Wednesday

Little Mountain with Bob Sanchez

Today we're happy to help kick off a blog book tour for Bob Sanchez's novel, Little Mountain.
~~~~~~~~

And we’re off!

Thanks for hosting the kickoff of my Little Mountain tour, Dani, and for all you do encouraging others on their tours.

As much as I love to write humor, some books leave no place for it. Little Mountain has no humor and barely even has a mountain. It does have a Cambodian who becomes an American homicide cop and has to solve a crime that brings back haunting memories.

I used to live near the scene of the crime: Lowell, Massachusetts, where thousands of Cambodian refugees settled beginning in late 1979. My wife and I sponsored such a family and became well acquainted with some of the issues they and their host city faced. My first-ever and never-to-be-published novel, Freedom Country, was about a young Cambodian girl surviving the Khmer Rouge horrors and coming to the United States. I did all the research I knew how to do, short of traveling to Cambodia myself. Not having seen the country and my being a tyro at writing fiction pretty well sunk that ship. But what came out of Freedom Country was a better understanding of Cambodians’ plight and much-improved writing skills, thanks to many workshops and critique groups.

Little Mountain was the next novel I wrote, although it’s the third I’ve published. Humorous, wise-guy fiction exerts a strong pull on me as well, hence When Pigs Fly and Getting Lucky. The owner of Fjord Press phoned me one Saturday with glowing comments about Little Mountain and saying that he wanted to publish it. He even provided me with some free line edits, which were excellent.

Then he went out of business, and Little Mountain languished on my hard drive while I pursued other projects. Recently I decided to bring it to life, so I found one more great critiquer, hired an artist to design a cover, fixed nits in the writing until I thought my eyes would fall out, and published it.

I sent one of the first copies to my brother Steve. He soon called me and asked if Sam (the hero) could also change water into wine, which puzzled me. Then he explained that Sam gets a cup of tea in one paragraph and finishes his coffee in the next. (Nice trick, huh?) Well, say what you will about self-publishing, I was able to upload a correction in just a few minutes. Try doing that at Random House!
I hope you’ll visit all the fine blogs on my tour. Please post a comment for a chance to win an ebook or signed paperback copy of one of my novels. And thanks for visiting!


Bob’s tour schedule
Bob’s Blog
More background on Little Mountain
Purchase Little Mountain

19 comments:

Bob Sanchez said...

Thanks again for hosting me, Dani. I'm thrilled to be on tour!

Dani said...

Welcome to the blog, Bob. I'm off to tweet and yodel about you.

Kathryn Craft said...

Writing's really a process, isn't it, Bob? Just when you think that this time you are really, REALLY finished...

Congratulations on your new book. Sounds like the first one was well worth writing to steep yourself in the world you wanted to explore--let alone for the writing practice. More people should do that.

Bob Sanchez said...

That's true, Kathryn. Sometimes I refer to Freedom Country as my practice novel. It ultimately turned out to be unpublishable, but I learned so much along the way.

Marian Allen said...

Congratulations on navigating the learning curves necessary to finish and publish a novel! Just keep track of that first book. Some day you'll be ready to go back and reclaim that material. :)

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Helen Ginger said...

Okay, I admit I'm influenced by book covers - I really like yours! Don't know whether you did it or had someone else do it, but it's great.

It's always the little goofs that seem to sneak by. Thanks goodness for readers, eh?

Dani said...

I'm curious about the motivation to write a book that is this serious, when you even mention in your post that comedy is your thing. What really pushed you to write this story?

Monti said...

Bob, that is a compelling cover, and you must know that art draws me first and foremost! This sounds like a story you had to write because of your background sponsoring a family. Good luck with all of this.

Thank you, Dani, for hosting Bob. You are a great teacher. I learned so much from you last summer!

Monti
NotesAlongTheWay

Bob Sanchez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Sanchez said...

Monti, thanks for the comment about the cover. The artist is Maritza Jauregui, a member of the El Paso Writers' League and a good person to work with.

Bob Sanchez said...

Marian, I reclaimed a ton of that old material in writing Little Mountain. I read about a dozen books, interviewed several Cambodians, amounting to a whole lot of research. At some point I just decided to start over, using the material in a murder mystery with a much tighter plot. So I'd say none of that research went to waste.

Helen, I tried designing my own cover and quickly learned that it's not my forte. So I hired a local graphic artist and told her what I wanted. Rather than asking her to read the book first, I just told her the three themes I wanted captured: Cambodia, America, and death. She came up with several suggestions, and I went with what looked like the best. The lettering on the front cover is mine, but the artwork is the designer's.

Dani, I started out writing serious stuff like this. What really pushed me to write Little Mountain was a desire to explore the experiences of the Cambodians in depth, because I didn't see anyone else doing it in a fictional context. But I was in a writer's group for nearly 20 years, and I wrote all kinds of material to read at our meetings. It often seemed like my friends enjoyed the humorous passages in my work, so in time I began to focus on that. But LM hasn't any room for humor, as my other work does.

My apologies for the slow response, by the way. I kept waiting for email notification of comments, and they didn't come. I was feeling unloved!

Stephen Tremp said...

Like yourself, I have a few books just hanging out on the hard drive collecting dust. Good to hear you finished this one. Best wishes for your success and see you tomorrow!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I love the cover art on your book, Bob. And you make a great point about editing corrections to books in print. Looking forward to your stop at my place.

Bob Sanchez said...

Congratulations to Kathryn Craft, winner of a Kindle version of Little Mountain.

Happy e-reading, Kathryn!

Helen Ginger said...

Bob, I'm like you. I could never design a compelling book cover. Your artist did a great job for you.

alberta ross said...

Very interesting post - reclaiming your book was good - mine it for a new book excelent - tea that turns into coffee um. . . !

Lisa said...

I hope that wasn't all your brother said...

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Lisa,
No, my brother said a lot more than that, but he likes to tease. He also did some brotherly gushing.

Holly Jahangiri said...

LOL - I thought Sam was pretty special, but changing tea into coffee would be a neat trick, even for him!