Authors Interviewing Authors | Cheryl & Darlene
BY DARLENE P. CAMPOS
DC: What inspired you to write your first book?
CD: Well, my first book is still in the works. It’s collection of short stories so I was inspired to write this book by a lot of things. A lot of the stories are about personal awakenings, that coming of age that happens at various ages and phases of life. I wanted to communicate these epiphanies.
DC: Are you working on anything right now?
CD: I am currently still working on the collection. I am workshopping a few of the stories at the Chicago Writers Studio. I also write a blog called “Who’s Invited?” that is featured on ChicagoNow, Chicago Tribune’s blog site.
DC: Do you have a writing playlist? Who are your favorite musical artists to listen to while you write?
CD: I don't have a writing playlist. I actually prefer quiet when I write, I'd spend too much time singing along with the songs and not enough time writing. I will however immerse myself in music that creates a mood and puts me in a headspace. I’ll listen to it during times when I'm not writing. I'll listen to it in the car, in the shower, on a run, etc.
DC: Do you have a writing drink/food of choice?
CD: I love iced lemon water in a bulbous red wine glass.
DC: If you could have dinner with any of the characters in your first book, who would it be and why?
CD: None of them! They have been living in my head so long that I need a break from them. But I think I would like to take Jordan from “The Melting of Armor” out for lunch.
DC: If you could build a piece of IKEA furniture with any one of your characters, who would it be?
CD: I prefer doing it myself unless my husband is around. He has all the fancy tools.
DC: Do you outline your works first or do you just start writing away?
CD: Depends. If there’s something that I just have to get out, I’ll just write. But generally, I outline the stories first to see where the story is going and to try make sure that it gets there, but of course things change so much from outline to finished work.
DC: If you had the chance to visit with your favorite writer, how would you spend your day with them? Alive or dead?
CD: Dead - I'd sit and talk with Zora Neale Hurston, laugh with Langston Hughes. Alive - I'd have coffee/tea with Toni Morrison and Alice Walker.
DC: Stephen King once said you have to kill your darlings - how many darlings have you killed so far? How do you decide who lives and who dies?
CD: I haven't kept track of the death toll, but as a hardcore Game of Thrones fan, I do understand the concept! The characters that meet their demise on the page do so because it is their time, whether I like it or not.
Darlene P. Campos earned her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. She also graduated from the University of Houston with a BA in English-Creative Writing and a minor in medicine and Social Studies. She is from Guayaquil, Ecuador, but currently lives in Houston, TX with her husband David and an adorable pet rabbit named Jake. Her website is www.darlenepcampos.com. You can support her work here.