Kirk DouPonce has done it again. This is the gorgeous cover he’s come up with for The Wind from Heaven, Book No. 13 in my Bell Mountain series. A lack of skill at my end is why the picture is cut off from the top and bottom. So what you’re seeing here is, I guess, about three-quarters of the picture.
I don’t know when the book will be published: probably sometime this spring. If we still have a country by then, you’ll be able to order the book right here from this blog.
For many centuries the ocean has separated Obann from the rest of the world. What lies beyond it? Are there people on the other side–if there even is another shore? But if not, then were have those strange ships come from, and what does their coming mean?
Are there giants in Lintum Forest?
Yes, it’s the Bell Mountain story continued, with all your favorite characters and some new ones.
If you’re new to this blog and new to Bell Mountain–well, it wouldn’t be right for me to create a commercial for my own books. I’ve done it before, but I’m trying not to. Suffice it to say you can read all about all the books in the series just by clicking “Books.”
Jill at Chalcedon HQ today informed me that the first three books of my series (Bell Mountain, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and The Thunder King) are now available as Apple iBooks, which can be accessed via the app on your phone or ipad. I have no idea what I just said.
Anyhow, you can click the Apple icon on any of those three books, and you’re in business. Eventually all the books will be available as Apple iBooks. They’re going for $1.99.
Working at a furious pace, I finished writing Behold! yesterday, just before the weather turned nasty. Yup, got it all done.
So that night I sat down to relax with a popsicle. As you can see above, they print riddles on the popsicle sticks. You have to eat the popsicle to see the answer. But for me–for this guy who had just that day finished writing a book–get a load of this question:
“What did the author say about his novel when it was finished?” (Answer: “It’s a complete mystery.”)
Whoa! How did this happen? Is that a bodacious coincidence or what? How unlikely was it that this particular popsicle stick would wind up in my hands on that particular day?
I wonder if I ought to write to the Popsicle Company. It might make a good commercial. Can I ask for Denzel Washington to play me?
With a prayer, and with a cold wind blowing in my face, I have finished writing Behold! And if this book’s climax is as good as I dare hope–well, kowabunga!
I’m reminded of an essay (or was it a letter?) by Tolkien, in which he described a conversation he had with a stranger about The Lord of the Rings–who said to him, “You don’t think you wrote all that all by yourself, do you?” It was just the sort of thing, said Tolkien, that Gandalf would have said–and he left it at that.
I thank the Lord of All for giving me this book to write, and pray my work will be fruitful in His service. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I haven’t yet seen any woolly mammoths walking through my yard, but it is kind of cold today for me to be sitting outside, writing. But after three straight days of rain, and more in the short-term weather forecast, I have to use what sunshine I can get. The climactic scene has got to be written!
Meanwhile, take a gander at Citizens Free Press–the usurpers’ house of cards is crumbling.
Attorney and investigator Sidney Powell vows, “I’m going to release the kraken. I’m going to expose every one of them.” The kraken is a legendary sea monster, a gigantic squid that pulls down full-size ships for breakfast.
The theft of the 2020 presidential election, the biggest and boldest crime in American history, will not stand.
Pray hard, pray often–and prepare to see the salvation of the Lord.
One of Kirk’s models posing as Ellayne for the cover of “The Cellar Beneath the Cellar”
When I was writing horror novels in the 1980s, New York publishing houses had one rule for cover art: You’ll take what we give you, writer, like it or not!
I’ve had the good fortune to have artist Kirk DouPonce illustrate the covers for all the books in my Bell Mountain series. Unlike the way they do it in New York, Kirk reads the books he illustrates and confers with the writers. So he and I usually bat ideas back and forth until we find one that we both like.
Yesterday we agreed on a cover for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. I really mustn’t tell you what it is; but I think it’s going to be great. He didn’t say how long it would take him to come up with a preliminary sketch: I don’t think it’s wise to pressure an artist to hurry.
And meanwhile I’m waiting for it to stop raining (three days in a row now!) so I can finish writing No. 14, Behold!
Some of you have expressed curiosity about what a writer actually does. Well, here’s a recap of my workday yesterday.
*Before breakfast, put up two blog posts to get the day rolling.
*After breakfast, two or three more posts, at least one of which will require some thought.
*Go outside and write as much of my book as I can.
*Two more blog posts.
*Write Newswithviews column.
*After supper, post a critter video.
This schedule doesn’t leave me a lot of time for deep-sea marlin fishing, high-stakes gambling, amateur bull-fighting, or an interminable train of amours. We are all trying to live down Hemingway. And contrary to popular belief, drink and drugs do not sharpen your creativity. Neither does college.
Now that I finally know what the climax of the story is, and where all the characters have to be when it happens… can I get it all written before the cold weather takes over?
I reckon I’ve got about a week’s worth of good writing days left. Can I wrap up the story, if I work real hard?
Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold!–it’s been a hard hike over rough terrain. Didn’t get the climax till just a few days ago. When that happens the writer runs a serious risk of having his characters just milling around. My editor says I have avoided that. I pray she’s right.
If I can write it like I’ve seen it, my climax will have been worth waiting for.
What a morning! Hand in our votes, supermarket, pay rent–and all with a cold wind blowing, with 40-mph gusts. Complete with a great big black walnut branch breaking off and falling in the yard. Fortunately it didn’t hit anything. And my leg was just killing me, too.
But all that hassle must’ve cleared out the cobwebs for me, because when we finally got home again, and I sat outside to have a cigar–voila!
I’ve got the climax for Behold! Now I’ve seen what the people in my story are going to behold. And if I can find the skill to write what I saw, as I saw it–well, it’s gonna knock your socks off.
Meanwhile the computer I normally use has gone on strike. Ain’t working.
So kick back and enjoy some dinosaur sounds: it has a bearing on the story.
If you’ve been following my progress, as reported here, I’ve really been sweating it, trying to come up with a climax for Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! The question gave me no peace: “Behold what? What’s there to behold?” And I’ve been praying about it, asking the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell. That’s what I always ask Him; and so far, He always has.
So I was out there in the cold yesterday, too cold to write, finishing up my cigar… and the idea just sort of drifted into my head. Sometimes it comes with a bang, as when the gunslinger in a movie shoves open the doors to the saloon. Sometimes it’s like a flashbulb. Sometimes I get the climax first and have to find the way to it. But this time it just drifted quietly into my head; and when I went back indoors, I got distracted by other things and didn’t think of it.
Until I woke up this morning!
Gee, it was still there. I don’t know how to tell you how unusual that is for me. I get a lot of ideas that don’t amount to anything. But this one was not only still there: now it was much clearer. It was better. It ties together the strands of the plot that were just sort of whipping in the wind.
Hallelujah, I can finish my book! I asked the Lord to show me how, and He did. Now all I need is some friendly weather–and a lot of energy–in which to write it up.
Oh–and I still need some good ideas for cover art for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Kirk DouPonce is a great cover artist, but he prefers the author (which is me) to come up with the ideas. I’m still wondering how he gets my characters so real: you’d swear they posed for him.