Sometimes a muse dares an author to write a book

Sarabande bled on the leading edge of the Angel Wing while the moon was dark. The grey-green rock at the summit accepted her flow without complaint. Yesterday, Gem said sky wasn’t a fit place of renewal: dark woods and tents served best for bleeding. “Tccch,” she said without finesse, “why expose yourself on that strange spur of rock at the high end of the valley? You’ll catch a cold sitting on unforgiving stone above that cold glacier.”

Indeed, but it suited her.

from Sarabande, Copyright © 2015 by Malcolm R. Campbell

My muse, who is named Siobhan, is a Huna practitioner from Hawai’i. She’s almost a real person, perhaps more real than I am. She’s appeared in several of my books. So it is that in her opinion when she dares me to write a novel, I more or less have no choice. (Never cross a Kāhuna sorcerer.)

The problem: Sarabande is the novel’s protagonist and the story is told from her point of view. She first appeared in The Sun Singer which was told from protagonist Robert Adams’ point of view. That’s normal: a male writer writing a novel from a man’s perspective. Writing from a woman’s point of view is tricky for a man, especially when that woman is attacked and abused–more than once.

Sarabande lives in the universe next door where The Sun Singer is set. Robert Adams saved her life there. Now that she’s having trouble with a magical ghost, she comes to our world in search of Robert because she believes he’s the only person who can help her. Finding him proves to be more dangerous than she suspected. Ultimately, Robert agrees to return with Sarabande to her alternate universe where they find the challenges are almost beyond his ability to circumvent. 

Finding Sarabande’s soul and her voice were difficult. I read a great number of “women’s journey” books before I was ready to write. Perhaps Siobhan served as a guide because it seemed more often than not that I was writing on instinct. So the best compliment I received after the book was published came from a female reviewer who said that she had to keep reminding herself that the book was written by a man.

This is, perhaps, my favorite novel, though saying so is about like looking at your children and saying “I like that one best.” 


A Glacier Park Novel – Audiobook Edition

Malcolm R. Campbell

Publisher: Thomas-Jacob Publishing


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