Arkbound and the Bridging Literary Divides team are delighted to announce that Natalie Campbell, one of the mentees participating in this Creative Scotland funded project, has recently signed a publishing contract with Jasami Publishing. Only two months after the beginning of the six-month program, Michèle Smith, Natalie’s mentor and the managing director of Jasami Publishing, managed to bring her mentee’s writing up to a publishing level.
The young Stirling-based author was explaining in June 2021 that, despite having an encouraging family and the chance to study Creative Writing at university, she was never able to fully focus on her writing during her degree as she had to financially support herself while routinely dealing with a chronic illness. Participating in Bridging Literary Divides allowed her to dedicate part of her time to writing with the highly qualified supervision of Michèle. Natalie loves ‘being able to write diverse characters that aren’t often reflected in mainstream media […] and see [herself] and the people around [her] reflected back in them.’ ‘As part of the LGBTQ+ community and someone with a chronic illness, I have found writing to be a great way to express myself and connect with others that are also facing similar difficulties’ she said. All the more reason to be jumping at the idea of her first novel’s publication!
Call of the Void, to be released in 2022, will indeed be assembling in a tremendous narrative ‘a mercenary, a lost child, an old love, and a scientist. Mix them up, add the infinity of space and you will be drawn and called into the void.’ We can’t wait to read more of it but, while waiting for its release, Natalie and Michèle offered us an extract, allowing us to dive into the heart of this incongruous Campbellian universe:
‘Three steps, two steps…
Pain flashed through him like lightning and, vaguely, he had the sense of falling. His HUD briefly flashed an image of the exoskeleton, the point of contact visible in the centre of his back, before blinking out and racing through an array of images, maps, and software code. He was still holding the girl in his arms, although his grip was weakening. With his remaining strength, him propelled forward, throwing her into the belly of his ship. He hoped it was enough as his helmet came into contact with steel. He felt his whole body seize and begin to shake violently as his HUD turned black. His head was splitting open like a great crater and his body was on fire. He could only think of pain before he lost consciousness.’
If you have any questions about Call of the Void, please do not hesitate to take a peek at Natalie’s author page on Jasami’s website and Instagram page or contact her at email@example.com or @nccampbellauthor