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?
Has it really been ten years since Bell Mountain was first published? (“I’m afraid it has, kid…”) Winner of a bronze medal in the Global E-Book competition; but of course it’s in hardcover, too. I wish I knew how many people have read it.
What to say? It started with a dream I had, of a boy standing on a grassy riverbank and looking up at the mountains; and one of the mountains was singing to him. Ten sequels in print so far, with another due to be published any day now: I would’ve been surprised, ten years ago, had anyone told me I’d still be writing sequels ten years later.
I wanted to write a fantasy/adventure novel grounded on a Biblical worldview. There aren’t many books like that. It turned out to be the beginning of a history, which is why it had to keep going. I hope to start writing another one as soon as the weather warms up. But I rely on the Lord to give me the story, and I can’t start work until He does.
I decided early on that my fantasy would not include hocus-pocus: spells, flying broomsticks, great and terrible wizards, super-powers (I hate super-powers)–it had to be more imaginative than that. So I would allow nothing that couldn’t be found in the Bible. This still left me with a lot of scope. Good and evil. Miracles. Wars, treasons, heroism, villainy, prophesy, exotic animals, exotic peoples, hair-raising adventures.
If I started listing my favorite characters in the series, I’d be doing it all day. Suffice it to say that the main characters in Bell Mountain are still around, twelve books later (No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, is not yet in production): Jack and Ellayne, the children who must climb the mountain and ring the bell placed there in ancient times by King Ozias; their protector, Wytt, a squirrel-sized, manlike creature; the assassin, Martis; the hermit, Obst; and Helki, the wild man of Lintum Forest.
Now, if you’d like to read these books, they’re very easy to obtain. Just click “Books.” You can order them right here from amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher, Storehouse Press.
Yesterday we got a Christmas card from the Rushdoony family, featuring a group photo of the whole family. And there in the back row was the little boy whose father used to read Bell Mountain to him. Yup, there he was with a beard and mustache, now a man.
Good grief! Has that much time gone by? And where did it go, who has it now? Can I get it back?
I wonder if the boy, now a man, still likes my books. It’s been my experience that the books you liked best as a child, you’ll still like as an adult. Maybe that’s just because I, at ten years old, had impeccable taste in literature. Or is it that I liked those books because they were just plain good?
I wonder if the boy, now a man, will someday read Bell Mountain to his children.
Sorry, but I’ve had it up to here with the nooze and I’d just as soon take a break from it this weekend. Give me an axolotl instead.
I mean, really! I’ve just spent time on a couple of different nooze sites and it’s all the same: impeachment, let’s abort all babies with Down’s Syndrome, let’s abort all “binary pronouns,” and let’s have a national food fight over “reparations”–punishing people for something that other people did 200 years ago. And on and on. What a dreary landscape!
I can’t get any axolotls, so this afternoon we’re going to pet our cats and watch what’s supposed to be a good BBC remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s black-and-white classic, The Lady Vanishes. Maybe Elizabeth Warren will vanish.
And I’m re-reading Bell Mountain. If you haven’t read it yet–well, what are you waiting for? I’ve also got a book of mermaid stories, which I think I’ll tackle next. Mermaids beat the nooze any day. Almost as good as axolotls!
It’s only been a month or so since I finished writing The Wind from Heaven, Book No. 13 in my Bell Mountain series, and already I’m champing at the bit to write another. This is going nowhere, yet: I’ve got the rest of the fall and all the winter before I can start again.
I have to wait for the Lord to give me the germ of the next book. Maybe He’ll give me a dream about it. Or a new character, demanding to be born.
I’m hungry to find out what happens next. What about those ships from far across the sea? Ebed, the boy spy trained by Gallgoid, has been taken aboard one of those ships. What are they doing here? What’s their mission? And will the new regime in Obann City prove to be any better than the old one? And will Lord Chutt, the usurper, live long enough to stand trial for his various misdeeds? How will that turn out?
I just don’t know. Not yet.
Well, one thing I can do is re-read the whole series, all 13 books–not an onerous task. The other thing I have to do is wait. That’s the hard part. It always is.
“I’m not going to review this book because it contains an opinion other than mine!” All right, fair enough: there are lots of books I won’t review because their messages are obnoxious to me. But secret messages–no. That’s just silly.
The fantasy world of Bell Mountain is inhabited by people who never heard of Protestants or Catholics and have troubles of their own to think about.