Well, here I am, in kindlier weather than we have today, scribbling away at Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! Today, in spite of the fog and the threat of rain, I finished Chapter 31. (Don’t worry–it won’t be as long as Oy, Rodney.) Helki the Rod has just had more excitement than is good for him; and I reckon another half-dozen chapters will do it.
I still don’t know just what it is that the characters in the story are going to behold. Lord, I hope you’ll tell me soon. Usually He gives me the book’s climax a lot sooner than this. For instance, I already have the climax for Book 15. Always in hope that I’ll be able to write it.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to come up with cover art for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, so artist Kirk DouPonce can get to work on it. Ships from very far away have suddenly appeared off Obann’s coast: maybe we could show the first shore party landing. I await the birth of an idea.
I’ve just finished writing another chapter set of Behold!, Book No. 14 of my Bell Mountain series. Meanwhile, No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is kind of clunking along and No. 13, The Wind from Heaven, is being edited and needs cover art.
I’ll have to get this chapter set typed up and sent to Susan for editing, and then write fast to get it done before the weather gets too cold. This is hard because I don’t yet know how the story is going to turn out. The Lord hasn’t yet given me that.
There are readers who say “Enough already, put Bell Mountain to bed.” Others say, “Oh, no–keep going!” But it’s not entirely up to me. I can only write what the Lord gives me. And at this point I’ve been writing these books long enough not to know what I’d do without them. I admit it: I would miss them. A lot.
It probably doesn’t show at your end, but here at mine, I’m trying to master new techniques that have been imposed on me without my consent. There’s a lot of that going around lately.
If this post is successfully published, you will see a Moschops, from South Africa, and the silhouette of an unidentified woman who is taking it for a walk. You can try to decide which animal was weirder, this or Tanystropheus. The latter enjoys a cameo appearance in Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Moschops last appeared, fleetingly, in The Missouri Breaks with Marlon Brando.
If the post is unsuccessful, you’ll probably see nothing at all.
So I finally got an amazon customer review for Bell Mountain No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever–and the guy panned it. Two stars.
It’s a waste of time trying to tell anybody why he should have liked something or other, but gee whiz. This book is unsuitable for young readers because some of the characters who are supposed to be the good guys… tell lies. Gallgoid, the chief spy, tells porkies to the bad guys. You mean he shouldn’t do that? This is supposed to be “un-Christian.” But in the Bible, Rahab is praised for hiding the Israelite spies and lying to deceive the men who are hunting for them; and Jehosheba is praised for hiding the baby prince when the wicked queen, Athalia, tried to kill off the royal family. Like, Rahab should’ve said, “I cannot tell a lie. The Israelites are hiding on my roof.” Really? Like, instead of hiding the Jews, you should’ve told the Nazis where they were?
The reader also expressed a feeling that Bell Mountain has just gone on too long, on and on without getting anywhere. Do any of you think so? I’ve heard from people who don’t want the series ever to end. Well, there’s no pleasing everybody.
Even so, I’d love to know what some of you think of this book, His Mercy. And then there’s The Wind from Heaven next, and I’m working on Behold! So we can’t stop the series just yet.
Anyway, writers live on feedback, it’s food and drink to us. Just sayin’….
In spite of multitudinous distractions, I’ve finished writing the first three chapters of my new book, Behold! I don’t know where I’m going, but that’s nothing new. I may need a better title by and by, but none has yet presented itself to me.
Meanwhile, Jack and Ellayne have seen glyptodons (see illustration) on their way to Durmurot, Ebed is aboard a ship from the Lost Continent, the new government of Obann City is trying to clean up the mess left by Lord Chutt’s usurpation, Ysbott the Snake is on his way to further mischief, and the old rat who lives under the baroness’ kitchen is having premonitions of bad times to come.
This will be Bell Mountain No. 14–who would’ve thought it?–and we’re no editing No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is available from the Chalcedon Foundation (www.chalcedon.edu/store/ ) and, in Kindle format, from amazon.com.
It makes a welcome break from nooze. Which is a good reason for you to buy it.
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.