It means “Seldom Asked Questions.” I might even say “Never Asked Questions.” But that would miss the point.
I’m opening the door to any and all questions about my Bell Mountain books–how they got written, where my ideas come from: anything at all except “How long did it take you to write it?”
I thought it’d be kind of neat to ask a question of any author whose books I’ve enjoyed. Then it hit me: we have the Internet now, we have this blog. We can do that very thing.
Seriously–whatever you want to know about the world of Bell Mountain, its people, their stories, the weird animals, the total absence of robo-calls: just drop me a line and ask. Specifically, drop it here, on this page, where everybody can read it.
Come on now–when do you ever do this? You could never ask the writers of Perry Mason about the pizza delivery guy breaking down in the courtroom and admitting he was the murderer. But me you can ask.
The Wind from Heaven is almost ready for publication. Typesetting is all done, and final proofreading is in progress. And after that comes Behold! That should be ready sometime next year.
Ah! But spring is almost here, which means it’s almost time to start writing another one. I’m happy to say I’ve already been given two key pieces of it–one of which has solved a major problem with the plot. There’s stuff going on in Durmurot, and in Lintum Forest, that has to be addressed.
In writing a series of any kind, the writer has to beware of repeating himself. Edgar Rice Burroughs got bogged down with Tarzan and ran off a dozen or more books featuring lost cities. People enjoyed them anyway, but sheesh! You couldn’t throw a brick in Africa without breaking a window in a lost city. I don’t want to do anything like that.
But the new stuff excites me, and I hope it excites my readers, too. Meanwhile, I’m waiting for a catchy title. Sometimes I get badly stuck for a title.
What new stuff? Well, I can’t tell you that, can I?
Jon Dykstra, of Reformed Perspective, did a wonderful job of interweaving some of my blog posts and some of my answers to his questions into a seamless, easy-flowing article. It first appeared in 2017.
My new “Bell Mountain” book, The Wind from Heaven, ought to be coming out sometime this spring. But between now and then there’s a lot of nooze to cover: sort of like wading through a pestilential swamp.
Sometimes, by the end of the day, all I want to do is crawl into bed and pull the covers over my head. The monsters are out there, ravaging our country. But you don’t win battles that way, and you certainly don’t win wars: and like it or not, we are in a war with Far Left Crazy–a war for the survival of our country, our freedom, and our way of life. They mean to take it all away from us.
Just now it seems we have nothing left but our prayers. They’ve nullified our votes, censored us off the social media. But if all we have is our prayers, then let’s use them. Pray often! Pray hard!
I’m tired of writing about the nooze. Tired of watching Democrats murder my country by inches. Nevertheless, I have to write for Newswithviews this week; and I think I’ll write about my books–because there’s a lesson in here somewhere, if I can dig it out.
When Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, came out last year, a few readers said the series had gone on too long and it was time to put it to bed: grant the good guys final victory and let them all go home, to live happily ever after. Like, it’s a fantasy series, you should be able to do that. Why not? Tolkien did.
In my series, the characters plod ahead through good times and bad, enduring one crisis after another, doing their best to serve God, although the world seems to fight them every step of the way. This pattern is also known as “history.” We don’t get a final victory, just a lot of little ones–and that’s if we’re lucky.
Was World War II a final victory? Hardly. The Cold War took its place. Korea, Vietnam, the Middle East. To say nothing of the domestic crises each and every nation must endure. But that’s history. It doesn’t stop. When the Byzantine Empire finally defeated the Sassanian Persian Empire after some 300 years of war, the same emperor was still in office when Islam broke forth from the deserts of Arabia and crashed against the walls of Constantinople.
As Christians we believe in final victory. We can read all about it in the Bible. Jesus Christ has won it for us. Ultimately Christ shall reign forever and ever.
But we don’t know when. We just keep working. We don’t get to see God’s calendar. It would be a terrible mistake to show it to us, and God doesn’t make mistakes. We get a glimpse, in the Book of Revelation, of what Christ’s final victory will look like. And then, as C.S. Lewis hinted, the story really begins. We can’t even imagine what’s in store for us then.
God rules history. From time to time He intervenes in it. We have no idea what our history will be like after the restoration of all things. How could we? God has the whole universe at His disposal.
There’s no telling where He will take us from there.
Still plenty of snow on the ground, expensive car repairs looming, no one here is in the best of health, our country is being murdered by inches, right before our eyes–but I know that spring’s around the corner.
And Bell Mountain No. 15, whatever it winds up being called, is waiting for me to climb into the ring and wrestle with it. I hope I can get myself up for the match. It’s like Gorilla Monsoon is in there waiting for me.
When No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, came out, there was some talk that Bell Mountain had gone on long enough, time to put the series to bed, sayonara, nice knowin’ ya, etc. I don’t know. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote a couple dozen Tarzan books. I haven’t counted the number of books in Walter R. Brooks’ Freddy the Pig series. Or Hal Goodwin’s Rick Brant. To say nothing of Hercule Poirot, Inspector Ghote, or Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct series, with its 54 books. If I thought my Bell Mountain books were no longer worth reading, I wouldn’t write any more of them. But I don’t think that
Writing is hard! Unless you’re one of the chosen few allowed to stand on the tip of the pyramid and get your grocery list published, you just never know if your work has any merit.
But spring is in the air, Gorilla Monsoon is waiting, and it’ll soon be time to rassle…
My writer’s chair is buried under snow and ice, it’s dead cold outside, and there’s more snow in the forecast–
But spring is in the air.
I know this because I’ve received an inspiration for my next Bell Mountain book, which I can’t even begin to write until spring is really here. Suddenly a really thorny plot problem has been bulldozed out of the way. Thank you, Lord!
For those of you who are new here, this blog was originally set up to generate interest in my books, and that’s still part of its mission. (If you’re really new, click “Books” and see all the covers.) This unwritten, untitled book will be the 15th in the series. We are expecting No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, to be published sometime this spring. After that comes No. 14, Behold!
Some readers have complained that this series has gone on too long. Others have said they hope it never ends. What can I say? I love writing these books, and I’ll never live long enough to match the number of books in series by my favorite authors. Did Edgar Rice Burroughs write too many Tarzan books? He thought so, but a lot of readers disagreed. Did Agatha Christie write too many books featuring Hercule Poirot? She thought so, but a lot of readers disagreed.
Whatever the case, there is now a really cool miracle waiting to become the centerpiece of No. 15, and it will truly be a pleasure to start the work.
Well, we had to go all the way out to Scotland to find her, but now we have a comment contest winner. Congratulations, Ina!
Seventy thousand comments is a major milestone. We should be excited about it.
One thing I’ve learned about any kind of organization, any kind of club–and my blog. Ten percent of the readers make 90 percent of the comments. That’s why certain readers win more than once. Heck, there are readers who show up here every day and never make a comment.
Ina already has His Mercy Endureth Forever, and she doesn’t want one of those big stone heads that Byron the Quokka found in the mountains of Turkey, so her prize will be an autographed copy of The Wind from Heaven when it comes out, which should be sometime this spring.
Thanks to all of you who come here and read, and comment–and let’s see how long it takes to get to No. 80,000.
It has been brought to our attention that some of you already have one or more of these colossal stone heads on your lawn and would rather not find room for another. In that case, we certainly won’t try to force one on you.
If you win the comment contest by posting Comment No. 70,000, you do not have to accept a huge enormous stone head as your prize. You can have an autographed copy of Bell Mountain No.12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. Or you can hold out for an autographed copy of No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, which hasn’t been published yet, but shouldn’t be much longer.
Byron the Quokka thought the allure of these magnificent stone heads would revitalize this blog’s readership. And I listened to him. Just call us Wizards of Marketing.