Tuesday, 31 January 2012
Saturday, 21 January 2012
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Saturday, 7 January 2012
I'm a sucker for anniversaries, even if they mean nothing in themselves - but it is exactly six years since I started writing in earnest what would later become my first (self-)published novel, 'Maranatha', and lead to the foundation of Fenriswulf Books and this very blog.
Inspired by a Discovery Channel documentary on the Holy Spear of Jesus (of which I'm watching an old video recording at this very moment), I could never have known just how serious that work would become. Nor quite how heavily that documentary would inspire the book and the rest of the series - from the metallurgical examination work undertaken by Dr Robert Feather (that which is attributed to the brilliant but erratic young scientist, Vanessa Descartes, in 'Maranatha'), the mythical origins of the spear and its history, and the subplot of the heroic Roman legionary commander, St. Maurice. The Hitler connection wasn't ignored either but, knowing it was rather suspect and slightly cornball, I played down that aspect as much as I could while keeping the concept of a dreaded 'Fourth Reich' as a publicity tagline.
That hour-long TV programme sent me scurrying to my vast collection of books on King Arthur, the Grail, the Templars, unorthodox Christianity, alchemy, and medieval European history, but even they weren't enough to provide me with the deeply-layered and complex treasure hunt of a plot that I sought - well over a hundred internet webpages also contributed to the conspiracy which pulled Professor Tomas de Carranza, Dr. Emanuel Khalamanga and Vanessa Descartes together. The developing plot convulsed more than a dying serpent possessed by the Devil, but that was part of the fun - for there were times I had no more idea of what was going on, or why, than any of my characters did. It's not a method of plotting that I can recommend to anyone, but it works for me and from my recent correspondences with other writes, I know I'm not unique in this habit.
So, six years on and 'Maranatha' still hasn't made my fortune or my name as a writer, but it continues to sell, and despite a couple of less than ecstatic reviews, nobody has, as yet, actually disliked the book, and the intended entertainment value remains undiminished, it seems.
And as I write this, I consider the future of de Carranza and Khalamanga, and the others. I have dozens of pages of notes for the sequel, 'The Keys of Heaven', and I expect I shall, sooner or later, find myself drawn back to that world of dark religious conspiracy, personal faith, history, myth and science. In any case, I'm sure there will be plenty of exciting twists and turns to come.
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