Kate Campbell – Blog Tour Interview

Welcome to Author Kate Campbell

A novelist, journalist and photographer, Kate Campbell grew up in San Francisco and has lived and worked throughout California and the West. Her novel “Adrift in the Sound,” was a finalist for New York’s 2011 Mercer Street Books Literary Prize. Her new book for writers: “Between the Sheets: An Intimate Exchange on Writing, Editing, and Publishing,” chronicles the final shaping of “Adrift in the Sound” through a spirited exchange with her editor and co-author Thomas T. Thomas. An award-winning journalist and photographer, Campbell’s environmental and political writing appears regularly in newspapers and magazines throughout the U.S. She lives in Sacramento and, in addition to writing fiction and poetry, publishes the Word Garden blog at kate-campbell.blogspot.com.

If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future? 
Definitely back in time, probably to the 16th Century and the European Renaissance, a time when the Earth and the arts were being widely explored.  It was a golden age, Elizabeth I was queen of England, Shakespeare was madly writing masterpieces and the works of the Italian masters were being celebrated. Although created earlier, the art was and is a marvel. What attracts me to the period is the creative energy and the artistic possibilities. In terms of the entire century, British historian John Guy suggests “England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the period than at any time in a thousand years. Zowie! Take me there.
If you could invite any 5 people to dinner who would you choose? 
Only five? Cheesh. That’s a hard one. There are so many accomplished people I’d like to share a meal with, but for my first soiree, I’d choose from the arts, science, letters, politics and sports. Impressionist painter Claude Monet would be among the guests and I’d insist the party be in his garden at Giverny. I’d select a yellow table cloth and blue chairs. Then I’d invite scientist Linus Pauling, novelist John Steinbeck, diplomat Condoleezza Rice and Olympic athlete Michael Phelps. Understand, however, this is merely the first party. There are many, many others I’d like to meet over a glass of wine and a slice of chocolate cake in a beautiful garden by candlelight.
If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? 
This is about what I can’t live without, right? A hard question. Perhaps my feather pillow, a family photo, pen and paper. I know this is four things, but really pen and paper are one in my mind.
What is one book everyone should read? 
For me, hands down, it’s John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. It had a big influence on me as a writer because it showed the value and nobility of my California experience, showed the importance of writing from a place of deep understanding, informed by social and political values.
If you were a superhero what would your name be? 
Superman! As a journalist, I’d love to be a mild-mannered reporter who can leap tall buildings in a single bound, plus I like the look of a heavy jaw and double-breasted suits.
If you could have any superpower what would you choose? 
The ability to fly. I live in Sacramento on the Pacific Flyway, the migratory route for millions of birds. Fall around here is always alive with birds—Sandhill cranes, herons, ducks, geese, tundra swans. It’s glorious and I always look forward to visiting the refuges and wetlands near my home. The ability to fly is a wonder to me.
What is your favorite flavor of ice cream? 
Jamoca Almond Fudge with chocolate sauce. If you’re going to go into insulin shock, might as well go all the way. Modern-day Chocolate Moose Tracks works for me in a pinch. Please pass the hot fudge.
If you could meet one person who has died who would you choose? 
Mahatma Gandhi. I’d like to learn how to be serene and wise.
What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 
Pumpkin pie and coffee, boysenberry pie if nothing else is available
Night owl, or early bird? 
Early, early bird, so early I often meet night owls in passing.
One   food you would never eat? 
Tomato soup. It’s a long story, but I was once forced to eat it as a child, a contest of wills with my mother: “Eat it or you don’t leave the dinner table.” About midnight I gave in, deciding it was better to lose the battle and win the war. After that, it was game on!
Pet Peeves? 
Rudeness in all its guises. I hate it in myself and in others.
Skittles or M&Ms? 
Strictly an M&Ms kinda gal. My sons are named Mark & Mike, plain and peanut.
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. 
Adrift in the Sound is about what really happened to us in 1973, the end of an era, a contemporary history rendered with grit, verve and love that offers insights into our lives today

Adrift in the Sound

Seattle street artist Lizette Karlson tries to pull herself together in 1973 and turns to the Franklin Street Dogs for help. This low-life softball team is a horrifying choice for a fragile spirit like Lizette, who’s only trying to stay warm and make through another rainy night. The Dogs don’t realize that while she’s beautiful, talented, and a bit off-kilter—she’s also cunning and very dangerous.
Lizette wants to hook up with top-Dog Rocket. But, he’s fixed on next-door neighbor Sandy Shore, a snake dancer who strips for soldiers coming home at the end of the Vietnam War. Everybody sleeps with everybody—whatever gets you through the night. It’s a sexual free-for-all until Sandy turns up pregnant and the scene goes haywire.

After witnessing a murder and getting kicked out by the Dogs, Lizette is on the run again, crisscrossing Puget Sound. She hides on Orcas Island and paints in a secluded cabin owned by her childhood friend Marian, a gifted midwife, who recently inherited her family’s ranch. On the island, Lizette works with Lummi tribal leaders Poland and Abaya, who stick to their cultural values, guard their family secrets and offer her unconditional love. Along the way, Lizette sorts out crippling secrets in her own past, unwittingly makes a splash in the New York art world—and finds the only thing that really matters.

If you’ve lived through the free-love 60s, if you’ve ever wondered what happened the day after the music died, ADRIFT IN THE SOUND picks up the beat and offers unforgettable insights into a turbulent time in American history. It’s a story about fighting the tides, surviving the storm, and swimming for shore.

Top finalist for the 2011 Mercer Street Books Literary Prize, readers are calling ADRIFT IN THE SOUND an important exploration of the human spirit in a radically changing world. In both lyrical prose and gritty street language, Kate Campbell rocks our understanding of contemporary history and challenges our fiercely held beliefs. She reshapes old myths and creates new folktales to intrigue and delight.