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Duet Books Interlude Press Teen Fiction The Camino Club Voyage Journal

Bonus The Camino Club Material at Voyage Journal Today!

I’m thrilled to announce that an outtake from #TheCaminoClub is featured on VOYAGE JOURNAL for YA today!

Visit the link below to read the excerpt… it will NOT be found in the novel!

Voyage Journal – Diego Nelson in Fonfria After the Queimada


Voyage YA Journal
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Duet Books Interlude Press The Camino Club Young Adult Young Adult Fiction

Two Ways to Read THE CAMINO CLUB Ahead of its Release…

I probably don’t talk about this as much as I should, but if you were to go and purchase the PAPERBACK of THE CAMINO CLUB directly from my publisher…they will send you the ebook RIGHT AWAY. This means you can read the novel prior to its release! How cool is that!

Cover Design by CB MESSER.

PURCHASE THE PAPERBACK TODAY AND READ THE EBOOK PRIOR TO ITS RELEASE! JUST CLICK HERE.

If you’re a REVIEWER, BOOK BLOGGER, BOOKTUBER…you can still request THE CAMINO CLUB from NET GALLEY. I do not know how long my publisher will keep THE CAMINO CLUB on Net Galley, so this one…you’ll have to act fast.

REQUEST THE CAMINO CLUB from NET GALLEY. CLICK HERE.

Release day is quickly approaching! I really don’t know how ready I am for this. I love this book with all my heart, because I wrote about a place I love deeply…and I made that place an additional character in the book. What I want is for others to discover that place. I want that with all my heart. But I also hope they fall for my characters. And not only the 6 delinquent teens who find themselves on the Camino de Santiago by court order. I also want them to fall for Bastien, the older gentleman who falls in with the kids in The Camino Club. And I want them to fall for Kei, the boy who walks into one of the character’s lives. Heck…I just want readers to fall for the book. Period.

I have had the honour of having a great list of early readers blurb The Camino Club…authors whose books I’ve loved. These are authors I deeply admire! Tom Ryan, Danika Stone and Kip Wilson. You can see their reactions on my home page here. There is also an extremely special review over on Goodreads from Beth Jusino. Beth wrote my absolute favourite travel memoir book, which not coincidentally also takes place on the Camino de Santiago. I encourage you to pick up her book, WALKING TO THE END OF THE WORLD – A THOUSAND MILES ON THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO. It’s truly beautiful! Her prose transported me to heaven.

Read Beth Jusino’s REVIEW OF THE CAMINO CLUB here!

Click here to go to AMAZON to read more about Beth Jusino’s book and purchase!

Preorder the paperback of THE CAMINO CLUB today from Interlude Press/Duet Books…and they’ll send you an advance copy of the ebook. Read it today!

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Camino de Santiago Duet Books GoodReads Interlude Press The Camino Club Young Adult Fiction

Some History of Prisoners on the Camino de Santiago – And Goodreads Giveaway…

When I first set out to write my young adult novel THE CAMINO CLUB, I had a few things in mind. A major one was The Breakfast Club. There were parts of that (badly aged) movie that I admired. As I was a punk rocker in my teen years in the early to mid 80s, I knew about cliques and how hard it was to break free of them (or protect yourself from others). I also knew that, if given the chance, the people steadfast in their rigid clique-y groups would easily break free once they found common ground. I had experienced that phenomenon myself in high school. The other thing I had in mind was the fact that prisoners on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route has been a thing for many many years.

Essentially, what I did was take The Breakfast Club idea and spread it out over a longer time-span while moving it outside. With one big exception. I didn’t just abandon and neglect my teens and allow them to fend for themselves. I put counselors in the thick of things with them. If prisoners have walked the Camino to regain their freedom for possibly hundreds of years, then why couldn’t I create a fictional rehabilitation program for a few delinquent teens?

CAMINO

There is a long history of prison reform programs that see prisoners walk the Camino in Spain. Spain itself has such a program. HERE’S AN ARTICLE ON ONE SUCH PROGRAM OUT OF SEGOVIA, SPAIN. In it, six prisoners complete the final step of their sentence by walking a portion of the Camino.

From the article:

“Walking with them are two prison educators and a volunteer from the Father Garralda Open Horizons Foundation, an NGO that has worked for the past 30 years on social-integration programs for prisoners. Jesús Hernández, the head of the group, is a veteran expert on drug addiction and reintegration programs. He was one of the first members of the prison’s treatment board.”

This particular program is about reintegration. In the past, prisoners were sent on their way to complete the entire pilgrimage route and their stamped passport books would be proof that they walked it. And once the proof was offered, they would be free. The feeling was that walking the way of Saint James changed a person. Life affirming pilgrimages would transform them and change the course of their lives for the better.

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Belgium still offers 2 ‘Golden Tickets’ each year. The pilgrimage route these two prisoners have to walk is slightly different, though. Two teens set off on a 2,496 km hike to Santiago with an assigned youth worker. READ THIS EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON THE BELGIUM CONNECTION…THIS ONE ALSO DOES A GOOD JOB OF DESCRIBING MORE ABOUT THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO ORIGINS.

From the article:

A good walk can work as a medicine. For over a thousand years, pilgrims have been walking the Camino de Santiago, pushing themselves beyond what they thought was possible. In medieval times, many pilgrims would struggle to make it all the way to Santiago de Compostela and its shrine to St James. While most took the route voluntarily, some were obligated by a court to walk the path as a form of penance.

A lot of the pilgrims who make their way to the Camino are NOT prisoners at all, but also feel the need to break free…to change something about their life. They say that the Camino first enters your life as a word, a short explanation, something you hear about here and there, until it becomes a thunderous shout. The Camino calls to you. And it never stops calling until you make room for it. It may well be an extremely healing journey for prisoners making their way to freedom…but it is also an agent of change in anyone’s life. It’s no longer just a Catholic pilgrimage route to the bones of one of the apostles. It’s a path to walk when you have some thinking to do…when you want to break free of one of your own prisons.

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I wrote The Camino Club because my own pilgrimage on the path in 2014 showed me the power involved in putting one foot in front of the other and communing with others making those same simple movements. I didn’t make the mold when I created this story…but I borrowed it for a while and made it my own. The Camino Club drops OCTOBER 6th, 2020. If you read it, you’ll learn about my six delinquent teens who were forced to walk the Camino in order to avoid incarceration. They were not the first to do so, and they won’t be the last. The Camino is a growth experience…and people have known this about the path for hundreds of years and they took advantage of its healing and rehabilitating vibes. You don’t have to be a prisoner to walk the Camino and grow from the experience. Then again, we’re all prisoners of something…are we not?

There’s currently a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY for THE CAMINO CLUB. CLICK HERE TO ENTER. CONTEST CLOSES AUGUST 24th, 2020 ENTER NOW TO WIN ONE OF TEN COPIES!

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Book Giveaway Camino de Santiago Contemporary YA Duet Books Gay YA Giveaway Interlude Press The Camino Club

The Camino Club Goodreads Giveaway Alert!

For my American readers, my publisher has created a GOODREADS GIVEAWAY for 10 print copies of THE CAMINO CLUB! The giveaway is live now and it runs until AUGUST 24th, 2020.

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Here’s the blurb, ICYMI:

After getting in trouble with the law, six wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes, or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court appointed counselor/guides. When it becomes clear the long walk isn’t really all that much of an option, they set out on a journey that will either make or break who they are and who they are to become.

The epic trek across Spain begins OCTOBER 6th, 2020! Don’t miss out on your opportunity to snag a copy from Goodreads! CLICK ON THE PIC BELOW TO BE TAKEN TO THE GIVEAWAY PAGE AT GOODREADS:

GoodreadsRead what KIRKUS REVIEWS has to say about THE CAMINO CLUB by clicking on the pic below:

kirkus

Head on over to GOODREADS now to ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

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Camino de Santiago Fonfría Play List The Camino Club

Berrogüetto, Fonfría and The Camino Club – Theme Songs and Lies

Last night my MNM friend Jennifer asked if The Camino Club had a theme song like The Breakfast Club had the Simple Minds’ Don’t You Forget About Me…that powerful 80s anthem song that plays at the end of the movie when Judd Nelson comes walking across the football field (?) and raises a fist in victory.

At first, I was, like, hmmmm? Maybe. But because it’s not a yelling screaming anthem song, I sort of backed down a bit before responding. Besides, The Camino Club has an entire playlist on Spotify.

But it actually does have a theme song. In fact, it has two. Berrogüetto is an incredible folk band from the Galicia region of Spain, where most of the novel takes place. I’m obsessed with this band. Their imprint on my whole Camino experience is indelible. I choose two Berrogüetto songs as the theme songs for The Camino Club. It can’t be any other way.

Nadal de Luintra.

Fusco.

Those are the two songs. At gunpoint, I guess I would choose FUSCO as the ultimate The Camino Club theme song. Thanks for forcing my hand, Jennifer. 🙂

While on the subject, I wanted to mention Fonfría. It’s another one of those places I fudged a bit in my novel. The difference with this one, however, is perception rather than convenience. I wrote the novel after my first Camino (May, 2014), but before my second Camino (September, 2019). Even while researching, though, I realized that Fonfría was NOT the highest point in the journey for the kids in the novel. And yet, I kept that detail in the manuscript. You see, on the cold wintery rainy sleety spring day I arrived in Fonfría on my first Camino, I swear to God I climbed an endless despicable mountain to get there. We stayed in Fonfría that night, and it was probably the most magical night of my first Camino. Angela, the albergue owner there, did a Queimada ceremony. The next morning was so cold, it snowed…it actually accumulated on our shoulders and hair as we set out from the albergue and began our day’s walk.

Anyway, in my perception, getting to Fonfría that first Camino was a final hour of torture at the end of a long day. And, as I remember it, we climbed a tree filled mountain in the rain. We went up in a circular motion and every time we turned a corner we prayed it would give us a view to the top…but it never did. I felt like we were on a terrifying amusement park ride where we just keep climbing up that hill until we die of exhaustion.

Second Camino, last September, we of course just strolled into town without any effort whatsoever. I won’t try to figure it out. The Camino is a koan, a riddle, a conundrum. It presents as it is. But in my memory, I had to climb that bloody awful mountain so I made my characters climb it too. I was bitter. (This is the LIES part of the post, in case you missed it. Creative license on the physicality of the Camino again.)

The photos above are all from Fonfría, either from entering the albergue (the cows), or inside the dining hall building, or leaving the albergue in the morning…

While I’m here, I just have to address something that came up way back in the first paragraph of this meandering post. Judd Nelson. Oops. One of my three main characters has the last name NELSON. This is NOT a nod to Judd or The Breakfast Club. NOT AT ALL. For as long as I have been writing novels, I have used the word Nelson in them. It serves as a place name, or a surname, or something, in each of my novels. It’s a place in the world that I adore. Nelson, New Brunswick, Canada…the home town of my grandmother. So I always use it, as a nod to her and that place. It’s another one of those weird coincidences that floats around this novel and The Breakfast Club that was unintentional but serendipitous.

Another such coincidence is that the hugely popular Camino de Santiago movie THE WAY (Starring Martin Sheen) was directed by Emilio Estevez. He also acted in and wrote the screenplay for the movie. AND…he was also the jock in The Breakfast Club.

Anyway, theme song? Check. More geographical lies found within The Camino Club? Check. My work here is done for today. Do yourself a favour and listen to the lovely songs I’ve linked above. If you give them a listen, I’m sure you’ll enjoy them.

THE CAMINO CLUB releases on OCTOBER 6th, 2020…but you can pre-order your copy now wherever books are sold! Here’s a few links.

USA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

CANADA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOK DEPOSITORY PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

INDIEBOUND BOOKS PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BARNES & NOBLE PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOKSHOP PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

KOBO CANADA PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

KOBO USA PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

CHAPTERS INDIGO CANADA PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

PRE-ORDER DIRECT FROM INTERLUDE PRESS (In this link, find out how you can pre-order the paperback and get the ebook package for free: THE CAMINO CLUB

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Book Bloggers Book Reviews Duet Books Interlude Press The Camino Club

The Camino Club – Interviews, Excerpts, Giveaways & Outtakes…

Are you a book reviewer, blogger, vlogger, or bookstagrammer? Please feel free to hit me up for interviews, excerpts and/or outtake materials from THE CAMINO CLUB for your site. I created an easy form for such requests.

The Camino Club releases October 6th, 2020, from Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press.

Click the image below to go to the CONTACT page here on my site:

blog

THE CAMINO CLUB

After getting in trouble with the law, six wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes, or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselor guides. When it becomes clear the long walk isn’t really all that much of an option, they set out on a journey that will either make or break who they are and who they are to become.

I’d be happy to ‘visit’ your blogs with interviews, excerpts, giveaways or outtakes…either related to THE CAMINO CLUB itself, or the Camino de Santiago in general. Reach out…

 

Categories
Camino de Santiago Duet Books Interlude Press The Camino Club

The Swag Begins – A Camino Club Giveaway!

77 Days and counting. The Camino Club drops in 77 DAYS!

I hope your calendars are marked for OCTOBER 6th, 2020—The day the epic trek begins!

I opened a GIVEAWAY on Twitter yesterday and it’s open to INTERNATIONAL entries. All you have to do to enter is RETWEET MY PINNED TWEET.

To avoid confusion, here’s what my PINNED TWEET looks like. You can click the image below to be taken directly to my profile at @KevinTCraig at Twitter:

pinned

Deadline for entries (Retweets) is AUGUST 1st, at which time there will be a draw using all the Retweeters’ names. Winner will be notified and asked for a mailing address, at which time I will send them the notebook. What you write inside is entirely up to you! It’s a blank slate.

No need to FOLLOW, if that’s not your thing. RETWEET is an entry.

Some pre-order purchase links can be found below:

USA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

CANADA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOK DEPOSITORY PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

INDIEBOUND BOOKS PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BARNES & NOBLE PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOKSHOP PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

PRE-ORDER DIRECT FROM INTERLUDE PRESS (In this link, find out how you can pre-order the paperback and get the ebook package for free: THE CAMINO CLUB

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE KIRKUS REVIEW FOR THE CAMINO CLUB!

CLICK HERE TO ADD THE CAMINO CLUB TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF!

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Duet Books Gay YA Interlude Press Kirkus Reviews The Camino Club

The Camino Club in Kirkus Reviews

The Camino Club made an appearance in KIRKUS today! They said, “A vivid Spanish countryside setting and captivating journey bring new depth to a classic architecture.

#MakesMeHappy

kirkus

You can read the FULL KIRKUS REVIEW BY CLICKING THIS LINK OR THE PICTURE ABOVE!

Release Day is fast approaching! You can preorder your copy wherever books are sold!

Here are a few places to get it:

USA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

CANADA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOK DEPOSITORY PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

INDIEBOUND BOOKS PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BARNES & NOBLE PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOKSHOP PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

PRE-ORDER DIRECT FROM INTERLUDE PRESS (In this link, find out how you can pre-order the paperback and get the ebook package for free: THE CAMINO CLUB

The review can be found in the August 1st, 2020 print edition!

Categories
Duet Books Gay YA Interlude Press The Camino Club YA Fiction Young Adult Young Adult Fiction

Request THE CAMINO CLUB on Net Galley!

The first tiny step into the world has happened for THE CAMINO CLUB! It’s out for review and blurbs. And NOW it’s live on NET GALLEY and available to be requested!

CLICK THIS LINK TO REQUEST TO REVIEW THE CAMINO CLUB ON NET GALLEY!

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I’m not sure how long it will remain available, but for now you need only click on the green Request button.

Here’s the description for the book:

After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselors. Although they come from diverse backgrounds, the unlikely friends try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but they may not make it to their destination—the Cathedral in Santiago. If they do, will they each find what they’re looking for, and will their newfound friendships endure?

And from Danika Stone, advance praise for The Camino Club:

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Release Date: TUESDAY OCTOBER 6, 2020. Purchase Links:

USA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

CANADA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOK DEPOSITORY PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

INDIEBOUND BOOKS PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BARNES & NOBLE PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOKSHOP PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

PRE-ORDER DIRECT FROM INTERLUDE PRESS (In this link, find out how you can pre-order the paperback and get the ebook package for free: THE CAMINO CLUB

Listen to THE CAMINO CLUB playlist on SPOTIFY!

You can also add THE CAMINO CLUB TO GOODREADS by clicking the link below:

goodreadsDESC

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Camino de Santiago Duet Books Interlude Press The Camino Club

THE CAMINO CLUB Release Day – 15 Weeks from Today!

That’s 105 days, for those either quick or slow at math.

This morning I finished what will probably be my very last read-through of The Camino Club. I haven’t re-read any of my other books once I received the physical copy. Then again, there is a first time for everything. I might just want to hold it in my hands and read it again. Never say never.

This book was a tiny idea floating around in my head when my feet first made contact with the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route in Spain back in May, 2014. I had this highfalutin idea that I would write it while I walked, cloister myself at the end of every days’ hike and jot down a few chapters. It might sound like a crazy idea, but I was used to writing complete novels in 72 hours at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. I figured I could storm through this one each day after a full day walking.

Boy, I have never been more wrong in all my life. The Camino is something you plug into 24 hours a day. It’s the Camino at night too…when the walking is over. Peregrinos (pilgrims) take in the places they stop in every day. They get to their albergues (hostels) and they freshen up…and then they typically go out and walk around the town/village/city they’re staying in that night. Or they take part in the communal meals and festivities that happen in their albergues. They LIVE. They participate. They become the pilgrims they imagined themselves to be.

You can’t put the Camino on hold to write while you’re on the Camino. It doesn’t work that way for me, at least. I would understand doing so if one were writing a travel journey or non-fiction memoir. They would want to get the details just right. But for me…I was formulating a fiction. I needed only to keep myself open and hope the story would percolate somewhere down below the surface while I was actually experiencing the Camino.

It took a couple of years…but it finally happened. I got that story out (I submitted to Interlude on November 23, 2018). It evolved from what I originally imagined it would look like. That evolution mostly happened because of the experiences I eventually lived out there on the path. My real experiences enriched the imagined experience. I’ll always be grateful for that first Camino…for forming the eventual story that came out.

Now, just 15 short weeks away, it will be something I can hold in my hands…something I can look at and say, “I made this!” I’ve never been so proud of a story. And a story has never been such a heavy weight to carry across an entire country and cultivate in my head while being out there living the life of a pilgrim. It’s like this impossible thing happened. And it happened to me! I’ll never get over it.

I might be talking less about the Camino now. Now that it’s out and the story will be in the world, living and breathing apart from me. I need to move on to other stories. I’ve been simmering a few in the incubator. I love the Camino. I will be back on the path for more wondrous Camino experiences. You can count on that. But I need to get my head wrapped around those other stories. I need to live, participate, experience.

Keep an eye out for the book drop! It’s coming soon. 105 short days from now. Better yet…go out and PREORDER. That would be great! It would help to lift this story off the ground ahead of its release. Wanna find out what six juvenile delinquent strangers get up to when they’re forced to walk across a country? Wanna taste of an amazing adventure–the Camino de Santiago–that’s out there waiting for anyone to try it at any time? Preorder now!

My publisher (Duet Books, the YA imprint of Interlude Press) said it best with the headline below when they announced The Camino Club on their website:

The epic trek begins October 6th.

Here’s Interlude Press’s The Camino Club blurb:

After getting in trouble with the law, a group of wayward teens from diverse backgrounds are given an ultimatum: serve time in juvenile detention for their crimes, or walk the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across Spain over the summer holidays with a pair of court-appointed counselor guides. Although unlikely friends, they all try to make the best of their situation. The pilgrims grow closer on their journey, but when and if they reach the Cathedral in Santiago, will they each find what they’re looking for and come out of the walk ready to conquer the shattered worlds they left behind?

The pilgrimage begins October 6th from Duet Books.

Cover art by C.B. Messer.

thumbnail_Camino Club (IPG)

USA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

CANADA PRE-ORDER AMAZON LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOK DEPOSITORY PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

INDIEBOUND BOOKS PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BARNES & NOBLE PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

BOOKSHOP PRE-ORDER LINK: THE CAMINO CLUB

PRE-ORDER DIRECT FROM INTERLUDE PRESS (In this link, find out how you can pre-order the paperback and get the ebook package for free: THE CAMINO CLUB

I got so geeky with this book, I even created and dropped the playlist I created while writing The Camino Club. You can check it out here:

Listen to THE CAMINO CLUB playlist on SPOTIFY!

That’s it for today. This is just me getting excited and anxious for this book to drop. It’s the first book I’ve written that truly feels like the book of my heart. I hope to connect this hard with the next one. Now that I know how hard a writer can connect with their work, I hope to experience that feeling again. Now go and preorder my baby! It’s waiting to be loved…