Thursday, January 27, 2011

Guest Author Craig Lancaster

THE WILDEST 20 MONTHS OF MY LIFE—SO FAR
By Craig Lancaster

After I struck a deal with AmazonEncore last June to publish my new novel, “The Summer Son,” I joked on my blog that someday I would write a memoir of publishing called “Dude, WTF?”

At the beginning November 2008, I had a promising idea for a story and a long trail of barely started and never finished manuscripts that stretched nearly two decades behind me. By the end of June 2010, I’d written and placed two novels with publishers, had won some acclaim for my debut, “600 Hours of Edward,” and in between had traveled a path familiar to many writers who are just starting out in this business during a time of remarkable upheaval.

“Edward” began life as a self-published novel that I relentlessly flogged around my home state of Montana. It was eventually picked up by a wonderful regional publisher, Riverbend Publishing, which gave it a whole new life, one that has included a designation as a 2009 Montana Honor Book and a 2010 High Plains Book Award winner. Even more satisfying is the response of readers who have gravitated to the main character, Edward Stanton, a middle-aged man with Asperger syndrome who tries to navigate an extraordinary 25-day stretch of his life.

While “Edward” was doing its thing, I spent the better part of nine months working on “The Summer Son,” a novel about a fractured relationship between a father and a son. It’s a story that goes into our deepest, darkest places, where we assign blame (perhaps mistakenly), internalize our injuries and inflict them on the people around us. It’s a tale of violence, of love, of hope, of reckoning. Where “Edward” was a breeze and a joy to write, “The Summer Son” made me sidle up to my own emotions and motivations, which can be a harrowing thing.

The success of “Edward” indirectly put me into contact with AmazonEncore, and I was delighted that the folks there loved “The Summer Son” as much as I did. They’ve done wonderful work on this book, and I’m excited that it’s out there now.

Once I found my stride as a novelist, things started happening quickly. Occasionally, I’ve stopped to consider the journey and reflect on why it all clicked after so many aborted attempts. I’m not sure I can pinpoint a reason. I reached a point in my life where I had something to say, and I’ve been able to find the characters and settings through which to say it. I hope you’ll take a chance on my work and see if it resonates with you. The words on the page (or the pixels on the screen) matter only if there’s someone on the other end to receive them.

 “The Summer Son,” recently released by AmazonEncore, is Craig Lancaster’s second novel. His first, “600 Hours of Edward,” was a 2009 Montana Honor Book and the 2010 High Plains Book Award winner for best first book. His website is CraigLancaster.net. Leave a comment below, along with your email address, for a chance to win a signed copy of “The Summer Son.” If your name is drawn, you’ll be contacted to get your mailing address.

27 comments:

  1. Nice post. I love hearing what other writers go through in the process of writing.

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  2. I do, too, Lou. That's one of the great things about the Internet. You get to hear directly from great writers.

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  3. There's no such thing as overnight success - all of Craig's previous efforts and experience snowballed. Glad the ball is rolling fast for him now.

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  4. You're so right, Craig--putting ourselves "out there" in terms of emotions can definitely be a harrowing thing! Sounds like you did a great job with it. Best wishes for your release.

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  5. He's definitely hit his stride all right! Congratulations, Craig.

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  6. This is one of those success stories that makes my day. Congratulations to the author!
    Christa

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  7. I do love hearing success stories. It makes me smile!

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  8. Hi, Helen. Craig asked me to post about his visit today over at West of Mars Win a Book. So... I did. No need to enter me -- and I hope you'll send me links in the future. We'd love to have you be part of the Win a Book family and help connect readers and books.

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  9. Congrats to Craig! If his second book is as good as his first, he'll have a hit on his hands.

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  10. I enjoyed reading about your career Craig and I wish you all the best.
    Nancy
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

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  11. Love hearing the "story" behind the story. Congratulations Craig!

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  12. Hi Susan. I'll check out your blog - and I'm sure commenters who see your comment will as well.

    I second, third, fourth, fifth, whatever we're up to now - wish you much success Craig.

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  13. Craig’s story shows that with a lot of hard work paving the way, good things happen when the time is right. Wishing you continued success.

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  14. Thanks, everyone, for all the supportive comments. And thank you, Helen, for letting me hang out here for a couple of days.

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  15. Thank you for coming, Craig. This is fun!

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  16. I always enjoy hearing about other authors' path to publication. Interesting post, Helen. And thanks to Craig for telling his story.

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  17. Craig, I enjoyed finding out how The Summer Son came to be, and I absolutely love what you closed this post with. We who write would be lost without those who read, and while the money in the bank is good for paying bills, the best reward for me is when a reader connects with my work on that deep emotional level.

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  18. Thanks so much for the contest!! the book sounds so great!!

    nicolemarielum @gmail.com

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  19. How interesting to read about the process behind your novel's success. It takes persistence and meeting up with the right channels of endorsement. Thank you.

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  20. Good for you! I'm glad you're coming into your own.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  21. I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  22. Its always fun to read of a writer's journey and ultimately their success. Congrats! to you and best wishes for much more!

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  23. Great post - I love hearing that an author's hard work is paying off!

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  24. Putting this on my "must read" list!

    JHS
    Colloquium

    jhsmail at comcast dot net

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  25. Great giveaway! I'd love to be entered.

    Please count me in. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

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  26. I enjoyed the interview and would love to read this book! It sounds really good!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

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  27. I would love to read The Summer Son! Please enter me in this giveaway.

    bookloversarah1 at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

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