Anne Baxter Campbell, author of biblical fiction

Posted by on Jan 9, 2015 | 1 comment

Anne Baxter Campbell, author of biblical fiction

Today my guest is Anne Baxter Campbell, a lovely lady I have come to admire and appreciate. I know you will enjoy getting to know her and hearing about her books! She is also giving away a copy of The Roman’s Quest! Find the details in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page.


Fabulous Fridays

Anne, you have over 40 books to your credit. I find that amazing. Tell us something about when and how you started writing.

 I am really blushing a deep red. I don’t really have that many. Yes, there are forty titles—but I’m not the author of all of them, and they’re actually not all full length books until you combine them under one cover. There are three series where I wrote one of the stories and was one of the editors on the other stories in the series.

Now, with that brief and incomplete disclaimer, I’ll answer your question. I have always loved writing. My first work of fiction came to pass when I was in—I think—the fourth grade. We were told to write a story about our family—a true story. For the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write, so I made something up about my big brother and I finding a hawk’s nest. However, I spent most of my career writing technical stuff. It wasn’t until I retired that a speech I wrote for Toastmasters wound up becoming a couple of children’s books.


What was your first book, and what types of books have you written?

 I self-published two children’s books, Everybody Needs a Name and Maybe Wins, stories about a kitten my husband and I accidentally raised. Marcus VaritorThe Truth Trilogy is three historicals set in the time of Christ; the first is more historical romance, but the second two are less romantic and more adventure and religion. I’ve also written several contemporary short stories. All of my books and stories are covered with the prayer that they will walk the reader one step closer to the God who loves us so deeply.


You must have a writing routine down pat by now. Tell us something about your day and how you schedule your writing time.

 Hm. Routines? Schedules? What are those? I thought I ditched the regimen when I retired—well, sort of retired. I suppose I have a loose routine. We get up pretty early—usually before five a.m. First on my agenda is COFFEE! NOW! Then hubby, dog, and I watch the news for about a half hour to an hour while the caffeine takes hold. Then I go get my glasses, my breakfast, and another cup of coffee and settle down at the desktop. I check at least two emails (personal and business) and answer any that require an answer. If I’ve got a blog that posted during the night (at least three days a week), I share wherever needed. Book reviews get shared at least four places, usually more. By then I’m done with breakfast, and I go sit in the front room with my laptop. While hubby watches more news and his westerns, I write or edit off and on for the rest of the day. My husband used to fix most of the meals and kitchen cleanup, but his health is declining a bit, so I’m doing more along that line. Oh—and sometimes a nap calls my name after lunch…. I usually wind up my day by around seven p.m.


Tell us about The Truth Trilogy.

 Before the advent of Christianity, converting to faith in the One God was not an easy, instantaneous process. Converts to the Jewish religion were called proselytes—in fact, still are. The first book (The Roman’s Quest) is the story of two Roman soldiers and one Greek slave who had that required painful circumcision and took lessons in the Hebrew history and religion. The Roman’s Quest is also the story of the love between two women and two of those proselytes. The second book (Marcus Varitor, Centurion) is about the third of those new proselytes and about the woman he loves, Meskhanet, an Egyptian slave who is adopted by her mistress. The girl is unintentionally eye-catching and draws too much attention from the wrong kind of people. Marcus pursues her and her mistress’s slave-running captors from Israel to Rome. The third book (The Truth Doesn’t Die) continues the story of Meskhanet’s mistress/mother, Joanna, who seeks a quiet place to mourn the loss of her beloved husband. Marcus’s father, Senator Decimus Varitor, wants to marry her, but respectfully maintains his distance for as long as he can stand. When he travels from Rome to Jerusalem to find her, he discovers she’s following another man—Jesus.


Do you plan and plot before writing? What was your process for writing a trilogy?

 No, not really very much plotting or planning went into the books. I’m mostly a panster, and the way the scenes play out are often as much a surprise to me as to the reader. Sometimes I create a broad outline, but the outlines are sometimes tossed out the window when things start flying. For instance—I thought Marcus (in Marcus Varitor, Centurion) would sink into drunkenness when news of Meskhanet’s death (false news) hit him. He even went so far as to take a full skin of wine with him when he disappeared from his friend’s house. Even his friends despaired, knowing his past behavior, but what happened instead amazed me.


With so much experience, what is the best advice you can give to new authors, or those who want to start a writing career?

 Be prepared for years of discouragement and the hard work becoming known. Realize that even you, as talented as you are, have a lot to learn. Get into a good critique group, one more concerned with helping you to a write a best seller than they are of sparing your delicate feelings. Know that promotion is part of your duty. You don’t get to write and let a publisher do the rest.

By the way, self-publishing is not something I recommend. It’s expensive, and the publisher I had kept coming back with something more, something more, something more that always cost a bundle more and never (not even once) paid for inself. In addition, there is a stigma attached to self-publishing. Too many people published trash, because self-publishers will put anything you write into print, be it good, bad, or downright ugly. If you choose to self-publish, be aware of these things in advance. Make sure your book is not only edited but re-edited. Polish it. Read it aloud to yourself. Make it shine before you send it to the publisher.


Do you keep the readers involved when you’re writing the next book? How?

 I keep mentioning the “old” book(s), tell them a little about what’s next. I write a lot of short stories, which keeps my name in front of folks. I take ads on Facebook occasionally. I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Google +, and Linked-In; I blog at least three times a week, usually four or five times. Friends and I exchange interviews for our blogs. And—maybe most important—I help promote other authors. I’m not in this alone. God has to be at the top of my ladder of success or it’s all failure. My life, my writing, and my time belong to Him. Part of that time is given in reviewing other author’s books, and when time and space allow I also interview them.


If you could spend the day with a character from your all-time favorite novel, who would it be and what would you do?

 Wow—first I’d have to decide what my all-time favorite novel is. There are so very many excellent books out there! Given that most of my favorites are Biblical, I guess I’d choose to spend a day with Jesus—but then, I can do that anyway. So someone other than him? Maybe Hadassah from The Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers. However, she’s so constantly working that I’d just have to follow her around. She wouldn’t take time out for something so trivial as a personal interview to promote herself.


Tell us a little about your family, and throw in something that might surprise us about you.

 My family—wow. I’m incredibly proud of them. My husband retired from being the manager of Tehama-Colusa Canal Authority, but he had been a junior high teacher for several years and worked for the Glenn-Colusa Irrigation District. During the whole time he worked at these jobs, he also ran his 1200-acre ranch. We married late in life, and between us we had six kids and a bunch of grandkids. His older son manages most of the ranch now. His daughter works for an architectural firm and has helped design a plant in North Carolina. His younger son, who sadly died a few years ago, managed a stocks and bonds company in Missoula Montana. My daughter graduated last year from college, a long and trying education. My older boy is the youth pastor at two churches in northern California, and my younger son works with his wife for her family’s construction company. All of the kids have given us some grandkids who are, of course, the best.

Something about me you might find surprising? I was divorced when I met and married Jack Campbell, a widower. Okay—in this day and age, that’s really not so amazing. But my former husband and father of my kids was also named Jack. We remain good friends, and he comes to our house every year for the annual family get-together before Thanksgiving. Both Jacks get along well. It gets a little confusing for the younger grandkids sometimes, though, figuring out which Grandpa Jack we are talking to or about.


Give us a glimpse of what is on the horizon for you?

 Well, only God knows that for sure. My times are in His hands. But my plan is to finish up a series of short stories about a teen girl and her struggles with life. She was abused by a family member, loses her mother in a car wreck, and tries to help her best friend fight drug addiction. Next in the Once Upon series is a story about Valentine’s Day, then one about Easter will finish it off. I’m also working on a new series of full-length novels beginning with a story of Luke, the physician. I have a theory about him, and it will play out in this first book. I’m also working with a group of ladies to write another series about Sweetland, this time set around Easter. After that? Who knows! Only God, and He ain’t tellin’.


Book Blurb: Joanna is the widow of Loukas, her beloved who died fighting pirates on the Great Sea. Decimus is the Roman senator who rescued her and her adopted daughter from slave runners, and he’s also the man who has fallen in love with the graceful and resilient woman. Joanne craves solitude in which to mourn. Senator Decimus Varitor returns to Rome with reluctance, bound to the senate for too many more years. However, he can only tolerate being away from her for a time. Decimus searches for her in the wilds of Israel where she hides from the world. She leaves the camp, not knowing she and her friend Rebecca will never live there again. A search for ten-year-old twins in a driving rainstorm through the wilderness, Rebecca’s illness, and then her adopted daughter’s injury at the paws of a bear force them to Jerusalem. When Decimus finds her, she is following another man, Jesus. His heart broken, Decimus must return to Rome alone.


Anne Baxter CampbellAbout the author: Anne Baxter Campbell is a little ol’ lady who loves God more than writing or even than her family, which is saying something. Lots of life experience has taught her that God is smarter, and that going His way is in the long run easier and infinitely more rewarding.

How can readers find you on the Internet?


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Link to The Truth Doesn’t Die:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

One Comment

  1. What a great interview. Thanks for sharing Anne with us. I love hearing about other writers and the lives they live. Sounds like a great book, Anne.

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