Autumn and Kendra chat with Jen Campbell about her short story collection The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night (Two Roads), her love of fairy tales, and how fact can often be stranger than fiction.
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Jen Campbell has a huge following on her YouTube channel (over 35,000 subscribers) and is now one of the most beloved and influential book vloggers in the UK.
After working for over ten years as a bookseller she wrote the hilarious ‘Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops’ and ‘The Bookshop Book’, both huge bestsellers.
Jen is particularly interested in representation, and giving voice to those who often aren’t heard. The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night explores this; in her story ‘bright white hearts’ the main character has ectrodactyly, a split-hand malformation (which is something Jen has) and reflects on the history of the freak show; the narrator in ‘little deaths’ is in a wheelchair; and many of the stories have LGBTQ+ characters. Each story in this collection is unique and told with a huge amount of imagination.
Music “Stickybee” by Josh Woodard