Springdale, Arkansas Phyl

Name: Phyl Campbell

Residence: Springdale, Arkansas

Age: 29 with some years of experience. (Yes, that’s all I’m admitting to!)

Profession: Writing and ESL / literacy tutoring

Favorite hobbies or pastimes: I love to read. I love playing Facebook games to procrastinate (especially when I’m stuck in my writing). I love catching up with other (esp., but not limited to) moms through FB, reading a lot of blogs, following a lot of links, and getting caught up in a lot of debates online. I love to sing and compose song lyrics. This summer, a friend of mine got me involved singing with a band, but we’re nowhere near famous yet. Right now, it is just about hanging out and getting loose with other musicians – all of whom are far more talented than I am!!

What websites you would like us to promote for you? Please visit my fan page on Facebook. I try out a lot of novel passages here, and fan feedback (positive and negative) makes my writing better.

When did you first hear about the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama? A friend of mine sent me a link via Facebook, thinking it was a joke. I thought it was a joke. So like most spoofs I get, I started going through channels to debunk it. The joke was on me – no joke at all — just a great little city with a Chat N Chew and some real friendly folks!

Were you able to attend the Phil Campbell Hoedown of June 2011? I was not able to attend the 2011 or the 2012 Hoedown, but was able to visit the town in October of 2011. I was there when the Crimson Tide pretty much murdered my Razorbacks in football. Tuscaloosa Phil was giving me crap about it all day (really, it was all in good fun. When they aren’t playing my Razorbacks, I don’t have a problem saying “Roll Tide!”)

You are a Phil Campbell. What do you think of that name? I became a Campbell through marriage, and feel it suits me better than my maiden name ever did. It’s also easy to spell – despite the very funny telemarketer who once sent me follow-up mail addressed: “Mrs. Phil Campbelllikethesoup.” My parents named me “Phyllis.” The name means “tenderhearted” and I’m afraid I totally live up to it. (Now I just say I’m passionate.) I started going by “Phyl” when I was 16 because it was easier for my young cousins to say. But I liked it. “Phyl” was someone smarter, savvier — sexier? – than “Phyllis” ever was. It sounds androgynous (OK, it sounds like a boy’s name), which, given the history of women writers using male-sounding pseudonyms, really appealed to me. However, in the facelessness that can be FB, I sometimes have to remind others that “No, I’m not a nice guy!”

Tell us a little about yourself, as many words as you would like. You’re asking for trouble with that question. I’m going to refer to Mayor Phil’s comment that to do this justice would be to fully showcase my arrogance, self-centeredness, and my pride (or total lack thereof). Besides which, I’ve said too much already.

When I tell someone from New York City that I live in rural Arkansas, I may be accused of redundancy. However, my rural Arkansas is not my grandmother’s rural Arkansas, both of which are bigger than the town of Phil Campbell, so it’s all a matter of degrees.  I live in northwest Arkansas, or NWA, which is made up of four larger cities and several small towns.  I live just outside the city limits of two of those cities and one of those towns.  Springdale is where my son goes to school, my physical address is located, I buy groceries, and where I attended kindergarten through high school.  It’s also where I borrow books and movies from the library. Fayetteville is where I lived as a kid, where I attended college, and the other place in Arkansas besides Little Rock that people outside the state know about. Tontitown is where I vote and pick up my mail.

I went to college to teach, and teaching suits my bullheadedness. Right now, though, I am professionally staying at home without spending a lot of time there, working on the sequel to my first book, Mother Confessor, and doing some ESL and literacy tutoring.

Like Brooklyn Phil, I tell far too many stories and jokes of which I am the unfortunate punch line. I am an advocate of embracing my imperfections, and try to laugh at myself often each day.  Were I a comedian, I would not lack for material.

My nine-year-old son is Josh.  He battles Pokémon on DS and wants to be either an inventor, a chef at his own restaurant, a DS game creator, or a Ninja. This changes daily. Sean is the wonderful husband who made me a Campbell. We met at the University of Arkansas the first day of my senior year. He claims to appreciate my kookiness and total lack of culinary skills. We are entering a pretty fantastic time in our lives after a professionally and financially rocky decade. Our home suggests we still live like destitute college students, but these days we live like college students with a bit more panache. We have books in every room of the house. What more could I want?

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