Apologies for another unconscionably long absence from the blogging world, Gentle Readers. There is no sturm-und-drang to blame, no slice of Greek tragedy to point fingers at. No, this time, the culprit was simply, “I have nothing to say.” Yet now, in the simple words spoken by Samwise Gamgee at the end of The Lord of the Rings: “I am back.”
Work continues apace on the revisions to A Gathering of Ravens. Should all go as expected (which includes me wrapping up my edits by the end of May), you should be able to snag a copy from your favorite bookseller by this time next year — May of 2017. Ironically, it’s scheduled to come out on the eve of my 50th birthday. Auspicious, that is.
I’ve been working on the jacket copy for Ravens. Here’s a look at a rough version, which might give you some idea what the book is about (keeping in mind, of course, that the whole thing stems from a game of “what if” . . . what if Tolkien’s Orcs had had a parallel in Norse myth?):
He is called by many names. To the Danes, he is skraelingr; to the English, he is orcnéas; to the Irish, he is fomoraig. He is Corpse-maker and Life-quencher, the Bringer of Night, the Son of the Wolf and Brother of the Serpent. He is Grimnir, and he is the last of his kind – the last in a long line of monsters who have plagued humanity since the Elder Days.
Drawn from his lair by a thirst for vengeance against the ambitious Dane who slew his brother, Grimnir emerges into a world that has changed. A new faith has arisen, a Nailed God from the East, and against it the Elder World cannot abide. The Old Ways are dying, and their followers retreating into the shadows; even still, Grimnir’s vengeance cannot be denied.
Taking as hostage a young Christian to be his guide, Grimnir embarks on a journey that takes him from the hinterlands of Denmark, where the wisdom of the ancient dwarves has given way to madness, to the war-torn heart of southern England, where the spirits of the land make violence on one another. And thence to the green shores of Ireland and the Viking stronghold of Dubhlinn, where his enemy awaits . . .
But, unless Grimnir can set aside his hatreds, his dream of retribution will come to nothing. For Dubhlinn is set to be the site of a reckoning – the Old Ways versus the New – and Grimnir, the last of his kind left to plague mankind, must choose: stand with the Christian King of Ireland and see his vengeance done, or stand against him and see it slip away?
So, check back now and then for news, excerpts, musings, contests, rants, and even a few nuggets of hard-gleaned wisdom. And for my part I’ll try not to be gone so long, next time.