Mug Shot: Michele Campbell
Michele Campbell is the author of It's Always the Husband, which US Weekly called "a riveting, suspenseful tale of love, hate and murder." It's Always the Husband has been featured in Elle, Redbook, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, the New York Post, PopSugar, BookBub, and Culturalist, and reviewed by the Associated Press, Publisher's Weekly, and many other publications. Campbell is a former federal prosecutor and law professor, and a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School. She previously published four novels in the Melanie Vargas thriller series under the name Michele Martinez.
Tell us about your latest work.
It's Always the Husband is a psychological thriller about the relationship between three young women who meet as roommates on their first day at an Ivy League college. They couldn't be more different, yet in the crazy, pressure-cooker atmosphere of freshman year they become inseparable. A tragedy at the end of freshman year leaves them with a terrible secret that they don't trust one another to keep. Twenty years later, one of the friends turns up dead. Was she murdered, or was it a suicide? If it was a murder, was it the victim's husband — as the police suspect — or was it one of the best friends?
When and how do you find time to write?
I write full-time, and I try to keep regular hours. I work most efficiently if I go to an "office," which is usually the library, although sometimes it's a room in my house dedicated to writing. In other words, I'm not sitting on my sofa or lying in bed with my laptop like Hannah does on Girls. How can she possibly be productive that way?
How much and what kinds of marketing do you personally do?
Authors need to be proactive if they want their books to succeed, even if they have great publisher support. It's a team effort. My publisher has done wonderful marketing and publicity for my current book, and I have also done a lot of my own marketing and publicity. When I say that I've done it, I'm including what I do personally and what I pay experienced professionals to do. For example, I have a professionally-designed website. I'm active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where I personally post most of the content, although some is posted for me by publicists. I have advertised, and sponsored contests. And I've hired an outside publicist experienced at working with the wonderful in-house team at my publisher to work on getting media exposure for my book.
What writers have inspired you?
So many writers have inspired me over the years. At the moment, I'm reading a few great, recently released psychological thrillers in search of tips to sharpen up my plotting game. I recently finished The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and The Break Down by B.A. Paris, both of which are incredibly propulsive and have fantastic, relatable protagonists.
In five words or less, what advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Read, network, listen to criticism.