Friday, 28 September 2012

Spotlight - Mary Campagna Findley

Shah Fazli

Mary Campagna Findley, So nice to have you on Spotlight, to know you a little bit we want to know which books do you like to read as a writer, and tell us if you think or others think you are a caring nice person, that is what I think?

Mary Campagna Findley I always read Classic stuff, Dickens, Austen, in college. Before that it was Sci Fi, and nowadays it's contemporary Christian indies.

Mary Campagna Findley People say I am caring. I try to help out in writer's groups, and I've done a lot of childcare and eldercare in the past too.

Shah Fazli Thanks, name your book for us, and tell us the idea behind it, how did you come up with the idea?

Mary Campagna Findley The Alexander Legacy Book One: A Dodge, a Twist, and a Tobacconist
It's based on The Laague of Extraordinary Gentlemen but has a Christian worldview and emphasis on human trafficking.

Shah Fazli Do you want to tell us a little bit in detail about the book please?

Mary Campagna Findley A literary dream team of crime fighters including nods to Dickens, Stevenson, Alcott, Austen, Kipling, Doyle, and even some writers across the pond. Prowl the foggy London streetson the track of a ruthless enslaver of souls. Travel the Thames in a Giant Catfish. Soar over London in a stealth glider, and witness true redemptions and restorations no one ever imagined.

Shah Fazli How do you categorise your book, in what genre is it please?

Mary Campagna Findley I call it a Steampunk Literary Tribute. Don't know if that's a genre but I know a number of authors have written works like it about Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Allen Poe, for example.

Shah Fazli Thanks, so the setting is London, can you describe your main characters a little bit in detail, who are they, their names, please?

Mary Campagna Findley Phoebe Moore-Campbell from Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom is a celebrity singer who used to be a servant. Florizel of Bohemia from Robert Louis Stevenson's The Suicide Club was a prince exiled from his country by his uncle. Oliver Twist from Dicken's story grew up to be an inventor of airships and spy bugs in my book. They all come together with five others to fight crime.

Shah Fazli Thanks, why did you write this book, do you know what exactly motivated you?

Mary Campagna Findley I love literary characters, and I was disappointed in the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen because it wasn't true to the characters I loved in the book, in my opinion. I also wanted to make a godly emphasis on self-sacrifice, married love, friendship, and other great character traits these people in classic books demonstrate.

Shah Fazli Tell us about one or two scenes of your book, what happens there, anything please?

Mary Campagna Findley The main meeting place for the group is the Bronze Cascade Hotel. It is made of amber glass and bronze and has a spiral staircase and transparent elevator running up the middle. Ialso has gardens with clockwork bronze animals and trees. prince Florizel has just been asked to join the group late in the evening before the first official meeting. He feels a great family warmth and friendship as he meets Phoebe and her relatives but can't get over the way his uncle betrayed him to trust these strangers.

Shah Fazli This story has got a great royal feeling, why did you choose London for the setting of your book, any particular reason?

Mary Campagna Findley It's a classic setting for Victorian adventures and crime-solving. I've read Doyle, Dickens, and others and loved the fog, the cobblestones, the crazy alleyways and opium dens.

Mary Campagna Findley It's a classic setting for Victorian adventures and crime-solving. I've read Doyle, Dickens, and others and loved the fog, the cobblestones, the crazy alleyways and opium dens.

Shah Fazli Thanks, what is the most fascinating thing about your book from your point of view or others?

Mary Campagna Findley I'll share a couple of comments I've gotten as some people have read excerpts and seen the fb page for the book:
Wow, that artwork is fabulous!
(The fb page previews some of the Victorian era art and illustrations for the book.)
"And there are all sort of hints to literary characters. It's just plain wonderful. And I do like the mechanical bug..."
"What a wonderful page! I LOVE IT! and I fully plan to Soar over London in a stealth glider!!!!!"
"I love your work ... It really catches the Victorian feel."

Shah Fazli Thank you, can you read a few lines from your book for us please?

Mary Campagna Findley I remained standing on the curb, staring into the coach door at a spacious, bronze and leather salon-like room complete with velvet curtains, sleek blue gasjets, and amber-tinted portholes spaced along the sides.
"Tomorrow we can show you a giant catfish that swam the Atlantic to get here," Twist grinned at me. "Then you'll think this is tame. Climb aboard. I promised Lady Phoebe I'd fetch you but I can't if you won't get in."
"You're enjoying this," I gritted, grasping the handle of the coach door, as if it could reassure me that ordinary modes of transport still existed. I was doomed to disappointment, however, since the hatch of the airship felt nothing like the door of a mail coach. I couldn't begin to describe the sensation of closing my hand around sleek, warm bronze, brushing alongside the quilted, velvet-padded hatch interior, and looking backward at a round, potholed entryway swinging shut with a soft tick of clockwork.

Shah Fazli What do we read a lot in the book, crime, romance, action?

Mary Campagna Findley There's a huge network of pickpockets, prostitutes, drug traffickers and thieves being organized by someone into a whole subculture of criminals. There's a romance between Prince Florizel and a Poison Maiden, and lots of action including an aerial battle between an airship and a stealth glider.

Shah Fazli Thanks, and humour, do you think your reader would also find humour, can you give an example please?

Mary Campagna Findley "Trevor, I am going to roust out the servants and tell them to begin packing at once. I am going to have them send a trunk down here to my study and I am going to place you in charge of seeing that it is filled with the proper cargo. I am going to leave this room and I am not going to return until that trunk is loaded and locked and I can have no possible knowledge of what you place inside. Do you understand me?"
Trevor gaped at his father. His father swatted him on the back of the head. He pantomimed opening a trunk, pointed at me, pointed into the phantom trunk, pantomimed closing and locking the trunk, and then held out his hands imploringly to his son. Comprehension finally dawned in Trevor's expression. He still stood irresolute.
"Oughtn't we -- y'know, Pater -- have a few air holes so Florrie don't expire along the way?" he asked pathetically.

Shah Fazli Thanks, fascinating, tell us more about your book please, it's really interesting, anything?

Mary Campagna Findley The book is due out October 30th, since the Steampunk genre is often associated with the creepy and that's the Halloween season in the United States, and you can see pictures and excerpts on the Sophronia Belle Lyon facebook page, It will be partly illustrated and be an ebook when it first comes out.

Sophronia Belle Lyon
This series melds some better and lesser-known characters of classic literary fi...See More

Shah Fazli Describe your main characters for us please, how do they look like, their complexions, clothes, etc?

Mary Campagna Findley Phoebe has a gypsy complexion, olive skinned, brown-eyed, dark hair. She's tall, strong, hardworking, cares for the sick, sings on the stage, and poses as a maid to get information needed in their search for the main villain. Florizel is average height, dark hair, grey eyes, has been a soldier and is considered handsome (he's pictured on the book cover). Oliver Twist is blond and blue-eyed, small and angelic-looking. He has a tablet that records and plays back images that appear in the blue stone in his top hat as he captures them.

Shah Fazli Interesting, what do you want to say to those who will read your book, anything you can think of?

Mary Campagna Findley The virtues we read about in classic Victorian books are fast disappearing from our culture. We need to recapture courage, faith, gentlemanliness, ladylike character, unselfishness. One of the points of the book is the people who find redemption are sometimes people everyone has written off as hopeless. Florizel tells a story about thorns and apples to explain how if you look for bad things, evil things all the time, you may miss opportunities to see repentance and salvation.

Shah Fazli True, describe your book in four or five words please?

Mary Campagna Findley Clockwork, Literary crimefighters, courage, and unexpected faith.

Shah Fazli Thank you so much, give us some tips on writing, as a first writer what is your experience from what you have produced?

Mary Campagna Findley Writing advice: Write, polish, make it a perfect as you can. I do the whole thing from start to finish, writing, editing, cover design, formatting for e and print books. I have trusted readers but I have been a editor, proofreader an graphic designer.
Begin promoting early. Set up a website or facebook page where people can get to know you and your work. Tweet, blog about any subjects you're passionate about, not just writing. Having a Pinterest page lets you share a lot of things in one place, and belonging to group boards lets you share with others. Join writer's groups to learn about promoting and to get help doing it.

Shah Fazli We love this but we have to let you go Mary, thanks a lot for giving your time for us, we enjoyed it.

Shah Fazli To give feedback on our shows or to book your own event join:

Live facebook interview with authors and readers.As an author you get the opportunity to interact with the readers.Ask for an interview by joining.

Mary Campagna Findley Thank you so much! What a great opportunity! I'll share a couple of links. Hope that's ok.

Elk Jerky for the

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