Laurie Schnebly Campbell loves speaking to writers' groups about "The Psychology of Creating Characters," "Making Rejection Work For You," "Creating A Happy Relationship For Your Characters (Or Yourself)" and other issues that draw on her background as a counseling therapist and romance writer.
But that's just one of her interests. During weekdays, she writes and produces videos, brochures and commercials (some of which feature her voice) for a Phoenix advertising agency. For several years she would turn off her computer every day at five o'clock, wait thirty seconds, turn it on again and start writing romance.
It finally paid off. Her first novel was chosen as the Silhouette Special Edition "Premiere" title of 1995, and nominated by Romantic Times as the year's "Best First Series Romance." Her second earned another 4-1/2-star Gold review and "Top Pick of the Month" from Romantic Times. But between those two successes came a three-year dry spell, during which Laurie discovered that selling a first book doesn't guarantee ongoing success.
"What got me through that period," she says, "was realizing that the real fun of writing romance is the actual writing. Selling is wonderful, sure, but nothing compares to the absolute, primal joy of sitting at the computer and making a scene unfold and thinking 'Wow! Yes! This is great!'"
She pursues that feeling every weekend, with her fifth Silhouette Special Edition hitting the bookstores in July 2003. Besides writing romance, her other favorite activities include playing with her husband and son (who helps her solve plot problems), teaching a catechism class, counseling at a mental health center and working with other writers.
"People ask how I find time to do all that," Laurie says, "and I tell them it's easy. I never clean my house!"