Tag Archives: The Sun Singer

Free Kindle Contemporary Fantasy – ‘The Sun Singer’

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The Sun Singer will be free on Kindle January 28 and 29. (The novel is always free to Kindle Unlimited subscribers.)

Description

TSSJourneysRobert Adams is a normal teenager who raises tropical fish, makes money shoveling snow off his neighbors’ sidewalks, gets stuck washing the breakfast dishes, dreads trying to ask girls out on dates and enjoys listening to his grandfather’s tall tales about magic and the western mountains. Yet, Robert is cursed by a raw talent his parents refuse to talk to him about: his dreams show him what others cannot see.

When the family plans a vacation to the Montana high country, Grandfather Elliott tells Robert there’s more to the trip than his parents’ suspect. The mountains hide a hidden world where people the ailing old man no longer remembers need help and dangerous tasks remain unfinished. Thinking that he and his grandfather will visit that world together, Robert promises to help.

On the shore of a mountain lake, Robert steps alone through a doorway into a world at war where magic runs deeper than the glacier-fed rivers. Grandfather Elliott meant to return to this world before his health failed him and now Robert must resurrect a long-suppressed gift to fulfill his promises, uncover old secrets, undo the deeds of his grandfather’s foul betrayer, subdue brutal enemy soldiers in battle, and survive the trip home.

Praise for “The Sun Singer”

The Sun Singer is gloriously convoluted, with threads that turn on themselves and lyrical prose on which you can float down the mysterious, sun-shaded channels of this charmingly liquid story.” – Author Diana Gabaldon (Outlander)

“This is a wildly spirited and intelligent adventure story where Robert has to learn to believe in the energies around him for them to flow through him. I enjoyed the messages of extended families and the way things came together at the end. All ages of readers who enjoy mystical adventures, alternate universes, or epic tales will love this story.” – Big Al’s Books and Pals

“I have encountered few books that have moved me like this one has. Thomas Covenant. Lord of the Rings. Stranger in a Strange Land. There are a few I could name; but really, how many life-changing moments can you have without feeling a little crazy in the end? Life, in its wisdom, rations them out to us. The Sun Singer is one. Maybe I’ll never have the opportunity to encounter the forces of darkness and light that struggle in the depths of my soul, personified within an exotic and yet strangely familiar otherworld, like Robert Adams was fortunate enough to. But I do know this: after reading this book, my own mundane world didn’t look or feel quite the same. I reckon yours may not either, at that.” – Author Seth Mullins

“This magical coming-of-age tale takes the reader through a labyrinth as a teenage boy/man sets off into the cosmic dimensions of the unknown to redeem his ‘grandfather’s’ kingdom and rightfully claim his position in life as a true leader. What I’d give to have Malcolm Campbell’s imagination, wisdom, wit, and mastery of the written word. Buy it, steal it, borrow it from your local library—one way or another, get hold of The Sun Singer and tell your friends.” – Literary Aficionado

“I highly recommend this book to those who seek to understand their own magical natures. Campbell has a fine eye for describing nature and emotions, something rare in writers these days. I predict that readers will resonate with his wisdom and I am really looking forward to his next book.” – Author Nora Caron

I hope you enjoy the book!

–Malcolm

Readers, do disparate books fracture your dreams?

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A friend of mine on Facebook whose been watching H. G. Wells movies said that her dreams have turned into H. G. Wells movies.

thecityMy dreams never turn into the exact movies: more like some fractured mess of the movie where everyone’s crazy and all hope is lost.

The same thing happens to me with books. I read books most often before falling asleep. I’ve been cursed with “the ability” to see scenes of my own invention out of the book I’m reading if I ever doze off–or even rest my eyes.

My scenes seem real to me as though I’m propped up in bed still reading the book. Then the cat bothers me or I fluff up the pillow and realize I’ve been making it up “reading” something that’s not in the book, but that could be in the book. This happens every time without fail. When my wife finds me dozing, she thinks I’m asleep rather than writing new scenes for another author’s book.

There doesn’t seem to be a cure for this.

Dreams and reality get fractured when I’m reading more than one book at a time, say, Dean Koontz’ “The City” and Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Invention of Wings.”

So, there I am holding Kidd’s book about life on a plantation and suddenly Sarah and Hetty are walking down Fifth Avenue. That’s rather jarring since the plantation is in Charleston.

wingskiddThe nonsensical scenes that arise out of this jolt me awake faster than cats and twisted pillows.

The plot further thickens (AKA, gets messed up) when I’m working on multiple writing projects, say, one set in a swamp and one set in the mountains. Sometimes I open up the file and find myself planning to write a scene that belongs in the other book.

Fortunately, sentences like “the grizzly bear stood next to the Ponderosa Pine forest” tip me off that I’m not currently in the Florida swamp manuscript. If I see a cottonmouth moccasin, I assume I’m not in the Montana mountains.

I don’t know if readers have this trouble or if it’s just writers. I feel like I’m juggling realities like on of those old-time performers juggle bowling pinson the Johnny Carson show.

There are says when it’s best not to step outside because I don’t know if my front yard will be there or something our of a Stephen King book.

Malcolm

SunSinger4coverMalcolm R. Campbell is the author of contemporary fantasy and magical realism which explains a lot. His fantasy, coming-of-age novel The Sun Singer is currently on sale on Amazon for 99 cents.

Writing wasting away in Limboville

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I’ve been asked what happened to my contemporary fantasy novels The Sun Singer and Sarabande.

printingpressSince both have been well received, I found a new publishing home (Publisher B) after pulling them away from Publisher A due to a disagreement about the contract.

Publisher B had previously come out with many novels I enjoyed, some of which I had reviewed, so I thought I had found the perfect home for my work.

So what happened?

My guess is that staff turnover at Publisher B created a deluge of work that the remaining staff couldn’t keep up with. Nonetheless, when I sent the manuscripts to the publisher in the fall of 2013, I felt the publisher could meet his proposed release dates of January 2014 for The Sun Singer and May 2014 for Sarabande.

These dates were missed with no explanation and I was given a new set of release dates that were also missed with no explanation. Perhaps my request for a cover befitting a fantasy novel was the problem. I said that the covers supplied by Publisher A, while striking, weren’t typical fantasy covers; among other things, they gave readers no clue about the focus of the novels.

Publisher B agreed as did several of the artists he contacted who looked at the covers I’d had before. Yet somehow, no viable artist could be found until late in the summer of 2014. Finally, The Sun Singer was released last August with a nice cover and a great printing job.

E-book Problems

Unfortunately, the formatting of the e-books as a mess. The publisher blamed me for supplying documents that had formatting errors. He was right about that, though I consider the delivery of a manuscript to be the author’s responsibility and the formatting for print, Kindle, PDF and other e-books to be the publisher’s responsibility. I also expect the publisher to make sure the formatting is correct before the books go live on a seller’s site.

It took me several weeks to get Publisher B to remove the e-books from Amazon and Smashwords. I would have preferred the files be fixed and re-uploaded, but this didn’t seem to be happening. Then, Publisher B removed the print version from Amazon and elsewhere even though there was nothing wrong with it.

We had a variety of discussions about how the e-book formatting should be done, my preference being for something that mirrored the formatting of the print version. Whether I was asking for something impossible to deliver, I don’t know.

Finally, several weeks ago, Publisher B sent me an e-mail saying they were ready to release The Sun Singer in e-book (with a simplified formatting) and print.

Publisher B doesn’t seem to understand that the author needs to know the release date so s/he can do advanced publicity, set up give-aways on GoodReads, and talk about the book on Facebook and Twitter.

I asked for the release date and got no response. Publisher B asked me about Sarabande, I answered, and got no response. I asked about being added to the publisher’s blog so I could help promote the books and got no response.

Finally, I used my old e-mail address to ask the publisher if messages from my new e-mail address were ending up in the SPAM folder because we were (I thought) in the middle of a dialogue about moving forward and all I was hearing from Publisher B was the sound of silence. My question about the SPAM queue got no response.

So there it is. Both novels have been in limbo for over a year. Since Publisher B has authors and novels on their list that I like, I would prefer they release The Sun Singer and Sarabande. Whether they will or they won’t is a question stuck in the black hole of zero communication.

What Happens Now?

Now, if you are Publisher B and happen to be reading this, and have been sick, immersed in a family tragedy or a business reversal, then I would be sorry to hear that because I know what that’s like. I wish you had told me and propose that when you can’t keep up with e-mail, then a staff assistant needs to step up to the plate and keep things running smoothly.

If you’re not Publisher B and wish to have your work published, I’ll say that long delays of a year or so are not uncommon with major publishers, though you do need to have an agreed-upon time table for all the steps in the process. One of the benefits of working with a smaller publisher is the hands-on more personal approach as well as a shorter manuscript-to-print time frame.

My mistake here was not nailing down the release dates, with reasonable flexibility, in advance. Also, if small-publisher tradition and/or contract language specifies that the author is responsible for most of the marketing effort, the publisher needs to at least keep the author informed of release dates (and then stick to them) as well as having a blog or a system of news releases that announce the new books. This needs to be in the contract, too. I didn’t get that nailed down either because my back-and-forth e-mails with Publisher B gave me the impression my expectations about such things would be met without being backed up by clauses in the contract.

I’ve been in this business long enough to know better and ended up with my books in Limboville. There are many sites that show standard book contracts. While reading them doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a prospective new publisher to add any verbiage you find missing in his standard contract, you can always try.

I let my emotions get in the way: I was so upset with Publisher A about the contract dispute that everything Publisher B seemed to be offering looked like a breath of fresh air. It’s better to step away from those kinds of negative feelings and hopes and make sure you have a meeting of the minds with a prospective publisher before you sign the contract.

This is your cautionary tale.

Malcolm

Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of The Lady of the Blue Hour and The Land Between the Rivers. His short stories appear in The Lascaux Prize 2014 (2014) and Spirits of St. Louis: Missouri Ghost Stories (2013).

 

 

 

GoodReads giveaway for ‘The Sun Singer’

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TSSgiveawayThe paperback edition of my contemporary fantasy novel The Sun Singer was released by Second Wind Publishing under its Blue Shift imprint on August 17.

Now you have a chance to win a free copy of an uncorrected ARC by entering the GoodReads give-away by September 15, 2014. Five free copies are available to residents within the United States.

Click on the graphic and you’re read to enter.

Malcolm

On Location: Glacier National Park

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Lobby of Many Glacier Hotel, built in 1915.

Lobby of Many Glacier Hotel, built in 1915.

Those who have followed this blog for years know that I worked as a hotel bellman at Glacier National Park’s Many Glacier Hotel while in college and that I’ve returned to the park when finances permit.

I suppose many people have a favorite beach, romantic city, mountain range or scenic highway they call my favorite place, and that for reasons they may not be able to explain, are drawn to it time and again.

Glacier is my favorite place, though it hasn’t been easy falling in love with it inasmuch as I live in the Southeast and travel to and from the park in northwestern Montana takes time and/or money. The historic hotels, many of which were constructed by the Great Northern Railway many years ago, are only open between June and September. This means the primary park season is short and room rates are high.

Most people reach the park by car via U. S. Highway 2 or by air via Kalispell which is near the west entrance to the park. Some people fly in via Calgary, Alberta and then visit Jasper, Banff, and Waterton parks in Alberta before driving south past Chief Mountain into Montana to tour Glacier. Glacier is named for its glacier-carved mountains with a geography featuring horn-shaped peaks, narrow aretes, cirque lakes and stair-step valleys. Existing glaciers add glacial flour (finely ground rock) to the water and that makes for turquoise colored lakes.

BoGlacier cover flat r1.inddDue to an ancient thrust-fault, there are places where you’ll see older rock on top of younger rock. Many rock strata are visible throughout the park. If you take a launch trip on Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, St. Mary Lake, Lake McDonald or Two Medicine lake, the guides will point out the rock strata along with glaciers (slowly melting away), waterfalls (a lot, especially early in the summer), primary peaks, wildlife (including grizzly bears), and other points of interest.

If you like hiking, there are 700 miles of trails for you to choose from. My favorite is the Highline Trail which you can use to go from Logan pass on Sun Road to Granite Park Chalet to Many Glacier Hotel on the east side. Many trails remain closed due to snow throughout June, so check with the park service about trail closures if you go early in the summer.

If you have time, take a red bus trip on Sun Road or up to Waterton. These 1936 restored tour buses are fun to ride in and, when the convertible tops are rolled back, give you a great view of the mountains. If your time in the park is short, consider including one bus tour, a launch trip, and scheduling in some time for short hikes around the hotel where you’re staying. Alan Leftridge’s book (shown here) lists the best places to see, grouped by category. It’s a valuable guide for people who only have a day or so for a quick trip.

TSScover2014If you have problems with stairs, you should know that while Many Glacier Hotel has an elevator in the main section, the four floors of rooms in the annex are accessible only by steep stairs. Glacier Park Lodge has no elevators, so try to get a room at ground level. I found the foods served in the main dining rooms of the hotels to be tasty, but overly rich. (Be sure to try at least one of the deserts, drinks or ice creams made with Huckleberries.) If you’re there for a few days, you can venture out to Swiftcurrent if you’re staying at Many Glacier, multiple private restaurants at East Glacier if you’re staying at Glacier Park Lodge, several restaurants at St. Mary if you’re staying at Rising Sun, and a variety of restaurants at Apgar and Kalispell if you’re staying at McDonald Lodge. Bison Creek Ranch a few miles for East Glacier is a favorite of mine for steaks and chicken.

If you’re a light sleeper, take a white noise machine. The walls of these old hotels are thin and the doorways are not tight fitting–you won’t want to hear people talking or snoring in adjoining rooms. WiFi in the hotels is only available in a few areas and is overloaded by multiple guests trying to log on. Cell phone reception is spotty or not available. Take multiple layers of clothes. You may need a jacket at night in August and the wind in the higher elevations can be chilly all through the summer. If you have a small umbrella or a fold-up poncho, take it: rain comes out of nowhere.

Yes, the 2014 season only has about a half a month left to go. Had you been at the park a few days ago, you would have seen a great display of the northern lights. The wind at Logan Pass and elsewhere will be getting noticeably colder. You may see some snow in the higher elevations. If you like to ski or hike with snow shoes, the park is open throughout the Winter.

Glacier is on my mind this month with the release of the new paperback* edition my contemporary fantasy adventure novel which is set in and around Many Glacier Hotel. The reality comes from faithfully including what I remember about the Swiftcurrent Valley, Lake Josephine and the Ptarmigan Tunnel. The fantasy comes from a look-alike universe reached via a portal (which you won’t see from the Lake Josephine Launch) hidden near a shelter lean-to used by hikers. If they only knew how close they were to a very dangerous world–as my young protagonist discovers. He’ll have to learn how to use magic if he wants to make it back to the world of Glacier National Park.

Malcolm

* Please be patient if you prefer to read e-books. While posted on bookseller sites, there are formatting issues yet to be resolved.

Packrat’s Book Give-Away

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I’m a disorganized writer. My den, and especially my book shelves, is a mess. When my publisher sends me free author’s copies of my books and/or I order books for gifts, reviewers and book signings, I often order more copies without checking to see how many I already have. Extra copies are everywhere.

Here’s my solution. The following is a list of extra copies of some of the books I’ve written. All of them are available on Amazon, Smashwords and OmniLit so you can check them out. If you decide you would like a copy mailed to you (continental U.S.), you can have one at no charge. Limit is one per person on a first-come, first served basis.

With the exception of the last item on the list, all of these are from Vanilla Heart Publishing.

If you would like a copy, send me an e-mail with the title of the book you want, your mailing address and whether or not you want the copy signed. If you have a second or third choice, include those titles in case somebody else gets to your first choice before you do.

Send the e-mails to me at malcolmrcampbell [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Offer expires May 30, 2014

Titles and Copies Available

  • Emily’s Stories (three short stories set in north Florida) – 1 copy
  • The Seeker (magical realism with fantasy elements) – 4 copies
  • The Sailor (magical realism with fantasy elements) – 3 copies
  • Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire (comedy/mystery, original cover) – 2 copies
  • The Sun Singer (fantasy) – 3 copies
  • The Sun Singer (fantasy, iUniverse edition; same as VHP edition except that it blurs the real locations used in the story) – 2 copies

If you find anything that sounds like your cup of tea, e-mail me and I’ll send it to you. There’s no obligation, but if you love it, an Amazon review would be nice.

Thanks,

Malcolmmagicbooks

 

 

‘The Sun Singer’ and ‘Sarabande’ are temporarily out of print

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GlacierBearGrassWhile my contemporary fantasies The Sun Singer (2004, 2010) and Sarabande (2011) are momentarily still displaying on Amazon and other bookseller sites, the novels will soon be out of print.

These are the first two books in a planned trilogy and will reappear at a later date. Meanwhile, work continues on the third book which will wrap up the story lines of Robert Adams, Sarabande, Tom Elliott and Gem.

Thanks to all of you who have read and enjoyed the books and often left reviews out on Amazon. The third book will also be set in Glacier National Park. Stay tuned.

Malcolm

Kindle Edition

Kindle Edition