It started in the hills near Perth, where he was brought rather quietly and with little fanfare into the world. The farming area tucked in the south-west corner of Western Australia became forever his reference point, but even then the world seemed broad and large, with the fields of wheat stretching to the horizon. But the whole world could not simply have been a field of wheat. There had to be more. So, a foray in the big city, slaving through low-paid jobs, struggling and then succeeding, briefly, to make a sporting career in basketball, until succumbing reluctantly to academia.
The history graduate, bored and restless, heads off to see the world. He lands a part-time job with a daily paper in a small Canadian town, convinces major newspapers he's a player on the freelance travel writing scene and manages to sell a few articles. Travels some more, hitch-hiking across America. Tries to write novels but no one is interested; not even him. Works on travel guide books, lands in Europe, settles in Germany, does the required tenure teaching English, and keeps trying to write a good book. Moves to Berlin and finally a story emerges that makes all the words fall into place.
Photograph by Che Chapman
The Bicycle Teacher was published in January 2006. His follow up novel Hunter came out in early 2009, then came True Blue Tucker in 2011 and Greetings from in 2017. Campbell is also the author of A Lord's Revenge, a novella for English language learners published by Compact Verlag while his articles have graced the pages of newspapers and magazines across the globe. He also writes under the pseudonym Royce Leville and runs the blog purathletes.org.
He lives near the harbour in Hamburg and sometimes escapes the winter to spend time under the sun in Perth.
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