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.
G’day, mates! Byron the Quokka here: and Lee had to take the cat to the vet for her checkup, so he left me in charge. It’s a big responsibility!
But first things first: the Bell Mountain trivia contest, Question No. 14. Remember, I warned you the questions’d get harder as we moved toward No. 20. But first, No. 14:
Where did Barseen and Uncle Shesh come from?
Oh! And that SUV parked behind me–I’m trying to get Lee to make that the prize for winning this contest.
But he won’t listen to me unless he comes home and finds I got this blog a ton of views while he was out. Oi! Tell your friends about it! Let’s make this a blog day to remember–it’ll look great on my resume.
G’day! Here I am with another bicycle, which if Lee had any sense, he’d offer as the prize to the winner of this trivia contest. But no–he just wants to give out autographed books. He won’t listen to me.
Byron the Quokka here, and on with the contest! Here’s Question No. 6:
Who caused the avalanche that buried the Thunder King’s hall at Golden Pass?
Right, I know it’s hard to get a lot of people to play a trivia game that’s about some books that hardly anyone has ever heard of. Well, if you want to find out more about them, just click “Books.” Or visit amazon.com and read the Customer Reviews. He’s won awards for them, y’know–the first two books in the series, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, both won awards. Why do you think us quokkas read these books over and over again? And we’re world-famous for our good taste in literature!
This is what he saw–taller than a man, and able to kill a horse with one bite.
Heidi has asked for another excerpt from Bell Mountain, this one featuring one of her favorite characters, Helki the Rod, and one of those giant birds that has lately wandered into Obann. We pick up the scene on Page 197.
“Helki, too, spent the night on the plain; and Helki, too, saw a giant bird.
“It stalked right past him, and looked right at him, and opened its massive beak halfway, as if to warn him not to move. Helki stood his ground, returning the bird’s look. He thought that if he had to, he could break the bird’s leg with his staff. But he very much hoped he wouldn’t have to.
“The bird made no move in his direction. Whatever it was hunting, it wasn’t him. He watched until it strode out of sight.
“Only then did he become aware that he was trembling from head to toe. He threw his staff in the air and caught it, and yowled at the top of his lungs.
“‘Whee-aaaah!’ The whole night rang with it. ‘Lord God, you have outdone yourself!'”
“It wasn’t much of a prayer, but that was how Obst had taught him to pray and that was how he did it….”
Anyone can ask for an excerpt from any book in the Bell Mountain series. There are now 11 titles in print, and Book No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is being edited. Just make sure you give me the right page number and a brief description of what you’d like me to post as an excerpt.