Monday, February 4, 2013

Meet Malcolm Campbell - Contemporary Fantasy Fiction

Malcolm Campbell
Contemporary Fantasy
(Glacier National Park-NPS Photo)

      Come join us in a setting that is right out of Malcolm's book which looks much like that photo. Swiftcurrent Valley in Montana’s Glacier National Park is a the perfect setting. Pristine, glacier-fed lakes, hundreds of miles of trails, mountain goats and bears, and sometimes a late summer snowfall. We have hot coffee and hot chocolate, with Bailey's on hand for those who'd like to warm up a little more. Let's gather around the lodgepole porch and chat with Malcolm!

Deanna:  Malcolm, thank you for hanging out with our readers all week! Fantasy fiction is growing by leaps and bounds and easily takes the reader away from their daily stresses. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Malcolm: I seriously considered a job with a railroad. Goodness knows how this would have played out if my application for work at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe had been accepted. I used to write stories inside my head by driving; so, I thought my love of railroads might be a great way to spend my days and nights, running a locomotive at the head end of a long train while constructing other worlds inside my head.

Deanna:  Let's have some fun for a moment. For an evening out, would it be dinner or a movie? What would the dinner be? What might the movie be?

Malcolm: If dinner, I like Japanese and Thai food a lot. Nothing beats a meal that begins with two or three cups of hot sake. If a movie, I haven’t seen “Les Misérables” or “Lincoln” yet. Nothing beats a good movie on a cold winter night after one has had a hot pot of rice soup with chicken (Torizosui) and plenty of Sake.

Deanna:  I do love Thai food also! Do you prefer wine, whiskey, scotch, or ice tea?

Malcolm: Scotch, especially a dark, smoky, peaty single malt.

Deanna:  Yum! What do you do to relax when you aren’t writing?

Malcolm: I used to hike, but then bad knees and bad ankles made that difficult. Reading and a few interesting TV shows are my current relaxation methods. Boring TV shows can be made better by sipping Scotch.

Deanna:  LOL I agree! As authors, we’ve sometimes been accused of being several people. How many personalities live in your mind?

Malcolm: My sources told me you would probably sneak a question like this into the discussion in a way that looks innocent but then the minute the author answers, a bunch of men in white coats show up and cart the author off to a place they refer to as “the funny farm” even though it’s probably not funny at all because one is zoned out on heavy meds and doesn’t know what’s happening until he’s finally “kicked loose” in the middle of the big city where he believes he’s an insurance salesman or a chiropractor.

Deanna:  Thanks for the laugh! I'll have to have a chat with our 'soure' for sure! How many plots do you include in one of your books?

Malcolm: As many as I can get away with. Of course, writing fantasy makes this easier because magic allows things to get skewed out into alternate universes where some of the plots are real and some are only dreams. I love stories than fold in on themselves and make the reader grab for a bottle of Scotch to stay relatively zoned out.

Deanna:  What one thing would you pass on to new writers?

Malcolm: I always tell aspiring writers that I have no clue what they ought to do to become successful because set formulas and advice are usually a lot worse than figuring out who you are as a writer in your own way.

Deanna:  I like that! Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?

Malcolm: My novels are contemporary fantasies, and that means that worlds of regions of magic exist and overlap with the world as we know it. My main characters not only know magic is real, they live their daily lives using it. I like outdoor settings, especially mountains. “Sarabande” and “The Sun Singer” are partially set in Glacier National Park as is my upcoming novel “The Seeker.”

Deanna:  Tell us about your latest book and the type of reader if may appeal to.

Malcolm:Sarabande” is the story of a woman from a look-alike alternative universe who needs the help getting rid of a persistent ghost from a man in our world who knows how to bend time and change the past. The story is about Sarabande’s journey and the difficult challenges she faces dealing with bad guys while also trying to figure out how to survive in a world where science and technology, rather than magic, are behind everything we do. (Her world is similar our world in the 1870s.) Readers who like strong female protagonists will identify with Sarabande who, I have to say, is a fighter!

Deanna:  I like that. Our fantasy readers should enjoy your books! The author’s page on your website said you were raised by alligators. Then it said you grew up in a pack of wolves. Now it says you became a writer because your name is mentioned in the Mayan calendar. What’s this about?

Malcolm: One way or another, writers write to find out who they are. Some say we can’t answer that question until we’ve written about it. I keep trying out different theories on my author’s page to see which one fits best. So far, they all fit, and I have to say, that doesn’t bode well.

Deanna: Can we figure out who you are through your characters?

Malcolm: Yes, but you’ll have to decide for yourselves which things actually happened and which things were dreams my characters lived on my behalf. Like my characters, I believe magic is real and that we can figure out how to use it. But here’s a clue: I never did climb the world’s most difficult mountain (K2) or run a passenger train in Montana, so protagonist David Ward, in my upcoming “Garden of Heaven,” trilogy does that for me. It’s almost as good as being there in “real life.”
     I'll be around all week to chat with readers who want to share their love of reading fantasy stories like mine!

Deanna:  Malcolm, thank you so much for being my guest this week. Readers, let's help Malcolm get the word out about Sarabande and his other books by clicking his links and following him. While you're at Amazon, I hope you 'like' and 'tag' his book so others can find it. If you read it, please consider leaving a review, which will raise it in the ranks for other readers.

Contest:  Three commenters who like paranormal short stories will receive the Smashwords code to my haunted bridge story “Cora’s Crossing." Get your entries in on the Rafflecopter plus earn more entries!

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