My first Electric Short, Westward, Yo! comes out on March 8th. It’s part of a high interest, easy reading level concept my publisher Echelon Press came up with. Westward, Yo! is targeted towards horse crazy teens ages 13 to 17, and is the first of six monthly installments. It is about Tina, a New Jersey girl who likes malls, manicures, and horses. Her life gets turned upside down when her dad transfers out to ghost town Arizona. Her only hope of survival is finding another horse.
This story is very different in a lot of ways from my two novels that are being published this year, though it does have some similarities. Tina is a very girly teen. Nothing wrong with that, but I don’t know many so I had to ask a lot of questions. For example Tina is getting a manicure at the beginning of the first short story. I actually had to ask some of my friends about the process. I also had to ask about makeup. No, I’m not a girly girl either. Tina is tough, but she’d much rather go shopping at the mall than hiking in the woods. Unless horses are involved, she’d much rather be inside.
I actually intended on writing these stories without any paranormal elements at all. Then my publisher said, hey what about a magic saddle that… Well, I can’t tell you, that’d be spoiling it. Needless to say, I loved the idea, though it changed from the magic saddle into something else. Turns out I just can’t completely stay away from fantasy after all.
On the other hand, Anna the main character of Arabian Dreams is very horsey, not very girly and the story is full of fantasy. It does start in Colorado but Anna spends plenty of time in fantasy worlds.
Meg, the main character of Senior Year Bites isn’t girly at all, and she’s kind of sarcastic and surly for a lot of the story. She did just get turned into a vampire. I can’t really blame her. It also has a lot of fantasy, being an urban fantasy.
Writing Westward, Yo! felt very different from writing the other two stories. I’ve been writing fantasy and urban fantasy for years. I’ve never attempted something so close to reality before writing Westward, Yo! It was a lot of fun, but a different sort of challenge. I’m also not very good at writing short stories. However, I can write serial stories, and since Westward, Yo! is the first of six, it worked out all right. I just can’t seem to keep novel length concepts out of my tales.
I’m sure you can see the similarities between the stories, but they are all vastly different. I hope you get a chance to read them all.
About Westward, Yo!:
Tina Harker is a typical teenager. She loves hanging with her friends at the malls, shoes, and manicures. More than that, she loves horses. Life is everything she wants it to be, until her father packs their family up and drags them across the world to Arizona. Does he really think she’ll be happy living in a ghost town in the middle of the desert? It’s a million miles to the nearest shopping center, not even a real mall. Her only hope for survival is finding a new horse.
Trying to make the best of her horrible situation, Tina agrees to go on her first cattle drive. When one of the calves wanders off, Tina, in true cowgirl fashion and looking for excitement, rides off to rescue the poor little thing and gets a lot more adventure than she ever expected. A cowboy she’s never met accuses her of stealing cows, bandits kidnap her, and that’s not even the exciting part.
About author J.A. Campbell:
Julie writes fantasy novels. When she’s not out riding her horse, she can usually be found sitting in front of her computer with a cat on her lap and her dog at her side. You can find out more at her website: www.writerjacampbell.com