Interviews by Catherine Chant

What They Say

“Geniuses can be scintillating and geniuses can be somber, but it’s that inescapable sorrowful depth that shines through—originality.”
—Jack Kerouac



Catherine Chant

Catherine Chant is the author of a young time travel series available at and other online retailers, and two installments in the Vampire Diaries franchise via Amazon’s Kindle Worlds. She teaches several online classes for writers throughout the year, and her popular workshop GROW A BOOK: TURNING YOUR STORY IDEA INTO A WORKABLE PLOT is now available as an eBook, exclusively at

Grow a Book by Catherine Chant

For more information about Catherine, her books and her workshops, please visit her website at or find her on social media at and





November 2017

Interview with Award-Winning Mystery Author Melodie Campbell

Mystery Author Melodie Campbell

What style of mystery novel is your favorite (police procedural, cozy, etc.)?

Capers! That’s what I write, mainly. I was inspired by The Pink Panther. I love writing madcap comedies about the heist-gone-wrong, or the wrong body showing up somewhere. And ending on a (hopefully) humorous note.

When you start a new mystery, do you plot it all out from the start (all the clues and red herrings) or does the story evolve as you write it?

I always start with what I call a “light outline.” Yes, I outline. But I don’t outline every scene, or even list every scene. Instead, I start with ‘Three Acts and a Finale.’ Here’s the minimum I know before I start a book: Inciting moment, Crisis 1 (in a murder mystery, the first murder,) Crisis 2 (the second murder,) Crisis 3 (includes the black moment, usually danger for the protagonist,) Finale solving of crime.)

Why don’t I write a complete outline, scene by scene? I’m one of those authors who gets bored if I know *exactly* what is coming next. If I have to write a fully scripted story for an entire year, it feels like drudgery. So this is what works for me: know where I am going in each act, but not exactly how I will get there. Be willing to make changes along the way, if I stumble across a brilliant new route to the ending. Heck, even change the ending, if a better destination presents itself along the journey.

Do you prefer to write mystery series books or stand-alones?

Series. My readers and publisher want that, and I can see why. You get attached to favorite characters, and want to spend time with them again.

Do you have a favorite character from your books?

Yes – Nico. Hamilton, the setting of the Goddaughter series, is a real place also known as Steeltown or The Hammer. I wanted a mob character who was nothing like the lunchbox setting, and came up with Nico, the metrosexual break and enter artist, who really wants to be an interior designer. He’s a hoot, and the source of a lot of comedy in the books. In fact, I can’t quite believe he isn’t real…

What’s the last mystery book you read that you really loved and would recommend?

The whole Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri. Terrific TV show on MHZ Mystery, too! Fabulous plotting, wonderful humour, and how can you beat Sicily for a setting?

Who were your literary heroes growing up?

Agatha Christie, Douglas Adams, Mary Stewart. Christie for plotting, Adams for humour, and Mary Stewart for writing intelligent, well-educated heroines. All brilliant.

What are you working on now?

The 6th Goddaughter! THE GODDAUGHTER DOES VEGAS is a wild romp. Gina Gallo is a mob Goddaughter who doesn’t want to be one. This time, she’s leaving behind her loopy family to elope with Pete in Vegas. Except that may be a mortal sin in an Italian family, and besides, Zia Sofia saw a crow. Why should things go right when they can go wrong? Another madcap adventure. And of course, Nico is along for the ride.




The Bootlegger's Goddaughter by Melodie Campbell

The Bootlegger's Goddaughter

"A miniature gem...the work of an author at the absolute top of her game." Don Graves, Canadian Mystery Reviews

Even old mobsters retire eventually…don’t they?

Gina Gallo is a mob goddaughter who doesn’t want to be one. Her bumbling mob family never gets it right. This time, she’s getting ready for her Christmas wedding. But then she’s robbed, cousin Jimmy has a heart attack and someone in the Hammer has hijacked a truck full of booze. What’s going on? Gina knows bootlegging used to be a family business, but they stopped that in the 30s. Didn’t they? All she wants to do is get married and not get drawn into family business, but family is family and Zia Sophia did see a crow.




About the Author

Called the “Queen of Comedy" by the Toronto Sun, Melodie Campbell has connections in low places. Don’t dig too deep. You might find cement shoes.

Melodie has shared a literary shortlist with Margaret Atwood, and was recently seen lurking on the Amazon Top 50 Bestseller list between Tom Clancy and Nora Roberts. She has over 200 publications, including 100 comedy credits, 40 short stories, and 13 novels.

Melodie has won the Derringer Award, the Arthur Ellis, and eight more awards for crime fiction. She didn’t even steal them.

Visit with Melodie online at:
Melodie Campbell, Author, on Facebook
@melodiecampbell on Twitter