A New Book… Under Way

Bell Mountain (Bell Mountain, 1)

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.

 

Will I Start My New Book Today?

Pin on יהונתן קשת

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.

The Robbie Report

robbie picture

We got good news today from Robbie’s vet. They’ve done the blood work: her kidney numbers are back down to normal, and so are her thyroid numbers. She won’t need to be checked again for six months. It’s a great relief to us.

Robbie recently had her sixteenth birthday, and that makes her a “senior cat.” You might well think she was younger than that, to look at her. She’s had more than her share of serious medical problems in her life, but she’s still ticking.

Meanwhile, the weather here has not been friendly to any writer who needs to work outdoors. I want to start writing my next book, the early life of King Ozias, who lived two thousand years ago. I think I’d like to frame it as a tale told by Obst, King Ryons’ teacher. The tale is told in Obann’s Scriptures, in bits and pieces scattered here and there. Obst will have to put it all together into a coherent narrative.

To start a new book is exciting, but also a little bit daunting. Can I do it? Can I make it work? Will it serve God? The only way to find out is to pray for guidance and write the book.

Should I… Well, Stop?

The Bell Mountain Series - Reformed Reviews

I’m currently working to finish Book No. 15 of my Bell Mountain series, The Witch Box. If my execution lives up to my vision, it’ll be my best book yet.

Edgar Rice Burroughs kept writing Tarzan because the Lord of the Jungle put most of the food on the table; but he complained a lot about having to do it. Agatha Christie came to a point where she was really and truly sick of Hercule Poirot; but she kept on writing him because the readers still wanted him.

I am not tired of writing Bell Mountain. In fact, next time out, I’m thinking I’d like to go back in time 2,000 years to tell the story of King Ozias. But there are some folks out there who think it’s time it was “Lights Out” for Bell Mountain, adios, don’t let the door hit you in the tuchas on your way out…

Of course my books are microscopic, compared to Tarzan or Poirot. I don’t have to worry about angry mobs besieging my publisher because they want Bell Mountain back (which is what happened, literally, when Arthur Conan Doyle tried to kill off his creation, Sherlock Holmes). I have no advertising. Just this wee blog.

My question to readers is, Should I put a cork in it? (One reader says even Wytt bores him, anymore. Good grief.) Have you had your fill of Bell Mountain? Or should I keep on going for as long as the Lord gives me something to write and Chalcedon’s willing to publish it?

Just askin’.

The Lure of the Prequel

The Bell Mountain Series - Reformed Reviews

I’ve been chewing over this idea for years now, and a few readers have encouraged me in it. Why not write a Bell Mountain book about things that happened before the events so far related in the series?

The story that pulls me the hardest is that of King Ozias, who lived 2,000 years before Jack and Ellayne et al. Ozias had a thousand enemies, and a thousand narrow escapes. But he trusted in God, he obeyed the directions of the Spirit, and God delivered him out of all his dangers–and promised that his line of descent would continue down the centuries, and never fail. Yes, I think I’d like to write that.

But there’s also the story–well, there must be one–behind Ellayne’s favorite book, The Adventures of Abombalbap. Was there ever such a person as Abombalbap, who was raised and trained in warrior arts by the Seven Hags of Ballamadda? Were his adventures inspired by real events? What was life in Obann like, centuries after the Day of Fire and centuries before King Ryons?

And here’s me, wondering if I should try to write these books. It would mean departing from the story arc that has so far held together 13 books in a series. It strikes me as a rather large risk to take.

Abombalbap would be on it in a heartbeat.

Dream or Vision? (Who Knows?)

Image result for images of the throne by lee duigon

You know I make use of dreams when I’m writing a Bell Mountain novel.

The Wind from Heaven must be blowing for me, because here’s what I dreamed last night, which I will incorporate into the book as I write it.

It was one of those dreams in which you don’t know you’re dreaming because it starts out so mundane and ordinary. I dreamed it was night-time and I had to walk out to the curb to bring in the garbage cans. There seemed to be no traffic, no engine noise, out on Main Street–which should have tipped me off right there that I was dreaming.

The night was quiet and still, everybody’s lights were out… And as if from some great distance, I heard as it were the sound of many voices chanting:

“King Ozias! King Ozias! King Ozias!”

And just out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw a great lion pass silently into the deeper shadows. It was Ozias, of course, who composed the sacred “Song of the Lion.” And it was Ozias, the last anointed king of Obann, who is the ancestor of the present king, Ryons–the first to hold the title “king of Obann” for some two thousand years.

I can hardly wait to get out there and write this into the story.

P.S.–If you missed earlier posts, The Wind from Heaven is the title of the new book I’ve just started writing.

My Enhanced Bio

Here are a couple of my friends at Arthur’s court. They let you take pictures now.

I read somewhere that an author can sell more books if he’s had an interesting life. I have decided that makes sense. Herewith is my enhanced biography, full of stuff you never knew about me.

I was born at an undisclosed location, and it was not until recently that I learned my true origins, which I am not at liberty to disclose. To know that I walked the earth would be a mortal disappointment to a certain powerful government.

I was a Navy Seal when they were still known as Walruses. You could look it up. In 1968 we kidnapped Mao Tse-tung, but the White House made us give him back. This incident made me cynical, so I quit government service and went on to visit countries that are not supposed to exist, but do.

For two years I advised the Steward of Gondor, and if he’d taken my advice, they would’ve all saved themselves a lot of trouble.  I have been a vacuum cleaner salesman in Narnia, not one of my more lucrative enterprises, and an estate manager for Lord Greystoke, aka Tarzan of the Apes, in the country just north of Opar–places you won’t find on any map.

I have learned the name of him who comes when you whistle for him, O my lad, and I have visited most of the royal courts mentioned in The Mabinogion. At the court of Arthur, Kay threatened to expose me as a mountebank. Unwilling to change history by damaging Sir Kay, I wandered until I drifted into the country of Obann. There I heard the Bell of King Ozias sound from the summit of Bell Mountain. I return to Obann as often as I can.

I haven’t mentioned any of this stuff in interviews. John Carter says he’ll feed me to the Green Martians if I do.