Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

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Vandal
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Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#1 Post by Vandal » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:18 pm

It took over four years from conception, but my writing partner, Binh Pham, and I finally found a home for our middle grade, refugee escape story, The Dragon's Song. The publisher is INtense Publications (https://intensepublications.com/), a fairly new outfit located in Texas. Tentative release date is summer/fall of 2020.

The Dragon's Song is a semi-fictional retelling of Binh's real-life escape from Vietnam, his journey through three refugee camps and his ultimate arrival in the US. We decided to give him a fictional 11-year-old cousin to tell the story and make it a middle grade book.

Here's the pitch:

Eleven-year-old Bao Dang remembers watching in horror four years earlier as Communist soldiers dragged his parents from their home. Now an orphan, he begins a journey to escape the oppressive government of South Vietnam. The owner of a small boat, paid in gold, smuggles Bao and his cousin, Binh Pham, down the Saigon River at night to the South China Sea, where he and over one hundred other "boat people" pack into a trawler designed to hold fewer than thirty. For six days, they face danger from the police, weather, and pirates, not to mention the constant threat of capsizing as they take on water while living only on dry, rationed rice.

Bao and the others hope a refugee camp in Indonesia accepts them, but there’s no guarantee. Word has it they may be turned away and even towed back out to sea to starve. Eventually finding a safe haven, Bao harnesses the power of music to heal and help him endure months of harsh and dangerous living while he and Binh await word from relatives in the United States, hoping they’ll obtain the ultimate gift: freedom.


As you may recall, we eventually got an agent for this manuscript in 2016 and she tried very hard to sell it to major publishers, to no avail. We kept making changes, hoping to hit the magical formula to snag a top tier pub house, but it never happened. Then, the agent unexpectedly had to leave the business and we were out on our own. It's almost impossible to get a manuscript into big editors (there were some left) without an agent. We sent it to as many places as we could, but there were no takers.

I came across this publisher fairly recently. I sent the manuscript on a Thursday and they offered the next Monday. The editor loved it. I contacted other INtense authors and they mostly had good things to say about the them. They have distribution, so that increases the chance of getting into bookstores and libraries. They print hardcover and paperback copies and they are not print-on-demand, like many others. All publishing comes with risk, so this is no different.

I'm positive you folks will absolutely love this book. I hope it makes you appreciate what many refugees had to go through for their chance at freedom in America (or anywhere else).

As soon as I have a cover and a release date I will share them with the BBs. None of this is public knowledge, so please stay mum about it. I'll make the announcement everywhere else when the deal is reported in Publishers Marketplace.

Remember that title:

The Dragon's Song
_________________________________________________________________________________
Available now:
The Secret At Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery
The Right Hand Rule
Center Point
Dizzy Miss Lizzie
Running On Empty
The Tick Tock Man

Visit my website: http://www.rmclarkauthor.com

Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song by Binh Pham and R. M. Clark

Working on:
Scout's Honor (follow on to The Secret at Haney Field)

Recently finished:
Devin Drake and The Family Secret

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Beebs52
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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#2 Post by Beebs52 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:34 pm

:D
Oh please.

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#3 Post by wbtravis007 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:54 pm

Wow!

Awesome.

I'll definitely buy some and sprinkle then around to some public libraries.

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#4 Post by Ritterskoop » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:00 am

OUT

standing!!!
If you fail to pilot your own ship, don't be surprised at what inappropriate port you find yourself docked. - Tom Robbins
--------
At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you. - attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#5 Post by Bob78164 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:21 am

I didn't know you had a writing partner. Congratulations on the new work. --Bob
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#6 Post by silverscreenselect » Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:57 am

Congratulations...

Hope this makes it to the top of the charts.
Check out our website: http://www.silverscreenvideos.com

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#7 Post by MarleysGh0st » Sun Nov 17, 2019 8:42 am

Congratulations!

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#8 Post by Vandal » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:36 pm

Bob78164 wrote:I didn't know you had a writing partner. Congratulations on the new work. --Bob

A more accurate term is co-author, since it only applies to this book. We're not sure how it will appear on the cover, but we pitched it as

The Dragon's Song by Binh Pham as told to R. M. Clark



Some back story:

Binh and I are both scientists at the same facility and we've known each other since the mid-90s. He used to tell stories about how he got out of Viernam as one of the "boat people" that were in the news during the early to late 80s. I wasn't a writer at the time, but when I became one I knew I had to tell this story. In 2015, I approached him about it and he agreed. We sat down for a series of interviews during lunch and he started with his trip down the Saigon River and I was immediately blown away. Then it was on to the details of his six days on the open water, finding a refugee camp and surviving malaria. I added the fictional protagonist and finished up the first draft in late 2015.

We (eventually) got an agent and went out on submission. We pitched with just me as the author since I was published. We got some backlash for this since I was a white man telling an Asian tale. We changed it to Binh as author and got a lot more reads, but no sale. We dug in for more details of refugee life and came up with another version. Still no sale. We made a final surge and sent it to the agent last spring, expecting to get reads from some big editors.

That's when we heard that the agent suffered a terrible fall and had to release all her authors. That meant we were on our own with a limited list of publishers. All we needed was one to love it.

And now we're here!
_________________________________________________________________________________
Available now:
The Secret At Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery
The Right Hand Rule
Center Point
Dizzy Miss Lizzie
Running On Empty
The Tick Tock Man

Visit my website: http://www.rmclarkauthor.com

Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song by Binh Pham and R. M. Clark

Working on:
Scout's Honor (follow on to The Secret at Haney Field)

Recently finished:
Devin Drake and The Family Secret

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#9 Post by Bob Juch » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:42 pm

Congratulations!
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
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Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#10 Post by gsabc » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:05 pm

Double-plus good! Congratulations on the new "baby"!
I just ordered chicken and an egg from Amazon. I'll let you know.

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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#11 Post by Estonut » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:57 am

Great! I'll have to find my checkbook again...

Congrats!
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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#12 Post by T_Bone0806 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:13 am

Sounds like a good read. Happy to see that it will be coming into the light.
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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#13 Post by Catfish » Tue Nov 19, 2019 5:51 pm

Awesome! Congrats! I'm looking forward to reading it. Sounds like an exciting story.
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Re: Coming in 2020: The Dragon's Song

#14 Post by SportsFan68 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:37 pm

Yay, Vandal!

My dream is to recommend a book to my book club where I know the author. Maybe this will be it.
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-- America would be a better place if leaders would do more long-term thinking. -- Wilma Mankiller

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