Monday, February 16, 2015

#WeNeedDiverseBooks Come see Christine's Odyssey by J.L. Campbell

Welcome to the "Christine's Odyssey" Mini-Tour!

Award winning author J.L. Campbell pens a powerful story that brings you to tears. Christine's Odyssey is Book One in the Simms Sibling Series, about a set of children who lose their parents. This is a story that doesn't speak only to children, but adults and families as well.


~About the Book~

Raised in a hotbed of arguments and fights, eleven-year-old Christine Simms is the victim of her mother's temper and cruelty. A domestic dispute ends in tragedy, sending the family into a tailspin.

A shocking discovery sends Christine on a quest to find the stranger who left her behind in Jamaica. Determined to unravel the mystery of her birth, Christine uses every tool at her disposal and treads with courage where no child should.
You can support this diverse title by clicking and purchasing on the link below and adding it to your Goodreads want-to-read list!

~About the Author~

J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican writer who is always on the look-out for story-making material. She writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She is the author of A Baker's Dozen-13 Steps to Distraction, Absolution, Anya's Wish, Chasing Anya, Christine's Odyssey, Contraband, Dissolution, Distraction, Don't Get Mad...Get Even, Kicked to the Kerb, Grudge, Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson) Saving Sam, Taming Celeste and Retribution. Her Amazon author page is here.
Visit her on the web at You can also connect with her on Twitter @JL_Campbell or on Facebook.
~Author Interview~

Welcome to the blog Joy!
What went into writing this book and who were the people (if any) that inspired these characters?

I cut my teeth on this book. Christine's Odyssey is the second book I wrote and it was ages before I really knew what I was doing in terms of the technical aspects of writing, so it was a learning experience. When the writing was fairly decent, I entered the book in a local competition and earned a bronze medal.

Christine's Odyssey came out of a conversation I had with someone who had just lost her brother. She took her niece to live with her and our conversation triggered a series of 'what ifs' that became Christine's story.

 Why do you find diversity important in your writing?

I have diversity going on right at the starting gate, since my books are set in Jamaica. I've been a reader for most of my life and as such, I've been exposed to many cultures. For me, sharing my island home is important. Many readers will never have the opportunity to visit Jamaica and so in each book, I try to ensure they have a clear picture of what it means to live on an island in what might seem to be an alien culture.

How did you choose the cover for your book?

I'll search through hundreds of images looking for one or two that are exactly right and I back that up by doing a poll or asking friends, including those with graphic skills, what they think.

Why did you choose the genre in which you write?

I write in several different genres, but in terms of middle grade and young adult fiction, I write the stories as they come to me.

What piece of advice would you give a writer about to be in your position, who is just starting out?

My best advice is to learn the craft of writing and continue learning every day. You can't do justice to your characters if you don't know the intricacies of storytelling.

Do you typically start with characters, or plot first?

Most often, a character comes to me along with their story. The plot is never complete, but the general story idea is enough for me to figure out what other incidents will make up the novel.

Who are some of the people that inspired you to write?

My inspiration comes from people like Jeffrey Archer, Charles Dickens, Gerald Durrell, James Herriot, Mark Twain and Eric van Lustbader. They inspired a love of reading in me, which eventually led to my love affair with writing.

What can you tell us about your future in writing? Anything in the works?

As long as I'm alive, I'll be writing. The stand-alone sequel to Christine's Odyssey is complete and there is a third book in the works. I've moved into the New Adult genre and have a book scheduled for release shortly.

Where can potential readers learn more about you and your current and future projects?

My website is at and I post about my work there. My kid lit blog is at

What are some of the things you like about being self published ?

Before I self-published, I was published with two small publishers and one of those contracts is still in force. I like the ability to publish my books to a schedule I've established. I also enjoy being able to have 100% input on how my covers turn out and I also like learning different things on each journey.

Congratulations, Joy! Thanks so much for visiting the blog!