The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: AMTRAK for writers, ForeWord Reviews, ‘Dominion,’ Janie Chang, fan fiction

BookBitsI haven’t ridden a train for years. Partly, that’s because the routes don’t coincide with where I want to go and partly that’s because train travel can be more expensive than a plane flight to the same place. But, if Amtrak were to give me a free ride (Item 2), maybe I’d be willing to sit in the club car with a complimentary glass of  Scotch and write a “Murder on the Orient Express” kind of hook. No doubt, Amtrak would require a disclaimer at the beginning of the novel: No Amtrak passengers were murdered during the writing of this novel.

Here are today’s books and authors links:

  1. vidalogpNews: Byline Tally Shows There’s Still Gender Bias In Book Reviewing, by Annalisa Quinn – “The annual VIDA count tracking gender inequality in literary publications is out, and the numbers don’t look good for women. VIDA counted the numbers of female authors reviewed and the number of female reviewers in 39 publications — including The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker and Harper’s and found that some publications had better records than others.”  NPR
  2. amtrakFeature: Inside Amtrak’s (Absolutely Awesome) Plan to Give Free Rides to Writers, by Ben Cosman – “Amtrak has begun offering ‘writers’ residencies’ to, well, writers – long roundtrip rides aboard Amtrak trains dedicated solely for the purpose of writing.”  The Wire
  3. forewordNews: ForeWord Reviews reboots for consumers, by Jennifer Szunko – “The literary magazine Foreword Reviews, which has spent 16 years quietly accomplishing something rare among print publications—expanding and becoming profitable—is rebooting to focus on a consumer market hungry for unbiased reviews and information about indie and self-published books.” ForeWord Reviews
  4. PWlogoFeature: What Every Indie Author Needs to Know About E-Books – “It has never been easier to publish your own e-book. The wealth of tools, platforms, and services available to self-publishers continues to grow and be refined for an ever-broader reach and greater efficiency. But with so many good options, it is also more important than ever for authors to choose carefully how best to position themselves for the greatest chance of engaging the largest possible audience.” Publishers Weekly
  5. dominionReview: “Dominion,” by C. J. Sansom – “It’s 1952 Britain. Hitler, who’s alive, has triumphed in Europe after a brief war in 1939-40. A defeated England is an ally of Germany, which is enmeshed in a never-ending blood-soaked conflict with the Soviet Union. Lord Beaverbrook, the newspaper magnate and appeaser, is Britain’s prime minister, and Winston Churchill is in hiding and leading the Resistance. This is the intriguing set-up for C.J. Samson’s troubling yet exciting “what-if?” thriller, Dominion.”  USA Today
  6. News: Mystery in Tokyo as hundreds of Anne Frank books are defaced – “Similar passages torn out of Holocaust memoir at dozens of libraries across Japan.”  The Telegraph
  7. Commentary: In a Digital World, What Does “Out of Print” Mean? by Erin L. Cox – “In a digital world, what does “out of print” mean?  With the option of print on demand, publishers have been able to eliminate warehouse costs by storing book files digitally and only printing a copy when a customer orders a book. What print-on-demand also offers is the ability to bring books that have been out of print for decades back into circulation and for new readers to discover authors that have long since passed.”  Publishing Perspectives
  8. threesoulsEssay: Behind the Book: The difficult daughter, by Janie Chang  – “‘There’s a scene in your story that’s unrealistic. The one where your main character’s marriage was arranged so quickly. In those days, matchmaking could take years, especially between old, wealthy families.’ This was the feedback from a family friend who read the manuscript for ‘Three Souls’ during its early stages of editing…The scene she had flagged as unrealistic was actually based on a true event. ”  BookPage
  9. Feature: At 90, she still is running the store, by Mitch Albom – “MANILA, PHILIPPINES — The white-haired woman is short but stands straight, in a pink blouse and flat shoes, with mostly unwrinkled skin, a wide nose and a broad smile that nearly leaps from her face when she laughs. You congratulate her on being 90 years old, and she holds up a finger and says: ‘Ninety-one this year.” You ask her the secret of her longevity, and she says, “Work every day.'”  Detroit Free Press
  10. bonedeepReview: “Bone Deep,” by Randy Wayne White, reviewed by Bill Ott – “Doc Ford has become a literary institution, with his own restaurant on Sanibel Island and now with a CBS television series in production. All that and a cracking good story will lift Ford’s latest to White’s familiar perch on best-seller lists. ”  Book List
  11. Commentary: Publishers Are Warming to Fan Fiction, But Can It Go Mainstream? by Rachel Edidin – “Literary publishing’s uneasy relationship with fan fiction has been complicated by the realization that fandom is a huge potential market—one stocked with both prolific authors and enthusiastic readers.  But tapping that market is a dilemma few publishers seem quite prepared to engage. That’s where Big Bang Press comes in.”  Wired
  12. tomwolfeInterview The Bizarre and the Jejune: Tom Wolfe talks about his life, with  George Neumayr – “At 82, Tom Wolfe stands as one of America’s most venerable writers. Over a 50-year career, which began with an obscure reporting job he took as a break from his Ph.D. work in American Studies at Yale University, he has produced a steady stream of consequential articles and books, many of them culture-changing bestsellers: ‘The Right Stuff,’ ‘Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers,’ ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities,’ ‘A Man in Full.’ And he is not done.”   The American Spectator
  13. News: Recipients of the 2013 Indies Unlimited Excellence Awards – The Passive Voice, BigAl’s Books and Pals and Writer Beware topped the list in the recent poll. Indies Unlimited
  14. Quotation: “On this day in 1809 London’s Drury Lane Theatre burned down; when those watching the spectacle from a nearby pub with theater owner-parliamentarian Richard Brinsley Sheridan remarked on his composure, he famously responded, ‘A man may surely take a glass of wine by his own fireside.'”  Today in Literature

betrayed“Book Bits” is compiled by Malcolm R. Campbell, author of the Garden of Heaven Trilogy of gritty magical realism novels “The Seeker,” “The Sailor,” and “The Betrayed.”

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2 thoughts on “Book Bits: AMTRAK for writers, ForeWord Reviews, ‘Dominion,’ Janie Chang, fan fiction

  1. I found that same article about Amtrak. Too bad the program isn’t up and running. It would be fun to ride and write.

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