(That’s Wytt in the upper right-hand corner, encouraging Jack to climb the wall.)
Our friend “Weavingword” has requested an excerpt demonstrating Wytt’s courage. No bigger than a squirrel himself, he backs down for no one–not even for this gigantic killer bird that wants to make a meal of Martis, who lies unconscious and defenseless. We take up the scene on Page 60 of The Palace:
“The great bird was annoyed.
“A ridiculously tiny red-haired creature was harassing her so that she couldn’t dine in peace. Indeed, she had yet to begin her meal. There lay the man, half-dead, just waiting to be devoured–and this little nuisance screeched and jabbered at her, dancing all around and trying to threaten her with a tiny twig.
“She darted her head and snapped at it, but her jaws came together with only a loud ‘clack!’ to show for it. She was more than annoyed; now she was positively furious
“‘Parasite! Carrion eater! Big clumsy lizard! I empty my glands in your direction!'”
“Wytt’s insults meant nothing to the bird, although they were among the most offensive known to the Omah. But his shrill cries went right to the bone, and now nothing would satisfy the bird but to crush this little hairy pest in her beak. She forgot the meal in front of her. Hissing like a serpent, she chased Wytt, striking at him again and again but always missing. The more often she missed, the greater burned her rage…”
(At this point thirteen armed men ride up on horseback, and the bird is compelled to retreat.)
Wytt’s armament consists of a little stick sharpened by his teeth, and bushels of self-confidence. You just can’t keep him down.
Anyone can request an excerpt from any of my books. Just remember to give me the title, the page number, and a clear idea of what it is that you want me to excerpt.
“Teddy Kiara” asked for this excerpt, from The Palace (Bell Mountain No. 6). I can’t give her exactly what she asked for, because I fear it’d spoil the climax. But I think the following comes close.
Gurun is the girl from a faraway island who, against her will, is taken up as queen of Obann. Goryk Gillow is a traitor who means to crown a false king. We pick up the scene on page 312.
“Gurun came out next. And at the sight of her, Goryk Gillow’s heart seemed suddenly inadequate to keep him on his feet.
“He couldn’t breathe. He’d seen her once before, on the walls above the East Gate. That time he’d been afraid of her, not knowing why. But this time he was frozen.
“She was no natural creature. Her white garments and her long hair blazed, whiter than any white he’d ever seen. The rain seemed not to touch her. Goryk ground his eyes shut, lest her eyes should meet them, but still her white light thrust against the darkness. Deep, deep, deep inside his soul there was a scream.
“The God he had betrayed, defied, and mocked: that God had sent her here to take His vengeance on him. She was His messenger. Goryk trembled from head to toe. Mardar Zo looked up and stared at him, alarmed…
“Goryk didn’t hear them. His only impulse was to escape the terrible white lady: to escape from God. With a strangled scream that finally worked its way out, he freed his feet from the stone and fled, moaning, into the palace…”
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 hope you don’t mind me indulging in a small commercial for my books. The Palace is No. 6 in my Bell Mountain series, and few people know it exists. Everyone who’s read it, and reviewed it on amazon.com, has given it 5 Stars.
It does seem unlikely, with today’s temperature flirting with the single digits and our mudscape frozen solid (it hasn’t snowed here yet, just that one little snowstorm before ‘Thanksgiving); but before you know it, it’ll be spring again. For me, that’ll be time to start another book–always provided the Lord gives me a story to tell.
I like the thought of being able to sit down, instead of pacing up and down the sidewalk to keep warm, enjoy my cigar without gale winds trying to use it up in just five minutes, opening my legal pad and getting down to business–finding out what’s been happening in Obann. I left a few rather big and touchy things up for grabs in the last chapter of No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. I wonder how they turned out!
Anyway, for the time being, if you haven’t read The Palace yet, give it a whirl. It’s cheaper than a movie, you get to keep it when you’re done reading, and you don’t have to worry about helping any Far Left Crazy Hollywood types get any richer. Follow Ryons and Cavall as they hunt the White Doe, and Helki as he launches the Battle of the Brickbats.
Every now and then I get edgy about whether my books are actually reaching any audience, so I post something to try and arouse readers’ interest in them. I’m happy to say there seem to be a lot of newcomers to this blog: maybe I can get you guys to try my books.
Spring is coming, unless those pesky bankers stop it, and I want to be ready to write when it gets here. But before I can do that, I have to revisit the books I’ve already written.
So first I read The Temptation, which will be No. 11 in the Bell Mountain series when it gets published sometime next year, and assuaged my fears that there might be something wrong with it. It’s a writer thing: we all get cold feet, somewhere along the way to publication.
Having done that, it’s time to get back with Jack and Ellayne and follow them, once again, up Bell Mountain. And maybe soon we’ll have The Silver Trumpet, I have no idea what’s taking it so long to get printed. After that, the other eight books in the series.
I do this to immerse myself in the fantasy world depicted in the books. Before I can write about it any more, I have to see it, hear it, feel it, smell it: because if I can’t, the reader won’t be able to, either.
So why is No. 6, The Palace, serving to illustrate this post?
Mostly because it has only three customer reviews on amazon and has lagged way behind the others. I can’t imagine why. Artist Kirk DouPonce used a real kid to model for Jack climbing up the extremely high wall of the Palace in Obann, and I wouldn’t like that boy to think he did it for nothing. What boy–Jack or the model? Both of ’em, of course. Jack’s human fly act deserves your support!
Wow! Just like in Lintum Forest. Only when you see the white doe in Lintum Forest, it means you’re in for strange adventures. Like the one that befell Ryons in The Palace.
It snowed like crazy here yesterday, all day, finally tapering off at night. We were watching a Columbo episode when my eye strayed to the window: and there, standing in the yard, hardly ten feet away, was a doe. This time Patty saw it, too. And as we looked, another doe came along, and they both looked back at us. The spell broke when a car pulled into the parking lot and found the deer in its headlights. Contrary to the popular turn of phrase, they both ran away. But their tracks were there this morning.
No big deal, to a lot of you: but where we live, it seems almost miraculous that there should be any deer at all.
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!