I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in New Jersey, this May and last May have been unseasonably cold and rainy. My own blog archives tell me so. And so much for Global Warming.
When I wrote The Throne, I was able to start writing it in April and finish in late October. Last year, I couldn’t start The Wind from Heaven until May 24, and I finished in early November on the last day–really, the very last–I possibly could have finished, before the bad weather set in until the next spring. Although actually it’s still here.
I’ve been waiting for a sign to start writing the next book, but all I’ve got so far is an Ornitholestes sneaking around the underbrush in Lintum Forest. Is that what the Lord wants me to use as a starting-point? Can it work?
Well, I’m running short of time, so I might as well take the first step and see if it leads to a second. Say a little prayer for me.
Huzzah! (Can’t say “wahoo” twice.) I’ve just received my author’s copies of Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever. Now I can mail Watchman and Ina their comment contest prizes.
Dig that cover by Kirk DouPonce! Is that cool, or what? That’s Ellayne being attacked by the giant Ice Age hyena–and if you want to know what happens, you’ve got to read the book. The prehistoric hyena was an awesome predator that mostly ate rhinos. The horse is Dulayl, who’s been with us since Book 1.
I haven’t yet gotten the sign to start writing Book No. 14, and meanwhile No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, has to be edited; and we have to dream up a cover for it. Busy, busy, busy! But it’s the kind of busy I like.
Soon (I hope) His Mercy will be available via amazon.com and other outlets; but for the time being, you can order it from The Chalcedon Foundation/Storehouse Books at http://www.chalcedon.edu/store/ . Support award-winning Christian fantasy! Support me. End of commercial.
And now I’ve got to go see what Joe Collidge has gotten up to.
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.
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.
Just in case the world doesn’t end anytime soon, I’ve got to get back to work today.
Update: Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is about ready to be published–any day, now. (Note to Watchman: I haven’t forgotten! I’ll send you your copy of the book as soon as I get mine.) Editing has begun on No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. And as for No. 14–well, it isn’t written yet, I don’t have a title… but the Lord has provided me with an insight that I think will drive the book, once I start writing it.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to write this week’s Newswithviews column. Note to WhiteRabbit: I’ve decided to follow your suggestion. Patty thought it was a great idea.
And here’s an idea that just hit me–completely unrelated to anything else that’s going on here: True friendship is doing something you don’t like for someone whom you like.
I was going to cover the Democrat debate today, but never mind. I can’t think of anyone who really wants me to.
Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is just about ready to be published. I’d rather it came out sooner than later, in hopes that it might pep up sales of the earlier books in the series. Meanwhile, there are final edits to be made, including mine–at Chalcedon we always try to weed out all the errors. It’s impossible, of course; but no one comes closer to achieving it than we do.
Editing one’s own book is hard, because you always know what you meant to say and the errors don’t jump out at you until after the book is printed and it’s too late to fix them. “How in the world did I miss that?” is a Frequently Asked Question. Fortunately, we have other editors working on it at the same time.
I still love that cover by Kirk DouPonce. Will Ellayne and Dulayl escape the jaws of the Ice Age hyena? Will First Prester Orth make it back to the city without being murdered by the bad guys? And so on–I’ve really packed this book. And waiting in the wings is Book 13, The Wind from Heaven.
Is anybody out there who has read the whole series so far? Your comments are just about the only advertising we have, along with this blog.
Bell Mountain is also available in Portuguese. No kidding.
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.
It’s written, it’s typed and sent to the editor, and now the cold weather closes in and if I hadn’t finished by now, I’d be out of luck: yes, The Wind from Heaven is all done. And I’ve also written the cover blurb for His Mercy Endureth Forever, and Kirk has come up with dynamite cover artwork for it–
Now what do I do?
Yeesh! No more Bell Mountain, no more Jack and Ellayne and Martis, no more Gallgoid hatching plots in Obann City–what am I supposed to do with myself for the next six months? Just cover nooze?
Thing is, I work on a book so intently–especially when the weather won’t play ball and I’ve got to get it done in four and a half months instead of six–that to finally finish it leaves me gasping for breath. And a sense of loss!
Wa-haah! The final chapter of Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, has been written, polished, typed, and sent on to my editor. And Kirk DouPonce has begun work on the cover art for No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever.
Here’s the girl who modeled for Ellayne on the cover of The Cellar Beneath the Cellar. Ellayne will be featured on this cover, too. The great thing about her was that she looked exactly like Ellayne! The not-so-great thing is that the Cellar cover was painted some years ago and children grow and change. Well, Ellayne has grown, too. Maybe the model still looks like her, plus a couple of years. Maybe Kirk can use her again. We won’t need the brush or the climbing wall, though.
Martis’ faithful horse, Dulayl, will also be on the cover. And a great big nasty Ice Age hyena.
I’m a little behind in my posts today, but never mind–The Wind From Heaven has been written! Finito! Bell Mountain No. 13 is ready to have its final chapter set typed up and sent to Susan for editing.
Just in time, too: the weather’s getting too cold for me to sit outside and write.
Will this go down in history as “the Tanystropheus book?” I mean, because there’s a Tanystropheus in it? But that’s only one of its attractions, and the only one I’ll mention by name–don’t want to spoil any surprises. Susan has read the first five chapter sets and says you’re gonna need a seat belt to read this book.
But first we’ve got to get His Mercy Endureth Forever into print, and to make that turn out right, we need Kirk DouPonce’s cover art. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with this time.
And I just remembered I’ve got to do something about Joe Collidge today–so see you in a bit.