Episode 380 – Bill Campbell

Virtual Memories Show 380:
Bill Campbell

“When you own the field, it’s very easy to move the goalposts.”

Author & publisher Bill Campbell joins the show to talk about what he’s learned from running Rosarium Publishing (and how he accidentally became a publisher). We get into how having a diverse roster of authors and cartoonists is easy if you’re willing to look, how independent bookstores generally don’t support independent presses, and how work-life balance is something he doesn’t even consider. We also talk about the impact of Rosarium’s first book, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond, the continued significance of their 2015 anthology, APB: Artists against Police Brutality, the cognitive dissonance of living in Washington, DC, his upcoming graphic novel about a Klan rally in Pittsburgh and why history equals horror, the challenges of continuing to publish during the pandemic, how lockdown taught him that he’s not as antisocial as he thought, and more. Give it a listen! And go read some Rosarium books!

“Independent bookstores always say, ‘Support independents,’ and I say, ‘Why don’t you support independent publishers?'”

“The work-life balance might work if you have a 9-5, but if you’re doing stuff like this, there’s just no balancing any of it.”

“What my novel Koontown Killing Kaper taught me was, if you’re doing something that’s actually controversial, people will ignore you. They just won’t show you the light of day.”


Enjoy the conversation! Then check out the archives for more great episodes!

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About our Guest

Bill Campbell is the author of Sunshine Patriots, My Booty Novel, and the anti-racism satire, Koontown Killing Kaper. Along with Edward Austin Hall, he co-edited the groundbreaking anthology, Mothership: Tales from Afrofuturism and Beyond. He also co-edited Stories for Chip: A Tribute to Samuel R. Delany, with Nisi Shawl, Future Fiction: New Dimensions in International Science Fiction and Fantasy, with Francesco Verso, and APB: Artists against Police Brutality, with Jason Rodriguez and John Jennings. His Afrofuturist spaceploitation graphic novel, Baaaad Muthaz (with David Brame and Damian Duffy) was released in 2019. His historical graphic novel with Bizhan Khodabandeh, The Day the Klan Came to Town, will be released by PM Press in 2021. He lives in Washington, DC, where he spends his time with his family and helms Rosarium Publishing.

Follow Bill on Twitter and Instagram and follow Rosarium Publishing on Twitter.

Credits: This episode’s music is Fella by Hal Mayforth, used with permission from the artist. The conversation was recorded remotely via Zencastr. I used a Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Microphone feeding into a Cloudlifter CL-1 and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack 2×2 USB Recording Interface. All processing and editing done in Adobe Audition CC. Photo of Bill hoarding toilet paper by him. It’s on my instagram.

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