Growing up as the youngest of six children could have its pros and cons. On one hand there’s always someone to protect you while on the other hand there’s always someone blaming “the baby”. Being “the baby” often means that there are many moments spent alone. Many people will find their voice later in life, but this solitude affords 25-year-old Columbus born author, Tiffany Campbell, self-awareness and consequentially, she knew she had a voice at a young age.
With five years between the last two siblings, Tiffany found herself having to entertain herself and be creative. “I would create things in my head and around eight years old I began writing down my daily adventures”, Tiffany said in a recent interview. Although Tiffany knew she had a gift it wasn’t always known from others early on. “In 1st grade I was placed in slower reading and writing classes because I wasn’t catching onto words.” she said. Memorizing a book she heard many times, Tiffany was able to trick her way out. “I memorized every word in [that] book…I knew I had tricked every one into thinking I could read but…I couldn’t”, she laughed.
Meeting an author in 3rd grade as a prize for winning a writing contest allowed Tiffany to be more inspired to follow her calling. “I remember telling him, ‘I’m going to be an author like you one day‘, and he blew me off but from that day on I was inspired.”
Lost But Found
Self-motivation doesn’t always come with inspiration and at one point Tiffany wasn’t using her gift at all. “As I got older I wanted to do movies and write scripts but I didn’t take it as serious and I felt like my gift went away. I couldn’t write anything for years and I felt like God had taken my talent away. I was so lost.” Tiffany admitted.
Making a move from Columbus, OH to Chicago, IL, removing herself from a stagnant relationship and allowing her words to flow, Tiffany found herself writing again. “I was starting fresh and I had so much time to think. Even though I thought my writing wasn’t good, my friends said they could see me being a best seller and that’s when I started writing Scared of Beautiful.
Scared of Beautiful is Tiffany’s first book (published twice), which follows the journey of two young entrepreneurs in a world filled with trust issues, love, and finding your way. “I’ve always loved getting lost in good story. Even though I wasn’t writing about me, the [protagonist] and I were both going through a transition period. At the same time I was growing up into a woman I was also growing up in a relationship and I never had time to go my own way and figure things out. I needed to start going after my dreams and what was meant for me.” Tiffany shared.
There’s no progress without struggle and Tiffany was in for a rude awakening when she first began marketing and promoting herself and her craft. “Promotion is the hardest part. It’s a hustle and I thought people would come fast. I had to get excited about putting it out opposed to scared of putting it out”, she stated. Although she sold 60 copies of the first publication of Scared of Beautiful in the first year, Tiffany held a public book signing for her second publication selling 50-60 copies in that sitting. “There are millions of books in the bookstore and mine is one but I still have to be appreciative of the success. It was hard for me to own it,” she said.
Continuing to get national recognition attending book signings across the country, Tiffany recognizes the importance of staying grounded, connected, and on the grind. “With my talent I go towards healing, letting go and overcoming. I’d like to tie it all together and get my books in black businesses to get us working together as a community. Forbes’ list of top 25 authors didn’t have any Black authors on the list and I just want us to have a book that’s accepted by all cultures.” Tiffany said.
Wanting to connect with her readers and supporters, Tiffany launched ByTiffanyCampbell.com where she gives updates on her life, weekly blog posts on topics such as relationships, and news on her upcoming projects such as her next book, Don’t Disconnect. “I have a soft-spot for relationships and it’s relatable. I believe my second book has the potential to eventually be a movie. I filmed a trailer with Steph Lavish of Lavish Film Factory to market and promote this time but I really believe it was destined for me to write [this] book.” From being placed in unsatisfactory reading classes, to moving away to finding her voice again, Tiffany believes her talent is not in vain.