Interviewing Author T.G. Campbell
1. Tell me about yourself what are your favorite books to read?
A. As a child, I dreamed of becoming a police officer when I was older. Unfortunately, due to certain health issues, I couldn’t apply. Naturally, I was disappointed, but I decided to do the next best thing: write about being a police officer. Thus, my very first writing project was the “Sunsdale Murders” screenplay featuring hard-talking Chief Inspector Collette Campbell. I wrote two further “episodes” and have the scripts in my archive to this day.
These days I write a series of “clue-puzzle” style mysteries, set in Victorian London, which follow a group of fictional detectives called the Bow Street Society. Each of the Society’s civilian members has been enlisted for their unique skill or exceptional knowledge in a particular field derived from their usual occupation. Members are assigned to cases, by the Society's clerk, Miss Trent, based upon these skills and fields of knowledge.
My favourite books to read are those from the Victorian Era, e.g. Dickens's Dictionary of London (1879), The Queen's London: Pictorial & Descriptive Record (1896) &c., books about the history of the police, specifically Scotland Yard, e.g. The Official Encyclopedia of Scotland Yard by Keith Skinner and the late, but still great, Martin Fido, and books about true crime cases from the era, e.g. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale.
2. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. I decided to write The Case of The Curious Client (Bow Street Society Mystery 1) roughly a year before I sat down to do so. During that time I did extensive research into the era. I focused this research further by concentrating on the specifics connected to each character. As the Society’s members have been recruited for the skills/knowledge they have from their usual jobs, I researched the origins and evolution of each occupation, the technology each occupation utilized, and real-life peers my characters may have encountered. I also tried to pinpoint my research in and around 1896, the year the book is set in. As the Society has an illusionist, veterinarian surgeon, artist, journalist, lawyer, Hansom cab driver, architect, medical surgeon, and clerk amongst its membership I had to carefully research and define each occupation—both within the book and without—to ensure historical accuracy at all times. Additions to this were: a photographer, asylum attendant, and police inspector.
3. How did you come up with the name of your books?
A. The name of the book series (Bow Street Society Mystery) and its accompanying series of short story collections (the Bow Street Society Casebook) is taken from the group of detectives. Their name was, in turn, inspired by the real Bow Street in London, United Kingdom. The now-closed law court on Bow Street bore witness to Oscar Wilde’s trial, amongst others, and was the birthplace of the Bow Street Runners. Created by magistrates, and brothers, Henry and John Fielding, the Bow Street Runners were an early attempt at organized law enforcement. “Bow Street Society” was therefore chosen in homage to that street’s rich history in the annals of true crime. Interestingly, Henry Fielding was also the author of Tom Jones. John Fielding, meanwhile, was known as the “Blind Beak of Bow Street” and could, reportedly, recognize criminals from their voice alone.
4. What are you working on for 2019?
A. I’m currently working on the third volume of Bow Street Society Casebook short stories. Subscribers to the official Bow Street Society newsletter, the Gaslight Gazette, are the first to read the new casebook short stories before I publish them as eBooks/paperbacks.
I’ve also completed the fourth installment in the Bow Street Society Mystery series of books, The Case of The Toxic Tonic:
When the Bow Street Society is called upon to assist the Women’s International Maybrick Association, it’s assumed the commission will be a short-lived one. Yet, a visit to the Walmsley Hotel in London’s prestigious west end only serves to deepen the Society’s involvement. In an establishment that offers exquisite surroundings, comfortable suites, and death, the Bow Street Society must work alongside Scotland Yard to expose a cold-blooded murderer. Meanwhile, two inspectors secretly work to solve the mystery of not only Miss Rebecca Trent’s past but the creation of the Society itself…
Released: 31st August 2019
Buy via Amazon.co.uk: https://tinyurl.com/y53k575o
Buy via Amazon.com: https://tinyurl.com/y3h28r2a
5. How long have you been writing?
A. I wrote my first crime fiction story at the age of sixteen as a gift for my best friend’s birthday. At only 40 pages long it fell considerably short of a “novel.” Set in the 1940s, it featured a detective duo called Mungo & Malcolm. I wrote on and off between then and when I started writing The Case of The Curious Client in 2015. In total, I’ve been writing for almost 20 years.
6. What advice would you give other authors?
A. Explore all your publishing options (independently published, traditionally published, agent representation, etc.) before committing yourself. Also, hire a professional editor to proofread and edit your manuscript. A good editor is worth their weight in gold.
7. Where can people find you online?
A. Bow Street Society official website: www.bowstreetsociety.com
THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS CLIENT BOOK TRAILER: https://youtu.be/UVvXKqSFRZo
8. Do you plan on making more books in the future?
A. Yes. There will be more books and short story collections featuring the Bow Street Society. I have an idea of how many I intend to write in total but I’m keeping this under my hat for now!
9. How many books have you written?
A. There are currently 4 books in the Bow Street Society Mystery series and 2 volumes of Bow Street Society Casebook short story collections. They are:
THE CASE OF THE CURIOUS CLIENT (Bow Street Society Mystery 1)
THE CASE OF THE LONESOME LUSHINGTON (Bow Street Society Mystery 2)
THE CASE OF THE SPECTRAL SHOT (Bow Street Society Mystery 3)
THE CASE OF THE TOXIC TONIC (Bow Street Society Mystery 4)
THE CASE OF THE SHRINKING SHOPKEEPER & OTHER STORIES (Bow Street Society Casebook Volume 1)
THE CASE OF THE PECULIAR PORTRAIT & OTHER STORIES (Bow Street Society Casebook Volume 2)
I’m currently working on the third volume of Bow Street Society Casebook short stories.
10. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. While studying for a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Studies at the University of Winchester I took classes in creative writing and crime fiction. I’ve never taken a full college course to be a writer, though. If you can study creative writing I’d recommend you do so. This could take the shape of a formal college course, online workshops by established writers, writing retreats, or sharing your work with your local writing group. Whatever you decide to write, and however you decide to publish it, remember you should never stop learning and honing your craft.