July 27, 2011

Made It Moment: Melodie Campbell

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 12:49 am

Rowena Through The Wall

Melodie Campbell made me laugh with her Moment–read on to find out what is The Worst Mistake Ever Officially Made by a Human–and then punched me in the gut with the poignant truth of her last line. Some would say that’s comedy (Melodie got her start as a comic). Others would say, that’s life.

Melodie Campbell

How did I know I had made it?

First reaction: How did I know I had made what?
Oops…you mean as a writer. And I suppose as the author of the book, Rowena Through the Wall. The one I actually finished. The answer starts long before Rowena, although she won’t be pleased to hear that.

I got my start writing comedy. Didn’t mean to, but somehow every time I tried to write straight, the gremlins took over and twisted the words. Okay, I’ll go back; yes, I was the class clown. Always getting in trouble for quipping in class.

But you asked when I knew I had made it. I had glimmers of ‘making’ it back in the 90s, when a producer from fledgling HBO saw my play, ‘Burglar for Coffee’, labeled it “Completely nuts,” and offered me a spot writing pilots, which I stupidly turned down. (This goes on record as one of the worst mistakes ever made by a human not officially insane.)

I knew I had made it in comedy when I was asked to open the Canadian Humor Conference in Hamilton in 1999. I wrote short for years. Had over 200 publications, including 100 humor columns, 30 short stories and 3 awards for fiction. Was invited into the Toronto Press Club. Drank a lot of scotch there. Then some newspaper guy said, “Why don’t you write a novel? You’ve never written a novel.”

Never one to turn down a dare (did I mention I was not officially insane) I wrote Rowena. Or rather, she dictated, I typed. But as far as making it…one early reviewer said “OMG I love this concept in Rowena!” Another author said, “I’ve never read anything like it, and I love it!” That’s a start.

But truly, the way I will know I’ve made it is when that first reader comes up to me and says, ‘Thank you for writing this novel.’ That’s making it, in my books.

Melodie Campbell has been a bank manager, marketing director, comedy writer, college instructor and possibly the worst runway model ever. Melodie got her start writing comedy, so it’s no surprise that editors have called her fiction “wacky” and “laugh out loud funny”. She has over 200 publications and has won five awards for fiction. She is currently the General Manager of Crime Writers of Canada, and has taught fiction writing for ten years.

In 1999, Melodie was opening speaker at the Canadian Humor Conference. She was invited into the Toronto Press Club in 1994, and there is no truth to the rumor that she once did a somersault off the Press Club billiard table.

You can find out more about Melodie at http://funnygirlmelodie.blogspot.com


  1. I love this lady!! What a great life she’s had – or rather what a great life she’s made out of what was given to her. I definitely want to see more of her wit.

    Comment by mountainmama — July 27, 2011 @ 4:46 am

  2. Hi, Jenny! Followed you over from Spin Wheel. Love these Made It Moments!

    Melodie, lovely essay. Congratulations on your book! You are so right. There’s no greater validation of making it or validation of your writing than a reader saying: “I love your book.”

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves

    Comment by Joan Reeves — July 27, 2011 @ 8:14 am

  3. Haven’t read this book yet, but I like Ms.Campbell’s attitude toward romance books. Many of them are so cliche and full of themselves, but writing a comedic romance rather than just a romantic comedy sounds interesting! Good luck, Rae

    Comment by Rae — July 27, 2011 @ 8:55 am

  4. Thanks so much for the comments!

    Did I forget to leave contact info? Jeesh. Bear of little Brain at work.

    I write a comic blog of (mainly) published humor columns:

    Book trailer and sample chapter are available

    Sorry if the links aren’t live. Going in search of coffee now. Melodie

    Comment by Melodie Campbell — July 27, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  5. Sounds VERY fun!

    Comment by Savvy — July 27, 2011 @ 11:47 am

  6. What a fun interview.

    Comment by Sandy — July 29, 2011 @ 4:54 pm

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