There it is–the silver medal.
It’s nice to get some recognition, now and then. In 2014 The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, Book No. 2 of my Bell Mountain series, won a silver medal in the Global E-Book Awards.
The year before, Bell Mountain itself won a bronze.
See? Official and bona fide proof that my books are worth your time! I’m sure these awards aren’t like the Oscars, where they sometimes give Best Picture to the worst picture. If you haven’t read ’em yet… well, c’mon!
It looks like the wind from heaven is about to blow some heavy rain our way, so I’d better get out there and write what I can before it rains.
When Ellayne shinnied down the vine into “the cellar beneath the cellar,” she had no idea what they were going to find down there. I know how she felt: the book I’m writing now, The Wind From Heaven, is very much like that. Follow where the spirit leads you and see what you can find.
Monday I was totally at an impasse, had to stop writing for the day because I had no idea, no idea at all, what Lord Chutt was going to do in response to the position in which he found himself (all his own fault, I might add). Tuesday I came out, said a prayer for guidance, lit my cigar–and botta-bing, botta-boom! It just came out of my pen, that chunk of the story, as if it had been there all the time.
I ask the Lord to give me the story He wants me to tell, and so far He has–through twelve books, going on thirteen.
These are somebody’s idea of “the Top Ten Prehistorical Mammal Predators.” I didn’t actually count them, but I suspect they listed more than ten.
How many of these have appeared in Obann?
Andrewsarchus, Hyaenodon, Smilodon, Entelodont–plus a lot of critters not featured in this video. The books in which those four appear are Bell Mountain, The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, The Thunder King, and The Last Banquet. I do have fun, writing them up–and I hope it’s fun for the readers, too.
Note I have resisted the temptation to invent animals, like giant hamsters or talking clams. I deserve extra sales for that, don’t you think?
There’s something I would love to be able to do, which no writer can do–and that would be to get inside the reader’s head, as it were–and “see” the people and places and scenes I write about as the reader sees them. Ever since I announced the Bell Mountain Movie Contest, I’ve been thinking about that.
On two occasions–and even just one is extremely rare–my cover artist, Kirk DouPonce, working from live models who are just kids in his neighborhood, painted one of my characters exactly as I imagined her: Ellayne, on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, and Gurun, on the cover of The Glass Bridge. It is as if these two fictional characters that I created were real people, after all: so much so, that somehow the words “I created” seem rather silly. I can’t create real people!
It would be eerie, to meld my own imagination with the reader’s and look with his or her mind’s eye on some place in Lintum Forest, or on the great Temple of Obann, or the cloud on the summit of Bell Mountain. What if they looked to the reader exactly as they “look” to me?
I hardly know what to make of that!
I’ve had the privilege of working on Lee’s series from the beginning. Hard to believe this’ll be the eleventh cover! There’s never a lack of creative possibilities in the world he’s created. From water dinosaurs, saber-toothed panthers, gigantic bird creatures, to sea adventures, the creative possibilities are both endless and challenging! The process for creating each cover usually begins with an email conversation with Lee to figure out which scene from the book would best encapsulate the mood and general storyline. Once that’s decided I photograph models and use 3D software to create the creatures that couldn’t be photographed and also for many of the props and backgrounds. I’ve always been interested in 3D and had just started dabbling in it when the series started. These books have definitely stretched my abilities in that arena!
The local kids I’ve used as models are always thrilled to be on the book covers. The photography sessions can be as simple as shooting the models in costume in my living room but sometimes they’re much more complex. A couple of times I’ve had to shoot the models at a local climbing gym. Each cover presents its own challenge. As long as Lee keeps writing this series I hope to continue working on the covers.
Thanks and a hat tip to Jill at Chalcedon headquarters, for posting this interview with Kirk DouPonce. He’s the speaker here, not me.
I have a special fondness for this book. Maybe it’s because cover artist Kirk DouPonce depicted Gurun exactly as I imagined her. I don’t know how he does that; and it wasn’t the first time, either. Ellayne on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar is better than a photograph.
Anyway, the point of all my Bell Mountain books is to serve God by writing, I hope, what He gives me.
And yes, I’m still waiting for The Silver Trumpet to be printed.
Wow! Has it really been seven years since this book came out?
The Cellar Beneath the Cellar is Book No. 2 in my Bell Mountain series; and when I started it, I had no idea of what I was getting into. I thought it was merely the sequel to Bell Mountain–goes to show how much I know!
Hi, there! I’m Lord Reesh, the villain in the first four Bell Mountain books–and, if I do say so myself, a jolly good one! Oh, boy, wait’ll you see me get what’s coming to me!
Ah, but you can’t see that unless you read the books. And it’s only nine days till Christmas. Do you catch my drift?
These books, especially the ones with me in them, make fantastic presents for friends and family. And they’re so easy to get, even those simpletons on the Obann High Council could do it. Just click “Books” at the top of the page, and you can order any title either directly from the publisher or via amazon.com. Whatever that is. We don’t have it, where I come from.
If we were all in Obann, I could simply order you all to buy the books and sic Judge Tombo on you if you didn’t. You don’t want anything like that to happen!
My neighbor, Harlem, for whose recovery from cancer many of us prayed, tells me his experience had been written up in one of the medical journals. He’s feeling stronger by the day, putting back on some of the weight he lost, and wants to play some hoops when the weather gets a little warmer. I gave him a copy of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar to celebrate. Now we’ve got to find a basketball.
Meanwhile, this blog is giving me fits today.
Thursday’s usually my best day because that’s when my Newswithviews column is published, and it generates a lot of referrals to the blog. But not today. Not even one. Everything seems to be in working order, so I’m at a loss to understand the problem.
Ditto Facebook. As an experiment, my friend Susan generated two referrals this morning. They worked–which leaves me unable to explain why there are only those two and no more. The more I try to understand how social media work, the less I understand about the whole business.
And they say they want to merge our minds with computers??? That just may be the stupidest idea ever conceived by smart people.