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.
These are fantasy novels. They depict an imaginary world. I detest fantasies that remind me I’m only looking at words on paper. For me to load Bell Mountain with sly Calvinist insinuations would be to break my own rules.
Who we are is always going to have a bearing on what we write. Otherwise we wouldn’t be writing in the first place. If I wanted a Greek Orthodox slant to my story, I’d have to work and study hard to acquire it. Much of who we are is what we’re used to.
I don’t think my books are biased against one particular branch of Christianity or another. I try not to be. This blog serves readers of many different denominations–or no denomination. I rather hoped my books would do the same.
A man who has been several times to Mars and back told me yesterday, “Lay off the novel-writin’ and write somethin’ that everybody wants. Write the Bell Mountain Cookbook!”
Well, fan my brow, I never thought of that. Probably because I can’t cook. There’s only so much you can say about heating up a pot of soup. But this guy from Mars has all the answers. People turn into such know-it-alls…
“Look, it’s simple,” he said. “Each recipe goes with a favorite character from the book. So you’ve got, like, Jack and Ellayne’s Rabbit Stew, Obst the Hermit’s Berry Cake, Lord Reesh’s Oysters, Roast Duck a la Baroness Vannett–you get the idea. You can probably leave out the whole Abnak cuisine. And that fermented mare’s milk that the Ghols drink. It makes me depressed just to think of it.”
It’s hard to get fictional characters to write things for you, although on Mars they do it all the time. My wife would love to sip the famous golden wine of Durmurot. But where would she get it?
I wonder, though… If I knew what I was talking about, would a Bell Mountain Cookbook attract readers? What do you think?
I don’t want to say it’s a hostile environment, because, after all, the robo-calls can’t get to me out there. But it’s gettin’ cold outside, and I estimate I’ll need at least another month to finish writing The Witch Box. I’ll need another legal pad, too.
This weekend I went back over the last 35 or 40 pages that I’ve written. I caught one howling inconsistency, but I can easily fix that when I type the manuscript.
I’m committed now to writing my way all the way through to the twin climaxes and the end of the story. Then I’ll go back and fill the hole I created when I jumped a few chapters ahead. Because I’m racing the calendar, other assignments will have to take a back seat for a while.
Time to go back out and work! I guess I’ll wear a sweatshirt under my jacket. “Sean from Discover” can’t possibly bother me outside.
I am waiting for the 13th book in the Bell Mountain series to be published (can’t imagine what’s delayed it!), No. 14 is written, and I’ve just started writing No. 15, The Witch Box. There are those who say the series is too long; but I’m still very far away from catching up Tarzan, Hercule Poirot, Rick Brant, Freddy the Pig, et al. Edgar Rice Burroughs grew weary of Tarzan, and Agatha Christie would have gladly pitched Poirot into a tar pit; but I still love my characters. Besides, there are always new ones that come along, and I never know where they’re going to take me.
The last I heard of Ross, he was a little boy and his father, Mark Rushdoony, was reading my book, Bell Mountain, out loud to him at bedtime.
So it was a shock when we got our “Rushdoony 2020 Year in Review” yesterday… and there’s this guy in a cowboy hat, with a mustache, a grown man… and it’s Ross.
How did that happen? What does he mean, coming in here all grown up? I mean, it feels like I only wrote the book a couple of years ago. Next thing I know, Ross will be reading it to his own little boy or girl. And I’ll be checking for trilobites under the bed.
Does that mean I now have readers who hadn’t been born yet, when the book came out? True, they’d only be ten years old. But my wife and I were both reading for pleasure by the time we were ten.
My characters are getting older, too, with each new book in the series; but I can control that (I think).
Well, not to worry. Keep on going, bhai, keep on going. God’ll let you know when it’s time to stop.
Jill at Chalcedon HQ today informed me that the first three books of my series (Bell Mountain, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and The Thunder King) are now available as Apple iBooks, which can be accessed via the app on your phone or ipad. I have no idea what I just said.
Anyhow, you can click the Apple icon on any of those three books, and you’re in business. Eventually all the books will be available as Apple iBooks. They’re going for $1.99.
It took me years to learn how to say this: Bell Mountain is about people–in all different countries–re-connecting with God. It’s been translated into Portuguese and Japanese. The series has won two Global E-Book Awards.
And probably a lot of you never heard of it.
Well, that’s easily remedied. Just go to the home page and click “Books,” and you’ll find out all about the whole series. We’ve got cover art, sample chapters, everything.
Yes, that’s our friend and colleague Joshua Swanson, with his translation of my book, Bell Mountain, into Japanese. Majikayo! (That’s the Japanese equivalent of “Holy dow!” I looked it up.) C’mon–is that cool or what? You can also get the book in Portuguese.
Well, Joshua did this project all by himself, with some editing help from his mother, and I would go outside and do a cartwheel if I thought my knee could stand it.
And if you haven’t read Bell Mountain yet, what are you waiting for–Sanskrit?