Friday, March 21, 2008

Make-Believe Mondays With Marilyn Campbell

Today on Make-Believe Mondays I'm excited to be able to introduce Marilyn Campbell.

Marilyn, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.

Marilyn: As you may know, for the past year, all of my time has been spent establishing and developing The Lotus Circle publishing imprint. As part of that effort I completed three non-fiction metaphysical books – “Metaphysical Fitness, Ten Commandments for Spiritual Being”, “Tarot of The Lotus Circle” and “Numerology To Go” – as well as a psychic fiction novel, “Dreams of You”, which was co-authored with my daughter, Joie del Rio, under the pseudonym Campbell del Rio.

If you check out the site,, you’ll see that we now have a very nice selection of books, and there are a lot more in “the queue”.
Joie and I also co-wrote an erotic thriller, “Eye Witness”, under the pseudonym Kennedy Vance, which was released in e-book through TLC’s sister imprint Cerridwen Press.

Personally, I have been getting a lot of nudges, both from readers and my spirit guides, to do another futuristic or time-travel romance. In order to decide which book to write next, I’ve added a Reader’s Survey onto my site. I’d love to get some more opinions! (

Debra: Yes, you have been busy! The Lotus Circle is a unique website. I enjoy visiting. And I'd be happy to take your survey.

Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?

Marilyn: Whenever I feel empty, I take a weekend off from my routine and do one of two things – I go see four or five new movies in a theater plus at least that many more on video at home or I head for a theme park, ride roller coasters and play like I’m 8 years old again. For me, either activity works like sherbet between courses of a heavy meal. (Btw, speaking of food, junk food consumption plays a vital part in my re-inspiring-myself process.)

Debra: Oh, it's been years since I rode a roller coaster since there are none nearby. I grew up not far from Kings Island and we used to have season passes. What fun!

Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?

Marilyn: Actually, for me, the characters are usually in existence before I start writing. In most cases, they tap me on the shoulder because they have a story they want me to tell for them. And woe is me if I don’t pay attention!

Debra: How wonderful to be so in tune. Mine whisper and I'm never entirely sure who they are until I'm almost at the end of the book.

Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?

Marilyn: In my Innerworld series of futuristic romances, I had the thoroughly enjoyable opportunity to make up names, places and words. The complete lack of any requirements to be realistic or politically correct according to current Earth standards was incredibly liberating…and one of the reasons I am seriously considering revisiting that sub-genre.

Debra: How freeing it is to play with language. Many of the best authors I've known have played with it in some way.

For some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Marilyn: Dreams have played a major role in creating several of my fiction novels. The premise of the first book I wrote, “Pyramid of Dreams”, came from a very clear dream about the hijacking of a yacht in the Bermuda Triangle. Another time I dreamed that I woke up naked and fully sated but the man lying next to me was a complete stranger. That book became the bestselling novel “Pretty Maids in a Row”. And most recently, “Dreams of You”, is about a lucid dreamer who works with the police.

Debra: Somehow I suspected they would. Lucid dreaming is a fascinating subject.

If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Marilyn: It has been my habit to write what I feel compelled to write, when the compulsion hits, regardless of the market at that time. In fact, my futuristic romances were originally rejected dozens of times by editors and agents, because they were convinced that no one wanted books that combined two different genres! Within two years of all those rejections, an auction was held to determine which house would get to publish that series. I have now been published in every sub-genre I ever wanted to write in. On the opposite side, I avoid writing a particular type of story just because it is popular. For instance, I have no interest in vampires, thus I would never attempt to write about them.

Debra: It is good to hear you say this, because I think new writers need to hear this. It can take years to be published and it is important to believe in your work, to have that persistence rather than chasing market trends.

Is there anything else you would like to add about the role of imagination, and dreams in creating fiction? Any other message for our readers?

Marilyn: It is good to remember that the imagination is your direct connection to the Universal Consciousness, but you need to be open to receiving the inspiration and train your mind to be quiet enough to hear the messages. When your awake time is too full of noise and busy-ness, your dream time is all that’s left. If you know you dream but can’t remember them in the morning, you may just need to work at it a bit. Start by ordering yourself to remember all your dreams right before going to sleep. Keep a notepad by the bed and the instant you awaken, write down any images or words that come to you before they fade away. It takes some practice but it could be worth it!

Debra: Oh, this is so important. Quiet time is very hard to come by in this modern society and perhaps it is the thing most needed. This year I started my first dream journal and I am slowly training my myself to remember my dreams. It does get easier with practice.

Marilyn, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

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