How I write: Rebekah Campbell


Lifestyle: Rebekah Campbell, author of 138 Dates.


Lifestyle: Rebekah Campbell, author of 138 Dates.

After years in Sydney, Rebekah Campbell returned home to Wellington where she now lives with her family. The entrepreneur released his first book this year, 138 dates, published by Allen & Unwin NZ, list price: $ 32.99.

Which writer do you turn to when you have writer’s block?

I love books, but my first love will always be music. I am particularly drawn to artists who create emotional journeys in their songs. If you listen to Coldplay A rush of blood to the head‘, the lyrics mostly don’t make sense, but you feel like your heart is pulling out of your chest all the time.

I really try in my writing to capture a feeling in every scene. When I start a scene, I choose a song for it and then blow it up before and sometimes while writing. In my book there is a lot of Coldplay, also from U2 A tree hill when I wrote about death, Arcade fire for some of New York’s sexiest scenes, Etta James for when I met my husband. If I ever feel stuck in the writing, I go back to the song and work my way into it. Then I write.

What book stood out on you so much that you bought it for your friends?

I know it’s not original, but I’m still obsessed with Where the crayfish sing by Delia Owens. It’s a perfect story, the writing is spectacular, and I cried most of the time I read it. I bought at least 40 copies of this book for friends.

* How I write: Philippa Werry finds themes in war, peace, memory, time, families, friendship
* “I see the book as a plea for empathy”: Charlotte Grimshaw on her unshakeable memoirs
* How I write: Warwick Murray loves the constant buzz of music and people

What book did you read as a child or teenager that made a deep impression on you?

I have a distinct memory of reading Roald Dahl The BFG when I was 10 years old. We were on vacation in Taupō, it was the middle of the day and I had nothing to do. I hadn’t been very interested in books until then. I started to read and found myself completely lost in the story. I was in the Land of Giants with Sophie. It was so much more alive than a movie. And from there, I got hooked.

138 Dates: The True Story of a Woman in Search of Everything by Rebekah Campbell.

PROVIDED / Contents

138 Dates: The True Story of a Woman in Search of Everything by Rebekah Campbell.

What’s your writing routine?

I write as early as possible in the morning. When I started writing my book, I got up at 4:30 a.m. to write for two hours before my kids woke up (who were one and three years old by then), then got them ready for daycare and head to the office for 9. But when Covid hit, I stopped working and focused on writing. After leaving daycare, I would go to the gym, write for five hours and collect them. It was truly a blissful existence!

And where do you write?

I like to write in cafes or libraries. Sometimes it’s nice to be at home because it’s quiet. But I found out that after a few weeks of writing home alone I started to feel a bit depressed. I wanted to be around people. There is something about the general buzz of a cafe and someone visiting occasionally to see if I wanted more tea that made the experience more enjoyable. It’s probably a little less productive than being in complete silence, but I realized early on that if I were to finish the book then I should enjoy the process of writing it.

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