Imagine your life as a series of episodes

Timothy Pike, editor-in-chief
A Letter from the Editor

This month, I had the good fortune of interviewing Camille S. Campbell, author, poet, and artist who—despite her young age—already has two award-winning novels to her name. Another of Camille’s books, Her Poems, celebrates strong female role models and is used as a teaching tool in classrooms across the country. She’s been a contributor to Girls’ Life Magazine and her impressive résumé even includes interviewing celebrities.

Camille has been writing since age six, when she wrote a fantasy book—in three days—complete with hand-drawn illustrations of goblins and other creatures. “It was the first time my stories kept me up at night,” she says. “The feeling was exhilarating, and the imagined world felt alive to me.” In our interview, Camille talks about the fascinating research she did to write her fantasy adventure novels, reveals what to expect a lot of just before writing success comes, and tells us about the dream she had that started it all.

Before we dive in, do you have a story or two from your life you want to share? Enter it into our Best Vignette Contest this month! You could win a VIP Writer Pass to our first-ever Camp Vignette, which takes place from September through November, where we’ll help you turn your most entertaining life stories into a published book.

Ready to explore this month’s issue? Let’s get into it:

First up, author Guy Windsor gives us a very simple trick for staying focused on a project: let external forces keep you on task. As an example, Guy explains that instead of hooking up a tube to the dehumidifier in his workshop so it can drain outside, he lets the attached tank fill up. This means he has to empty it by hand, giving him the perfect excuse to go into his workshop every day. “It would take ten minutes to set up the drain option,” he says, “but I have not—and will not—because once I’m in the workshop, I usually start fiddling about with the next project.” He calls this a “positive constraint,” and he’s got some advice for coming up with a few of your own.

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Next, bestselling author Ann Charles draws a comparison between writers and mountain climbers. “How can writing and climbing possibly be similar?” she asks. “For starters, no matter the size of the mountain, climbing it takes planning, time, and expertise.” Despite obvious differences, you’ll be surprised at how much novelists actually have in common with climbers. But beyond the analogy, a learning opportunity awaits. Ann shares eight lessons you can take from mountain climbers that will help you avoid losing your way—and strengthen your resolve to reach the top.

Finally, award-winning author Melinda Curtis knows what it’s like to feel stuck while in the middle of writing a story. Having been there before, she also has some tricks up her sleeve—five to be exact—for getting the words flowing again. Melinda’s credentials are solid: “I’ve stared down looming deadlines with no word count, I’ve been lost in the middle of books, and I’ve gazed numbly at the blinking cursor,” she says. Consider the tips she gives a vital part of your writer’s toolbox, ready to use the next time you’re finding it difficult to move forward.

Whether you’re a writer busy on your next novel or a reader who’s enjoying our selection of books at ChapterBuzz, I hope you can find a few moments to kick back and enjoy this month’s issue of Books & Buzz Magazine.

Happy reading,

Timothy Pike
Editor-in-chief, Books & Buzz Magazine

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