"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes." ~Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn

"The characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst." ~Publishers Weekly review of High Maga

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mage Corey's Surprise

Those of you who aren't too thrilled by my hardcore marketing side will be pleased to know that March Madness -- and all the promotions that came with it -- has now ended. 

I want to extend a very special thanks to the folks at The Magic Appreciation Tour and the Genre Underground, especially Daniel Marvello and Christopher Kellen, for organizing these events.  I also want to thank all of you who participated in the giveaways and/or purchased a copy of Eolyn. Welcome to the magic of Moisehén!  You are in for a wonderful reading adventure. 

In other exciting news, it is now possible to follow Eolyn on Twitter.  Be the first to receive important for updates on giveaways and promotions as we start the countdown to the release of High Maga. If you don't have a Twitter account, maybe now is a good time to check it out.  It's easy to sign up, and free.

I am so thrilled with the opening chapters of my latest project, Daughter of Aithne.  Last week, I devoted my sacred Thursday afternoon writing time to a wonderful scene with Mage Corey. 

There's something about Corey -- no matter how well I've come to know him, he still manages to surprise me.

This scene was no exception.  It was a meeting of the Council of King Akmael, as told from Corey's point of view.  Fans of Eolyn, on the day they read this, will recognize certain parallels between this chapter and another in book one, in which the wizard Tzeremond relates a meeting of the Council of Akmael's father, Kedehen. 

And so the sons take the place of their fathers -- figuratively speaking, of course, as Corey is not Tzeremond's son in the biological sense, though one could call him Tzeremond's son in magic. And he is now the most powerful wizard of Moisehén, clearly making him Tzeremond's heir. (Something Tzeremond would probably not be too happy about.)

Of course, the resemblance ends there.  Corey and Akmael have different temperaments and ambitions when compared to their predecessors; and many members of the Council have changed since book one.  (About 14 years pass between the end of book 1 and the beginning of book 3, including the 10-year interval between High Maga and Daughter of Aithne.  This has allowed me to put a lot of water under the bridge, let a few of the older characters go to their peaceful deaths, and bring in some new characters and younger blood along the way.)

But I digress.  Back to Corey's surprise:

I knew when I started writing that although the entire meeting would be told from Corey's point of view, he himself would intervene only once.  I also knew his intervention would be pointed and brilliant, a classic Corey moment in which an all-too-subtle kindness would be veiled by apparently cruel and honest words.

What I did not know -- until I was right on top of the moment -- was exactly when he would intervene, and what he would say. 

From Virgil C. Robinson's FB Fan Page. 
I promise you, the snake is there!
These moments of surprise are hidden treasures in the writing process.  For me, it's like coming across a snake on a forest trail.  Walking through a forest, you know the snakes are there, but you never see one until you are almost right on top of it.  Then the serpent seems to melt out of the leaf litter, as vivid as death itself at your feet.  Awe, wonder, and a good dose of adrenalin rush through your veins while Snake looks up at you and you, quite speechless and just a little afraid, look down at it. 

Ah, there you are, you think.  I knew you'd be around.  Sorry I almost stepped on you.  I'll try to be more careful next time

Snake says nothing, just turns its unblinking eyes away and slithers back into hiding, smug in the knowledge that it will always have the upper hand.

Mage Corey and Snake are different from one another in at least one important respect:  Corey is not fool enough to sink into the illusion that he always has the upper hand.  But he is an expert in making certain everyone around him believes he does. 

Everyone including me, the unwitting author who has taken on the ever unpredictable task of writing his story.