If you missed it the first time I posted it, here’s Kirk DouPonce’s wonderful cover for Bell Mountain No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. I need to write a cover blurb, so I’m re-reading it. Summing up the whole thing in 150 words, without spoiling the plot, is trickier than you might think.
For lots more information on all my books–which you can order from this blog’s home page–just proceed to the home page and click “Books.” If you’re already there, that’s a plus.
Please stay tuned for Byron the Quokka’s TV listings.
G’day! Byron the Quokka here, reminding you that we have a comment contest going. Our goal is 70,000 comments–with only 579 left to go.
[Editor’s note: We’re wondering if there’s an Internet outage somewhere, because we haven’t heard from any of our most prolific commenters today. We also have reports of readers’ email conking out. ]
Here I’d like to turn it over to Quokka University’s life coach, Horatio the jumping spider.
Thank you, Byron. First I’d like to say that bugs are good for you, catch as many as you can. This solves most of life’s problems. It’s always worked for me.
Anyhow, the winner of the comment contest will receive an autographed copy of Lee’s book, His Mercy Endureth Forever. If you already have it, you can hold out for the next book in the series, The Wind from Heaven, which has not yet been published but it won’t be long now.
Meanwhile, a select committee of quokkas is still working on the problem of how much tuition to charge and whether it should include a season’s pass to QU’s pick-up sticks matches.
But by all means we want to read your comments! Really, what’s the point of having six eyes if you don’t have anything to read? (That’s one for the Philosophy Dept.)
G’day! Byron the Quokka, back with comment contest news.
Would you believe it? Yesterday I announce we’ve only got 700 comments to go to get to 70,000, major milestone and all that, comment contest going, winner gets a book, etc., etc.–and today there’s just a single comment. It’s like telling everybody that the contest is reaching its crescendo… well, sort of shut them up. It’s like the director yells “Action!” and everybody just sits on the floor. Go figure!
Well, I told the guy he ought to offer a bicycle as the prize. Look behind me–there’s another perfectly good bike left standing there for anyone to take. Humans are so careless! You should put your bike lin your burrow when you aren’t using it.
Anyhow, the prize for No. 70,000 is an autographed copy of Lee’s new book, His Mercy Endureth Forever (instead of a bicycle–what can I say?), or you can hold out for the next book, The Wind from Heaven.
One of my quiet pleasures, when I was a boy, was to read the TV listings in the daily paper. It was the only way I could find out about shows that came on after I was sent to bed. Later on I graduated to the summaries in TV Guide.
Whoever wrote these, they were brilliant. Here’s a movie description from 1974: “Triple Trouble” (1950). The Bowery Boys are sent up for robbery, try to find the true culprits in prison. Period! The whole movie in just 16 words!
I have to write a cover blurb for my new book, The Wind from Heaven. I’m allowed 150 words in which to encapsulate the story in a way that’s sure to provoke the reader’s interest.. while not giving away the plot. I’ve always found this very difficult.
But what if I had only 16 words? What if it was a movie on TV, and I had to write the listing? Holy moly.
Now, it’s been many years since I scanned TV listings. With a couple hundred channels out there–we had only seven in 1960, and most places outside the New York media market had just two or three–it hardly seems worthwhile to try to write listings for all the hundreds, if not thousands, of programs offered every day.
But imagine if the art of summarization had ever broken out beyond the daily TV listings. Just imagine…
Kirk DouPonce has done it again. This is the gorgeous cover he’s come up with for The Wind from Heaven, Book No. 13 in my Bell Mountain series. A lack of skill at my end is why the picture is cut off from the top and bottom. So what you’re seeing here is, I guess, about three-quarters of the picture.
I don’t know when the book will be published: probably sometime this spring. If we still have a country by then, you’ll be able to order the book right here from this blog.
For many centuries the ocean has separated Obann from the rest of the world. What lies beyond it? Are there people on the other side–if there even is another shore? But if not, then were have those strange ships come from, and what does their coming mean?
Are there giants in Lintum Forest?
Yes, it’s the Bell Mountain story continued, with all your favorite characters and some new ones.
If you’re new to this blog and new to Bell Mountain–well, it wouldn’t be right for me to create a commercial for my own books. I’ve done it before, but I’m trying not to. Suffice it to say you can read all about all the books in the series just by clicking “Books.”
One of Kirk’s models posing as Ellayne for the cover of “The Cellar Beneath the Cellar”
When I was writing horror novels in the 1980s, New York publishing houses had one rule for cover art: You’ll take what we give you, writer, like it or not!
I’ve had the good fortune to have artist Kirk DouPonce illustrate the covers for all the books in my Bell Mountain series. Unlike the way they do it in New York, Kirk reads the books he illustrates and confers with the writers. So he and I usually bat ideas back and forth until we find one that we both like.
Yesterday we agreed on a cover for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. I really mustn’t tell you what it is; but I think it’s going to be great. He didn’t say how long it would take him to come up with a preliminary sketch: I don’t think it’s wise to pressure an artist to hurry.
And meanwhile I’m waiting for it to stop raining (three days in a row now!) so I can finish writing No. 14, Behold!
If you’ve been following my progress, as reported here, I’ve really been sweating it, trying to come up with a climax for Bell Mountain No. 14, Behold! The question gave me no peace: “Behold what? What’s there to behold?” And I’ve been praying about it, asking the Lord to give me the story that He wants me to tell. That’s what I always ask Him; and so far, He always has.
So I was out there in the cold yesterday, too cold to write, finishing up my cigar… and the idea just sort of drifted into my head. Sometimes it comes with a bang, as when the gunslinger in a movie shoves open the doors to the saloon. Sometimes it’s like a flashbulb. Sometimes I get the climax first and have to find the way to it. But this time it just drifted quietly into my head; and when I went back indoors, I got distracted by other things and didn’t think of it.
Until I woke up this morning!
Gee, it was still there. I don’t know how to tell you how unusual that is for me. I get a lot of ideas that don’t amount to anything. But this one was not only still there: now it was much clearer. It was better. It ties together the strands of the plot that were just sort of whipping in the wind.
Hallelujah, I can finish my book! I asked the Lord to show me how, and He did. Now all I need is some friendly weather–and a lot of energy–in which to write it up.
Oh–and I still need some good ideas for cover art for No. 13, The Wind from Heaven. Kirk DouPonce is a great cover artist, but he prefers the author (which is me) to come up with the ideas. I’m still wondering how he gets my characters so real: you’d swear they posed for him.
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.