If you’re wondering where I am today, and why I haven’t posted much–well, the sun is shining and I have to make hay. I’m outside working on my book, The Witch Box. I’m going to go back outside in a few minutes and write a bit more.
Meanwhile, enjoy this video clip of the largest land mammal ever, Baluchitherium. Here they call it an “Indricothere,” but I don’t bother with that.
If you’ve read The Thunder King, this is the great beast that King Ryons rode to the rescue of the city of Obann.
I don’t know when The Wind from Heaven will be published, but I’d like to share with you, in advance, a paragraph.
Obst is the speaker. For those who haven’t read any of the books, Obst is the former hermit who has become the teacher to King Ryons’ army–men who were born Heathen, but have come to God.
Here, in a moment of crisis, is his thought.
“The wind from Heaven,” he thought, “is blowing hard today!” Scattering all sorts of people in all directions, it looked like chaos and confusion. “But it is all the work of God, who is the only one who sees the pattern in it.” For the Scriptures had taught him that God never loses His grip on the reins of history, and guides it where He will. ****
Something for us to bear in mind, as we confront the crises of our own time.
You need a place to hide, if you’re gonna see this.
This is the creature King Ryons and Cavall encountered on the plains in The Thunder King (No. 3 in the Bell Mountain series). No one had ever seen one before, and lived to tell about it. Ryons called it the Death Dog.
G’day–Byron the Quokka here. And I can’t help feeling wistful because the big 50,000-Comment Contest is over and this will be the last question, No. 20, in the Bell Mountain trivia contest. After this, I don’t know what to do with myself. Suddenly playing Clue solitaire seems kind of unexciting.
Anyhow, here it is, Question No. 20:
What legendary creature led Ryons to the banquet hall of the ancient kings of Obann?
The winner will be the reader with the most right answers out of 20, and that wise and learned individual will get an autographed book. If you have all 11 published titles so far, you can hold out for No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever–which I think will be published in March or April of next year.
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.
Ryons or Fnaa? Only the royal hairdresser knows for sure–and they don’t have one.
I don’t often get a chance to interview a fictional character, so I had to jump on this–an interview with Fnaa, who features in my Bell Mountain series as King Ryons’ double and an all-around scamp. He made his debut in The Fugitive Prince and is still with us six books later.
The Thunder King, Book No. 3 of my Bell Mountain series, was born of a dream I had, in which a Baluchitherium–the largest land mammal ever–figured dramatically. With a little extra shaping, that dream became the climax of the book.
It’s been cold today, and we have a major snowstorm forecast for tomorrow, but warmer weather’s coming; and when it gets here, I want to be in trim to write my next Bell Mountain book. All I need is a plot, a title, and about 70,000 words of story.
First, though, I’ve got to read The Temptation–because I don’t remember what’s in it! You work very intensely on a book, and when you finally finish it, you hear a loud “Whoooosh!” as it all rushes out of your head. A few months later, it’s like you never wrote it: speaking only for myself, of course. I did leave several story lines that will have to be picked up. That’s somewhere to start, until the Lord gives me more to work with.
Yes, I know The Silver Trumpet (No. 10 in the series) comes before The Temptation, but I’m still waiting to get it from the printers. So for the time being I’ll devote my full attention to The Temptation. Ever since I lost 18 members of Lord Reesh’s personal staff between The Thunder King (No. 3) and The Last Banquet, I have had a dread of making an even bigger error. We do have Cathy, our great copy editor, to catch the ones that get away from me; but I’d rather not muff it in the first place.
“Why,” I pretend I hear you ask, “have you illustrated this post with a picture of The Palace? That’s Book No. 6. It doesn’t fit in here.”
Well, it’s only because The Palace, for some unfathomable reason, continues to lag behind the rest of the series and I would love to drum up some readership for it. And some customer reviews on amazon.com. Trust me: you don’t want to miss King Ryons’ hunt for the white doe, or Coronation Day in Obann.
Anyhow, I’ve started reading The Temptation and have already assuaged my fear that it might not measure up. I think it does.
But first we gotta get The Silver Trumpet printed!
As I type up my latest chapter set of The Temptation, King Ryons reminisces (if a boy so young can be said to reminisce) his encounter with a great beast bigger than anything else that ever walked the earth. I modeled this creature on the prehistoric giant in this video–Baluchitherium. Yeah, they call it “Indricotherium” now, but I don’t. The clip comes from Tim Haines’ Walking With Prehistoric Beasts, and it’s the closest we can come to seeing what King Ryons saw.
Those little Hyaenodons who want to eat the new-born calf–they were, in fact, almost as big as a rhinoceros. Ryons and Cavall met one of them, too. Ask him about it when you see him!
All of this fun stuff is in my Bell Mountain books; so if you haven’t read ’em yet… But this is not a commercial.
I love this video! Most if it’s taken from Tim Haines’ Walking with Prehistoric Beasts, and a lot of the animals in it have already appeared in my Bell Mountain books. If you’ve read them all, you’ll recognize quite a few of them–the mammoths that stampeded through Market City, the giant birds that stalk the plains around Lintum Forest, the big but inoffensive knuckle-bears, the Thunder King’s pet saber-toothed cat, the death-dog that almost made a meal of Ryons and Cavall: and of course the great beast that carried the boy king to his city.
Anyhow, except for what our own imaginations may provide, this is about as close as you can come to seeing these critters in the flesh. Enjoy it! And have a happy Labor Day.