Jul 25, 2012

Becca Campbell's Foreign Identity

NOTE: Wistful Nebulae has moved to http://mpaxauthor.com/blog/  Please come join the rest of us there.

Today in the lounge of Spacedock 19, I'm chatting with science fiction author, Becca Campbell. She's had a short story published in several anthologies and today releases her first novel, Foreign Identity.

Two nameless strangers, a man and a woman, find themselves imprisoned together. With no memories of their own identities, let alone their captor and tormentor, escape is the only option. 

The pair faces a bizarre labyrinth of rooms and clues that confuse more than they explain. Every discovery only brings more questions. Who captured them? Why were they taken? What does their captor want from them? What can the riddles mean? Who are they? Lacking allies and options, the duo must learn to trust one another.

Mazes, puzzles, and even strange, lurking creatures force them to rely on their wits–and each other–for survival. But survival isn’t enough. They need answers. Will the answers be enough? Will the truth bring them closer together, or drive them forever apart? Will discovering their identities finally bring them home?
  MP: Interesting concept for a novel, Becca. What is your greatest inspirational source? For me, it's television and observing what's going on around me.

BC: I get most of my inspiration from watching television and movies, but sometimes the ideas come from books, too. It's often just a tiny spark that leads me down a train of thought to some new and often unrelated idea. When I wrote Foreign Identity one of my influences was the television show Lost. That came out not in plot as much as style. I really wanted to write something that drew the reader in with questions the way that show did and to create a sense of mystery.

MP: Lost excelled at answering questions with more questions, which the description of your book mentions. How do your characters encounter these puzzles?

BC: When the story begins Kel and Jax wake up with no memories. The question of who they are and why their memories are missing is one of the driving mysteries throughout the story. But on top of that, they encounter other puzzles as they explore their surroundings and look for a way to escape. Soon other strange things begin to happen--things that, although they don't remember their pasts, they know aren't normal. In addition to all that, Kel and Jax keep getting clues about who they are when they make contact with certain things that trigger a strong sense of familiarity.

MP: Since they don't remember who they are, it must have been tricky to write without character names. How did you handle that?

BC: I quickly realized I needed a way to refer to each of them, because simply using "he" and "she" was going to get old fast. So I wove into the first puzzle a way to overcome that problem. When they stumbled on a closet full of keys (individually labeled with mysterious letters) and eventually unlocked their chains, the matching labels became nicknames for each other. Thus, "KEL" and "JAX" are not their actual names, but a way to identify each other.

MP: Very clever. What about this world you created intrigued you most? If you were there, what would awe you?

BC: I'm not quite sure how to answer that without a spoiler. Let's just say that my favorite part about the place where the story happens is not the surroundings but the creature(s) involved. [Hopefully that's not too cryptic!]

MP: Guess we'll have to read and find out then. Becca Campbell's Foreign Identity is out today.

Foreign Identity is available as a paperback or ebook on Amazon and Barnes and Noble

In celebration of the blog tour, Becca is giving away a free ebook of her short story Not the Norm to anyone who buys Foreign Identity. But the deal ends today, July 25th. Once you've purchased a copy, go to this link to download your free ebook: http://eepurl.com/nfeWf.

Now enter for your free paperback of Foreign Identity! http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YjIwNzc2NGQxYmM0OTliNDg0MTAwODc2NzdhZmFhOjQ=/

An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca J. Campbell looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity. Becca’s journey into writing began as many of her other creative endeavors do – by daring herself to try something new. The question “what if I wrote a novel?” and some hastily scribbled notes on a church handout were the inspirations that jump-started her first book. 

Since then, she has written three additional novels and several shorter works. As the wife of a musician and mother of three young boys, Becca’s life is never dull. Whether it is writing, painting or knitting, she enjoys making stuff that wasn’t there before. Where to find Becca on the internet: