Eden Campbell

“Eden takes us on a journey through her writing, from setting the scene for her drafting, all the way through to the finished draft, while also interweaving sensational fragments from the composition that add dimension and depth to the process.” — Lizzie Thornton, editor for Cardigan Press


What genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?”


I love to write romance. It’s a genre that’s captured my attention since I was a young girl, buried beneath my blankets with a flashlight, reading a Nora Roberts series. In high school, I always had a book tucked in my backpack — you know the one. The beefy archetypal male perched on a seashell, his half-clothed mermaid sprawled delicately in his lap. I still laugh at my favorite yearbook inscription from a friend, “Have a good summer! Keep reading your sex books!” I’m happy to say my taste has evolved. Not that I don’t love a good trope, I just don’t tend to write them. My current manuscript is a bit of a mish-mash of romance and women’s fiction. For me, the Happily-Ever-After is crucial, but so is a raw and compelling character arc. I want to dig into the nitty-gritty of human existence — the grief, the disappointment, the apathy, and figure out how love can fix it. I often rely on my own childhood traumas to write characters with big questions. In many ways, they walk out processes I’ve otherwise found myself stuck in. I always say that if no one read my work, I’d still tell stories for the free therapy.


I write for adults now but I could see myself writing YA one day.


In what way would you say your poem in Byline Legacies is similar and/or different from your usual romantic fiction?


Well, I love fiction. That’s where I spend the majority of my time. Until recently, I hadn’t touched poetry in over 10 years. There was a blockage I couldn’t quite get past. About 6 months ago, with the inspiration of #vss365 (a “very short story” challenge on Twitter), I began to write poetry again. Something about having a prompt and a small space ignited the fire I needed. Now I’m venturing into this awkward territory where I’ve added the word, “Poet” to my Twitter bio and Facebook page. It still feels a bit foreign, but I enjoy it. The process has been immensely rewarding, and like my experience with fiction, also healing. There were no big characters in the poem I submitted to Cardigan — just me. So, that’s odd. Usually I aim to fool the reader, make them believe they’re reading about anyone but me. But when I sat down to write about writing itself, the words came easily. I hope readers sense the passion I have for this craft. I like to think passion finds itself between the pages of whatever I write.


How can readers best support your writing career?


If you’d like to support me, follow me on Twitter @authoredenc. I have a high value for interaction and I greatly appreciate the writing community and the support I’ve received. My debut novel will be released eventually. It’s complete, but feels perpetually in-process. Perhaps because I’m still in process. I know the story I need to tell. I see it so clearly, but adding words to feelings and healing, while doing the work of building a world and making sure no one despises the character who is single-handedly dismantling her life and hurting those who love her . . . well, that takes time, and support (which is why I’ll reiterate that I might not have taken on this great task without the inspiration of other writers. So, thank you!).


I’ve had others warn that romance with darker themes probably won’t make it, and it’s a risk I’ve taken. But, hey! When my book comes out, pick it up and take a chance. “How far will love go?” is a question I think every romance novel should venture to ask, and it’s one I long to answer.

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Valerie Hunter

"All the features in Byline Legacies speak to a specific aspect of the writer’s life. But Valerie’s poem, “Elegy for the Poems I Almost Wrote”, hit me sharply because it not only calls the bluff of ev