Saturday, February 7, 2009

CFC Short Story Winner is Nationally Published Author!

I first met author, Wanda B. Campbell, two years ago. I was facilitating a session of The Writer's Cocoon in Atlanta, Georgia, and she was among the many registrants who gathered that day to learn more about the ins and outs of the writing, publishing and marketing process. Every name and face that was there had a thirst for increased knowledge, but Wanda's attendance stood out because while all of the other students in my class had come from somewhere in the metropolitan Atlanta area, she had flown all the way from California for the sole purpose of taking part in that four-hour workshop. It was passion and determination in action. I knew then that it would only be a matter of time before she would soar full speed into her destiny. And with God's help, she has now taken flight.

Having been blessed to be an advance reader of her debut nationally published book, Illusions, I can say without doubt that the literary world is going to love the works of this breakout author. It is my pleasure to have Wanda as the first author to be featured on the Blessed2Write Blog.

Read on....

B2W: At what point did you realize that writing would become an intricate part of your life?

WBC: As a Christian, I allow God to direct my steps. On a good day, I follow the path He orders. In April of 2006 as I sat in a worship service, I asked God what He wanted me to do with the stories I'd written. At the time I had two completed manuscripts, but didn't know what to do with them. The answer came minutes later in the form of a Jehovah's Witness, who to this day has not read one word of Christian Fiction, placing money in my hand for a plane ticket to Georgia for a writing workshop. Her exact words were, "You are going to get your stuff published."

B2W: How was the transition for you from self-published author to mainstream?

WBC: Initially, I was excited to have been selected by a mainstream publisher. As the reality of my responsibilities as an author settled, some of the excitment faltered. I still have to work like I'm self-published to promote my book, but it's an awesome feeling walking into a major bookstore and seeing my book displayed.

B2W: From where did you draw the inspiration for Illusions?

WBC: Illusions was truly inspired by God. I vowed never to write a story with the subject matter covered in Illusions. However, God set it up to where I didn't have a choice. Illusions won the Cruisin for Christ Short Story Contest in August 2007. The cruise is founded and organized by national bestselling author, Kendra Norman-Bellamy. To claim the prize of being published by a mainstream publisher, I had to turn the short story into a full length novel and present it to the executive editor at Urban Christian. At the time, Illusions was only 8,000 words long. After much prayer, I submitted the manuscript six weeks later. Every word was written with the help of prayer and worship music (Israel & New Breed: Live From A Deeper Level).

B2W: Did you have any doubts or reservations about tackling such a touchy subject matter in a Christian novel?

WBC: My initial reservations about the subject matter stemmed from my desire not to write a painful story. I prefer to write romances with happy endings. It is my belief that any and all topics Christian face should be covered in a Christian novel. The challenge is not to stop at identifying the problem, but to show the reader how to overcome real-life struggles.

B2W: Choose three major characters from the story and introduce them to the Blessed2Write Blog readers.

WBC: The main characters are Pastor Bryce and First Lady Denise Hightower. They have been married for three years and shepherd what appears to be a healthy, growing congregation. On the surface, Bryce is the ideal husband and pastor. He’s anointed and he loves God. However, he has a secret addiction that has grown out of control and could destroy his marriage and his position as pastor.

Denise, a deacon’s daughter who grew up in the church. Under the tutelage of her mother, she plays the role of the “perfect” first lady until she accidentally discovers her husband’s secret. As a result, she is torn between doing what’s best for the church or what’s best for her. Feeling pressure from Bryce and the revealing of a family secret by her mother, Denise agrees to keep the quiet and help Bryce work through his issues.

Benny is a retired gardener who is anointed to stick his nose in other folks' business. He's pushy and tells it like it is. Although rough around the edges, he has a tender heart.

B2W: What kind of message do you hope readers will take from this story?

WBC: It is my prayer that readers will not only be entertained, but also ministered to. I hope readers will take a deep look within themselves and learn what drives them to perform counterproductive actions. I want all people to stop suffering in silence and seek God's help for deliverance.

B2W: What is the title of your 2010 novel and what kind of meaningful topics will you be addressing in that one.

WBC: Right Package, Wrong Baggage is scheduled for release July 2010. In this romance, readers will learn what happens when God sends a mate with the right packaging, but you can't handle the baggage.

B2W: Any advice for aspiring writers who hope to follow your path?

WBC: Before diving head-first into the vast ocean known as "the literary world," make sure this is the path God has ordained for you. Then learn as much as you can about the business.

Wanda B. Campbell currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two sons. Purchase her novel by clicking on the Amazon link provided in the right banner of this interview. Once you've read Illusions, please feel free to email the author directly at, and let her know your thoughts.