The past few weeks has been a real whirlwind of psychic, creative, and personal energies. I have finished the first draft of the new book, SON OF TALL EAGLE, which continues the story of The People after their migration to Ispiris, the Land Beyond the Sun.
Taking a few days away from the manuscript right now before I dive into the revising/editing phase. This is when I get the story and the words and everything else ready for the world to see. Finishing the first draft is an endurance race, then it’s time to slow down and refine that raw energy that I’ve captured on the page.
Getting back into the TALL EAGLE universe after six years was NOT easy, but it turned out to be extremely rewarding. I had been “carrying” this story around in my head for years, and yet it still surprised me in the writing of it. There was one character who wasn’t even in my outline/notes who came out of nowhere and became vital to the story, taking on a central role and driving the action in a way I had never expected.
That’s the great thing about writing: It’s always a process of discovery. When I wrote THE TESTAMENT OF TALL EAGLE, I didn’t use an outline at all. For this sequel (which is also a standalone book) I did start with an outline, but halfway through I realized that the outline wasn’t complete–there was now more to the story than I had planned. It grew organically, like a sacred herb in rich earth.
The story takes place 22 years after Tall Eagle broke the Circle of War by leading his people into the Land Beyond the Sun (with the help of the Gray Ones known as the Myktu). The People were changed not only by their transition to a new world, but also by the mental bonding they experienced with the Dreamers of Mharinu. Now Gray Ones and humans have blended into a sub-society sharing River Village with Tall Eagle’s transplanted tribe.
I don’t want to give way any of the plot details, but the story is told from the point-of-view of Kai, the Son of Tall Eagle. He is twenty-two years old, having been inside his pregnant mother’s belly during The Crossing, and is about to begin his adult life as a husband and father. Like his own father, Kai has been trained to ride the great Opyds of Mharinu–the giant eagles who willingly serve the Gray Ones. This sets him apart from the other men of River Village as a sky-riding hunter.
The appeal of making this a series was the thrill of exploring Ispiris, a world with many fantastical aspects that were barely touched on in the first book. THE TESTAMENT OF TALL EAGLE was firmly grounded in actual Amerindian history and culture–whereas SON OF TALL EAGLE sprouts from strong fantasy-based roots. It’s the “other side of the coin,” so to speak. Once I got comfortable with the world and its rules again, it was full speed ahead. When the new lead characters came to life, the story took on a shape and a form all its own.
As soon as I’m finished with revisions and edits, the manuscript goes to Ragnarok Publications, who will hopefully have it in stores sometime next year.