Angela Campbell - Mixing Romance and Urban Legends + Contest
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Mixing Romance and Urban Legends
by Angela Campbell
Every town seems to have one. You know – those stories about something that goes bump in the night at that old, creepy house down the street. Maybe it’s that a Bigfoot lives in the mountains behind your old school. Or that unseen children will leave handprints on your bumper and your car will roll forward all on its own if you dare stop on the railroad tracks out by the old mill – the old mill where schoolchildren were killed in a horrific school-bus crash once upon a time.
For as long as I’ve been reading romance novels, I’ve also been addicted to documentary-style reality shows that delve into those weird topics and urban legends – you know, those “In Search of …” type shows where so-called experts discuss the possible existence of aliens, ghosts and other monsters.
After a while, I started to think, “How cool would it be to set a romance novel to that kind of theme?” but I was convinced only someone as odd as me would feel that way. Then TV shows such as “The X-Files” and “Supernatural” became popular and I decided I couldn’t be the only one. And yes, that’s how my debut novel “Cry Wolf” was conceived – inspired by a television report about real, honest-to-God werewolf sightings in a small town. Now that my novel has been published, one of the things readers tell me in emails most often is that, wow, my book really surprised the heck out of them because they expected the typical werewolf-themed romance that has become so popular in recent years, but they ended up with a “fresh, creative mystery” mixed in with a romance that sparked their imagination and left them wondering “what if…?” Getting those emails makes me smile every time.
I also had a lot of fun writing my main characters in “Cry Wolf” – Andrea and Sean, two reporters with history fighting a mutual attraction as they compete for leads on a so-called werewolf roaming the cornfields of a small South Carolina town.
EXCERPT / CRY WOLF
Andrea glanced at the man sitting across from her. “You actually keep records on this…werewolf?”
“Yep.” The animal control officer cocked a grin and slid a manila file folder with bold, black writing on it across the desk. The Werewolf Files.
Charles Browder snickered and leaned back in his chair. His voice was heavy with a Southern drawl. “Go on, take a peek if ya want. I doubt there’s anything in there of any real use, but some of it’s plenty interestin’ to read. Probably twenty or more incident reports this year alone.”
She took advantage of his generosity and picked up the folder and its contents. No matter how much she wanted this to be a non-story so she could get out of town tonight, few officials were as accommodating as Mr. Browder. It was at least an hour past his quitting time, but he’d stayed to meet with her instead of rescheduling their appointment. She’d be both rude and a fool not to at least look at the reports he’d compiled.
Andrea despised deliberate rudeness, and she was no fool, despite what those familiar with the publication she wrote for these days might think.
Working at The Naked Truth didn’t embarrass her. So why did running into Sean suddenly make her self-conscious about it? Okay, she admitted, working for a tabloid sometimes bothered her. She’d been an award-winning reporter at a large newspaper on the fast track to management. A life time ago. Before the accident. Before Lisa died. Everyone had said it wasn’t Andrea’s fault, that she shouldn’t feel responsible.
Yeah, right. Even now, four years later, Andrea lived with the guilt of her friend’s death. Living with that guilt— living with what had happened, period— had changed Andrea in so many ways.
So, writing for a tabloid wasn’t that bad in the scheme of things. After everything she’d been through, Andrea was simply glad to have a job reporting anything.
Whether you believe in things like werewolves or the Loch Ness Monster or not, I hope you’ll give my novel a chance to entertain you with the possibilities. After all, the best relationships seem to start with “What if…?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Angela Campbell is an overachiever with a soft spot for men who dress funny. Superman, Charlie Chaplin, Dracula...she loves them all (and don't get her started on Elvis!). In her spare time, she can usually be found browsing the comic book store or has her rear-end planted somewhere watching Intelligent television (you know - Scooby Doo/Hell's Kitchen/ Supernatural) or having a profound movie marathon (ah, The Twilight Saga); that is, if she's not obsessing over a good book! She currently channels all of her enthusiasm and weirdness into blogging and fiction writing. A mild-mannered reporter with almost 15 years experience as a general assignment reporter, features editor and page designer, Angela has also worked as a production assistant on TV shows, small film projects and commercials. She lives in the Southeast with her loyal companion, writing supervisor and furry best friend, Dusti.
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