Author Feature: Melodie Campbell

The Bootlegger's Goddaughter by Melodie Campbell

As Gina gets ready for her Christmas wedding, all is quiet in Steeltown. Then she’s robbed, cousin Jimmy has a heart attack, and someone in the city has hijacked a transport truck full of booze. But who? And why? Gina knows bootlegging used to be a family business, but they stopped that in the ’30s. Didn’t they? Gina and Nico work feverishly to keep the latest bungled family matter under wraps, but the police are closing in. And, once again, everything points to the Holy Cannoli Retirement Home. The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter is the fifth book in the Gina Gallo Mystery series.

What kind of research did you do for your book?

Um…keeping this rather vague as I look really bad in the color orange. But this book is called The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter. There’s a clue in that title.

Do you write in chronological order?

I usually start by writing the beginning twenty pages, to see if it’s something I want to continue writing. Then I skip to the end, to make sure I’ve got a great ending–I always know how it will finish before I start a book. Then I go back to the beginning and revise if necessary, then write forward from there to the ending.

Okay, sometimes if there’s a scene I’m really excited to write, I’ll step out of order and just write the bloody thing. Comedy does that to me. It comes in bursts.

What’s the hardest part of writing?

The actual writing of the first draft. It’s hard. The thinking is fun. The playing it all out in my head is fun. The editing to make it better is fun. But the writing of the first draft…that’s a whole lot of work.

What’s your favorite form of procrastination?

His name is Frankenpoodle. He lies on the couch next to my computer (the whole couch – hence “Franken.”) When he isn’t lying on the couch, he’s dragging me to the treat drawer or pushing me outside for walks.

What book do you wish you wrote?

The whole Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich. I prefer Janet’s bank account to mine.

What is your favourite aspect / part of your new book?

The comedy. I’m particularly fond of Aunt Miriam–“If you think the men in our family are scary, wait ‘til you meet the women.” Nico has another fun role in this book, and the Last Chance Club from the Holy Cannoli Retirement Villa are back:

“That’s what the underground funeral home was all about. They wanted to raise money to play the tables.”

“I get it, Nico. Embalming for dollars. Continue.”

And of course, this time there’s a crow.

What is your writing ritual?

Wake up. Get coffee. Drink coffee. Boot up computer. Look around on Facebook. Drink more coffee. Bring up work in progress. Reread. Whine. More coffee. Fill up again in the kitchen. Back to desk. Sob a bit. Start writing.

Which actress would you choose to play your protagonist in a movie?

Zoe Deschenal from New Girl would make a fun Gina. If I could go back a decade, Tina Fey would have been great.

The Bootlegger’s Goddaughter is available now.

Melodie Campbell
Melodie Campbell achieved a personal best when Library Journal compared her to Janet Evanovich. Melodie got her start writing comedy. Her work has appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Star magazine, Canadian Living, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and many more. She lives in Oakville, Ontario. For more information, visit www.melodiecampbell.com.

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