Featured Writer (Issue 12, 2020)


Interview with C.A. Campbell

Editor’s Pick


Damon McKinney: What motivates you as a writer?

C.A. Campbell: I really want to write about things that matter, the hard things, the complicated things. I want to keep readers thinking, and hopefully challenged, by my stories, long after the story ends. Even if I’m never a bestselling author, if my stories say something important and truly resonant with people, then every rejection, criticism, and self-doubting thought was worth it.

Damon McKinney: Does your real life intersect with your writing?

C.A. Campbell: Of course. I think every experience we go through changes us in other areas. Sometimes, this comes through stories more than other. Some short stories I write have been fictional journal pieces, helping me capture a hard personal situation or emotion, but most of the time, the influence is subtle.

As a neonatal critical care nurse, I have sat with families and patients in the hardest, darkest times in their live. I have experienced hard loss of my own. I believe these experiences are what allows me to portray deep emotion within my stories, and what keeps me from shying away from hard subject matters. At the very least, I try to put my values into what I write, as though I’m saying to the world: “Pay attention. This is the dark side of the world. It’s our job to make it different.”

Damon McKinney: Who do you credit for your writing style, who influences you?

C.A. Campbell: Embarrassingly enough, my writing started with Lord of the Rings and then Harry Potter fanfiction. These gave me a deep love for world building and also for character-driven stories. As for writing style, I draw a lot of influences from authors V. E. Schwab and Laurie Halse Anderson. Their writing is lyrical and beautiful, and I frequently reread their work as I write, not to copy them but to influence me to develop my own voice where every sentence can be a masterpiece.

Damon McKinney: Where do you see your writing going and what are your goals?

C.A. Campbell: Currently, I am finishing the final touches on a Young Adult SciFi novel. I plan to start querying later this month. I am hoping to find an agent and have it traditionally published. I’ve also written short stories that I hope will continue to appear in literary magazines. My ultimate goal, however, is to write the stories that live in my heart, because that, in itself, is a beautiful reward.


C. A. Campbell lives in Kansas City, MO with her husband and three ridiculously needy dogs. When she is not writing, she works as a pediatric nurse. She enjoys writing intense, emotional stories that hit hard on ethical issues, promote diversity and keep readers thinking long after the last page.