Looking for Celia Wird and a Ticket to the Bestseller List

cursedbydestinity“For those of you craving romance with an edge, some thrills or a paranormal slant, here is a trio of steamy, suspenseful books. If the edge-of-your seat intrigue doesn’t send your pulse skyrocketing, the gorgeous and courageous heroes certainly will.” – Lois Dyer in “Shock and Awww”

According to Lois Dyer’s BookPage column, my pulse will skyrocket (probably against my doctor’s orders) if I read Cynthia Eden’s Burn for Me, Cecy Robson’s Cursed by Destiny or Sharon Sala’s Going Twice. I didn’t like the concept of burning for anybody or the cover on Going Twice, so that left me with the cover with the full moon, the wolf and “tigress shape-shifter Celia Wird” (as the publisher describes her).

Checking Amazon, I saw that Cursed by Destiny has 58 reader reviews, an average review rating of 4.6 and is  #106,547 in books. Okay, that number isn’t exactly shouting “bestseller,” but the book’s only been out since January 7.

Here are my thoughts:

  • I can continue writing about wholesome people but use the same sexy temptress shape-shifter tigress lady on the cover. This is potentially dishonest and sooner or later word would get out that Wird wasn’t in the book.
  • I could go to a biker bar and find somebody who looks like Wird, take her picture and use that on the with cover with a little from Photoshop for the wolves in the background. This potentially would start a fight in the bar and since I’m not quite as strong as the Terminator in the movie who beat up everyone in the biker bar, I’d end up with hospital bills that far exceed the attitudes of my insurance company.
  • I could write about a shape-shifter who looks like Celia Wird but change her name to something like Lucy Wolfbane or Marge Gravestone. Unfortunately, writers are supposed to write what they know and I don’t know any shape-shifters, much less anyone who looks like Celia Wird and, while I haven’t checked, I don’t think my wife wants me looking for Celia Wird even for “research purposes.”
  • I could wait until the next Friday the thirteenth and then take a candle and some Tarot cards into a cemetery want call upon the forces of darkness to send me a tigress to interview for the book. The last time I sat in a cemetery with a candle, the cops showed up and claimed that they were had not been sent by dark forces.
  • Convinced that Celia Wird using the name of Marge Gravestone was my ticket to the bestseller list, I took a copy of Cursed by Destiny to the local Starbucks and asked if they’d seen her around. They said “not lately” and suggested I check the tombstone department at Walmart because “people dressed like that just love Walmart.”
  • What’s a writer to do? I checked Amazon and found 1000000000000 books that tell writers what to do. They all promise that if we do those things, we’ll end up on the bestseller list. Since none of those books are on the bestseller list, I figured the authors had all decided to start looking for Celia Wird.

In a BookPage interview, Anna Quindlen (who looks a lot more wholesome than Celia Wird) said that, “I think every writer feels she is one book from irrelevancy.” I wanted to send her an e-mail and ask for the rest of the story because I know a lot of writers who are just starting out and, without having to work at it, already believe they’re irrelevant. Odds are, most of them aren’t trying to battle their way out of obscurity by selling out to Celia Wird.

Some of those writers claim they don’t care about the money because “the important thing is getting my words out there.” My response (which doesn’t go over well) is that money is the universe’s way of telling you whether or not anyone is reading those words. Other writers say they’re publishing on Kindle and CreateSpace for the “joy of it.” I’m not sure what that means, but as Quindlen confesses, “It’s no substitute for being able to pay the gas bill.”

So, I continue to look for Celia Wird even though it’s rather like the Dr. Richard Kimball’s search for the one-armed man.


Malcolm R. Campbell–if you haven’t guessed it already from reading this post–is the author of fantasy fiction, including “The Seeker.”

Versatile Blogger Award, OMG, ROFLMAO

Due to a questionable, though potentially humorous ripple in the space-time continuum yesterday, author Smoky Zeidel awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. According to the usual half-informed sources, this award forces me to divulge seven facts about myself that most of you don’t know without the benefits of a get out of jail free card or an invitation to join the FBI witness protection program.

  1. I danced with a local mobster’s girl friend one night in Denver when he (the mobster) was out of town. The girl friend was also a stripper, though not while we were dancing to the celestial “Double Crossing Time” from the Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton album via the juke box.
  2. I once delivered singing telegrams for Western Union even though I can’t sing. (I delivered regular telegrams, too.) Fortunately, strip telegrams were banned in Florida due to the size of the palmetto bugs.
  3. My first byline came from Quill & Scroll Magazine when I was in high school. This occurred before I been introduced to the exciting world of mobsters’ girl friends and Eric Clapton.
  4. My college roommate and I introduced a Vietnamese exchange student to President Lyndon B. Johnson as he shook hands with the mob (not the Mob) watching his plane come into Denver in 1966, the same year I danced with the stripper. We did not bring the stripper with us, but our friend from Saigon still got a nice smile from the leader of the free world.
  5. After I got out of the Navy, my parents inadvertently asked during a Sunday afternoon dinner (moments after all of us got back from church) if “those stories” about Navy men going to bars in foreign ports frequented by strippers were true. When I said “yes,” they seemed pleasantly scandalized and said “that” was part of the price one paid for serving one’s country. I didn’t mention that I made a downpayment on that price several years earlier in Denver.
  6. I had a school-boy crush on actresses Millie Perkins, Natalie Wood, and Nancy Kwan. I “fell in love” with Wood when I saw her in person on an old Chicago radio program called Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club. She was there promoting a new movie called “The Burning Hills.” She didn’t notice me because she was there with Tab Hunter. Wood wouldn’t sing “Let me do a few tricks, Some old and then some new tricks, I’m very versatile” for a few years yet.
  7. En route to a Dutch shipbuilder where I did volunteer work one summer as part of an international youth group, we all swam in Amsterdam harbor after the captain of the barge we were using for transportation said the water was so dirty, nobody ever dared get in it. No strippers were present.

New Award Winners

According the the rules of the Versatile Blogger Award, I am supposed to pass along this award to 15 bloggers who currently have no idea I’m thinking of doing such a thing. Yet, they are writing blogs I enjoy reading:

  1. Chelle Cordero, “Welcome to Chelle’s World”
  2. Pamela Patchet, “A Novel Woman”
  3. Neil Vogler, “A Writer, He Muttered”
  4. Susanne Iles, “Bone Singer Studio”
  5. Seth Mullins, “Spirituality With an Edge”
  6. Shelly Bryant, “My Blog”
  7. Lee Libro, “Literary Magic”
  8. Floyd M. Orr, “POD Book Reviews & More”
  9. Terry (aka Montucky), “Montana Outdoors”
  10. Matt, “Just Wondering”

Well, I’m not as young as I was when I was dancing with strippers, swimming in Amsterdam harbor, talkin with President Johnson or singing “Happy Birthday” to the shocked residents of Tallahassee, Florida while wearing my Western Union badge. That means I’m out of steam and will stop at ten blogs on my list. Don’t bug me about this: I have Mob connections.


Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of the comedy/satire, “Jock Stewart and the Missing Sea of Fire,” the novel credited with adding a little nooke to the Nook.