Thursday 30 August 2018

Could she ever write anything straight? (in which comedy slurps into the latest work in progress)

Some readers may wonder if the humour they read on Bad Girl Blog carries over to my novels.  Here is an example:

From my current crime WIP (a Roaring Twenties Shipboard Mystery) -

Tony was pacing now.  “You can’t … Lucy, don’t tell me you’re thinking to hide a dead man in your cabin.”

“Nonsense, darling,” I said.  “How long could that last?  It wouldn’t be sanitary.”  I took a deep breath. “Actually, I was thinking of the deep blue sea.”

My so-called maid Elf nodded.  “Seems the thing.”

“At this point, we must think of Harry and what he would like,” I said.  “A romantic burial at sea?  Or being torn apart while all exposed on a cold slate coroner’s table?” 

Elf shivered.  “Bloody butchers.”

“Harry?” said Tony.  He was a sentence or two behind.

“Well, Tom, Dick or Harry.  He didn’t look like a Tom to me,” I said.

“Might be a dick,” said Elf.

“We don’t know that,” I scolded.

Saturday 25 August 2018

It Gets Harder (Praise and Imposter Syndrome)

by Melodie Campbell (Bad which we admit that praise comes with a nasty side dish)

"the Canadian literary heir to Donald Westlake" EQMM, Sept-Oct 2018 issue
How the HELL will I ever live up to this?

A while back, I was on a panel where the moderator asked the question,
"Does it get harder or easier, with each successive book?"

"Easier," said one cozy writer, a woman I respect and know well.  "Because I know what I'm doing now."

I stared at her in surprise.

"Harder.  Definitely harder," said my pal Linwood Barclay, sitting beside me.

I sat back with relief.  The why was easy.  I answered that.

"Harder for two reasons," I said.  "First, you've already used up a lot of good ideas.  I've written 40 short stories and 18 novels.  That's nearly 60 plot ideas.  It gets harder to be original."

Linwood nodded along with me.

"Second, you've already established a reputation with your previous books.  If they were funny, people expect the next one to be even funnier.  It gets harder and harder to meet people's expectations."

This conversation came back to me this week, when I got a very nice surprise (thanks, Barb Goffman, for pointing me to it.)  Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine reviewed my latest book, and called me "the Canadian literary heir to Donald Westlake."

At first, I was ecstatic, and so very very grateful.  Donald Westlake was a huge influence on me.  I still think his book where everyone on the heist team spoke a different language to be one of the zaniest plots of all time.  To be considered in his class is a wonderful thing.

And then, the doubts started.  I'm now looking at my work in progress with different eyes.  Is this plot fresh?  Is it as clever as I thought it was?  Am I still writing funny?

Would Donald Westlake fans like it?

Or am I the world's worst imposter?

So many authors on Sleuthsayers are award-winning.  All of you will, I'm sure, relate to this a little bit.  Was that award win a one-off?  Okay, so you have more than one award.  Were those stories exceptions?  You haven't won an award in two years.  Have you lost it?

Will I ever write anything as good as that last book?

I'm dealing hugely with imposter syndrome right now.  It's a blasted roller coaster.  I know I should be spreading that EQMM  quote far and wide, on Facebook, Twitter, blog posts, etc.  Possibly, I should be buying ads.  And at the same time, I'm stalling in my WIP, with the feeling of 'never good enough.'

Luckily, the publisher deadline will keep me honest.  I work pretty well under pressure.  Next week, for sure, I'll get back to the book.

This week, I'll smile in public and suffer a little bit in silence.

The book causing all this grief:  on Amazon  

Tuesday 21 August 2018

"Bawdy, Lusty and Fun" Bestseller ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL on sale for 99 cents!

This lovely poster was created by Alison Bruce. You can pick up the international bestseller ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL on Amazon for a short time at 99 cents! FREE, with Kindle Unlimited. 
"Bawdy, Lusty and Fun"

Go to my Books page above and click on the link!

Sunday 19 August 2018

Possibly have died and gone to heaven....

"the Canadian literary heir to Donald Westlake"
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine

The look of my website is not the only thing new this week. 
(Hope you noticed the less flamboyant look.  Some well-intentioned yet clearly misguided people
are attempting to make me appear classy, bless their hearts.)

Many thanks to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for the above quotable quote!
I am flattered beyond words.
I am also terrified.
HOW will I live up to this, in future books?

IN the Sept issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, in Jury Box, the following review of The B-Team.

Melodie Campbell, The B-Team: The Case of the Angry First Wife, Orca, $9.95. The Toronto Sun calls her the Canadian “Queen of Comedy,” but I like to think of her as the Canadian literary heir to Donald Westlake. After five books featuring mafia goddaughter Gina Gallo, Campbell has launched this spin-off series about a bumbling team of vigilante heroes led by Gina’s cousin Del and seventy-something-year-old former cat burglar Great Aunt Kitty. The fast-paced humor is characterized by situations that are simultaneously madcap and bizarrely banal.

on Amazon

Monday 13 August 2018


Will Gina make it to the altar finally?
Book 6 in The Goddaughter series 
Orca Books
(What...there might be mob in Vegas?)