks, quail, geese, ducks and chickens. As well as my two dogs and two cats. It’s pretty demanding and time-consuming but it’s definitely worth it.
I guess the fact I brew my own wine is pretty interesting. It’s generally really good, although my rhubarb wine and nettle wine were absolutely disgusting!
What is your least favourite part of the publishing/writing process?
Editing my work. I love the creative side of writing where I become absorbed in a world of my own creation. Editing requires a different frame of mind, it calls for far more concentration. It can also be quite frustrating, especially in those initial edits where you notice the really silly mistakes.
What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Reviewing is definitely the most helpful thing in my opinion. It allows you to be more visible on huge platforms such as Amazon and Goodreads where so many authors are vying for attention. Also sharing information about the book on social media is incredibly beneficial!
What is your next project?
I’m currently working on a few short stories for some really exciting projects. I’m also writing another fantasy novel and the sequel to ‘The Whisper of Calaresp’. My intention is by the end of the year to finish and get published a second, standalone novel. I’m really enjoying writing it and so I definitely have high hopes for it. I’ve also written my first children’s book which is currently being illustrated.
Anthologies including short stories by Kate Campbell:
‘A Simple Gift’ and ‘Home for Christmas’ published in Holiday Spirit by WPC Press.
‘Lovelorn and Lost’ published in Love in the Dark by WPC Press.
‘What’s in a Name’ and ‘A Helping Hand’ to be published this month in New Tales of Old by Raven and Drake Publishing.
‘Lost at the Crossroads’ to be published in Haunt by Dark Hare Press.
‘With Freedom Fly’ to be published in Dragon by Dark Hare Press.
‘Too Much of a Good Thing’ to be published in Candy Capers by Raven and Drake Publishing.
‘In the Light of the Moon’ to be published in New Tales of Old V2 by Raven and Drake.
All of which are, or will soon be, available on Amazon.
Connect with Kate here:
It’s a bitterly cold winter’s day and the snow is coming down hard as Louise decides to take her dog Barney for a walk in the local forest. It’s a walk she knows well. However, something is different today… Something is sinister. There is a feeling in the air that isn’t natural, and Barney has felt it too. Then it happens – a sound so inhuman and so chilling it stops them in their tracks.