By Melodie Campbell
I am best known as a writer of comic crime capers, and in particular The Goddaughter series (Orca Books).
However, I also have a second life as an author of racy fantasy…the sort of thing that has been called “The Princess Bride with Sex.”
Why? Why would a moderately respectable crime author swap genres and write a wacky time travel series, set in Arizona and Alternate-world Great Britain?
1. I like Arizona. Especially in winter. You can fly nonstop there from Toronto.
Whoops – delete, delete. Of course, the real reason for using Arizona is I believe in accuracy of setting and doing research, which I take great pains to do once each year in February.
2. I like Great Britain. And I like to be accurate. But you can’t travel to medieval Great Britain right now, at least not on WestJet. (WHY doesn’t someone invent a cheap time travel airline?) So I can’t be accurate, which bugs me a lot. But I can be silly, which is almost as good. Hence, Alt-world.
3. My cousin Tony’s family, the Clegg-Hills, used to own a Norman castle in Shropshire. Unfortunately it burned down in 1556. Damned careless of them. I had to make up what it would look like from family stories, which are probably dubious at best, and vaguely criminal, on reflection. Also, I hate being sued. Hence, Alt-world.
4. Fessing up, here. I actually didn’t plan to write funny time travel. I meant to write a serious whodunit that would get the respect of the Can-Lit crowd, and the more erudite members of Crime Writers of Canada. This ‘veering from plan’ is becoming a nuisance. Next book, for sure, will be a serious whodunit. Okay, maybe a whodunit. Okay, maybe a book.
5. Okay, I lied. The serious whodunit turned into a wacky mob comedy series that has won a Derringer and an Arthur. Still no respect from the Can-Lit crowd. So I might as well go back to writing wacky time travel.
Why? ‘Cause it’s a hell of a lot of fun.