My allergies having abated to the point where I can go back to work, I’ve got seven chapters of a new book to type up and send to my editor, Susan. Ozias, Prince in Peril–I hope you like the title.
It’s not easy, shifting gears, when you’ve just been reading and covering the dark and dreary nooze of this dark and dreary age. Ozias lived in such a time, but God put him there for a reason. I pray my description of his life and work will inspire sane and decent people to put their trust in God and do their best.
Even as David did, and Joshua, Moses, Peter and Paul, and all the other heroes we encounter in the Scriptures.
King Flosi I, “the Hammer”
I don’t have a title for it yet, but I’ve finished seven chapters of my new book on the life of King Ozias and I’ve got to type them up and send them to Susan for editing.
I think it’s going well. Main characters have come onstage on cue and already established themselves. Ozias is only eight years old, but desperate adventures await him.
Again, I have asked the Lord to give me the story as He wants me to tell it. I’m sure it will surprise me.
Waterly must be something like this.
I can’t contain myself: the first 34 pages of my new book strike me as just fine. I don’t have a title for it yet. I had The Red Queen in mind, but Patty said that that would just make people think “Alice in Wonderland.” So that’s a no-go. I hope I come up with something before Prince Ozias grows a beard.
I love the way new characters come out of who-knows-where and settle into the story as if they’d been waiting for it all along. My wife loves King Flosi II and Queen Parella, Ozias’ father and mother. And Lady Gwenlann, who’s in charge of all the spies but known to most people as just a rather scatterbrained wardrobe mistress. And Ozias himself, of course. He’s only ten years old so far.
Today I wrote mostly about Waterly, the queen’s lodge in Lintum Forest and Ozias’ favorite place. I think I’d like to spend a few weeks there.
What can I say? I’m falling in love with the book. I pray every day that the Lord will guide me in writing it and make my work fruitful in His service.
(P.S.–Where the dickens did my picture go? I’m not seeing it at my end.)
It’s hard to describe the feelings I had, watching Katheleen’s Bell Mountain video and hearing my story and my characters talked about on-screen. It’s a blast.
Meanwhile, I’ve complete three chapters of my new book. It hasn’t got a title yet, but some of the main characters are already settling in and taking shape–young Queen Parella, Ozias’ mother; his father, King Flosi II (who is more trusting than is good for him), and Gwenlann the scatterbrained wardrobe mistress, whom no one suspects is the king’s spymaster. Don’t let anyone tell you that writing a novel isn’t fun! It’s certainly a lot more fun than covering the nooze.
My earlier books give me plenty of hints to help me tell the story, but I know there’ll be a lot of surprises on the way.
I’m going to read to Patty what I’ve got so far. I hope she likes it as much as I do.
I had it strongly in my mind to start writing my next book today. Yeah, today.
The thought came to me as I was washing dishes: “Do it the way Homer showed us, in The Iliad: Jump right into the middle of the story, with both feet!” Any time I can get advice from Homer, I take it.
This story will be the life of King Ozias–his early life, at least, as he grew up in Lintum Forest.,. I think it ought to be told by Obst, putting together all the information scattered throughout the Scriptures. Obst will understand the turbulent times that Ozias knew: civil war, Heathen invasions, gangs of murderers trying to hunt him down…
All that being said, today the sky is slate-grey and it’s just itchin’ to rain on me and on my work. I can’t do this indoors because there’s too much distraction. I need the green grass, a blue sky, and the birds. God is in all those things; and I want Him to be present in my book, too.
Well, I still have to go to the store and pick up the laundry. Let’s see if the sky clears by the time I’m done.
A reader in Brazil, Kathleen, has asked me for this. She wants to make a Bell Mountain video for her YouTube channel. She’s interested in the fact that the book was inspired by a dream I had one night.
I dreamed of a boy standing alone on a grassy riverbank, a shallow stream of cold water flowing over a bed of smooth stones. In the distance towered mountains, the tallest of which, Bell Mountain, was cloaked in clouds around the summit. No one had ever seen the summit.
And suddenly that mountain began to “sing” to him. This terrified him and froze him to the spot; but it was also exhilarating. He’d never heard anything like it before. He could have listened for hours, but then he woke up.
To read it as I wound up writing it, here”s a link (https://leeduigon.com/books/bell-mountain/). Just scroll down to the sample chapter.
It was a very vivid dream, in technicolor, and I never forgot it. That was a good thing, because shortly afterward someone at the Chalcedon Foundation wondered how we’d do if we published a novel–and I was ready to write it!
I also dreamed the climax of my third book in the series, The Thunder King, and the opening chapter of the seventh, The Glass Bridge. I have always dreamed vivid, unusual dreams, all my life; and they’ve played a major role in my writing.
I look forward to seeing Kathleen’s video, and hope I can post it here for all of you.
These were very nice little reviews, and I was very glad to get them.
Meanwhile, all across the country, people are reading less and less. When I was in high school I began to wonder if they weren’t trying to discourage us from reading: it’s the only way I can explain assigning Silas Marner to American tenth-graders. We also had to read The Forsyte Saga. If that doesn’t put you off reading, you’re made of very stern stuff.
So, yeah, I’m trying to get some more of you to read my books. I mean, that’s why I wrote them, isn’t it?
And you can order them right here on this blog! Just click “Books” on the Home page and find out all about it.
I’m boning up on the Wars of the Roses because I really want to write the life of King Ozias, King Ryons’ ancestor, the last anointed king of Obann. Ozias, who wrote many of the Sacred Songs and was spiritually sustained by them, was born into a turbulent and dangerous time.
His father, the gentle and easygoing King Flosi II, lost his throne to treason. His mother, Queen Parella, escaped to Lintum Forest with her child, the crown prince. For most of his boyhood Ozias learned the ways of the forest and how to survive there. The usurpers in Obann City sought again and again to murder him, and he and his mother had many narrow escapes.
Quite a few readers have noted the resemblances between Ozias and David. It has always been my intention that they should. Both kings put their trust in God. And attentive readers know it was Ozias, in obedience to the words of a prophet, Batha the Seer, who erected God’s Bell on the summit of Bell Mountain.
Anyway, there’s a lot to this story and when the weather decides to cooperate, I look forward to telling it.
Even if it takes more than one book.
Bell Mountain No. 15 won’t be called The Witch Box, after all. I’ve had to change the title.
Now it’s Ocean of Time. I have a double climax, so it was hard for one title to cover both of them. The Witch Box couldn’t do that. Ocean of Time can.
When I was writing horror novels, my New York publisher always changed my titles. Always for the better, I have to admit it: my titles were pretty bad. My Bell Mountain titles were a great improvement.
It’s not so easy to come up with a title! If you’ve got a good one, it can guide you in the writing of the story. Mystery writer H.R.F. Keating was so good at that. Your plot tends to be more coherent if the action reflects the title. In The Iciest Sin, Keating wrote about a blackmail scheme investigated by Inspector Ghote–and peppered it with incidents of not-quite-criminal blackmail, but blackmail nonetheless, practiced by people in their daily lives. Fantastic book.
So far everyone I’ve talked to seems to like Ocean of Time, and I’m home free. But I’ll still listen to suggestions, if anybody has any.