Category Archives: Book Updates

To Be a Writer–Read!

 

At last we have some young people joining this blog, and that makes me happy–because there’s plenty of work for everyone in regaining cultural ground for Christ’s Kingdom, and none of us is going to live long enough to do it all. As is the nature of things, we’ll have to pass a lot of this work on to another generation.

Some of you, I’m sure, will want to be writers someday, if not now. I know what that feels like: I started writing science fiction novels before I started high school. I sold my first book in 1986. I was a casualty of the implosion of the horror market, no one wanted to publish my books anymore, but I kept at it. Had to! A lot of changes–for the better–swept over me, and twenty years later I published Bell Mountain, copyright 2010. Now it’s 2018, and I’m currently writing the 12th book in the series.

So my first tip to any teen or tween who wants to be a writer is, keep at it. The goal of publication is fantastically hard to attain. You wouldn’t believe how many books I wrote that never got published, and never will be. There is no substitute for perseverance.

And my second tip is just as simple: read. Read as much as you possibly can, especially the kind of books you want to write someday.

We learn by watching others do what we want to do. By example, and by imitation. How would you ever learn to walk, if you never saw anybody walking? How would you learn to talk, if you never heard anybody talking? Reading is just as important to anyone who wants to be a writer. Read, read, and read some more, and never, never stop.

We all have dreams of hitting it big while we’re still young. Like Stephen Crane, or F. Scott Fitzgerald. But most of us simply aren’t ready yet. We haven’t seen enough, heard enough, lived enough. An awful lot of living has to go into your writing. And you, as a writer, are always a work in progress, never finished, always room for improvement, always more to learn. I believe God knew I wasn’t ready, no matter how passionately I wanted to be published: and He knew best. If God ever decided to give us everything we ever prayed for, He wouldn’t be doing us a favor. Sometimes, when we think He’s pounding us, He’s really blessing us: and maybe we’ll last long enough to realize it, long after the fact.

Anyway, I wish to encourage young writers. Don’t stop–the Kingdom has work for you to do.


Beat the Heat

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If I don’t stop blogging and get out there and start writing, it’ll soon be too hot to write. And then the cold weather will have settled in before I can finish the book–ah, fanabla!

I reckon (as Helki would say) I’m about halfway done with His Mercy Endureth Forever, Book No. 12 of my Bell Mountain series. I have absolutely no idea what the climax is going to be. The Lord will tell me when I least expect it: He likes to surprise me.


Rain, Rain, Go Away!

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I can’t write fiction indoors anymore. I don’t know why, and I’d be interested to hear any theories on the subject; but the fact is that I just can’t get my mind into my fictional world of Obann if I’m sitting at a table, surrounded by walls, with the phone ringing (and it’s always a call I’d rather not receive–“Hi! This is Sheryl from Meshuggah Resorts, and our records show you had a wonderful time two years ago at our Sphagnum House Motel,” etc. All a load of ridiculous lies. So glad I got up to answer that!)

Just now the problem is that it’s been raining buckets for four days in a row, I haven’t been able to get back to work on my book, and I’m losing track of my hyenas. Now I hardly know where they’ll turn up next. And Jack and Martis have just had a very close call–I think that was last Wednesday. My momentum is not where I’d like it to be.

His Mercy Endureth Forever is, I reckon, nearly halfway finished. Oh, for a sunny day tomorrow!

Well, I’m writing this novel in the Lord’s service, and I’ll have to leave the weather up to Him.


A Good Day (Finally)

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Despite a threat of rain, I finished an important chapter today in my new book, His Mercy Endureth Forever.

Back when I was writing my horror novels, in the 80s and 90s, I really stunk at titles. In three out of four published books, the publisher changed the title; and I didn’t mind, because their titles were a lot better than mine. Mine were bad enough to be blotted from my memory.

But by now I’ve been at this long enough to learn how to come up with a decent title first and then let it guide me throughout the writing of the book. I learned this by reading British crime novelist H.R.F. Keating, famous for his Inspector Ghote books. A Keating title always informs the whole story, and he did it in such a way that you can see it as you read. (To say nothing of the pleasure I and so many others get from an Inspector Ghote novel–try ’em, you’ll like ’em.)

Anyway, I ask the Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell, and open myself up to the plot playing out in ways I never expected.

And so far it’s worked out very well for me–very well indeed.


My Newswithviews Column, July 19 (‘The Silver Trumpet’)

See the source image

I thank Newswithviews for letting me talk about my own books from time to time. Advertising is hard to come by.

https://newswithviews.com/the-silver-trumpet/

I hope I haven’t put the rest of you off by doing this. If any of you out there enjoys a close personal friendship with Rush Limbaugh, and can get him to talk about Bell Mountain to his 20 million listeners, I’d appreciate it.


My, er, Sales

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I got my quarterly book sales figures, a couple of days ago. The less said about those, the better. You’d think the gaudy covers would attract more readers. But I guess people have to see them first.

Riding my bike this morning, I was stopped by an old one-eyed, one-legged man on a crutch. He had a snow-white beard and was dressed in ragged robes. But he claimed to be clairvoyant, so I paused to listen to his predictions.

“You will embark on a long sea voyage which will never get to where it’s going,” he said, “and at the end of it, you will not be elected president. Ooh, wait! You won’t be going to sea, after all. I wonder if I should have said ‘going to seed.’

“You will meet a man who will have no influence on your life. He will ignore you, and you will ignore him.

“When you turn the next corner, you will come to a hill. You will pedal up the hill and then coast back down.” I didn’t think much of that prediction. I pedal up that hill, and coast down it, several times a week.

“That will be twenty dollars, please,” he added. Before I could hit upon any kind of witty reply, he disappeared. That saved me twenty dollars.


Progress on ‘The Temptation’

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I heard from my excellent copy and continuity editor, Kathy, today. She’s finished her work on The Temptation, aka Bell Mountain No. 11–and she loved it. Her main job is to find mistakes and contradictions in the text, and she doesn’t seem to have found any–none, at least, requiring my attention.

So now I’ve got to contact our artist, Kirk DouPonce, and see about a cover. I don’t think he’s had a chance to read the book yet, but there must be a scene in there somewhere that he’ll want to use. Not all cover artists read the book first, so I’m very grateful that he does.

Meanwhile, I’m toiling away on No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, taking every opportunity I can, between rain and thunderstorms, to get outside and write. I don’t know yet where the next few chapters will be going: I can only ask the Lord to guide me.

While you’re waiting, there are now ten Bell Mountain books in print, including No. 9, The Throne, pictured above. I know some of you have already read all ten. If you’re eagerly waiting for the next one–well, I’m working as fast as I can.


‘The Silver Trumpet’ Available in Kindle

The Silver Trumpet (Bell Mountain Book 10) by [Duigon, Lee]

Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed colleagues, lovers of fantasy fiction: it gives me great pleasure to announce that The Silver Trumpet is available today as a Kindle book on amazon.com. In fact, if you’ve got Amazon Prime, it’s free. (Don’t ask me how I make any money out of that. I’m sure I don’t know.) And coming out of the starting gate, it’s in the Top Hundred for Fantasy and Science Fiction this morning.

It doesn’t appear that any paperbacks have been sold yet, although they’re now available, too.

Plus there’s a “Be the First to Review This Book” notice up, so I’ll be on tenterhooks to see what kind of customer reviews I get. It suddenly occurs to me that I don’t, in fact, know what “tenterhooks” are.

So there it is, boys and girls. (I promise not to stop with the microaggressions.)

What–you mean you haven’t ordered it already? Well, don’t just stand there–!


A New Contest for Readers: Cast the Movie!

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To celebrate the publication of Bell Mountain No. 10, The Silver Trumpet. and the long-awaited (by me) expansion of my market to Barnes & Noble Nook and Google Play, I has thunk up–stop! Too much Joe Collidge. I have devised a new contest for you, dear and faithful readers, new and old alike.

For years I’ve been pipe-dreaming about a Bell Mountain movie, and even trying my hand at assembling a cast for it. Last night I thought it might be much more fun to let all of you join in.

**So here’s the contest. Whoever can propose the best cast, at least half a dozen characters, for a Bell Mountain movie, wins an autographed copy of The Silver Trumpet. It’s okay if the actors you propose are dead. That will only slightly decrease the movie’s  chance of ever being made.

@@Sample entry> Lord Reesh: Lou Costello; Helki the Rod: Sandy Becker; Jack: Mike Mazurki; Ellayne: Lee Remick; Obst: Hector Elizondo; the Baroness: Dame Judith Anderson. (Note: I purposely selected actors no one else would select. Do try to do better than this!)

Anyone can play, all are eligible–and I’ll keep the contest open for a while, so some of you can catch up on your reading. Entries will be judged by me and my wife, and if we can’t decide among two or three or four entries, they’ll all win.

Come on, now, join in–this should be a lot of fun. Enter as often as you like. Feel free to comment on other readers’ entries. The whole thing’ll fall flat, of course, if everybody just sits around waiting for someone else to play.

How to enter? Simple. Just “leave a comment” or “leave a reply” on any post, anytime.

I can hardly wait to see what you guys come up with.

P.S.–Everybody seems to enjoy reading about this, but so far, very few have actually participated. C’mon now, folks! I can’t run a contest with only half a dozen entrants–and I don’t have half a dozen yet.


My Market Has Expanded (Hooray!)

The Throne (Bell Mountain, 9)

No one works harder than the support staff at Chalcedon HQ. And they get it done, too.

I just heard from Jill that all my books are now on sale via Barnes & Noble Nook and Google Play. That would be ebook versions of the books: Chalcedon and amazon.com also sell the paperbacks. The latest, The Silver Trumpet (No. 10 in the Bell Mountain series), is still about a week away from being available as an ebook. That’s also Jill’s job.

Anyway, now ebooks of my books are available in two more markets, and they just got there so I haven’t sold any yet. But it can’t help but help–right?


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