Category Archives: Book Updates

Rain, Rain, and Work

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It’s been raining all day long. I’ve been working on preparing the first six chapters of The Temptation for my editor, while Patty toils away through the infinite amount of paperwork required by the government to get Aunt Joan on Medicaid. Our cats have conked out. Even the traffic on this blog has slowed to less than a crawl.

Anyhow, check out the picture–a beast of this general description plays a dramatic role in Bell Mountain No. 10, The Silver Trumpet. It’s not a nice animal and it doesn’t do nice things. But it is an interesting animal.

Time to stop writing for a while: I’m kind of tuckered out. I’ll be back when it’s time for a cat video.


All Aboard for Obann!

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My wretched sinuses have gone back to sleep, and today I finally was able to start typing up the first six chapters of my new book, The Temptation (No. 11 of my Bell Mountain series). Two chapters now in the can!

Will it have giant flightless birds in it (see above)? You bet! It will also have heroes and villains, courage and cowardice, the whole shootin’ match. Not to mention a couple of new characters who have just recently shown up at my door.

Meanwhile, there’s a comment contest going. Whoever posts Comment No. 15,000 wins an autographed book. There are about 300 comments to go, so don’t say I didn’t give you notice. Anyone can play, and all comments are eligible except for comments abusive to anybody else on this site, or containing profanity or blasphemy, commercials thinly disguised as comments, or remarks simply too inane to be considered.

I will try to arrange a gaudier prize–say a six-week Caribbean cruise aboard the luxury liner Patna, much refurbished since Lord Jim abandoned it–but of course I can’t promise to pull it off.


My New Book Marches On

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I was stuck at the bank all morning, arranging Aunt Joan’s finances and providing for her continued care. After what seems like an eternity of frustrated wanderings in a bureaucratic labyrinth, that business seems to be just about done.

It’s been a week since the Lord gave me, out of the blue, a big chunk of the plot of my new book, The Temptation (that would be No. 11 in my Bell Mountain series), and I have steamed ahead to write five chapters of it. Considering all the interruptions and distractions, not bad!

What kind of distractions? Well, yesterday the cops showed up to lead away some guy next door, after cuffing his hands behind his back. He was shirtless. I don’t know who he was or what he might have done, but it was pretty distracting.

Ah! But Lord Chutt found himself in a serious spot of trouble yesterday, and against my expectations, Ysbott the Snake has, at least for the time being, bailed him out of it. I can hardly wait to see what happens next.

But first I’ve got to write it.


Writing a Book Can Be Exciting

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It was just about bedtime last night, and I wanted to thank all of you who wished me a happy birthday, so I thought I’d do it as a brief post.

It was my hope yesterday to spend a lot of time writing the opening chapters of my new book, but what with one thing after another, I didn’t get to do much. So there I was, just before going up to bed, typing my thank-you post–and suddenly, half the new book (or more!) was in my head!

Never happened quite like that before. I’ve gotten climaxes and whole chapters while walking up a flight of stairs, or a few blocks down the sidewalk–but never such a huge chunk of a book. I had to stop, sit up, and blink my eyes. Then the excitement set in, and getting to sleep seemed unlikely for a little while.

And so it seems the book is going to go in a direction neither I nor the characters in the story ever expected; and yet, when I think about it, it makes perfect sense. One of those “Why didn’t I think of that much earlier?” moments.

I always ask the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell.

So He gave me a big piece of it, a few minutes before midnight, on my birthday.

I think I’ve gone way past the point of any expectation that I can teach anyone how to write a novel.


All Aboard for Obann

Weather permitting, tomorrow I hope to start writing the next book of my Bell Mountain series. That would be Book No. 11, with No. 10, The Silver Trumpet, still being edited and waiting for cover art, a blurb, and everything else.

How does one of these books get started? I have to wait for the Lord to give me something–a scene, a new character, a title, any kind of hint. I never know what it’s going to be. The Fugitive Prince (No. 5) blossomed out of a brief observation of lacewings fluttering around the porch light on a summer night. The Silver Trumpet was just the title, nothing more. The Temple (No. 8) was a continuation of the story from No. 7, The Glass Bridge, plus an urge to see a prehistoric marine reptile like the one Kirk DouPonce depicted on the cover.

The Silver Trumpet left me with several story lines that have to be continued. The new book, so far, is nothing but a tentative title–The Temptation–and a single scene involving a horrific experience for Lord Chutt.

What will happen in this novel? Beats me! I really don’t know, and I’ll just have to wait and see it unfold. I used to prepare my novels in fine detail, going so far as to make up color-coded index cards for each subplot and trying various arrangements until I found what seemed to be the best one.

But now I just wing it, trusting in the Lord to show me the way; and so far, He has. Much better than I could have done myself.


Win a Free Trip to Obann!

Product Details

This has got to be the greatest prize I’ve ever offered. Win two weeks in Obann! Or more, if there’s any trouble bringing you back.

If you’ve ever had a hankering to get chased by birds as big as horses, or go boating among the lake monsters, or secretly prowl the network of ancient tunnels beneath the city–well, then, this is the vacation for you. Like, it’s got everything!

Oh! Yes, of course, some of you don’t know what I’m talking about. Easily remedied: just go to the top of the page and click “Books.” Everything in the world of Obann can be found in my books. In fact, that’s the only way you can get there.

I’m announcing this prize very early. Whoever posts Comment No. 15,000 on this blog will win it. That ought to take a few months. There’ll be plenty of time for new readers to come aboard and get a little taste of Obann. Plus cat videos, which have not yet been invented there.

If you’ve already won, if you’re already a regular visitor to Obann, well, tell your friends about it!

I envy the reader who will wind up exploring Lintum Forest with Helki the Rod as his guide, or sitting around an Abnak campfire to hear Prester Orth preach the Word of God. I wish I could enter, too, but it’s just not done, to enter one’s own contest.


The Birth of a Book

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I’m often asked, “Where do your books come from?” Well, I could say “New Jersey,” but what they really want to know is how a book gets started.

I can’t answer that, because there are as many starts as there are books. But I can tell you how one of my books, The Thunder King (Bell Mountain No. 3) got started.

It started with an image that popped into my head, a small boy riding a Baluchitherium, the largest land mammal that ever existed. This was very vivid to me, and served as the germ of the story. How was I to get the boy onto the Baluchitherium, and why did I want him there in the first place? What were the two of them going to do, and how would they do it?

Next, a new character showed herself: an old woman living in the city of Obann, not doing much of anything until she becomes a vessel of prophecy. And next thing I knew, I imagined her standing in the rain, soaked to the skin, white hair blowing in the wind, and crying out, like Moses, “Now see the salvation of the Lord!”

When I put those two images together–the boy on the Baluchitherium, and the old woman in the storm–they became the ingredients of a climax for a new book. And all I had to do was figure out how to get there. So I had the ending of the story first, instead of the beginning. That was The Thunder King.

Even now, I find the hardest thing to do is to wait for God to send me something that I can work with. The weather’s getting nice and I’m eager to get started on a new book, but I’ve learned it doesn’t work that way. I can’t command it to happen. I can only wait–and I know by now that whatever I’m given, it’ll come as a surprise.


Still No Facebook!

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By all indications I can discover, this blog is properly connected to Facebook. But now I’m on my third day with no referrals from Facebook–a loss of 10 to 20% of my traffic.

Even my webmaster couldn’t find anything wrong, and I was sure that if anyone would know how to straighten it out, she would.

We were on our way to a record month here, before this happened.

P.S.–Some good news, at least: the Kindle edition of The Throne (Book 9 of my Bell Mountain series) came out like gangbusters yesterday and is still in amazon.com’s Top 100 Science Fiction books this morning, even though it isn’t science fiction. Not bad for a crotchety elderly man who doesn’t know anything about fantasy.


Now Available in Kindle: ‘The Throne’

Well, here it is–The Throne in Kindle format. So much for shipping costs!

In fact, I think it’s free if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited. I don’t, so please don’t ask me how that works. I still can’t even get back my Facebook referrals.

Anyway, all the Bell Mountain characters, except for the few I’ve had to kill off in earlier books, are present and accounted for–Jack and Ellayne, King Ryons, Wytt, Helki the Rod, Ysbott the Snake, Lord Chutt, Martis, Fnaa and all the rest–along with some new ones whom I hope you’ll enjoy reading about. I enjoyed writing about them. Yergen, the toughest man in Obann City. Bassas, commanding Lord Chutt’s Wallekki bodyguard while trying to salvage his honor. You get the idea.

And…who’s going to be the first to submit an amazon.com Customer Review for this baby? I hope it’s a good one!


These Prices–Wow!

The Last Banquet (Bell Mountain Book 4) by [Duigon, Lee]

The folks at The Chalcedon Foundation, who publish my books (www.chalcedon.edu/ ), got quite a charge this morning when they looked on amazon.com and found The Cellar Beneath the Cellar selling for $2,900 and change per copy.

“I should’ve held on to more of Lee’s books,” said one. “Is this some kind of money laundering?” asked another. “And to think you get can my autograph on Ebay for only $30,” remarked our president.

But that was only some of the fun. Amazon had priced The Glass  Bridge at $1,471.48 (48 cents?) and The Last Banquet at $689.59. When I checked a little while ago, a used copy of The Last Banquet was priced “from $556.96.” From? You mean it gets higher?

Please don’t tell me anyone has volunteered to pay those prices.

By now, except for that little hiccup with Banquet, amazon.com seems to have rectified the errors. One of our editors thought maybe my books had been swept into the Trump boom. If only!

But I guess y’all better glom onto The Throne before the price goes up. Again.


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