I’d like to welcome Phyllis Staton Campbell to my blog as today’s featured author. Phyllis was given 20 questions from which to pick 10 of them to respond. I’m enjoying this format as we get a different insight into each author and it’s interesting to see which questions are selected.
Please enjoy meeting Phyllis and consider checking out he work.
- What do you think are the elements of a good story?
I feel that the elements of a good story, short, or novel, are: Interest point, a conflict, question not answered, action toward the solution, presented by interesting characters and action, and the solution, that leaves the reader thinking.
- You’re invited to a dinner party are you:
- The center of attention
- Off in a corner talking to one or two people
- Standing by the door waiting for a chance to leave
- At home reading or writing your latest work Off in a corner, talking to one or two people.
- Why did you pick the response that you chose?
I like people, but if I find those who interest me, I prefer their company to a crowd of people who don’t interest me.
- What is the first book that made you cry?
Little Colonel’s Hero by Annie Fellows Johnson. Hero was a dog, and I was around eight-years-old.
- Do you view fellow authors as competitors, allies or are there some combination of the two?
Why Definitely a combination, depending on the person, and their attitude. Some insecure writers seem to resent others, and to me, this not only interferes with their relationship with others but affects their writing. Other side of the coin, writers, who reach out to others are allies with whom I can share resources and the joy of a sale, and the disappointment of a failure.
- What comes first in your writing, the plot or the characters?
Actually, it depends. Sometimes a character intrudes into my thinking, demanding a plot and a setting. At other times, a setting presents itself, and I simply must weave a plot around it, and people it with characters.
- Describe your writing space.
My house is old, the oldest part dating back to shortly after the Civil War. My writing space is in what was the dining room, with French doors, opening into the living room, either side of the chimney, and a door into the kitchen. I have a natural gas fire that fills the space with warmth and cheer on cold, wet days.
- What tools do you use to write? (Computer, notebook, software, etc.)
I use a computer with NVDA as a screen reader. I use the Braille Note Touch when proofreading my work, with the file on the computer as well. When I find an error when I’m reading the braille, I find the place on the computer, and make the correction.
- Do you outline? Are you a ‘pantser’? What techniques do you use to get started on a story?
Here again it varies. If I’m working on a novel, I usually figure out the beginning and the end, filling in the moving toward the end, sometimes as I go. With a short story, I often just sit and let my mind wander. Sometimes I go to the organ and play, hoping my fingers and my creativity find each other, with at least the beginning of a plot. Sometimes the story is inspired by a news item, or an event.
- Do you write in only a single genre? If so, what genre? If not, what genres?
My books have ranged from a nonfiction book requested by the publisher to a supernatural title, they have included, inspiration, autobiography (the requested book) YA adult inspirational and mystery. Most of my work is teared toward giving the public a glimpse into the world of the blind, and perhaps offering a bit of hope to those, who may have lost, or who are losing, their sight.
- What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When not writing, I enjoy reading, listening to music, playing the organ and knitting.
Phyllis says that she writes about the things she sees. That she sees with only four senses does not detract from her description of people and settings. Readers who haven’t looked at the “about the author” say that they would have never guessed that she has been blind since birth.
In her writing, she calls on her experience as teacher of the blind, peer counselor and youth transition specialist, as she weaves her characters ranging from a sixteen-year-old girl, striving to come to terms with her blindness, to a detective struggling with fear and feelings of guilt. “Where Sheep May Safely Graze” is her seventh book, including a true-crime title, written under contract to the victim’s family, and not available to the public.
She lives in Staunton, Virginia where she serves as organist at historic Faith Lutheran Church, not far from the home she shared with Chuck, her husband, who waits beyond that door called death.
Find Phyllis’s Books:
Connect with Phyllis:
Although I have a Facebook page I prefer questions addressed to Campbellphyllis17@gmail.com