|Photo credit: Ian MacKenzie|
I met my best friend, Karen Duffy, on the high school track team. We were the worst runners by far. Just awful. One of us would come in last place practically every race. Finally, toward the end of the track season, we started waiting for each other during races, so the other one wouldn’t have to come in last alone.
2. Do you have a nickname?
Whenever I’m asked this question, I immediately say “No!” And if my brother and sister are nearby they say, ‘Oh yes, she does!” And then they embarrass me with this story: My real name is Loretta. When I was little, there was a show on TV called Baretta. So my brother and sister would say, “Wouldn’t it be funny if Lori married Baretta. Her name would be Loretta Baretta.” From there, Loretta Baretta mutated into Laroota Barroota. Which was eventually, somehow, shortened to Roota. To this day, my brother and sister still call me Roota. Funny, how nicknames get started and stick.
3. What is your greatest fear?
Public speaking is up there. But thanks to all the school readings I’ve been doing for Cartboy, I’m getting better. It helps that the kids are always very nice.
4. Can you describe your writing style in ten words?
12-year-old-boy meets middle-aged mom.
5. Can you tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer?
I can think of one. Motivated.
6. What book character would you want to be, and why?
Greg Heffley from Diary of A Wimpy Kid. Seven books in, he’s still funny.
7. If you could time travel, what year would you go to and why?
I might travel back to April 2nd, 2013. The night of the book launch party for Cartboy and the Time Capsule. It was a dream come true.
8. What would your ten-year-old self say to you now?
Yes, you are a scrawny kid who gets picked on sometimes, and yes, middle school can be tough, but trust me, you are going to get a lot of good material out of this.
9. Who is your greatest influence?
My husband, son, and daughter: Ian, Beau, and Charlie
10. What/who made you start writing?
I knew pretty early on that I was never going to be a scientist or a mathematician. I wasn’t bad at math or science, but I wasn’t great either. On the other hand, I always loved reading and writing, My first career after college was as an advertising copywriter. I realized after a while that I had better start writing books if I ever wanted to be a published author. So I switched careers after my youngest child was old enough to go to kindergarten.
11. What is your favourite word and why?
Diarrhea. Makes me laugh every time. Although I still have trouble spelling it.
12. If you could read only one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
The truth is, there is one book I have already been reading my whole life. The Catcher in the Rye. I read it every few years and always get something new out of it. The voice of Holden Caulfield is maybe the most irresistible of all time.
L A Campbell is the author of Cartboy and the Time Capsule, released in Australia by Allen & Unwin in May 2013. You can find out more about L A Campbell and her work by visiting her website.
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