Tag Archives: bell mountain series by lee duigon

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.


Celebrity Endorsements for My Books

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While I was out getting our anniversary dinner, some celebrity endorsements for my books came in. I’d like to share the highlights with you… anticipating that my publisher won’t want to use them as cover copy.

“Blimey! ‘E’s a right corker!”  –Queen Elizabeth I

“When people weren’t trying to kill me, I was reading Bell Mountain.”  –Elfego Baca

Cellar Beneath the Cellar’s gonna be a classic: I have a hunch!”  –Nostradamus

“I’ve read ’em all!”   –Marco Polo

“These are quite simply the best!”  –Violet Crepuscular

I could go on, but I don’t want to brag. Besides, I’ve got to round up a cat video.


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.


We’ve Got Coyotes?

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Y’know how the people of Obann, in my books, are confused by all the strange animals drifting into their country? Well, I’m beginning to appreciate just how they feel.

This week in my home town in New Jersey, police say it was probably coyotes that killed two deer by Metuchen High School (https://patch.com/new-jersey/edison-metuchen/coyotes-attacked-killed-deer-metuchen-officials-say).

Coyotes? We don’t have coyotes! Like, they’re out West with all those giant cactuses–

Nope. Last year there were two coyote attacks in New Jersey.

But this is crazy. All my life, if you wanted to see a coyote out here in Joisey, you had to go to the zoo.

Same with the Canada geese. If you wanted to see one of them, when I was a boy, you had to go to the annual Sportsmen’s Show. But now they’re all over the place.

And we are told jaguars are wandering into a couple of our Southwestern states. Jaguars!

How far are we from seeing mammoths and sabertoothed tigers?

Hey, now, you can’t blame me for this! Just because I started doing this in books, ten years ago: bringing back animals that aren’t supposed to be here anymore. “Here” being a country in a fantasy! I mean, this is soooo not my fault!

Now they’re telling us to keep our pets indoors. Not because they might get squashed by a careless driver, which happens every day around here, but because they might get eaten by coyotes.

Go figure.


A Present for ‘Bell Mountain’ Readers

Finally! A Chalicotherium video that I can post for you.

This is one of the “knuckle bears” seen by Jack and Ellayne at the edge of Lintum Forest. Us Mr. Nature types know them as Chalicotheres. Their fossils are found in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. As large animals go, they were very successful.

The big, sharp claws are for pulling down tree-branches so they can eat the leaves.

If I ever see one of these on my bike ride, lumbering off the golf course into the woods, I will know the world is changing.

And you just know I won’t have a camera handy.

P.S.–Last night I dreamed I went to Mars, the Martian civilization was just about identical to our own, and so I went to the movies. And there, as I stood in line at the concession stand, I spied some boxes of “Bell Mountain Candy,” with the books’ cover art decorating the boxes.

I enjoyed that!


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.


Did I Do That?

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These remarks may strike some of you as a little weird. But writing fantasy novels does tend to lean a bit in that direction. And there are always readers who are curious about what it’s like to be a writer. So here goes.

I’m editing Bell Mountain No. 11, The Temptation, which means I have to read it attentively. And although I do know I made up the characters that populate my books, it doesn’t feel anymore like I made them up! They feel like real people that I really know.

When I’m actually writing a book, I’m too deeply involved in writing it to respond to what I’ve written. So when I read it, much later, it’s a whole different experience–almost as if someone else wrote the book, not me. I read a passage that gets to me and find myself thinking, “Oh, I didn’t write that! Did I? Could I?” It feels like these characters, places, and events came into print through me and have a real existence that has little or nothing to do with me. As if I were more a chronicler than a creator.

I wonder if other writers feel these things. I know she isn’t, but at the same time I just can’t shed the notion that Gurun (that’s her, pictured above) is a real person who is even now doing things, experiencing things, that I don’t know about.

I believe the people I read about in the “news” are real, don’t I?

“Never heard of ’em,” says Gurun.


‘The Largest Land Mammal Ever’ (2015)

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I can’t help it. Every so often I go back to this critter and just marvel at it. What hath God wrought!

https://leeduigon.com/2015/08/23/the-largest-land-mammal-ever/

For a closer acquaintance with the biggest mammal ever to live on land, big enough to be a full-sized dinosaur, check out The Thunder King by yours truly.


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.


I Love My Characters

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Ellayne at work

I have to admit an embarrassing thing. I have fallen in love with my characters.

They’re fictional. I made them up. But by now I’ve spent so much time with them, they don’t feel like made-up people anymore. They feel like real people.

Yesterday–sometimes it’s like I just watch this stuff come out of my pen–Ellayne had a set-to with Lord Orth. I love Ellayne because she has so much go to her: you just can’t keep her down. And I love Lord Orth for the totality of his conversion, which took away the gourmandizing theological show-off and left a humble servant of God… who is now more himself than he ever was before.

I love Wytt for his resourcefulness, his complete lack of fear, and his very small size that never stops him from doing big things.

I love Gurun for her courage: here’s a girl who’s deathly afraid of riding a horse, dreading that she might fall off in front of all these men who insist she be a queen; but that doesn’t keep her out of the saddle.

I love King Ryons for his earnestness, Fnaa for his irrepressible sense of fun, Uduqu for his cheerful bluntness, Obst for his devotion, and Helki for his wildness–and for the fact that there’s no one else remotely like him.

I even get kind of fond of the villains. Lord Reesh. Ysbott the Snake. Lord Chutt. Just don’t let them know I said that.

And I love Nanny Witkom standing up in the cart in the middle of the world’s worst downpour, hair flying every which way, crying “Behold the salvation of the Lord!” No wonder Chief Zekelesh, who couldn’t understand a word she said, was so attached to her.

Of course, if you haven’t read any of these books, you won’t have met any of these characters. But that’s a problem easily remedied.

But if you have, tell me–are there any characters you’ve fallen in love with?

Yeesh! At one point, when they thought I’d killed off Chief Uduqu, both my wife and my editor were ready to tan my hide… I guess I’m not the only one who gets kind of involved with these books.


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