Friday, March 27, 2015

What's Behind Mystery Writer Chester Campbell

I often hear that readers like to know personal stuff about authors, so I thought I would put together a few significant background bits about myself. The things we write about, the ideas we share, the events we describe come out of the knowledge and experiences we have gained over the years. For me, that adds up to 89-plus. Rather than use the old I pronoun, which would make it sound too self-centered, we'll switch to third person, the POV used in six of my novels—all but the Greg McKenzie Mysteries.

● Campbell graduated from East Nashville High School in 1943. He received the Overall Medal
as the city's outstanding ROTC cadet in his junior year.

● After enlisting in the Army Air Forces Reserve just out of high school, Campbell was called to active duty in January 1944 and served a year and ten months in the Eastern Flying Training Command during World War II.

● As a member of the class of 1949, Campbell was among the first to complete the new journalism curriculum at the University of Tennessee.
● Campbell began his writing career as a reporter for The Knoxville Journal while in his junior year at UT.

● Campbell received the Bronze Star Medal in the Korean War as a captain at Fifth Air Force Headquarters in Seoul. The citation said he "performed exceptionally meritorious service in support of operations in Korea as an Intelligence Officer in the Estimates Division, Directorate of Intelligence."

● During a brief stint as a freelance magazine writer, Campbell had articles published in such national publications as Coronet and The American Legion Magazine.

● As a copywriter for a Nashville advertising agency, Campbell worked on ads for such accounts as Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut. His crowning achievement was keeping a straight face while working on full page newspaper ads for a high-rise mausoleum.

● Campbell was founder and editor for six years of Nashville Magazine, the city's first slick paper consumer monthly.

● Campbell served eighteen years as executive vice president of the Tennessee Association of Life Underwriters, a 4,000-member trade association. He was recognized by the National Association of Life Underwriters (now the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors) in 1980 with the C. Carney Smith Award as outstanding association executive of the year.

● Campbell holds the coveted CAE (Certified Association Executive) designation conferred by the American Society of Association Executives.

● After service in the Tennessee Air National Guard following the Korean War, Campbell retired from the Air Force Reserve as a lieutenant colonel.

● Campbell's first published book was titled The Best Is Yet To Be, a history of the first 150 years of City Road Chapel United Methodist Church in Madison, Tennessee. He has had ll mystery, thriller, and suspense novels published since then.

● Campbell's first wife died in 1998 from complications of Parkinson's Disease. He and his current wife share six children, 11 grandchildren, and 10 1/2 great-grandchildren.