Art ~ Writing ~ Life

From Handprints To Footprints

Another Year

January 3, 2018
Steve Campbell

Yes. Another year.

As usual, I entered my WordPress blog after a long hiatus and spent the whole day redesigning my blog instead of writing. The artist is the true inner child in me—I love playing with design.

Anyway, I played all day with many themes, inspecting their positive and negative elements until I found a design with a high proportion of positive factors to make my blog look its best. I simplified my categories to The Artist, The Writer, and Life Happens, which echoes my blog’s title: Art ~ Writing ~ Life.

Next on my agenda for 2018 is a plan to blog more … and as often as I can without it interrupting other agendas on my schedule. We’ll see. I make no promises—or resolutions—other than I have made more changes to my Ridgewood characters and progressed with Vree’s Margga’s Curse story, now called The Witch’s Curse, its working title when I first drafted the book.

You may remember from January 2017 that I planned to rewrite Margga’s Curse and publish it as a physical paperback at Amazon, which was to be the first book in The Ridgewood Chronicles series. That didn’t happen, so I’m extending that plan and aiming for a finished project by the end of the year.

But I make no promises.

Anyway, have a safe 2018 and live your life like there’s no tomorrow.

“What have you been up to?”

April 21, 2017
Steve Campbell

An apology for being away from my blog. I said in my last post that I’m busy writing a combination of stories into one. I am still at work on it.

I wish to clarify that the story-in-progress is based on an old manuscript that I tore apart years ago and turned sections into short stories. Part of me wanted to finish the ms, and over the years that feeling has never left me. So, here I am, piecing the story together.

The photo below is the actual typewritten ms taken from its two 3-ring binders. And some people think Stephen King is long-winded. Ha ha ha!

I don’t wish to pigeonhole myself as a writer of young adult and children’s books, but the story will feature Vree Erickson as a 13-year-old—her original age when I began the original ms. The story is told from her friend Lenny’s point of view and is part autobiography from when I was a teenager. Of course, there are supernatural elements to turn it into a fun fantasy read for lovers of that genre.

A big apology for taking my books off Amazon. My plan is to start over with the book mentioned above, which will kickoff the beginning of this venture. Before publication of said book, I plan on changing my author name from the elaborate Steven L. Campbell to the simplified Steve Campbell. Most people know me by the latter, which will make it easy for them to find my books and me. That’s the plan and I hope Amazon allows it to happen. Meanwhile, you can still find my books at Smashwords.

Another change in the works is the title of my blog. Right now it’s called Art, Writing, and The Ridgewood Files. I plan to shorten this to Art & Writing unless something better strikes my fancy.

That’s all for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Moving Along Nicely

February 4, 2017
Steve Campbell

Four days into February and the year’s writing project is moving along nicely. Grafting two major stories into a novel takes the finesse akin to a surgeon’s delicate hand: a wrong move can put the story into cardiac arrest, so I’m operating carefully. I want the final project to be a work of art. That’s what artists do.

Until now, my writing has been the ethereal musings of a wannabe author. I say ethereal because all my “published” stories have appeared on the Internet, existing like fog: changing and/or disappearing when I think of new storylines. But this year’s project is going to finish as a physical book. A physical book is the real deal: the good and the blemishes of an author’s story in a package that can’t be changed once printed. That’s why I’m operating on this project with delicate hands, removing most, if not all, the story’s blemishes. Aside from a mass book burning, the published product will be around—hopefully—long after this body is gone. Perhaps it will sit on a grandchild’s bookshelf, its pages dog-eared from many reads, a gift from his or her grandfather who spent many years telling anyone who would listen, fun and adventurous stories.

Continuing My New Year Plan

January 19, 2017
Steve Campbell

As I promised in my last blog post, I am keeping you—my followers and fans of my Ridgewood stories—posted with my progress of reestablishing order and content of my books at Amazon.com’s KDP and to publish a physical paperback this year.

Sometime in February I will take my books off market at Amazon.com. Later (probably March or April) I will do the same at Smashwords.com. Then, when this project is completed, it will be available at both sites, starting with Amazon.com. The book will feature a combination of Night of the Hellhounds, Margga’s Curse, Kismet, and a few other stories, and will feature teenager Vree Erickson and other characters I’m close to. I don’t plan on the book being a Young Adult read, but that’s something I cannot control at Amazon.com. All books featuring teenage lead characters end up on Amazon’s YA list. That chases away many of my adult readers. My book will be a contemporary fantasy fiction one and should be listed as such.

Another change I’ll feature with the new book will be my publishing name. One I’m considering is Campbell Stevens. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m not purging my old stuff from the internet. This blog’s archives is a great place to find my old stories. But for easy access to the ones that are the foundation of this year’s project, here are links to the books inside the original book, which I titled earlier as The Green Crystal Stories.

Book 1, Night Of The Hellhounds

Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3

Book 2, Trespassing

Chapter 4, Chapter 5

Book 3, III

Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8

Book 4, Kismet

Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12
Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16

Book 5, Cracks In Time

Chapter 17, Chapter 18, Chapter 19

These stories are the bones—old bones, you could call them—of the start of this new era. I hope you’ll join me for the ride. I plan on making it a fun one.

New Year Goal: A Plan For Action

January 9, 2017
Steve Campbell

plan

I’m an artist, but I don’t do much art anymore except create covers for my books. I’m a writer, but I don’t write as often as I want to. So I’m mostly a reader when I’m not working my “9 to 5” job, studying the craft of writing in the books I read, and dreaming of writing the stories in my head and turning them into books for others to read.

For many years I’ve considered creating a series of books called The Ridgewood Chronicles. I did a test run of that idea in 2013 at Amazon.com when I published several short ebooks that became known as The Green Crystal Stories. The first book did well and prompted me to turn it into an experimental novel called Margga’s Curse. It didn’t become as popular as I’d hoped it would, so now it’s on my list of short-lived books—one that I’ll “unpublish” sometime this year. But parts of it will stay alive if I ever write my Ridgewood Chronicles series.

And that’s what was on my mind December 31, 2016 when midnight drew closer and I considered plans for the new year. The first thing I did was make a daily planner on my laptop and start chipping away at the idea that seemed to be buried inside a mountain of marble—marble that also has doubts and fears in it, mixed with hopes and dreams.

From my planner, the journey began. Here are my notes, which may not make complete sense to you unless you’re familiar with publishing ebooks at Amazon.com.

  • Sun 1—One of my resolutions is to concentrate on reestablishing order and content of my books at Amazon KDP; another is to publish physical paperback this year.
  • Mon 2—Two stories I’m considering reestablishing are Kismet and Night of the Hellhounds/Margga’s Curse. Undecided about POV with latter, though I’m favoring strict first person now.
  • Tue 3—Read Kismet again today. May need to add second part I started but never developed—part where Catherine is aware of two alternate dimensions. Will involve months of work if I decide to do it.
  • Wed 4—Second part (Act 2?) and climax and dénouement (Act 3?) of Kismet will need helper character—perhaps male character (magic abilities?) to add conflict between marriage.
  • Thu 5—Male helper/conflict character could be tie-in with Night/Curse—perhaps Grandma Evelyn’s son Balen Renfrew.
  • Fri 6—Kismet is obviously first story of series (Ridgewood Chronicles?) but fourth book on KDP list by date published. Should I unpublish all books and rearrange them in their stories’ chronological order? If so, should I scrap their current titles and begin anew with different ASINs? How much confusion will that cause to readers who own my books now? Past confusion was caused by Goodreads’ librarians when I changed titles—they’re too righteous and didn’t work well with me. Though they’re affiliated with Amazon, I see no reason to use Goodreads as an avenue for my books.
  • Sat 7—Must decide about Kismet and Night of the Hellhounds/Margga’s Curse and my KDP list so I can post news at my blog.
  • Sun 8—Still undecided. Irritating how quickly work fatigue derails my concentration. Need to decide and blog plans tomorrow. Also consider new titles for changes.

And here I am, the journey underway. I plan to keep you posted with my progress as often as possible. And hopefully we’ll see The Ridgewood Chronicles a reality by December 31 of this year.

Free Books

July 2, 2016
Steve Campbell

I just found out that July is a great month to get ebooks for free or at discounted prices at Smashwords. I have two books there that are permanently free, and one that is 99 cents (USD). The free ones are Old Bones: A Collection of Short Stories and Margga’s Curse: A Vree Erickson Novel. Kismet: A Ridgewood Tale is 99 cents.

Smashwords-800x632

My Smashwords author page link where you can find my books at the bottom of the page.

I have also discovered over at Amazon that these guys hate letting authors give away books permanently for free. They have allowed me to lower the prices of Old Bones and Margga’s Curse to 99 cents, but no lower, even though I contacted them months ago to set the prices at FREE. If you happen to be at one of those Amazon ebook sites and you do not see the book listed as free, please take a moment to submit the price difference from B&N or any of the other sites they are free on. Amazon claims to listen to their customers. If only they would listen to us indie authors and respect our wishes.

Thanks to everyone who have downloaded my books. Super Thanks to everyone who have read my books. And an Awesome Thank You to those of you who have written reviews. Places like Amazon build walls around indie authors; reviews help tear them down.

10-word Post

July 17, 2015
Steve Campbell

I redesigned the cover of another one of my books.

 

99-cent eNovel

June 19, 2015
Steve Campbell

Beginning 8:00 AM (PST) tomorrow, you can buy my e-novel Night of the Hellhounds for 99 cents at Amazon. I am still trying to get them to price it as a Perma-Free book. Meanwhile, I hope my book will see some attention from readers who enjoy fantasy stories.

For readers without the Kindle e-reader, you can still read my books purchased from Amazon without using Kindle or the Kindle app. Calibre at calibre-ebook.com is a free ebook editing program that allows you to deconstruct my books and change them from Mobi files to whatever is convenient for you. There are no DRM codes in my books to wrestle with, so you have the option of sharing my books freely with others. I don’t think of it as stealing, and neither should you. You’re getting and giving books that I wanted to be free of any price in the first place. And you’re helping an unknown author become known.

For more info about my books, go to my author page Steven L Campbell @ Amazon and click on the book links.

Happy reading!

And as always, if you like—or don’t like—the books, please leave an honest review at Amazon. Many thanks to those who have.

Sorting Through the Confusion of My Books at Amazon

June 17, 2015
Steve Campbell

When I wrote Night of the Hellhounds: A Novel last year and placed it at Amazon for the Kindle e-reader, the folks at Amazon confused it with Night of the Hellhounds: A Ridgewood Short Story that I published two years ago, and they placed the two books together, despite the distinction of separate ASINs for each title. Thus, the folks at Amazon put readers’ reviews for the novel alongside reviews for the short story. During that confusing time, I took the short story out of circulation to avoid any more disorder.

Recently, I redesigned the novel’s cover and made the appropriate changes at Amazon. When I did, the folks at Amazon noticed the error of placing reviews for two separate books on the same page and gave my novel a brand-new review page—a blank slate—which means I have lost all the previous reviews for the novel. So, if you wrote a review for the novel prior to its new review page, will you write another one please? I would greatly appreciate it.

Now I am going to go pull out all my hair in a fit of frustration.

But before I go, allow me to clear the confusion between me and another author at Amazon who shares my first and last names. I am not, repeat, NOT the Steven Campbell who writes the Hard Luck Hank books, despite the constant prompts at Amazon that try to make readers think otherwise. I pen my books as Steven L Campbell (or Steven L. Campbell at places that insist on “proper” abbreviations), so look for the L between Steven Campbell wherever e-books are sold.

Free Book Friday

November 19, 2014
Steve Campbell

My eBook Night of the Hellhounds: A Ridgewood Novel is free at Amazon for the Kindle e-reader this Friday. You can download a copy directly by clicking on this link.

Here is the official cover I created for the book, so look for this cover when getting it.

The novel replaces a short story I had published 2013 at Amazon and is no longer in print. However, the short story is featured at the end of the novel, along with two other versions of the story—my gift to you.

Happy reading.

Promo Week for Night of the Hellhounds

November 17, 2014
Steve Campbell

My fantasy novel Night of the Hellhounds is free this week, beginning tomorrow, Tuesday (the 18th) and ending Saturday (the 22nd) for its 5-day promotion at Amazon. Get it free for your Kindle by going to this Amazon.com page on those dates. Its price will return to $.99 after that.

About the Novel

This is the novelization of “Night of the Hellhounds” short story published January 2013. Whereas the short story was about Lenny Stevens, the novel centers on his friend and neighbor, 15-year-old Vree Erickson, a girl destined by the fates to die during the summer unless she can change her fate.

From the Back Cover

Vree Erickson’s life has gone from bad to worse. She left the lawnmower in the rain and lightning killed her father and burned down her family’s home. To complicate matters even more, the lightning struck her and left her with psychic powers.
Now, Vree and her family are forced to move to her maternal grandparents’ home on Myers Ridge, a strange place near Ridgewood, Pennsylvania. There, July fifth marks the annual “Night of the Hellhounds”—a time when a vengeful spirit witch and her hellhounds return to the property next door every year and reign terror there until midnight.
Unfortunately, try as she may, Vree is unable to ignore the strangeness around her or the witch who wants to take away her powers and kill her. With the help of the cute boy from up the road and mysterious creatures that only they can see, Vree embarks on a difficult journey to save her life and destroy the ghost witch who wants her dead.

The Cover

I drew, painted, and designed the cover by hand and scanned it to my computer, then brought the elements together with a stripped-down version of Adobe Photoshop, and added text via Microsoft Word.

Cover

Cover

Book Delay

November 15, 2014
Steve Campbell

The publication of my latest e-book Night of the Hellhounds has been delayed due to problems at Amazon. I apologize to my customers for any inconvenience, especially to those who may have received the old edition instead of the new one. I am working on fixing the problem and hope to have the new book out by Monday, November 17.

Almost Ready for Publication

November 11, 2014
Steve Campbell

If you’re one of my faithful readers, you may be happy to know I’m closing in on publishing my latest e-book, Night of the Hellhounds, a novel loosely based on my short story with the same title. The due date is Saturday, November 15 at Amazon.com.

Meanwhile, my beta readers sent their findings to me during the past weekend and I put my red pen to my book, making corrections. Now, I’m waiting until Thursday to take one last look at the manuscript before I upload it to Amazon on Friday. Those two days will give my brain a small R&R from the story (I know it by heart, front, back and sideways, and I have grown tiresome reading it).

The novel is a major overhaul of the original Kindle e-book short story I published in 2013. Night of the Hellhounds (or NotH for short) began as a story idea in 1971 when I was 14 and became a story by 1974 when I stapled my manuscript’s pages together and called it Ghost Dogs. It stayed that way until I rediscovered it almost two decades ago. After a quick rewrite, I published it as a short story called “Night of the Hell Hounds” at my old website in 2002.

Still, I always knew the story was more than a short one. So, in October 2013, I wrote a detailed synopsis of what I wanted the story to be, structured it into twenty-one chapters, and buckled down and wrote the novel, scene by scene and chapter by chapter until I had a finished draft.

From there, the story took on a life of its own. After twelve months and a few more drafts of tweaking and fine-tuning its parts, I believe this version—the final version—is the best of what NotH has always wanted to be. I expect you readers will let me know either way. So far, two beta readers have given me glowing reviews via emails. One says, “Night of the Hellhounds was amazing! It captivated me from the very beginning. Artistry at its finest. The novel has a strong storyline with a very strong set of characters. I have nothing negative to say; I really enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait for the official release!” Another says, “If anyone could get me to enjoy science fiction, it would be you.”

Here is the story’s unofficial short synopsis (though I’m leaning toward making it the official one):

Vree Erickson’s life has gone from bad to worse. She left the lawnmower in the rain and lightning killed her father and burned down her family’s home. To complicate matters even more, the lightning struck her and left her with psychic powers.

Now, Vree and her family are forced to move to her maternal grandparents’ home on Myers Ridge, a strange place near Ridgewood, Pennsylvania. There, July fifth marks the annual “Night of the Hellhounds”—a time when a vengeful spirit witch and her hellhounds return to the property next door every year and reign terror there until midnight.

Unfortunately, try as she may, Vree is unable to ignore the strangeness around her or the witch who wants to take away her powers and kill her. With the help of the cute boy from up the road and mysterious creatures that only they can see, Vree embarks on a difficult journey to save her life and destroy the ghost witch who wants her dead.

After reading that, I’m ready to read the story again!

A Rant about Amazon Book Reviews

August 7, 2014
Steve Campbell

This isn’t a new rant … my friends and family can attest to that. It began when my wife bought me a Kindle a few years ago and I set out reading the self-pub books at Amazon. With so many, many books added to the list each day and with me having so little time to read, I took to glancing at their five-star rating system and choosing books with the most 4- and 5-star ratings (4 for “I like it” and 5 for “I love it”). But many of those books had glaring editing problems, which took away from my reading enjoyment.

On the other hand, I found books with overwhelming 1- and 2-star ratings (1 for “I hate it” and 2 for “I don’t like it”) that I had read and really liked. They contained no editing problems.

I quickly surmised this as a case of different strokes for different folks. Unfortunately, it cancelled the rating system’s effectiveness for me. After all, some books had as many 1- and 2-star ratings as 4- and 5-star ratings. Yep, different strokes for different folks.

But the rating system isn’t my rant.

It was upon further inspection that I found those same books had contradicting bad and good reviews. For example, the following reviews for one book at Amazon gave me the following information:

  • A Disappointment. Do not waste your time reading this drivel. Lots of errors. A self-published nightmare.
  • Well written. Interesting read. Very good plot. Held my interest during the whole time I was reading.
  • Poorly researched. Poorly plotted. Poorly edited. Altogether a poorly written book.
  • Very well written. Good story. I look forward to reading more from this author.

I know firsthand that readers bring their own expectations to a story. And when an author goes in an unexpected direction and/or ends a story shy of those expectations, a reader may give the book a low score out of disappointment of its plot. Plot is fickle. What forms a good plot today may not be so in a hundred years or less.

But when sides cannot agree whether a book is written poorly or written well, then someone clearly misunderstands the concept of what establishes each. It’s one or the other. A book that has grammar and spelling errors is a book written poorly, no matter how well readers find its author’s plotting, research and characters to be. In other words, if you tell me that a book is written well, then you’re saying it has very few if any spelling and syntax errors. Vice versa if you tell me a book is written poorly. Anything else, like plot, research, characterization, is biased expectations. If Joe Smo didn’t get the girl at the end of a romance novel, then good for the author for writing something outside the straightjacket that’s been strangling that genre for ages. But don’t say it’s a poorly written book because its plot dashed your expectations.

Thankfully, Amazon includes a nice “look inside” feature that allows potential buyers to peruse the first few pages of a book they’re considering buying so they can get a feel of how the story flows. If I see spelling and syntax errors while I’m looking inside, I may choose to pass on purchasing and reading the book. Or I may buy it and end up reading a well told story with spelling and syntax errors because more than one thoughtful reviewer said they gave the book four or five stars because they “liked” or “loved” the book’s plot and characters despite the spelling and syntax errors.

Reviews need to be clear to give potential readers the facts.

A review like “A Disappointment; Do not waste your time reading this drivel; Lots of errors; A self-published nightmare,” next to a review that says, “Well written; Interesting read; Very good plot; Held my interest during the whole time I was reading,” means that someone found the errors problematic while reading a story that someone else found interesting with its “very good” plot. Imagine how beneficial it would have been to those of us considering buying the book if the earlier listed reviews had been written this way:

  • “I did not like this book because of its spelling and syntax errors.”
  • “I liked this book because its plot held my interest during the time I was reading.”
  • “I did not like this book because I believe that it is poorly researched, plotted, and edited.”
  • “I liked this book because I thought the story was good. I look forward to reading more from this author.”

This, of course, takes effort on the reviewers’ part to be honest and direct, omitting their personal feelings in the forms of biting remarks and flowery praise. If all reviewers did that, it would make shopping for books at Amazon a lot easier.

An Exuberant Thank You

June 17, 2014
Steve Campbell

Although I try to limit using adjectives in my writing, I could not resist putting one in this post’s title.

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of my FREE eBOOK giveaway. I hope I garnered some new readers, new fans, and new friends. If you do reviews, please go to my author’s page at Amazon.com and click on the book(s).

Comments are encouraged and appreciated.

Thanks again and have a great day.

Last Free Day for Ridgewood Sparks

June 16, 2014
Steve Campbell

Sorry about the commercial, friends; I will make it quick.

Today is the last day to get your FREE copy of my e-book Ridgewood Sparks: A Collection of Really Short Stories at Amazon.com worldwide.

Follow this link to get Ridgewood Sparks for your Kindle.

Have a great Monday everybody.

New eBook Update

June 15, 2014
Steve Campbell

Days after I published my latest e-book Ridgewood Sparks: A Collection of Really Short Stories at Amazon.com on June 6, and then a day or two before the current “Get My Book Free” offer, I noticed errors and made minor changes to the book’s text. If you bought my book before the changes, I urge you to take advantage of the free offer today and tomorrow and replace the old version with the revised one. Although the changes are small, I think they make Ridgewood Sparks a better read.

Meanwhile, I send a big shout out “Thank You” to everyone who supports my enterprise into this crazy world of self-digital-publishing. (Or is it digital-self-publishing?) Big supporters include my family, friends, readers, and fans who ask, “When’s your next book coming out?” You keep my nose to the grindstone.

If you haven’t done so already, follow this link to get your free, updated e-book offer of Ridgewood Sparks for your Kindle.

Attention! … Correction

June 14, 2014
Steve Campbell

My new e-book Ridgewood Sparks is free tomorrow and Monday, not today as I originally posted. Sorry about the error. Click here to get your copy at Amazon, starting tomorrow.

New eBook Giveaway Weekend

June 12, 2014
Steve Campbell

Once again, to all my readers, fans and followers, I’m offering another free e-book—this time to kick off Father’s Day Weekend. (If that isn’t a thing, it should be.) An e-book of 12 really short (and awesome) stories, Ridgewood Sparks is available at Amazon worldwide beginning Saturday, June 14 and running all day Sunday, June 15. As always, the book is available to lend out to family and friends.

An excerpt of one of the stories, “A Buzzing of Bees”:

Brian pushed hanging branches away from his face. This part of the woods on Myers Ridge was thick with broadleaf and coniferous trees, and infested with thorny blackberry and raspberry bushes. These barbed sentries were deep in cover, away from hungry predators and ambitious and adventurous gardeners with spades and pruning shears. But few people trespassed here on his land. The terrain was rough and steep in many places and challenging to walk over. Thick and thorny underbrush, stinging nettle, and rattlesnakes were common threats, including branches falling from trees infected by disease and acid rain attacking their roots.

From “A Sinister Blast from the Past”:

Inside this cold and sterile environment, I am a prisoner of time, a prisoner of fate, a prisoner to the cruel circumstances that have left me unable to communicate to the people around me. They pass me and I go unnoticed by them. Without a name I am nobody. Without a voice I am nothing more than a silent pet that must be fed and bathed and taken care of. Unable to move I am less than that.

From “Dead Rabbits Don’t Run”:

I smell it again. Past hemlock and below hill the aroma is coming from man’s wooden lodge, drifting to me on smoke from most powerful and burning my nose with the fragrance of the blood of my sins. Although my eyes are closed, I know that if they were open I would still see the tormenting image of man eating his bloodless rabbit meal: chewing, always chewing; licking fingers clean; sucking bare every tawny bone; he will leave no bloodless meat behind. Before he sleeps tonight, he will bury bones into ground behind his lodge near where I committed my first crime. If I could move, I would run to there now and commit one last sin by digging up bones and feasting on marrow for the remainder of my short, pathetic life.

And nine more short tales of fantasy, a bit of horror, all set in and around peculiar and eerie Ridgewood, Pennsylvania.

Follow this link to get your free e-book, Ridgewood Sparks for Kindle on June 14 and 15.

Have a good read … and a great Father’s Day Weekend!

Free Kismet Weekend

June 4, 2014
Steve Campbell

To all my readers, fans and followers, a quick post to let you know that you can get a free e-book version of my novella, Kismet, at Amazon.com beginning tomorrow, June 7 and ending after Sunday, June 8. Though the standard U.S. dollar price is only $.99, I always like to offer something free to people who appreciate what I do. The book is available to lend, too, so you can loan Kismet out to family and friends.

BTW, this is book 4 of the compilation book, The Green Crystal Stories. However, if you do not own TGCS, I wrote Kismet as a standalone book outside the lives of Vree Erickson and her friends.

Follow this link, free Kismet offer! on June 7 and 8 to get your free e-book.

Have a great weekend!

Free Book Weekend

February 28, 2014
Steve Campbell

Starting today and right to midnight (US eastern time) Sunday night, the Kindle version of The Green Crysta Stories is free at Amazon.com.

Click on this link to get your free copy.

Happy reading.

If anyone is a member of GoodReads, stop at my author page and let’s hook up.

Free Book February 28—March 2

February 20, 2014
Steve Campbell

[Steve Campbell] may have discovered a way to turn the written word into something like a fine wine that gets better with age. Humor, darkness, adventure, friendship … I love it all! (Review by Bruce at Amazon.com.)

Kindle readers, mark your calendars!

My e-book The Green Crystal Stories will be free again for your Kindle at Amazon.com from February 28 to March 2, 2014.

Click on this link to get your copy.

Already have a copy? Get one for a friend and make their day a good one!

Happy reading.

 

Free Book Sunday … Again

January 11, 2014
Steve Campbell

All day Sunday (1/12/2014), you can get my latest book, The Green Crystal Stories free for your Kindle. Just follow this web link: The Green Crystal Stories [Kindle Edition]. The book normally sells for $1.99, so make sure the price says FREE.

The Green Crystal Stories is a collection of stories centering on my favorite protagonist, Vree Erickson, and a magic crystal that changes her life. Be prepared for lots of surprises.

Free Book Sunday

December 2, 2013
Steve Campbell

All day Sunday (12/8/2013), you can get my latest book, The Green Crystal Stories free for your Kindle. Just follow this web link: The Green Crystal Stories [Kindle Edition]. The book normally sells for $1.99, so make sure the price says FREE.

The book is a compilation of the five previous books at Amazon, so if you have them, pass the news about this one-day offer on to your friends.

BTW, here is the cover art for book 5, which I forgot to post earlier this year.

So if you’re looking for free books by new good authors (pardon the bragging), mark the day on your calendar. I think you’ll like what you read.

Nook and Kindle PC Apps, and Calibre

June 1, 2013
Steve Campbell

I spent the morning changing my PubIt! Account at Barnes & Noble to NOOK Press. Although I have only two of my five Ridgewood Chronicles books there, I plan to add the others soon. I also brought down the prices to $0.99 per book. The new prices may take a day or two to appear at B&N.

Meanwhile, I am still having issues with their Nook for PC app, which I downloaded three months ago. Customer complaints are years and many about this app, and B&N seems unable to offer a fix. The basic problem I am having is it will not automatically list the ePub books I own. I have to add each book one at a time to my library. Another problem is it will not stay synced with books that I am reading in my library. If I stop at a page in the middle of a book, it will not bookmark that place, but start at the beginning the next time I open the book.

Overall, I like Amazon’s Kindle app for the PC. I have used their app for two years and I have never had a problem. However, it will not open ePub books, so I have resorted to using Calibre’s e-book management app to convert my ePub books to formats that Kindle can open.

Calibre is a great app for anyone who has a huge e-book library. I like that you can edit the book descriptions, as well as choose from various covers. Or, if you are creative, you can design your own covers.

Now, the clock is telling me that I must return to working on my novel, which will be available at Amazon and B&N. Stay tuned.

In the Meantime

April 14, 2013
Steve Campbell

I’ve been working on some projects, reading a lot, watching baseball games, and have fallen behind in my blog posts, for which I apologize. Anyway, for those of you who are following my blog, I am busy writing and making headway for another e-book from the weird town of Ridgewood, propelling Vree and her friends deeper into mystery, sure to keep you intrigued and wanting more.

Fiddling

March 13, 2013
Steve Campbell

Thanks to all who have taken time from your busy schedules to comment and email me about my art and books. Extra thanks to those of you who found mistakes in my books — all of them were minor but the corrections improved the products a thousandfold.

Extra thanks to you who have commented your likes and dislikes. Publishing on my own with almost no guidance from my peers has been a HUGE learning process, and I have made plenty of mistakes so far. But your excellent comments / suggestions have made me a better self-published author and working my best to get better.

Also, as if I didn’t have enough on my plate, I plan to post more short stories here at my website and author them at Amazon. Shorts were common when I was young, when pulp magazines were alive, especially detective, sci-fi, and monster magazines. Unlike novels, short stories rarely answered the story question of whether someone lived happily ever after at the end, or if the monster was actually dead by the time you finished reading the final sentence. They were morsels, like the sugar glazed holes of the bigger doughnuts. That is what made them fun to read. Hurray for e-books bringing short stories back to the market.

About Kismet

February 25, 2013
Steve Campbell

I took a break from teen literature for my latest book, which is retooling of a story I wrote many years ago.

You can read various versions of Kismet here at my website, as well as buy the $.99 version at Amazon (follow this link). Like all my stories, I fiddled with Kismet for many years, trying to get it right. It wasn’t until I read an article about Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth that I found the story’s proper Journey.

I first wrote Kismet in 1988, put it in a drawer and left it there until 2002 when I joined my local writing club. I shared the story with the group and they encouraged me to edit it. I did, with Joseph Campbell’s structured framework as a guide. Then the group encouraged me to self-publish it for a group book show and sale. So, I used a desktop publishing program on my computer to format the pages, and then I printed them from my printer. The story was too long for me to bind its pages with staples, so I edited it to a shortened version. I even shortened the names of some of my characters along the way. I was able to staple the new version, so I printed 20 copies until I ran out of ink.

Kismet became an instant local bestseller and some customers even asked me to autograph their copies. I sold all 20 copies at $10 each, gave most of the money to the club’s treasury, and set about writing more books. I haven’t looked back since.

As with all my stories, I have set Kismet in eerie Ridgewood, Pennsylvania, a fictional town based on the town where I grew up. Although my hometown was never as spooky as Ridgewood, it did have a peculiar abundance of “haunted” houses and stray black cats running the streets.

Finally, a heartfelt Thanks to all of you who have taken time to read my stories and email me with criticism and encouragement. This really means a lot to me, knowing that you care about my stories.

Second Kindle Book

January 24, 2013
Steve Campbell

Soon after I published Night of the Hellhounds (my first e-book, which features teenager Lenny Stevens and his friends) to Amazon’s Kindle, I received emails from some young customers wanting me to publish another story. I aimed for a February release and began working on a Vree Erickson story that had sat on the rewrite table in my writing room for many years. After several fixes and five days of editing and plot rewrites, I sent it to my main beta reader who tweaked some minor errors. Then, with the cover finished, I sent the story off to Amazon.

Here it is, not a February release, but no matter: Trespassing. As before, I ask that if you buy and read it, please leave a review either at Amazon or here. Reviews that include things that did and didn’t resonate with you will help gauge my direction as a professional writer, so I would love hearing from you.

Since my family cannot leave reviews, I’m happy to report that they seem to like the story, even though it’s aimed at a young, teenage audience.

Milestones

January 16, 2013
Steve Campbell

As soon as I began writing a new post for next week, I was informed that this blog received 500 likes. To celebrate and let everyone know about this achievement, I did a Happy Dance a few minutes ago, and then wrote this post titled Milestones.

Other milestones today are:

  • I finished creating the cover for my second e-book, Trespassing. Lots going on in the illustration, but when you read the story you’ll see why.
  • I’ve quadruple-checked spelling and sentence structure in the manuscript. All seems up to par, which means I may publish to Kindle sooner than expected.
  • I’ve included a bonus short story at the end of this one.
  • Having fun.

Publication is slated for February, but I may publish next week. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, may your days be blessed.

A Fine Reception

January 16, 2013
Steve Campbell

Last week, barely hours after I had Night of the Hellhounds published to Amazon’s Kindle, I received 3 or 4 emails from customers with inquiries about me publishing another story. I am now updating another story and plan making it available in February.

Meanwhile, I am working on adding more to my Ridgewood stories here. That may take longer than I expected now that I seem to have a new purpose in life. Also, my paints and brushes are calling me. Looks like idleness will never be a problem for me. 🙂

My First Kindle Publication

January 8, 2013
Steve Campbell

I hope everyone had a safe and happy beginning to your new year.

Pardon me for being away from WordPress for so long. I spent the past month learning about publishing on Amazon and had to give it a go. Ever since my wife got her Kindle, I have been interested in publishing some of my stories there. So, I took one of my favorite tales and tweaked it a bit and sent it off to Amazon.

Here it is: Night of the Hellhounds. If you buy and read my creation, please leave a review at Amazon.

By the way: I did the cover art. Not bad, I think, though I may do better when I convince myself to send another story, perhaps in the near future.

Please be aware that this endeavor may be temporary. I am testing the waters of self-publishing at Amazon right now so my family and friends can read my stories on their Kindle e-readers. I wish I could offer them free, but Amazon doesn’t seem to offer that option.

Anyway, feedback would be awesome, so remember to drop me either a line or a review if you read my story. Thanks.

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