For Fun

Book Addiction

I do believe I have developed a legitimate book addiction. I have always been able to walk into a Target, poke around looking at stuff, and walk out without purchasing a thing; however, lately I cannot walk past a bookstore without going in. Nor can I resist buying a book before leaving that bookstore.

Today I wandered around a few small towns in Mass. I’m a nomad and live wherever; wandering is my thing.

I have some bookstores in Boston on my list to check out, but that will happen another day. Today I was scoping out bookstores in Acton, Sudbury, and Concord. I will do book signing events in this area in the Fall with the release of Echoes of War, so I was poking around the bookstores to scope out prospects.

I went into three different stores and returned to my friends’ house with four books. That is on top of the four other print books I already have in my “To Be Read” queue. We won’t even talk about the number of books on my eReader in the electronic “To Be Read” queue. It’s a little embarrassing at this point–and I probably shouldn’t mention the eBook I just added to my Kindle wish list. Oh well.

Two of the stores I went to today carried current books, the third was an antiquarian shop that I still visited because, well, it is still a bookstore and my wee addiction brought me there.

When I was roaming Portland, Maine a few weeks back I went into a bookstore there called PRINT: A Bookstore. I absolutely adored this shop, and the people there were very friendly. I happened to be staying at a great little AirBNB just up the street from it, so I stopped in there a few times and only managed to buy two books–just two!

The image above is of one of the books I grabbed when in Portland that is a collection of SciFi and Fantasy short stories. I tend to avoid short stories because I always feel like I get sucked in, the story ends too quickly, and I end up feeling ripped off and annoyed. None of the stories in this collection have done that to me. I’m a bit over halfway through the book, and each story thus far has been extremely well written and ends with a resolution that leaves me satisfied, not irritated. One story had me laughing out loud in public earlier this week when I was reading while loitering in a lobby. This collection gets more bonus points just by having N. K. Jemisin’s name on it. Icing on the cake! After devouring her Broken Earth Trilogy, I’m inclined to buy anything with her name on it.


Here’s my confession: I’ve always been a bit intimidated to try to write a short story. My early attempts at it many years ago resulted in stories that absolutely suuuuuuuuucked. They ended up in the trash too.

My shortest novel thus far is 90K words. I’m a bit long-winded. Could I really compress what I have to say into something closer to 10K or even 20K words? I have had my doubts for years now. After reading the ones in this collection, I have the proof that not only can short stories be fun and fulfilling reads, but maybe I could pull it off. I have a SciFi trilogy to finish first, but I have tucked this little nugget into the back of my mind for now. Who knows what could happen next? It’s those little nuggets that turn into a five-book fantasy series or a SciFi trilogy!



Image from Amazon

For Fun

Domain Name


As promised, a little background on the new domain name. Firstly, kudos to my friend Jen that helped me pull together some domain names which ultimately turned into the new site. I did not give her an easy task.

The Burnt Mountain site was great for the time that I needed it, but honestly, it was a short-sighted creation. The only reason it ended up being called Burnt Mountain Books was because I was well into the second book by the time I started goofing around with a website, hence the plural. Had no idea at the time it would turn into a five-book series. I also didn’t know where things would go from there. The Monster Within released in 2013. It’s now 2018. Five fantasy books later and the first sci fi book will release in 2019, I think we can agree that it’s been a busy run!

What’s in a domain name?

I am more than a writer. I have a lot of creative outlets. Some of those outlets, I do well (painting with acrylics), some of them I utterly suck (wood working) but I still enjoy doing them. This is the real reason for the new website being something other than Cheryl Campbell Writer or Author or whatever. I wanted it to go broader than only my writing. I don’t have a link on the site up yet for the other creative stuff I do, but that will come in time. I’m still living on the road, so I don’t have access to the photos of various paintings and other projects I’ve done over the years.

So that was Jen’s task. I have lots of stuff I do and other things coming, so what the heck do I call the new website that I know I need but no clue what to name it. Jen and I were having dinner chatting this over. She threw things out to me, and I looked up the names to see if they were available. By the time we were done, I had four domain names written on a recycled napkin (recycled in that it was from recycled material, not fished out of the rubbish bin and used as a note pad).

I sat on that list for a bit to “feel” my way around them and see which one resonated the best. You already know the one I picked. The soup part is a double meaning. With the mix of creative outlets, sounds like a soup to me. Plus, as a Campbell, I have carried the nickname of Soup around for a while.

Jen’s reward for helping me pick the names was a huge thank you, and I did give her the pen back that I borrowed to take notes on the napkin. She’s been one of my early readers turned test reader from the beginning, so I’d already named a character after her in the first sci fi book. Bonus points, that character survives book one. Extra bonus points, that character reappears in the second sci fi book. Extra extra bonus points, that character survives the second book too!!!ย  Read my work and you’ll understand why this is a major accomplishment for one of my characters. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Quickie Publishing Update

The name of the sci fi book has changed per recommendation of the publisher. Forgotten Echoes is now Echoes of War. Me likey! ๐Ÿ™‚ So you’ll see that name referenced now on the website. I finished the first draft of the second Echoes book last week. That one is sitting off to the side, unnamed, for a while to mellow while I play with some other things I’m doing as part of that creative soup.


image from

About the Books

New Website

I know I promised this a while ago, but I have been working on it. The new website is mostly up and running, well, it’s up. The running part is in progress of being developed. So you don’t just jump right over there and stop reading now, I’ll give you the link LAST.

I’m using a new WordPress theme called Lavander that I think is really slick. It has a bit more convolution to it than the one I’ve been using on the site, so it’s taking me time to get used to it. I have all the links set up across the top of the page and a few other things. I eventually figured out how to link my Instagram account to the new site, so photos post at the bottom there when I post them to Instagram … oh, yeah, and the Instagram thing is new too.

Even I had to duck the lightning bolts on this one … I have a twitter account now too. I SWORE I would never do one, but my publicist said I gotta, so I did. Yikes. I don’t plan to be twittering away my time on it though and I sure as hell won’t be using it to follow the current mass of celebrity and political ass hats using it for whatever idiotic purposes they use it for. It’ll be an information tool for me regarding publishing and book contacts that I don’t have and can’t get through fb or instagram.

Since I’m so fantastically clueless on book publishing, book marketing, and the myriad of tools available, I’m relying on the publicist to continue to be patient, enlighten me, and help me through the mazes. It’s kinda like being lost in the woods. If you’ve been there, you know what this feels like.

I have been legit lost in the woods. No phone. No compass. No water. I had my camera though, but ultimately lost as hell in the sticks of Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge in Mississippi around 1998 or so after wandering off the trail and opting for a “short cut” that turned into a freakin’ mess.

Thankfully Sarah from Smith Publicity is my compass in this book forest.

So bear with me as I beat up this new website and sort out the crap therein and figure out how things work. The site is currently bare bones as you’ll see once you start clicking.

New website:ย

To get signed up for the blog that will move off the Burnt Mountain site and to the new one in the coming weeks, go to the sign up thingy on the right side of the screen atย

Instagram: CherylsCreativeSoup

Author facebook page (this will be replacing the existing Burnt Mountain fb page in coming weeks):ย

They’re all a work in progress so relax if you see something you don’t like. Odds are it will change tomorrow anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll do a post on why I went with Cheryl’s Creative Soup, but if you know me well enough, you’ve likely already figured it out. Until next time!