Tag Archives: bell mountain series by lee duigon

The Unemployable Cat

This is the kind of thing that goes on under Baroness Vannett’s back porch all the time, in my Bell Mountain books. Wait’ll this cat tries to get a job at any farm. “You play with the rats? Get lost!”

But I’ve had rats as pets, and mine were wonderful–affectionate, fun-loving, and smart (even if they were a little hard on each other). People who muttered “Yeeeew!” when I brought one of my rats into the vet’s waiting room wound up petting and talking baby-talk to it.

And I did have a cat named Henry who peacefully sniffed at my pet mice and never tried to knock the lid off their aquarium. But I think that was because what he really wanted was my baby fence lizards. Oh, he wanted them so badly! But he didn’t get ’em.


Still No Facebook!

Image result for images of confused man

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!


Sequel: Nabisco’s Prehistoric Beasts

Image result for nabisco prehistoric mammals

After the Age of Dinosaurs, so we’ve all been told, came the Age of Mammals. And after Nabisco finished packing tiny little plastic dinosaurs as free prizes inside boxes of Wheat and Rice Honeys, they moved on to prehistoric mammals.

I loved these just as much as I loved the dinosaurs, and I’ve been able to save a few of them. I’m a fiend for prehistoric mammals, and have recruited a lot of them for appearances in my Bell Mountain novels. King Ryons rides–or rather, clings precariously to the top of–a Baluchitherium at the Siege of Obann, and a Saber Tooth Tiger features in the climax of The Last Banquet. I’ve shed all that Darwinian baggage, but I hope I’ll never cease to admire and enjoy these spectacular examples of God’s handiwork. With the whole universe and all of time and space at His disposal, I’m sure God has hung onto His Baluchitherium, somewhere… as I’ve hung onto mine.

(P.S.–Ignore that “Giant Sloth” label on one of the toys. That’s a Barylambda, or I’m Spartacus. And Nabisco deserved great credit for popularizing this very little-known creature as a toy.)


A Few More Writing Tips

Image result for images of bored reader

Spring is coming, and I want to be ready to start writing another book as soon as God gives me something to start with. To that end, I’ve just read The Throne and am now reading The Silver Trumpet, which I wrote last year–the tenth book of my Bell Mountain series. Whatever comes next, I left some matters in Trumpet which will need to be addressed.

By now I’ve had thirteen novels published, including my four horror novels from long ago, and I’ve picked up some tricks of the trade, learning them the old-fashioned way, by experience. I know some of you out there want to try your hands at writing novels, so here are a couple of tips.

*If whatever you happen to be writing seems tiresome to you, it will be tiresome to the reader, too. Trust me on that. If your fictional characters are getting all caught up in details, the reader will abandon them. Don’t devote a lot of space to things that aren’t interesting.

*Remember the rule of Chekhov’s Gun. The great playwright said that if there’s a gun hanging on the wall, sooner or later in the play, one of the characters will have to use it. Otherwise there’s no reason for it being there. (I learned about that, believe it or not, from studying chess: don’t line up your Rooks and Queen unless you mean to use them.)

*Don’t tell the reader a lot of things he doesn’t need to know. If a character walks into the story to say “Here are the gum boots that you ordered, madam,” then leaves and is seen and heard no more, you needn’t tell the reader anything about his kindergarten days. He’s done his job and you’re finished with him.

*I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating–don’t insult the reader by editorializing about the characters. If a character is a villain, you needn’t call him a villain. If he says and does villainous things, the reader won’t need you to tell him that this character’s a villain. I call this “the Lovable Sheepdog Rule,” after a wretched novel in which a certain sheepdog never appeared without the adjective “lovable.” This did not make the sheepdog lovable to me, the reader. It made me want to call the dog-catcher.

If you observe these rules in your own writing, you’ll run much less risk of creating something boring. Readers who are not part of a captive audience–say, a class of high school kids–have a very low boredom threshold. And a writer does well to remember that.


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.


Finally! ‘The Throne’

The Throne (Bell Mountain, 9)

At last, the ninth book of my Bell Mountain series, The Throne, is on sale. There’s been some difficulty in preparing the e-book edition, but the paperback is out and you can order it straight from the publisher, at http://www.chalcedon.edu/ (click “Store,” then “Fiction”), or from amazon.com, where they don’t yet have the picture, but that will probably come today.

Shout-outs to contest winners Savannah and Heidi: Savannah, I have your address, thanks so much for your patience, and I’ll ship your autographed copy to you ASAP (I’ve just received my author’s copies). Heidi, I need your address. Email it to me at leeduigon@verizon.net .

I’ll have more to say about this letter. For now, I’ve got to hustle because I have another doctor’s appointment this morning. *sigh*

And thanks to all of you who kept at it last night and helped me get those 6,000 hits for February!


And the Title of My Next Book Will Be…

Bell Mountain Set (8 Books)

Egged on by “Unknowable” (you can blame him), and inspired by Joy Villa’s album going from #500,000 on amazon’s sales ranking to No. 3, in just hours, I have decided to title my next book King Ryons Makes Obann Great Again. Or Jack and Ellayne, or Helki–whoever’s turn it is.

Gotta do somethin’ to perk up sales, and this seems to be the quickest fix available. I wonder how many copies I’d have to sell, to go from 500,000, or worse, to a bright and shiny No. 3. Here’s hoping I find out!


Memory Lane: A Writer’s Roots

Image result for all about dinosaurs by roy chapman andrews

To be a writer, you have to be a reader first. And don’t stop reading, either.

The books that capture your imagination early in life will always be with you. What you want to read about will shape what you choose to write about.

All About Strange Beasts of the Past flicked my imagination switch. I was only seven years old when it came out, and nine or ten years old when I read it. Roy Chapman Andrews, the explorer who first found dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, wrote several of these Allabout Books. His All About Dinosaurs I read over and over again until it fell apart. Strange Beasts I kept checking out of the library.

Andrews had a gift for making prehistoric worlds come alive. In practical terms, he used this gift whenever he had to schmooze J.P. Morgan into funding another expedition. When he wrote for children–well, as far as I was concerned, it was just like being there.

Everybody knows about dinosaurs, but I got really into prehistoric mammals, especially the gigantic hairy ones. Strange Beasts introduced me to creatures that have inhabited my dreams ever since; some of them now inhabit my own Bell Mountain books. Andrews’ “Beast of Baluchistan” appears in The Thunder King just in time to rescue the city of Obann from being sacked by the Heathen host. The saber-toothed cat, seen on the cover of Strange Beasts, features in the climax of The Last Banquet. The saber-tooth’s prey, the giant ground sloth, makes cameo appearances in several of my books. I haven’t yet found a place for the spectacular “Shovel-tusked Mastodon” of Strange Beasts, but I expect I will.

Books were a big deal in our house. My mother was a reader, and filled several large bookshelves with her favorites. I took after her in that department: I just could never get my fill of stories! History and science, in my view, also counted as stories.

But nothing could ever top the creatures I met in Roy Chapman Andrews’ books.

P.S.: Andrews was widely believed to have been the real-life model for Indiana Jones. To that I must say “Pshaw!” Andrews’ adventures were real.

P.P.S.: For some reason which I can’t remember, as a very young child, I formed the expectation that my Aunt Betty, a nun, would somehow provide me, someday, with my own woolly mammoth. Please don’t ask me to explain this. She did try–gave me a vaguely mammoth-shaped little furry something which, I am sorry to say, did not quite live up to my expectations. But she did try, and for that she gets full marks.


My Books Are Being Trolled

Image result for images of cellar beneath the cellar

From time to time I like to check amazon.com to see how my books are doing.

I got a nasty surprise last night, and again this morning, when I discovered one-star ratings among my customer reviews: Bell Mountain first, and now The Cellar Beneath the Cellar. I would rather not give the name of the malicious little nit that posted them.

See if you can follow his logic. Lee Duigon is “a follower” of R. J. Rushdoony. [I am employed, and my books are published, by The Chalcedon Foundation, the ministry founded by Rushdoony. I am not aware of being “a follower” of anyone.] Rushdoony was “a religious huckster” [no, he wasn’t] and “a christofascist,” whatever that is. Therefore, “persons of good character” will avoid my books.

Having read thousands of pages of Rushdoony’s published works, I can truly say this person is talking through his hat. But because Rushdoony was a faithful man of God, libs and other louses have always attacked him viciously.

Thing is, I have few reviews, not many readers know that I exist: so a single one-star rating easily drives down a book’s overall rating. By the time this insect gets around to trolling the later books in my series, it will look like half the readers hated them.

That “christofascist” tag is genuinely offensive. In all probability, the reviewer is some left-wing loon from the Southern Poverty Loon Center, or someplace like that, who thinks everybody to the right of where he is, out on the far-left fringe of the galaxy, is a fascist, a knotsy, and a biggit who should be beaten senseless, etc. That’s the Loving Left all over.

All right, well, I’ve taken one for the team. An inner voice keeps whispering, “It’s about time they’ve come after you! I was beginning to think you were doing something wrong.”

But my books are my babies, and when somebody maliciously attacks them, I do admit I find it hard to laugh it off. It’s a lesson I’d better learn, I guess. I don’t want God to be ashamed of me for yelping about a bug-bite.


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