The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Archive for the category “books”

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Winning or placing in a contest brings writers validation, publicity that gives weight to resumes and platforms, some handy prize money, and free copies of anthologies/magazine issues containing the winning entry that can be handed out at book fairs and conventions. We can’t enter them all or we’ll go broke paying the entry fees. My suggestion: if you’re just getting started, don’t try the most prestigious contests first because your competition will include widely known authors. Look for those where you have your best chance in terms of that competition and the contest theme.

Upcoming Deadlines:

  • Bellevue Literary Prize – Poetry and Prose. Three prizes of $1,000 each. Works about health, healing, illness, body, and mind. Online submission system. $20 entry fee. July 1 deadline.
  • Boston Review – Poetry. $1,500 and publication for a poem or group of poems. Up to five poems on no more than ten pages. $20 entry fee. June 1 deadline.
  • Glimmer Train – Short story award for new writers. Prize of $2,500 and publication for winning story between 1,000 and 12,000 words. $18 entry fee. Submit between May 1 and June 30.
  • Lost Horse Press – Idaho Prize for Poetry. $1,000 and publication. Submit manuscript of at least 48 pages. $20 to $30 entry fee depending on whether you submit by mail or online. May 15 deadline.
  • New American Press – New American Fiction Prize. $1,000 and publication. Submit a selection of short stories, flash fiction, novella or novel of at least 100 pages. $25 entry fee. June 15 deadline.
  • Philadelphia Stories – Marguerite McGlinn Prize for Fiction. $2,000 and publication. Winner will receive free travel ans lodging to read at Rosemont College in October. Short  story up to 8,000 words. $15 entry fee. June 15 deadline.

To keep up with contests throughout the year, look at the Poets & Writers database of Writing Contests, Grants & Awards

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of Eulalie and Washerwoman, a story about a conjure woman fighting the Klan set in the Florida Panhandle of the 1950s.

Yes, bookstores can order my paperback novels

I’ve added the Thomas-Jacob Publishing logo to my cover photograph because this wonderful traditional publisher has published some of my Kindle books, audiobooks and paperbacks.

What this means is that you can walk into your local bookstore for my books rather than buying on line. If they’re not already on the shelf, the folks there can order my paperbacks from their Ingram catalogue under the same standard bookstore terms and conditions that brought all the other books into their store. Some stores, including one in the town where I live have bookshelves reserved for local authors. We appreciate that.

This includes Sarabande, Conjure Woman’s Cat, and Eulalie and Washerwoman.

Personally, I prefer ordering books from local stores, especially the locally own, independents because that puts money back into the community through salaries, property taxes and business license feels. Beats sending those dollars off to the major online booksellers. And when you buy locally, you don’t have order more books that you really want to get free shipping.

–Malcolm

 

Dear Reader, you write half of every book

“I like to think of it as a kind of pact between the writer and the reader. The feeling that in each sentence, in each paragraph, the reader gets some beauty from the book in exchange for some darkness that grows in his mind. Or he gets some darkness from the book that obliges him to looks for some beauty in his surroundings. So there is this balance that keeps the reader awake because half of the story is actually happening in his mind. Rebecca Solnit says ‘a book is a heart that only beats in the chest of another,’ I love that feeling as a reader. And I am always trying to create this when I write.” – Samanta Schweblin (“Fever Dream”) in her Full Stop interview.

No, you don’t get half the royalties, so don’t ask.

But, dear reader, as writers, we give you a playing field for your imagination. We provide half a story, so to speak, and you fill in the blanks with whatever frightens you, arouses you, amuses you, or leads you to God.

Storytellers and readers have always shared the responsibility for the final work even though some writers don’t admit it and some readers chafe when asked to do too much.

When we’re feeling good–confident, perhaps–we don’t sell it out. We give you room to work, to explore, to discover what we can never tell you. When we were young and didn’t yet feel secure in our words, we tended to take more than our half of the bed. Later on, we stop hogging all the covers and write all the better for it.

Of course, if you’re feeling lazy, then you can go to the beach reading shelf and find something easy. That’s okay. We read books off that shelf, too. We do hope that, from time to time, you’ll grab your share of the imaginary world and show us what you can do with it.

Malcolm

Free Books: March 29 – four Kindle titles

The following books will be free on Kindle on Wednesday, March 29:

  • Waking Plain (short story) – An enchanted prince waits for the kiss of a beautiful princess to bring him out of a century of sleep. The problem: he ain’t no sleeping beauty.
  • At Sea (novel) in this sea story set during the Vietnam War, David Ward learns that people back home are often more troublesome than the enemy. Inspired by my service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger.
  • The Sun Singer (novel) Young Robert Adams goes to the mountains on a family vacation and then, via a mysterious cabin, enters an alternate universe where people are at war with their dangerous king. He’ll have to use his psychic abilities to survive.
  • Dream of Crows (short story) A man goes on a business trip to Florida and gets involved with a witch who wants him to risk his life to make love to her. When he returns home, he can’t quite remember what happened. Don’t read this one if you’re superstitious.

I hope you enjoy the books.

–Malcolm

Review: ‘The Mermaid’s Sister’ by Carrie Anne Noble

The Mermaid's SisterThe Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When a novel already has 2,842 reader reviews on Amazon, one has to ask whether adding his or her own two cents has any purpose. Nonetheless, here are several thoughts: This book is a gently told young adult fairy tale about a girl name Clara whose sister Maren is becoming a mermaid. The book’s compelling, if somewhat predictable adventure, is finding a way in a world of travel via horses and wagons of getting Maren to the sea before Maren dies outside of what is fast becoming her natural environment.

In this Amazon breakthrough Y/A novel of 2014 and Realm Award Winner for Best Speculative Fiction of the Year of 2016, “The Mermaid’s Sister” generally lives up to the promises such awards give to prospective readers. The novel’s inventive world is carefully and realistically built and presented in language that’s often quite charming and well focused.

If the book has a flaw, it is perhaps the need for a bit of streamlining during the opening chapters where some readers will see a little too much backstory about where the primary characters came from and what motivates them in the here and now. Even those stories are believable within the context and style of the novel; however, they delay the necessary rush to take Maren to the ocean. Readers who push through this somewhat of a slow start will be rewarded by adventures on the journey to the ocean and a satisfying conclusion .

As a debut novel, the book is well worth reading for its own sake and for the clues it provides for the novelist’s future stories.

View all my reviews

–Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of magical realism, folktales, contemporary fantasy, and paranormal stories and novels.

Two Free Books Wednesday and Thursday

Mountain Song and its sequel At Sea will be free on Kindle March 8th and 9th, 2017.

Mountain SongDavid Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever? The novel is set in Glacier National Park Montana and in the Florida Panhandle

At SeaEven though he wanted to dodge the draft in Canada or Sweden, David Ward joined the navy during the Vietnam War. He ended up on an aircraft carrier. Unlike the pilots, he couldn’t say he went in harm’s way unless he counted the baggage he carried with him. As it turned out, those back home were more dangerous than enemy fire. The novel is inspired by my service aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger in the South China Sea during the Vietnam War.

–Malcolm

 

 

Announcing ‘Mountain Song,’ a novel about first love and flawed childhood

Mountain Song is now available on Kindle. This companion novel to At Sea tells the story of two college students, one of whom lives “next door” to Montana’s shining mountains and one of who lives “next door” to Florida’s Tate’s Hell Swamp. They meet during a flood that sweeps away almost everything that matters.

mountainsongAmazon Description: David Ward lives in the Montana mountains where his life was impacted by his medicine woman grandmother and his utilitarian grandfather. Anne Hill suffered through childhood abuse and ultimately moved in with her aunt on the edge of a Florida swamp. Their summer romance at a mountain resort hotel surprises both of them. But can they make it last after the initial passion wears off and they return to their college studies far apart from each other especially after an attack on a college street changes Anne forever?

Campbell, who grew up in north Florida, worked as a seasonal employee at a Glacier National Park while in college. His mountain climbing and hiking experiences would influence his fiction years later when he wrote The Sun Singer and Sarabande. Now, Mountain Song combines his love of the Florida Panhandle, where he set Conjure Woman’s Cat and Eulalie and Washerwoman, with his love for the Rocky Mountains into a story of prospective loss haunted by the conflicting realities of disparate worlds.

Malcolm

 

 

Books for Writers

“We updated our Resources page at the website, so take a look. These are gold nuggets of how-to books for writers that I’ve vetted, often used, many of which are on my book shelf right now that are too dog-eared and highlights to give away. Great avenues for eager writers to get grounded in how to do this writing thing right. ” – Hope Clark at Funds for Writers

I have nothing much to add here except the link: http://fundsforwriters.com/resources/

and, to say that I also have a lot of these books on my shelf. My favorite is “Writing the Breakout Novel,” in part because it takes a different approach from many of the how-to books I’ve seen over the years.

Happy reading,

Malcolm

Campbell’s writing stuff – news and reviews

  • Appreciation: Thanks to those of you who picked up a free copy of the new edition of “Carrying Snakes Into Eden” during the recent sale. I hope you enjoy the additional short story added to the book.
  • mountainsongcover4Review: “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” reviewed by Rhett DeVane – “Told through the narrative voice of Lena, Eulalie’s shamanistic cat, the fast-paced story comes alive. The approach is fresh and clever; Malcolm R. Campbell manages Lena’s viewpoint seamlessly, adding interest and a unique perspective.” Tallahassee Writers Association
  • New Title: “Mountain Song” will be released in early March. A companion book to “At Sea,” the novel tells the story of two college students from different parts of the country who meet and fall in love during seasonal employment in Montana’s Glacier National Park.
  • Satire: Florida: It’s Like Living in an Asylum and Loving It – Crazy place to grow up. Perhaps that’s why I keep setting my stories there.
  • Review: “Eulalie and Washerwoman,” reviewed by Julie Summers – “A simply riveting read from beginning to end, ‘Eulalie and Washerwoman’ is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.” Midwest Book Review
  • es-portugese-cvr-fQuotation: “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” – Frank Herbert
  • Newsletter: Keep up with upcoming books, sales and new editions in my publisher’s newsletter. The sign-up form is on the left-hand side of the Thomas-Jacob Publishing news page.
  • Just Released: The Portuguese edition, “Histórias da Emily” of my three-story “Emily’s Stories” about a 14-year-old Florida girl who uses logic and intuition to solve problems is now available Kindle and other online booksellers. (She also talks to ghosts.)

–Malcolm

New edition of ‘Carrying Snakes Into Eden’ is Free Feb 17-19

I’ve added a second short story to my Kindle book Carrying Snakes Into Eden in this new edition now available on Amazon.

Always free on Kindle Unlimited

Always free on Kindle Unlimited

Here’s the book’s new description:

The title story, “Carrying Snakes Into Eden,” is a whimsical 1960s-era tale about two students who skip church to meet some girls at the beach and end up picking up a hobo with a sack of snakes, and realize there may be long-term consequences.

“Hurricane in the Garden” is a folktale that explains why the snakes were swept out of Eden in the first place. The story features animal characters who made their debut in the three-story set called Land Between the Rivers.

New Edition is Free On Kindle – Feb 17-29

I always intended for this to be a two-story set because the hurricane tale adds depth to the title story, however I got diverted by work on my Florida Folk Magic series longer than I expected.

By the way, I was pleased to see that Midwest Book Review liked the second book in the series, Eulalie and Washerwoman, in a review just out this month:

“A simply riveting read from beginning to end, ‘Eulalie and Washerwoman’ is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that ‘Eulalie and Washerwoman’ is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).” – Julie Summers

 

Post Navigation