A print copy of ‘God of Rain’ is in my hands and approved for distribution. It should be available pretty much everywhere by the official release date of March 13. I’ll be uploading the ebook versions in a couple weeks to hit the same target date.
So what is ‘Rain’ about? It is a new adventure fantasy set in the Mora world of the Malvern Trilogy. The Mora are essentially Polynesian and have a stone age level of technology, as do most of their neighbors, who are Australian aborigines and Malay-speaking peoples who, like the Mora, have found their way into another world.
As did Michael Malvern, who comes to be known as Marareta, in the first three books. I had fun writing Malvern as sort of a reverse ‘white savior’ in those novels, a man who does not come to save the ‘savages’ but learns from them. We revisit Marareta in ‘God of Rain’ but he is now a peripheral character. Every hero needs to retire eventually!
The new novel centers on the warrior Hito, who was introduced in the second Malvern novel, ‘Valley of Visions,’ as one of the band who follows Marareta across the mountains. I did bring him somewhat to the front in that book as the rather conservative skeptic of the group, but he played no essential role.
In the third novel of the series, ‘Hero from the Sea,’ he moves up to sidekick status, an important secondary role. Not Marareta’s sidekick, exactly, though they do travel together for a time; rather he becomes second to the young noble, Aranu, a captain of the loyalists in their civil war.
We find him in pretty much the same spot a year later, at the opening of ‘God of Rain.’ He is not happy about it, being ambitious and discontented and a bit tired of the life of a warrior. And so, journeys and adventures follow as he goes seeking something else. Does he find it? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find that out, won’t you?
The next book in this new Mora Trilogy will probably be titled ‘Arrows of Heaven,’ and should be set around three years later. It will not star Hito, though he almost certainly will appear. I am not yet sure just how large his role will be. ‘Heaven’ will feature Teme, younger sister of the High King Poneiva. Yes, I am going to attempt a first person narrative as a girl. We’ll see if I can pull it off!
When I shall start writing the novel, I have no idea. There are plenty of other projects and I want to keep up with writing ‘mainstream’ work as well as fantasies. So I could feel like starting in tomorrow or it might be next year. No telling. It will be followed by a third and final Mora novel (and probably the last with any of these characters, though one never knows). That will be at least a decade later and feature Marareta’s son. Title is likely to be ‘Warrior of the Moon.’
Right now I am rather involved in helping with someone else’s writing, acting as editor for a novel I hope to publish at Arachis Press. No more on that until it is further along. In other news, I am going to use my ‘Eggshell Boats’ site and name for a new imprint at AP, publishing mostly poetry, to sort of set it apart from the adventure novels. There might or might not still be some sort of magazine attached to that name but I’m not even thinking about that at this point.
‘God of Rain’ is sitting here on my desk and it looks good. I expected it to, having used the template of my Malvern novels to design it. I did however try out a new typeface in the titling, just to set it apart a bit, and one always wonders whether it will display properly in print. I’ve had some nasty surprises on occasion! I shall be ordering a few copies for myself to carry along to Willfest on the weekend before the release date. Not that I expect to sell any but it is best to be prepared. I generally carry a few of all my books when I travel anywhere, and I would probably recommend one of the others to a potential buyer, as a better introduction to my work. Which ones? Oh, I would say the first Malvern novel, ‘Coast of Spears,’ or my recent ‘The Eyes of the Wind.’
But don’t let that keep you from ordering one of the others! :)