The writing bug hit Gwen early. She started off with short stories and little plays for her friends to act out. The curriculum in Canadian schools emphasizes literature so it came as a surprise to her when she’d laugh at the funny bits in Shakespeare’s plays and nobody else could get past the archaic language to get the jokes. After that, she figured she just might have a flair for literature…or archaic languages. Hoping it was the former, she minored in English at university and upon graduation promptly landed a job as a meat cutter in a meat-processing plant. She was so short compared to the guys they had to give her a grate to stand on. To this day she can still sharpen a knife with flair and likes to show off by explaining the difference between a capon and a chicken.
When working in a refrigerated plant got to be too much (she’d step outside in the summer after an eight-hour shift and have to wait for her eyeballs to defog), she left to start work as an admin assistant. That new company had a division that published magazines and she submitted a few news stories. The first ones sold because she’s good enough with a camera to supply her own photographs. Those stories opened the doors to the magazine division and she was hired as, you guessed it, an admin assistant. The job put her in daily contact with editors, graphic designers, sales and distribution folk. She learned the business of writing…how to hunt leads, find opportunities, interview, write to length, tone and audience. Eventually, downsizing caught up with her and she, her cardboard box and severance envelope walked away from her then job as circulation manager.
During that time, she met a tall, blond, pagan love god who for heaven only knows what reasons, asked her to marry him. It’s pushing twenty-five years now and so far, so good.
Somewhere in there she also discovered romance novels. Hot men, hot sex…what’s not to love? Please don’t ask her how many historic, purple prose, rejected manuscripts are collecting dust on her shelf unless you’re prepared to dodge flying objects.
After getting the boot from the magazine industry, Gwen tried her hand at human resources. That worked out well until the economic turndown of the early twenty-first century when the parent company went bankrupt and the manufacturing facility she was working at got sold off like auto parts from a chop shop. She’s not bitter, really, because the sudden return to unemployment gave her a chance to look at her bank book and decide she could take one year off to pursue writing full time. Making a deal with herself, she said that if she made money, she could stay unemployed. If she didn’t make money, she’d go out and find a real job. So far that’s working out pretty good too and Gwen continues to work from home as a full-time writer.
She adores the quirkiness of her eighty-eight pound, rescued dog (he looks like the fruit of a forbidden love affair between a black bear and a black lab) and every now and then pounces on her husband when he steps out of the shower, proclaiming he’d sell a million books if he was her next cover model.
Her website is www.gwencampbell.net. She'd love to hear from you.
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