Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Books and the Art of Theft - Guest Post by Melodie Campbell!

Happy Wednesday!

I have a visitor today! An author, a friend from Canada and otherwise one wonderful woman - Melodie Campbell. Melodie wrote a guest post for Me and Reading. I have read her books and loved them all!

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to the Melodie!


By Melodie Campbell

Puzzled by the title?  It’s simple.

In high school, I had to read Lord of the Flies, The Chrysalids, On the Beach, To Kill a Mocking Bird, and a whack of Shakespeare.

Yuck.  Way to kill the love of reading.  All sorts of preaching and moral crap in the first four.  (Which, as you will see by the end of this post, doesn’t suit me well.)

Torture, it was, having to read those dreary books, at a time when I was craving excitement.  Already, I had a slight rep for recklessness. (It was the admittedly questionable incident of burying the French class attendance sheet in the woods on Grouse Mountain, but I digress…)

And then we got to pick a ‘classic’ to read.  Groan.  Some savvy librarian took pity on me, and put a book in my hand. 



A writer was born that day.

This is what books could be like!  Swashbuckling adventure with swords and horses, and imminent danger to yourself and virtue, from which – sometimes – you could not escape (poor Rebecca.) 

I was hooked, man.  And this book was written how long ago?  1820?

Occasionally, people will ask if a teacher had a special influence on me as a writer.  I say, sadly, no to that.

But a librarian did.  To this day, I won’t forget her, and that book, and what it caused me to do.

Write the swashbuckling medieval time travel Land’s End series, starting with the Top 100 bestseller Rowena Through the Wall. 
Steal a book.  Yes, this humble reader, unable to part with that beloved Ivanhoe, claimed to lose the book, and paid the fine.  Damn the guilt.  The book was mine.

Write The Goddaughter series, which has nothing to do with swashbuckling medieval adventure, and everything to do with theft.  Which, of course, I had personally experienced due to a book called Ivanhoe.

The lust for something you just have to have.  The willingness to take all sorts of risks way out of proportion, to possess that one thing.

A book like my own Rowena and the Dark Lord made me a thief at the age of sixteen.  And the experience of being a thief enticed me to write The Goddaughter’s Revenge, over thirty years later.

My entire writing career (200 publications, 8 awards) is because of Sir Walter Scott and one sympathetic librarian.  Thanks to you both, wherever you are.
Author info:

Melodie Campbell writes funny books. You can buy them at  Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers.  She lurks at

The one that started it all: ROWENA THROUGH THE WALL  

Follow Melodie’s comic blog at

Thank you, Melodie, for the guest post!
Happy reading!



  1. It's a good job the statute of limitations is up for grand theft classic. ;)

    1. Laff! I think this is the first time I've admitted that theft to anyone. As I was finishing Rowena and the Viking Warlord, I was suddenly reminded of Ivanhoe, and the lust for literature.

    2. Alison, I agree! :) Thanks for coming by!

    3. Melodie, there is first time for everything, right?! Thanks for writing a guest post and I can't wait to read a new Goddaughter book! ;)

    4. On its way to you, Inga! Really hoping you get a kick out of Nico, Gina's eccentric cousin and 'partner in crime.' Nope, she still can't avoid working for the family.

  2. I used to belong to a club called the Young Thieves Association, YTA for short. However, I was always too scared to use anything I stole and buried them under the back porch. For me, it turned out to be a lot more fun writing about crime than doing it.

    1. Catherine, I have never stolen anything, but still, writing is more fun for sure! :D And you are a good crime writer!

  3. Um, if I know Melodie, and I do, I don't think it was lust for adventure that prompted her to keep the book. She probably couldn't bear to let go of Ivanhoe! Maybe a touch of teenage lust? Anyway, good one, Mel and keep us well supplied with hunks.