When I wrote The Throne (No. 9 in the Bell Mountain series) the whole ending of the story flashed into my head in the time it took to climb two steps.
How to feel like Rocky Graziano…
You wouldn’t think there’d be a lot of excitement in writing a novel. Like, you’re just sitting there, writing. But that’s only on the outside. On the inside, you’re living the story. Seeing, hearing, feeling, being.
It’s the only way to make it come alive for your readers.
It’s only been a month or so since I finished writing The Wind from Heaven, Book No. 13 in my Bell Mountain series, and already I’m champing at the bit to write another. This is going nowhere, yet: I’ve got the rest of the fall and all the winter before I can start again.
I have to wait for the Lord to give me the germ of the next book. Maybe He’ll give me a dream about it. Or a new character, demanding to be born.
I’m hungry to find out what happens next. What about those ships from far across the sea? Ebed, the boy spy trained by Gallgoid, has been taken aboard one of those ships. What are they doing here? What’s their mission? And will the new regime in Obann City prove to be any better than the old one? And will Lord Chutt, the usurper, live long enough to stand trial for his various misdeeds? How will that turn out?
I just don’t know. Not yet.
Well, one thing I can do is re-read the whole series, all 13 books–not an onerous task. The other thing I have to do is wait. That’s the hard part. It always is.
I’m never happier than when I’m sitting outside on a sunny day, with my cigar and legal pad, with no awareness of time passing, writing one of my books. But before I can get there, first the book has got to be born.
That’s just so cool, when a dream grows into a book. I don’t map these out ahead, like I used to do, long ago, with my horror novels. I just go with whatever God gives me.
And I do enjoy the ride!
It’s written, it’s typed and sent to the editor, and now the cold weather closes in and if I hadn’t finished by now, I’d be out of luck: yes, The Wind from Heaven is all done. And I’ve also written the cover blurb for His Mercy Endureth Forever, and Kirk has come up with dynamite cover artwork for it–
Now what do I do?
Yeesh! No more Bell Mountain, no more Jack and Ellayne and Martis, no more Gallgoid hatching plots in Obann City–what am I supposed to do with myself for the next six months? Just cover nooze?
Thing is, I work on a book so intently–especially when the weather won’t play ball and I’ve got to get it done in four and a half months instead of six–that to finally finish it leaves me gasping for breath. And a sense of loss!
I wonder what Violet Crepuscular would do.
It was only a few days ago that Kirk DouPonce was asking me for whatever details I’d like to go into the cover art for Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. And then he emailed me this, just yesterday evening.
Wow! I don’t know how he did it so fast! He asked me how I liked it, and I told him, “It’s perfect–don’t even thing about changing anything!” That’s Ellayne, a little older than she is on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and Martis’ reliable Wallekki horse, Dulayl, who’s been in all the books so far, and this is his first appearance on a cover.
Well, now I have to write a cover blurb. It’s only 150 words or so, but I always find these among the most difficult things I have to write. Just naturally long-winded, I guess–needing to write a whole book to tell the story that the cover tells in just 150 words.
Byron the Quokka here, mates–and we’ve got a winner for our Bell Mountain trivia contest.
Twenty questions, we asked–and one reader got all twenty right. Why, she couldn’t’ve known Bell Mountain better if she’d spent all her vacations there! All of us quokkas on Rottnest Island are proud of her.
And the winner is… [trumpet fanfare; drum roll]… Heidi! [Orchestra breaks into “They Call Him Mister Touchdown.”]
So, Heidi, you’ve won an autographed book, and all you’ve gotta do is email us your mailing address and tell us which book you want (sorry, Bell Mountain itself is out of stock, have to order more). If you want to hold out for No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, that’s okay. Just remind us, when the book comes out, which should be sometime next spring.
All twenty questions answered correctly! That should be enough to make you an honorary quokka.
And now I’ve got to dream up another contest, quick, before they get to thinking they don’t need me anymore.
G’day–Byron the Quokka here. And I can’t help feeling wistful because the big 50,000-Comment Contest is over and this will be the last question, No. 20, in the Bell Mountain trivia contest. After this, I don’t know what to do with myself. Suddenly playing Clue solitaire seems kind of unexciting.
Anyhow, here it is, Question No. 20:
What legendary creature led Ryons to the banquet hall of the ancient kings of Obann?
The winner will be the reader with the most right answers out of 20, and that wise and learned individual will get an autographed book. If you have all 11 published titles so far, you can hold out for No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever–which I think will be published in March or April of next year.
I do wish there were another contest coming up…