Friday, May 29, 2009

Author Interview: Kersten Campbell

My Author Interview today is with humorist Kersten Campbell, who loves books and chocolate doughnuts. Her humorous book, Confessions of a Completely In*sane Mother, was published earlier this year by Horizon Publishers. In it she regales the reader with stories of pink-striped laundry, buying a rock from her small son, adventures in sewing Cub Scout patches onto her son's shirt--and her pants--and more hilarious offerings. Kersten lives in Washington with her husband and five children.

I'm offering a Comment Contest drawing for Kersten's book with this interview, which will end a bit earlier than normal, as I will be out of town next Friday. The contest, for readers in the United States, will end on Wednesday, June 3. Make a comment about Kersten or her book in the comments, and you'll be entered in the drawing.

Welcome, Kersten. What made you start writing?
I needed a creative outlet, and so I started writing in the evenings. I tried to write a romance but it was terrible! Then I got this crazy idea to write funny stories based on the antics of my funny family. I posted the stories on a blog and people told me they laughed so hard they cried. That's when I decided I'd try and get them published.

How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I've been writing articles for magazines, especially LDS Church magazines for about ten years. My first book, Confessions of a Completely In*sane Mother, came out this February.

How do you decide what topics to write about?
Like I said, I was a bad romance writer. Then I read this book about how to write humor and decided to try it! I found out I loved it and other people did too, thankfully!

How do you research your topics?
All my inspiration comes from my family. I keep index cards in all the pockets of my pants and coats. That way I can write down the funny things they say and do. They make me laugh so hard sometimes...although I do exaggerate their antics in my stories as part of the humor genre.

What type of writing schedule do you have?
I can only write during the time that my youngest child naps because I can't write with noise, and I don't want to take time away from my family. That is one problem writing can consume you. But it works if I limit myself to that amount of time. It makes writing a book slow going, especially when I have to use that time to promote the book too! But it's worth it!

How do you handle life interruptions?
I don't. I can't write with interruptions, so I always do it when the littlest one is asleep and the others are at school.

What have you always dreamed of writing, but haven't yet?
A romance. HA HA! I know someday I'll get it right! I still haven't thrown that manuscript away.

What one thing do you like most about writing? Least?
I love how it transports me to another world and makes time stand still. It satisfies my urge to create like nothing else can. I love how language is so beautiful and can move people. Even the language of humor moves people to feel better about themselves and their own lives. It is comforting and reassuring to know that everyone makes mistakes and has disasters in their lives. The thing I hate is how much work it takes to make that humor happen. It may seem like humorists just write random funny things, but it actually takes a lot of planning and work to make something really funny.

What is your next project?
I am working on another humor book. Those funny stories are so fun to write I just can't stop! Plus it's therapy to help me look on the bright side when things go wrong every day.

What is your advice for other writers?
My advice is to never give up! And be patient. I know from experience that sometimes it takes awhile to find the right genre that you were meant to write.

Tell us about your book, Confessions of a Completely In*sane Mother.
It's a book filled with humorous short stories about LDS family life. I have taken real events that happened in our family and hyperbolized them into funny caricatures. From Zucchini crime, to boobytraps, to a church bag* that hasn't been cleaned since 1970, readers will find laughter and therapy in the humor of these short stories. It was my intent as I wrote the book to help mothers stop feeling guilty and start finding joy in everyday life.

* Marsha's note: LDS women often carry a tote bag full of lesson materials, scriptures, Cheerios, and quiet toys to church. This is commonly referred to as a church or Sunday bag.

Readers can purchase the book at independent LDS bookstores and Seagull book stores or online. Or here on my publishers website.

Kersten has a Website at, and a humor blog at Thank you for the Author Interview, Kersten.

Thanks so much Marsha!


  1. So we all laugh at your book because we have 'been there, done that'! We have many zucchini crimes in our neighborhood; cars are filled with those veggies during church and at night!

  2. I could use some humor right about now in my own insane life. I'll definitely have to pick this up. And . . .from someone who can write romance but loves to read humor, I think being able to make people laugh is an exceptional talent. Much more difficult than writing a great kiss :)

  3. I too enjoy this genre. What humor book did you read?I haven't seen very many out there? I have read "Comedy Writing Step by Step." But it seemed more for stand up comics and jokes. Like you said, write about real life and exaggerate.

  4. Kersten,
    What book did you read about humor writing? I too enjoy this genre and would have a hard time writing about a kiss. I have read "Comedy Writing Step by Step" which is more how to write a joke or stand up comedy.

  5. sorry for the repeat

  6. It was good to get to know a little more about Kersten and her book. It's so nice that someone would "voice" what we, mothers, have all been through a million times. To have a good laugh about those times has been a way to stay sane, for me. I enjoyed my visit to Kersten's website, and I especially love her blog (recipes and all).

  7. Kersten, the best part about writing the funny things that happen to a mother, is that you WRITE them. As I struggle to compile my memoirs, I'd give a lot to recall those sweet, funny times I had with my seven children. But I didn't even keep a journal. I'm 84 now, and I know ... sins of omission do come back to haunt.

    Congratulations on keeping index cards handy, and using them. i'd love to read your book ... when I can find the time.


I welcome your comments.

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