Still waiting for The Silver Trumpet to be published, I’m also waiting for the spark of an idea that will start me on my next book. I can’t do anything until God gives me that. And anyway, it’s been too cold for me to sit outside and write.
Between the two projects is The Temptation, Book No. 11 in the Bell Mountain series, all written but still being edited. I purposely left some loose ends in The Temptation to be taken up in the next book–an invasion by a particularly fierce and unpleasant nation from the south, and a project by Lord Orth that could easily get him killed–but I have yet to be given that spark, that scene, that title, or that new character that’ll get the ball rolling.
It’s hard to wait. Once I have a book started, it’ll soothe me, it’ll occupy my mind, and it’s the work that I love best. But there’s no alternative: I just have to wait until the Lord says “Go.” I’ve relied on Him this far: no stopping now.
Mr. Nature here, with an animal that I expect to turn up in Obann any day now: Platybelodon, aka the “Shovel-Tusked Elephant.”
We don’t have elephants like this anymore. Look at that elongated lower jaw. Scientists think it was used for stripping bark and branches from trees. They used to think it was used for scooping up water plants in swamps. Fossils of this critter were discovered in the Gobi Desert in the 1920s, by Roy Chapman Andrews’ expeditions for the American Museum of Natural History. I read all about it in All About Strange Beasts of the Past. It seems the desert used to be wetlands. In the absence of SUVs, air conditioners, and toilet paper, it’s hard to account for such radical climate change.
Platybelodon was smaller than a modern elephant, but still a pretty hefty beast. It looks like God was improvising on His elephant theme–like a jazz musician cutting loose with his saxophone. We only know these elephant variations from fossils, and from paintings made on the walls of caves by ancient human beings.
But I like to believe that someday we will know them better.
I have a special fondness for this book. Maybe it’s because cover artist Kirk DouPonce depicted Gurun exactly as I imagined her. I don’t know how he does that; and it wasn’t the first time, either. Ellayne on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar is better than a photograph.
Anyway, the point of all my Bell Mountain books is to serve God by writing, I hope, what He gives me.
And yes, I’m still waiting for The Silver Trumpet to be printed.
All “entertainment” is a form of self-education. We soak up lessons from the TV screen. We “know” certain things because we saw them in a movie or read them in a spy novel.
One of the things I have tried to do in my Bell Mountain books is depict a world in which “religion” is real and a part of everybody’s life, one way or another. The world inhabited by television characters is about 99% uninhabited by God or by people who believe in Him.
No such world has ever existed in real life; but our secular Culture-Killers are doing their damnedest to create one.
We can call it Hell.
Wow! Has it really been seven years since this book came out?
The Cellar Beneath the Cellar is Book No. 2 in my Bell Mountain series; and when I started it, I had no idea of what I was getting into. I thought it was merely the sequel to Bell Mountain–goes to show how much I know!
Spring is coming, unless those pesky bankers stop it, and I want to be ready to write when it gets here. But before I can do that, I have to revisit the books I’ve already written.
So first I read The Temptation, which will be No. 11 in the Bell Mountain series when it gets published sometime next year, and assuaged my fears that there might be something wrong with it. It’s a writer thing: we all get cold feet, somewhere along the way to publication.
Having done that, it’s time to get back with Jack and Ellayne and follow them, once again, up Bell Mountain. And maybe soon we’ll have The Silver Trumpet, I have no idea what’s taking it so long to get printed. After that, the other eight books in the series.
I do this to immerse myself in the fantasy world depicted in the books. Before I can write about it any more, I have to see it, hear it, feel it, smell it: because if I can’t, the reader won’t be able to, either.
So why is No. 6, The Palace, serving to illustrate this post?
Mostly because it has only three customer reviews on amazon and has lagged way behind the others. I can’t imagine why. Artist Kirk DouPonce used a real kid to model for Jack climbing up the extremely high wall of the Palace in Obann, and I wouldn’t like that boy to think he did it for nothing. What boy–Jack or the model? Both of ’em, of course. Jack’s human fly act deserves your support!
This, by Bob Knight, was one of the nicer reviews I’ve ever received. 2011–Wow! Has it really been that long since The Thunder King was published?
Still waiting for word on The Silver Trumpet. I hope they haven’t decided to publish it on clay tablets, in cuneiform. That would take a while.
Joe Collidge hadn’t yet fully developed his distinctive style when he wrote this, in 2015, to warn readers off my books: but certainly his heart was in it.
Important announcement: My book, The Glass Bridge, does not cost $1,993.62 in paperback. That is an error (to say the least!). The actual price is $18.
(As long as my head’s still full of Novocain, I might as well just keep on writing.)
The girl in the boat is named Gurun. She originated as the central character in a dream I had one night. I made her a character in my books; and then cover artist Kirk DouPonce brought her to life. Almost alarmingly so! He painted her exactly as I saw her, first in a dream, then in my mind’s eye as I wrote about her. I don’t know how he does that.
People ask me how real the world of my fantasy novels is to me, its creator. “Unknowable” was wondering about that today. Well, Gurun seems real to me; and she was also real to Kirk.
I have to be able to “see” it and “hear” it as if it were a movie playing in my head; that if I don’t, I can’t write it. In that sense it’s real to me. While I’m writing it, I have to be, as it were, in the scene I’m writing about. As if I were standing there in person, watching and listening. I don’t imagine this comes to any writer except with many years of practice and literally by the grace of God: it is a gift of God, so I can’t brag about it. I’m grateful He has allowed me to do this!
I can hardly wait to see what ideas He’ll give me for the next book.
So yes, in a way, it is like really being there. I lose track of the time, once I really get going.
And then I close the legal pad and put down my pen, and I’m back in New Jersey.