Glacier Centennial: ‘The Sun Singer’

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Vanilla Heart Publishing announced this morning that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the new second edition of my novel “The Sun Singer” will be donated to Glacier National Park in support of the 2010 centennial program.

The second edition, released February 25th, is primarily set in Glacier National Park’s Swiftcurrent Valley. A portion of the profits from the book’s trade paperback, Kindle and other e-book formats during March, April and May will be donated to the centennial committee.

The National Park Service staff at Glacier National Park have provided me with a great deal of research information over the years, and with the second edition of “The Sun Singer” and the park’s centennial occurring during the same year, this was an opportunity to return many favors.

In the novel, young Robert Adams and his family travel to Many Glacier Hotel, the area where his late, avatar grandfather grew up. As a family, they are there for the scenery and the experience. But Robert is there for something more: a mission to a look-alike crown of the continent in an alternative universe.

When park visitors take the launch to the head end of Lake Josephine, they disembark at a pier next to a small lean-to. Many of them will hike back to the hotel, head toward Morning Eagle Falls and Piegan Pass, or stroll up to Grinnell Glacier.

What these visitors do not see, unless they are as magical as Robert’s Grandfather Elliott, is the hidden cabin sitting there overlaying the lean-to, shimmering close at hand in another universe rather like Brigadoon in the Scottish Highlands. Within the cabin, there’s a door to another world, one closer to Robert’s family than he suspects and more dangerous than he can imagine.

He must decide whether he has the grit and determination to step through that door and to turn his cursed psychic power into a gift in the service of others. In fact, his survival depends upon it.

I worked at Many Glacier Hotel two summers as seasonal help (note photo of me in bellman uniform) and, while there, hiked most of the trails in the area and climbed many of the mountains. As the plot for “The Sun Singer” unfolded in my mind, I couldn’t think of a better location for the primary setting.

Last fall, my article about the 1964 flood at Glacier appeared in the National Park Service centennial book “100 Years 100 Stories.” My essay “Bears, Where They Fought” about some of the stories flowing out of the park’s Swiftcurrent Valley is included in the soon-to-be-released Earth Day anthology from Vanilla Heart “Nature’s Gifts” (which helps support the Nature Conservancy). For me, the second edition of “The Sun Singer” is a dream come true.

I hope you have a chance to visit Glacier National Park this year and take part in the centennial activities. It’s a magical place filled with cold running streams, turquoise lakes, National Register hotels, and mountains carved by ancient ice. Once you are there, you’ll find maps and guidebooks available for your hiking pleasures. While I hope you’ll read “The Sun Singer,” I don’t advise taking it to that lean-to at the head end of Lake Josephine. There’s a swirl of energy there that might interact with the book and carry you away on a longer journey than you intended.

Malcolm

Recent Glacier posts in this blog include Bears Don’t Eat Beargrass and Glacier’s Historic Red Buses.

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6 responses

  1. I loved the book and have no doubt I would love the park. Perhaps one day I will get to see it. For now, hope the book does well during the promotion. I will have to add it to my kindle list.