The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: SEAL author killed, NPR contest, Jamaica Kinkaid’s new novel, Cynthia Leitich Smith interview

BookBitsDo you wear your heart on your sleeve when you leave voice mail and answering machine messages? Perhaps you share secrets you’d never divulge if a real person answered. Perhaps your words are a breathless rush before your time runs out. If so, National Public Radio might be the place to leave a message. Just six hundred words required for this contest. (Item 0)

  1. News: Ex-SEAL/author fatally shot on gun range – “Former Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” author Chris Kyle was fatally shot along with another man Saturday on a Texas gun range, a sheriff told local newspapers.” Associated Press
  2. kodakFeature: Kodak Extends Stream Inkjet Technology and Prosper Press Platform to Newspaper Printing, by Mark Vruno – “Emerging from its financial struggles, Kodak thinks this may be the year inkjet web technology makes a larger leap to newspapers. ” Editor and Publisher
  3. News: Templar Publishing Buys Piccadilly Press – “In a notable children’s deal in the U.K., Piccadilly Press, the children’s book publisher founded by Brenda Gardner 29 years ago, has been acquired by Templar Publishing, the children’s publisher owned by Bonnier Publishing Ltd. ” Publishers weekly
  4. seenowReview: “See Now Then,” by Jamaica Kinkaid, reviewed by Malcolm Forbes – “Delightfully acerbic, Kincaid’s first novel in 10 years is laced with grim humor and heartfelt emotion.” Minneapolis Star-Tribune
  5. How To: 5 Ways to Land Freelance Writing Assignments, by Brian A. Klems – “Over the years, I’ve landed numerous anniversary-based assignments from magazines large and small. The key is to uncover the happenings other writers may not be privy to—and have something fresh to say about them.” The Writer’s Dig
  6. News: Bestseller Julie Kagawa Signs Seven-Figure Deal with Harlequin Teen – “Harlequin TEEN announced today that young adult novelist Julie Kagawa – a USA Today and New York Times bestseller for her Iron Fey series – will be paid in the seven figures for a multibook deal.” Kirkus Reviews
  7. CLsmithInterview: Cynthia Leitich Smith (“Diabolical”) – “I learned to trust my subconscious. When I started writing the first book, I had this vague idea that I wanted to celebrate Abraham Stoker’s themes of the outsider, of gender and power, of the meaning of faith. I wanted to play and have fun with his mythologies as well as build out my own from there. As the series progressed, to my delight, I discovered that I had, on instinct, planted clues in each book that would fuel those to follow. ” Jean Book Nerd
  8. How To: It’s late. Do you know where your characters are? by Malcolm R. Campbell – “Your story won’t get memorable characters if all you do is tell their story. You need to know each of them like a lover, a mentor, a brother, a sister, a parent, a priest or a spouse. Now you’re getting somewhere.” Malcolm’s Round Table
  9. Contest: Three-Minute Fiction Round 10: Leave A Message After The Beep, deadline February 10 – “It’s Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, the short story contest from weekends on All Things Considered. Here’s the premise: Write a piece of original fiction that can be read in about three minutes (no more than 600 words).” NPR
  10. cheminFeature: The Spy Novelist Who Knows Too Much, by Robert F. Worth – “De Villiers has spent most of his life cultivating spies and diplomats, who seem to enjoy seeing themselves and their secrets transfigured into pop fiction (with their own names carefully disguised), and his books regularly contain information about terror plots, espionage and wars that has never appeared elsewhere.” The New York Times
  11. Interview: S. J. Laidlaw (“An Infidel in Paradse”), with Debbie Ridpath Ohi – “I do a basic outline and a basic character sketch of my main characters. I find it helpful to have an idea where I’m going, even if I diverge, which I often do. I like to really think about all my characters’ backstories and motivations. Even if they aren’t central to the plot, I need to understand who they are to bring them to life.” Inky Girl
  12. Lists: 10 Most Controversial Book Passages by Gabe Habash – “A little controversy goes a long way in the book world, where tweets from prestigious publishers resembling Kanye West lyrics cause people to flip out. In the case of the books below, notoriety and controversy have added an extra facet to their reputations, propelling discussion and (in some instances) fierce debate that involved censorship. Here are our picks for the most infamous passages of famous books.” The Huffington Post
  13. duotropeInterview: Subscription Success! An Interview with Duotrope Digest, by Nathaniel Tower – “If you have much familiarity with the business of writing and submitting, you know that Duotrope’s Digest, one of the most popular resources for writers, recently switched to a paid subscription model for most of its services. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with the Duotrope staff regarding the success of this shift, as well as the initial controversy that surrounded it. ” Write, Juggle, Run
  14. ladyastorReview: “The Story of Lady Astor,” by Adrian Fort, reviewed by Emma Garman – “‘I am the kind of woman I would run from.’ That was how Nancy Astor described herself, yet as a new biography makes clear this society hostess, groundbreaking politician, and sharp-tongued wit was someone you very much want to read about.” The Daily Beast
  15. Essay: The case of the celibate detectives, by Christopher Wallace – “Sherlock Holmes was a virgin. Hercule Poirot was a prude. And, I don’t know Miss Marple all that well, but she was hardly Aphrodite. One thing is for sure: The great private detectives of the English whodunit weren’t doing it.” Salon
  16. danstevensFeature: ‘Downton Abbey’ actor reveals passion for writing, by Rachel Elbaum – “Millions of women have fallen in love with “Downton Abbey’s” Matthew Crawley, known in real life as Dan Stevens. But Stevens, 28, is more than a gifted actor with piercing blue eyes and a disarming smile. He is also an accomplished writer, the editor-at-large of the new literary magazine “The Junket,” and regular contributor to the Telegraph newspaper’s “My Week” feature. ” USA Today

“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the contemporary fantasy novels “Sarabande” and “The Sun Singer.”

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