Monday, March 10, 2014

A Great Amigo - Interview with Robyn Campbell

Have you met Robyn Campbell? She is one of the writing community's greatest treasures. Robyn is one smart writer, blogger, and all around good friend. 

Her writing credits and interests include short stories, picture books, and YA fiction. I knew this Good Friends Old & New 5th Blogoversary celebration would not be complete without an informative and fun interview with this faithful amigo. :) 

(Speaking of the blogoversary, check out the giveaway below when you're done reading the interview.)




Welcome Robyn! So excited to have you visit! When did you know you were a writer?

Oh gosh amigo. I knew I was a writer after penning my best seller (or so I thought, at age 8) titled, THE DOG WHO RAN AWAY. I have a fond regard for that story. But alas, my teacher was NOT impressed.  It did set me on the road I travel down now though. It told the story of (you guessed it) a dog who ran away. Like that title? Creative, eh? Yeah man!


Wow, that is some title! You were one very clever 8 year old. I can't imagine why that teacher wasn't impressed. :) In addition to being a fabulous blogger, you write for children and young adults. What are you working on now?

I have several irons in the fire. (That word ‘fabulous’ kinda got me right here! Points to heart.) *ahem* I just finished a two book series (picture book). And I am redoing my middle grade. I’m turning it into a YA. I just have a feeling this is what I'm supposed to do with my story. So of course, most everything must change from voice to plot. Fabulous? Gonna tell the family about this.

Yes, you should tell the family. And let me know if you need me to write a note saying how fabulous you are. I could get a petition together if your family still doesn't believe me.  Tell us, what are some of the benefits you've gained from the writing community?

I have gained so much and feel like I've given so little. Really. The writers who have helped me through my son Christopher's health problems and have taken the time to email me and to stop by the blog to check on him mean so much to me. They didn't have to do that. Our writing community is the best anywhere! These people are genuine and warmhearted and I owe them so very much. You are one of those writers, Karen!

Well Robyn, I am one of many who love you bunches and pray for you and your family. :) I'd have to say though, that you give much more to the writing and blogging community than you think. For real. Now before we get all mushy and need tissues, how about telling us what your must-have writing snacks are?

Er, I thought there was only one must-have. Why Hershey's Bliss, of course! I could eat an entire bag of them. (Shhh. Don't tell, but I'm the one who sneaks a couple out of each Christmas stocking.) Oh alright! It's more than a couple. I actually leave them a couple. *wink*

Well, someone has to be in charge of Hershey's Bliss quality control, you know? What writing accomplishments do you dream of? Fame? Fortune? A writing retreat with three writing amigos?

The three writing amigos retreat sounds perfect. Our amigo gang would be nice. If we could get Shannon to come, or we could just do the two amigos. :-) Okey dokey? 

(A little background - The amigo thing originated when Robyn, writer Shannon O'Donnell, and I adapted the nickname The Three Amigos. A story for another day perhaps.)

I don't think of fame and all of that. I do think about kids of all ages enjoying my stories. Best ever feeling! "Writers dont write to get published. They write simply to write." -Madeleine LEngle  Isn’t that the truth?

It sure is! What advice would you now give to your newbie writer self?

Oh man. First, I would tell Self that the first manuscript I wrote was really stinky. I was shocked at the first rejection I received. Every day I would race down to the mailbox and THAT day I saw the piece of mail with THAT return address I was so happy. By the time I reached the front door, I had already spent the thousands of dollars I knew my story was worth. As I opened the envelope, the air was sucked out of my balloon. How could they NOT want my perfectly written story? I finally looked back over that gem and realized it.

I would also tell me that this was going to be a mountain and I'd better be prepared to climb a little and slide back down, climb a bit and slip back down. But there would come a time when I would reach the top and gaze back down at writers trying to join me on the top. I would remind me that I should encourage those writers as much as possible. I would also tell me that I should develop crocodile skin. I was such a dummy. I really thought that my very first story would be published. I also dreamed about that first story being made into a Nickelodeon cartoon and a movie on the big screen. *shakes head at Self*

Wow, that's some good advice! But I wouldn't say you were a dummy. You were just green and had some things to learn, like we all do. Live and learn, right? I know you are an avid horsewoman. How does this influence your writing?

Horsewoman, YES! It influences my entire writing self. It's when I get the best ideas. It's also how I fix my story problems. I just saddle up and go for a ride. All my answers are on the riding trail. As a matter of fact, I've found that the answers to most life problems are on that trail. But actually being outside in the fresh air with Mr. Ed or any of our other horses gives me a clean perspective on my writing. That's why I have invited you to come and ride with me when you visit your sister. That is a MUST DO for you. Make a public statement right now that you will, okay? *wink* *wink* 


I can see where a ride would not only be therapeutic, but helpful to untangle those writing knots in your head. So yes, when I am able to visit, I will! 

Thank you for inviting me over today, Karen. It's been fun!

It was great fun, Robyn! Thanks so much for stopping by today! :) Find the amazing Robyn here: 

Twitter
Facebook

Giveaway


To celebrate my 5th Blogoversary, I am giving away an ecopy of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. This book is great for writers of all genres, fiction and non fiction.

You can still enter if you don't have an ereader; simply download the Free Kindle PC Reader for your computer here

Find the Giveaway details in the Rafflecopter box below.





Do you have any questions for Robyn? What would you tell your newbie writer self?

Happy writing,

Karen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

48 comments :

  1. Great interview. I've been friends with Robyn for a long time and loved learning more about her. I was starry-eyed when I started wring too. Now I'm much more realistic about the whole process.

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  2. Nice to meet you Robyn. Wonderful interview. I hope you and Karen both have a beautiful Monday!

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  3. Robyn is the best! It was nice to learn a few more things about her too. (Can I be a fourth Amigo? You know like D'Artagnan?)

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  4. Robyn, you have given so much back to the community! You just don't realize it.
    And be sure to tell your family you rock as well.

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  5. Hi, Karen:

    FYI, when I first started visiting your blog many moons ago, I noticed a post where you and someone named Robyn called each other "amigo." The purist in me wanted to mention that "amiga" was the correct term applied to females, but I did not mention it. I'm glad I didn't because, some time later, I realized it was an inside joke! I'm glad for that parenthetical you provide above, because I actually have been wondering about the origin of that term! ;-)

    I enjoyed getting to know Robyn and appreciate her wit and engaging voice. I hopped over to her blog and am her newest subscriber.

    Great interview. Be well, ladies!

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  6. Natalie,
    Thank you! Robyn makes an interview easy.:) I guess our starry eyed days are behind us. It doesn't take long, does it?

    Keith,
    Glad you enjoyed the interview. Robyn is a treasure! Have a wonderful week! ;)

    Bish,
    I agree, she is the best! I'll check with Robyn, but I think maybe there might be an opening for another amigo. :) You never know.

    Alex,
    I think you are right - Robyn has contributed a lot to the community. She's a sweet and supportive friend! :)

    Janette,
    LOL - well yes, it's just been a standing joke for a while. I wondered if anyone ever picked up on it. :) She is a wonderful writer, friend, and encourager. :)

    Have a great week,
    Karen

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  7. Oh Karen, I LOVE Robyn!!! She is the bestest of the best ;) Yep. That's my grammar for today. {{hugs}}

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  8. Yay, cool interview with Robyn, whom I admire so much! Great advice, too!

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  9. Maybe there's still a Nickelodeon cartoon in your future.

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  10. Anne,
    I love her too! She is such a sweetheart! We're totally keeping her around. :) I like your grammar. It works here!

    Joanna,
    Thank you! Robyn makes it easy. She is such a peach. Thanks for stopping and following! :)

    Diane,
    Yes, I'd say there is potential for that. Robyn might come up with the next Sponge Bob. You never know! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  11. Thanks for the interview, Karen. Robyn sounds like a good writer, blogger and friend! Susan

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  12. Enjoyed the interview with Robyn. Long ago I had dreams of my first MG being made into a Disney film :o)

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  13. Susan,
    You are welcome. Happy to introduce Robyn to you! :) She is indeed that.

    Janet,
    Glad you enjoyed it! She is a wonderful writer and friend. Perhaps someday you'll see your Disney movie come to life! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  14. Karen, my amigo, I HEART YOU! Thank you for this. I've been sitting back reading the wonderful comments. This is truly a feel good moment for me.

    P.S. I told Bish she could be an amigo. ;-)

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  15. Karen, congratulations on your 5-year anniversary. I'm just a month over that myself! Thank you for featuring Robin...who is such a kindhearted soul! Best wishes to you both...and I hope you both get to ride together sometime soon!

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  16. There she is! I can't say I learned more about Robyn per se, other than she just doesn't value her supportive, generous, dependable and hilarious self enough! Nope! Thanks for putting her in the spotlight!

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  17. Robyn,
    Love you back! You are a great guest. You are welcome back anytime! :) xo

    Liza,
    Thanks so much! Congrats to you as well! :) I agree, she is a kindhearted soul. Love her bunches! :)

    Julie,
    She gives herself too little credit, I think. We should change that (if she'll let us, lol). You are more than welcome, it was a pleasure to have her over today! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  18. Robyn! My flat Stanley Robyn! Love to read about your writing. Good luck changing all that up to a YA. Reminds me that as difficult as it can be to change EVERYTHING in a picture book, it's still easier than changing up an entire 40k novel. Good luck.

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  19. Robyn is indeed one of the most generous (and hilarious) peeps I know! We all looooove her!! <3 This was such an interview!

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  20. Robyn, your book sounds wonderful. Even your first one. It was great getting to know you. I'd be proud to have you mentor any of my grandchildren. You sound definitely lovable!

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  21. Stacy,
    Cheering Robyn on with her YA book too! :) Thanks for coming by!

    Teresa,
    She is, I have to agree! Everyone who meets Robyn loves her, I'm thinking! :)

    Joylene,
    I think she is lovable too and cannot wait till her book/books come out! Glad you made it over today! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  22. Thanks for the entertaining interview, Karen and Robyn! I'd wondered where the "amigo" thing came from. :)

    Congrats on your blogoversary, Karen. You've done a great job with Write Now.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  23. What an excellent giveaway! Thanks so much!

    I always love visiting Robyn's blog, so it was wonderful to learn more about her today. I loved her advice for writers and I completely understand her advice to her newbie writing self. :) Wishing Robyn the best of luck!
    ~Jess

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  24. Susan,
    You are welcome! Glad you enjoyed it. :) Thanks so much for your kind words. You've had a big part in the growth of Write Now!

    Jess,
    Glad you liked the interview and the giveaway! Robyn is the best, isn't she? :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  25. Hey Karen and Robyn, fun interview, a good read! Thanks for sharing part of your writing journey with us Robyn, there are still many lessons to learn :)

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  26. As us-you-al, a great interview. Very fun! And you both give more than you likely think you do. We, your beneficiaries, appreciate that sincerely.

    Blessings to both of you!

    Waving and smiling,

    Rhonda

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  27. Nice interview. It is amazing that at age 8 she found her calling.

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  28. This was a very nice interview and there's so much new writers can learn from it. Thank you for another brilliant interview.

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  29. Catherine,
    I agree! She is a peach! :) Thanks for coming by!

    Marja,
    So glad you enjoyed the interview! I agree, we are always learning. :)

    Rhonda,
    Aww, you are so sweet! I've learned some things from you too, you know. Blessings to you as well! :)

    Lilith,
    Thank you! Yes, she can say she started at an early age! :)

    Joy,
    Happy to hear you enjoyed the interview! We're always learning something, aren't we? :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  30. Great interview. Robyn sounds like someone I'd love to know.

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  31. I haven't been counting the years, but I've known Robyn for quite awhile. She's an amazing blogger and it was great learning more about her and her writing.

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  32. Yay, Robyn! Love you, woman! I'm totally with you on the middle grade to YA transition. I've got one of those waiting to be rewritten and while I'm stoked about it, part of me just wants to keep my sweet MG and MG. =)

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  33. Both you and Robyn are the best! Love you special gals!!!

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  34. Lisa,
    Glad you enjoyed the interview. I think you and Robyn would get along nicely! :)

    Medeia,
    She is an amazing writer and blogger! She gives so much. Blessed to know her! :)

    Crystal,
    Who's met Robyn who doesn't love her, right? :) Transitions of any writing form can be a challenge. Cheering you both on! :)

    Diane,
    You are so sweet. Love you right back! Hugs! :)

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  35. Karen, Thank you so much for introducing Robyn to us. What a fun lady!

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  36. Hi Karen - it's lovely to meet Robyn this way .. and so great to know about the three amigos - fun too. Blogging can make some incredible relationships .. and I've so enjoyed meeting Robyn and sharing a little of life with her - but I'd love to be able to ride off into the day to de-stress ... and so it's fun to think of Robyn being out on Mr Ed and letting her cares ease a little.

    Having a child with an illness that's been difficult to help with cannot be at all easy .. and I've admired Robyn in her tender love helping her Christopher along this journey ...

    Thanks for this delightful chat with you both .. always a pleasure to be around .. cheers Hilary

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  37. Susan,
    You are welcome! I think you and Robyn would get along well. :)

    Hilary,
    I thought you were a fan of Robyn's just like me! :) I think it would be fun if the three of us could ride at Robyn's - I am sure she would be a great guide! Maybe someday, right? Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and input!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  38. What a great interview Karen. It's great to meet Robyn!

    Diana
    www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com / www.MISBoutique.storenvy.com
    New Post: [Outfit Idea] Craving Spring
    Previews Post: [Personal Growth] How To Find Purpose and Monetize Your Passion

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  39. What a great introduction to Robyn. I'd never 'met' her before and now I want her for my best friend!
    Thanks for sharing her, Karen. You always have the best for us. :)
    Blessings,
    Dotti :)

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  40. Diana,
    Glad you enjoyed meeting Robyn! Thanks for coming over to see us. :)

    Dotti,
    Somehow I just knew you would like her! So happy to make the introduction. Robyn is a sweetheart, just like you. :)

    Happy weekend,
    Karen

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  41. Love Robyn!!

    (And I love those Hershey Blisses too) And those little Dove chocolates too. Maybe we can police each other. LOL

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  42. An interesting interview.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  43. Jennifer,
    Those little chocolates are so good, but yet so tempting! I'm sorry to say that my new favorite chocolate item are Milano Mint cookies. I may have to send you and Robyn some...:)

    Andrew,
    Glad you found it interesting. Thanks for stopping!

    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  44. Aw, what a wonderful interview. Robyn is the best bestie. I think she's Ms. Pizzazz of Cyberspace, here and in all parallel cyberspaces! I bet The Dog Who Ran Away was excellent, and her teacher was probably a cat person. Same thing happens with editors, eh? :) I do have a question for Robyn. Is your ankle doing better? I hope you do get to go for a ride with Robyn someday, Karen.

    Happy Happy 5th Blogoversary to you! Woot!

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  45. Lynn,
    Thanks so much for coming by to see this Best Bestie of ours! She is indeed that! I hope we ride someday too. Thanks a bunch!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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  46. Wonderful interview, Robyn! It's nice to hear about your journey- and I love the story of your first submission. We do dream big, but yes, we need to have crocodile skins. Did you know that Kate DiCamillo was rejected 450 times? (wow, that IS persistence.) Now she's a Newberry winner, has movies of her books and is the national ambassador for young people's literature. Dreams can come true! Sounds like you've got lots of writing projects in the works. I can't wait to read them, BBF!

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  47. Iza,
    So glad to meet you! Glad too, that you enjoyed the interview. Didn't know about Kate D. - that's good to know. Not that you want anyone to be rejected that much, but it is an encouragment to keep going. Thanks so much for coming by!
    Happy writing,
    Karen

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Thanks so much for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!