Foreign Identity by Becca J. Campbell


by Becca J. Campbell

Science Fiction
Consortium Books

3 autographed copies will be given away on Friday, May 24, 2013!

About the Book:

Cold. Confusion. Fear. This is how it all begins.

Waking up without your memory in a cell and bound by chains is terrifying.

Two nameless strangers, a man and a woman, find themselves imprisoned together. With no memories of their own identities, let alone their captor and tormentor, escape is the only option. The pair faces a bizarre labyrinth of rooms and clues that confuse more than they explain. Every discovery only brings more questions.

Who captured them? Why were they taken? What does their captor want from them? What can the riddles mean?

Who are they?

Lacking allies and options, the duo must learn to trust one another. Mazes, puzzles, and even strange, lurking creatures force them to rely on their wits–and each other–for survival. But survival isn’t enough. They need answers.

Will the answers be enough? Will the truth bring them closer together, or drive them forever apart? Will discovering their identities finally bring them home?

Exclusive Interview with the Author!

1) Who’s your favorite character in the book and why? Who was the most fun to write?

Jax is my favorite character and it’s probably because we have the most in common. He and I both have an affinity for solving problems. It’s actually a bit of a stumbling block for him sometimes, as you’ll see in the story. In addition to his need for logic, he’s also the artistic one, and I relate to that aspect of his character as well.

Kel, on the other hand, was more difficult to write. She and I are quite different although there are some subtle similarities. She evaded me. It took several rewrites to pinpoint her true personality. However I enjoyed writing from her point of view during scenes when the romance angle came into play.

The character who was the most fun to write was Zap. I’d say more, but I don’t want to give anything away. If you read the book you’ll know why.

2) Be honest, how many drafts did you have to write for this book?

Three…and a half.

The way I wrote this book was quite different from my normal method. The idea for the story began with a ten-word prompt on a writing blog. After using the words and writing the initial post, I continued the story on the blog, adding to it twice a week. I used the latest writing prompt for each scene, forcing myself to fit the words in. Sometimes they directed the story and other times I molded them to the ideas in my head. More than half of the novel was written in serial form, one 1000-word (approximately) scene at a time. I wrote to a pretty big cliffhanger and then stopped posting on the blog.

I finished the first draft in private partly because I wanted to save the final big reveal for when I published the book and partly because at that point I realized there were some things I needed to add in order for the plot to work out right.

Draft two happened after I reread the whole thing. I made the needed changes and additions and passed it on to my beta readers. Their comments came back, necessitating tweaks in character motivation, strengthening of story questions, etc. I revised it and that was draft three. Then came the final pass from two different editors. I polished according to their notes and voila: the book was FINALLY ready.

3) When did you start to write? What was your first story about?

I became a serious novelist in March of 2009. It all began with a random thought, “I wonder if I could write a novel.” It was immediately followed by, “I WOULD write a novel, if I had the perfect idea.” For the next week those thoughts caramelized over my brain like warm brown sugar, sweet and delicious. They launched a wish inside me that blossomed into a desire and grew until it became a tangible craving. I wanted to write. And then, BAM, a week later the idea struck.

I was in the middle of a church service when I realized what I wanted to write about: people with supernatural abilities. Not just normal superheroes, though. My book had to have a twist: people with superhuman weaknesses. I grabbed a church handout and began to scribble character descriptions of these people with supernatural flaws.

Nine months later I’d birthed the first draft of book one in the FLAWED series. EMPATH is the story of a young woman who is mentally controlled by the emotions of everyone around her. Deciphering her own desires when she’s around her friends—especially a guy with a serious crush on her—is hard enough. But that’s nothing compared to facing the psychopathic killer that has his eye on her. What will absorbing his emotions do to her?

EMPATH is scheduled for publication this August.

4) What techniques or tools do you use to keep yourself (and your story) organized?

My current method of organizing my stories has developed based on necessity. It started pretty minimally and became more complex the more I wrote. It continues to evolve and morph depending on the needs of whatever particular book I’m working on. When I started writing EMPATH (or rather right before I started), I created brief character sketches of each of the main characters in the book.

When my story grew enough that I tended to forget minor details, I started keeping a list of what happened in each chapter and beyond that, in each scene. Over time this outline turned into a chapter-by-chapter synopsis. Now that I’ve written more novels, I’ve learned to write the synopsis before starting the story. This type of detailed organization helps me mentally grasp the full extent of my writing. Otherwise my brain would be in chaos trying to keep everything straight.

I still have to be flexible because often the story will take a slightly different turn than I’d anticipated. But that’s part of the fun. I like to be pretty organized going into it but then also give myself plenty of leeway to veer from that plan.

Beyond character sketches and the synopsis, I also made a calendar to help me keep track of story events. This is helpful especially when the book spans more than a month. I also collect images related to my book and keep them on Pinterest. Things like actor/model headshots for character inspiration, location scenery, and maps of the region where the story takes place are all filed away in boards for each of my stories.

5) Do you have any other books out?

Last fall I published my second book, GATEWAY TO REALITY. It’s an Urban Fantasy/Romance novel with a concept similar to THE MATRIX or INCEPTION, but with a love story driving the plot.

It’s about a guy named Wes who wakes from a bizarre dream, haunted by the sense that his life isn’t real. A harrowing truth presents itself–the real world lies in his dreams, not when he’s wide awake.

The dream world he enters each night is rich and vibrant. Chicago appears the same on the surface, but chaos runs rampant as gravity, physics, and other laws of nature become fluid, changing unexpectedly. There, Wes’s parents, brother, and sister are strangers. His girlfriend Emily doesn’t recognize him. Wes longs to return, to unlearn the truth about his dual reality.

Wes would sacrifice almost anything to get back to blissful ignorance in a false world.

But now he has feelings for the real Emily.

About the Author: 

 An avid lover of stories that tiptoe the line between fantasy and reality (even when they plunge off one side or the other), Becca J. Campbell looks for new angles on bridging the gap between the two. She holds a special place in her heart for any story that involves superpowers or time travel. Her passion is defying the limits of her own creativity. Visit her online at

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