Interview with Vic Campbell, author of Metal Missionary
Tell us a bit about your professional background!
I have been a secondary school teacher (English, French, Geography) and a youth worker (assisting disadvantaged adolescents). My academic qualifications are B.A. Dip.Ed, Grad. Dip. TESOL.
When did you first meet Steve Rowe?
One of my first memories of Steve Rowe is of seeing him running across a paddock at a rural Christian music festival in Australia to give me a demo cassette of his band Lightforce.
This may seem like an obvious question, but what was it about Steve and his incredible story that made you want to formally tell it?
I wanted to help Steve tell his amazing story as I believe he is a great example of someone who has suffered adversity, but has been incredibly proactive and positive in tackling the challenges that he faces. His simple, but profound faith is inspiring. Also, he told me that his mastery of spelling and grammar was not too good!
Were you a Mortification fan (or after) learning of his story?
I was a fan, not so much of Mortification’s musical style, but was more interested in how the band managed to penetrate a pagan subculture with an upfront Christian message.
From inception to publication how long did it take to write the book?
It probably took two to three years from initial discussions to the completion of the book.
Did you shop around for publishers, secular or otherwise to publish Metal Missionary?
I obtained quotes from several Australian publishers and our preferred company wanted around $25,000 to produce the project. Steve and I ran an indiegogo fundraising campaign that raised $6201 USD from 64 backers. This allowed us to self-publish, pay a designer for the layout and pay a company for the many photo scans necessary to illustrate the book. We also had enough money to mail out copies of the book and/or CDs to the supporters of our fundraising efforts.
How has initial reception been?
Initial reception was quite positive with hard copies selling well in the months following release as a ‘print-on-demand’ item. The book charted regularly on Amazon’s heavy metal best-sellers list for several months.
Rowe seems to let it all be revealed, especially many personal and some gruesome details about his illness and subsequent recovery. Were there any moments where you cringed or thought, maybe this is better left unsaid?
Steve was determined to have a ‘tell-all’ approach re his health and medical issues. I decided to let him ‘write’ the very personal chapters in his own peculiar style using his own ‘voice’.
If you had one lesson that a reader could take from this story, what would it be?
The main lesson to be learned from Steve’s story is, I think, that if a person has a solid and unwavering faith in God and a determination to live life to its fullest, then no matter how bad one’s personal circumstances may be, it is possible to overcome adversity and to challenge others to do the same.
How can people find/buy this excellent work?
Metal Missionary is available in hard copy from Amazon online stores in USA, UK and Europe. It may also be purchased as an eBook for Kindle owners. A special iBook version (with audio and video as well as text and photos), suitable for an iPad, can be obtained from Apple’s iTunes store.