I promise to be better.
That’s the first thing I need to say. I’ve been a terrible blogger ever since I first learned the concept of a blog. Now we’ve reached the point where the tapestry of social media has diluted interest in blogging and in blogs, and that actually works just fine for me. I’m a guy who only discovered the joy of drinking tea in the past year, so being behind the curve is nothing new.
I promise to be better. Starting now, I promise to blog more. I’m not brave enough to make any specific commitment to how often, but…I have grand plans. There, I’ve admitted it. For YEARS I’ve thought about various things I’d do if I ever made the time to blog regularly. But for me it’s been like trying to get back into shape. I was in shape nine years ago. Nine. Years. I’ve been talking about “getting back into shape” since then. I have to, I know that. And I truly want to. But that’s a topic best saved for future blogs.
Now that I have this lovely new website, crafted and designed by Laura Marshall and to be maintained and updated by my longtime web champion Allie Costa, it’s time for me to start blogging on a regular basis and to write all of those things I’ve been wanting to write in this space.
So…what are all these things? Good question. Some of it will be the usual blog chatter, promotions, discussions about my latest projects, my work, my life. You’ll find the occasional opinion piece as well, along with thoughts about writing. There are so many fantastic writers who offer their advice and experience, and I read those posts and think, I wouldn’t presume to offer my thoughts on writing, and if I did, I wouldn’t know how to put them into words. But lately I’ve been thinking that twenty-five years after I was first paid for something I wrote, and after over a hundred books, maybe I do have something to share that would be of value. I guess you’ll all be the judges of that.
What else? I’d like to use this blog for regular interviews with writers and other creative people.
Also, I’ve told my kids for years that I want to write about films, to pick an actor or director and blog about their filmography, essentially to write notes to my kids and their generation and say hey, you might know who Clint Eastwood is, but here’s my two cents about the work he’s done that you should absolutely make a point of watching.
Finally, and most terrifyingly, I intend to use the blog as an impetus to begin a memoir—a place to tell my personal story. It scares the hell out of me just thinking about it, but it’s my intention.
How can you help? Bug me about it. If you see I haven’t blogged in a week or so, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and nudge me. It may add to my stress level on any particular day, but I need it. These are all things I want to do, but like exercise, I have to make the time.
I promise to be better.
For instance…I meant for my first blog to be all about the final Peter Octavian novel, KING OF HELL, which has now been out for seven months. Crazy, right. But I want to tell you about it, point you toward it and its predecessors, because I love this series and this novel. KING OF HELL was the end of an era for me. It saddens me that it (and the previous novel, THE GRAVES OF SAINTS) are only available as ebooks in the U.S., but that’s just the way it is—for now. Here’s the U.S. cover by the fantastic Lynne Hansen…
Something strange happened while I was writing KING OF HELL, the seventh and final Peter Octavian/Shadow Saga novel. Throughout the history of the Shadow Saga, I made it a point to write myself into a corner at the end of each novel, so that no matter what, the next novel would have to be different from those that came before. At the end of THE GRAVES OF SAINTS, I took that habit to the extreme. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say that in KING OF HELL, Octavian has to get into Hell…but he’s cut off from it completely, and permanently.
Yeah, see, that’s what I mean by writing myself into a corner.
I banged my head against a wall trying to figure out how Octavian could get into Hell. I thought what a shame it was that Squire, the dimension-hopping hobgoblin Tom Sniegoski and I had created in our Menagerie series, wasn’t part of the Shadow Saga, because, well, Squire could do it. When I had the thought, I wasn’t actually intending that Squire . . . you know, do it. But then I thought, why not? After all, he’s a dimension-hopping hobgoblin. Sniegoski has used him in his Remy Chandler book series, and there seemed no reason not to do the same. It was the perfect solution, incorporating Squire as a previous acquaintance of Octavian’s.
That started the ball rolling.
I mean…if Squire’s in the novel, and it takes place in a time-frame after the four existing Menagerie novels, then why can’t other characters from that series make an appearance? That led to Danny Ferrick, the half-demon teenager from THE MENAGERIE, becoming a major character in KING OF HELL, with a significant role to play.
And if there was going to be dimension-hopping, well, that opened up an entirely new set of possibilities. I needed a parallel world—not Octavian’s and not Danny Ferrick’s—for a huge chunk of the later action to take place, and I thought about Phoenix Cormier, the main character from my zombie novel, SOULLESS, and how much I had enjoyed writing her and that world. Phoenix, also, became a major character in this final Shadow Saga novel.
Strange plans took shape in my brain. Other links began to grow. Readers familiar with my other work might notice references to THE MYTH HUNTERS, STRANGEWOOD, STRAIGHT ON ‘TIL MORNING, JOE GOLEM AND THE DROWNING CITY, and others, as well as a cameo or two. Wayland Smith appears in all three books in my VEIL trilogy, THE MYTH HUNTERS, THE BORDERKIND, and THE LOST ONES, and he shows up in KING OF HELL in a small but pivotal role.
You can absolutely read KING OF HELL without having read any of these other books, but I thought readers might enjoy knowing that the connections exist, and that some of these characters hail from other stories that are out there, waiting to be read.
I began writing about Peter Octavian during my senior year at Tufts University, either late 1988 or early 1989. A quarter century later, his story is over.
For now . . .
Thank you for reading. It means the world.
OTHER CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN BOOKS REFERENCED IN KING OF HELL
Soulless (Features Phoenix Cormier)
Joe Golem and the Drowning City [w/Mike Mignola]
THE MENAGERIE SERIES
(Features Squire and Danny Ferrick)
The Nimble Man [w/Thomas E. Sniegoski]
The Tears of the Furies [w/Thomas E. Sniegoski]
Stones Unturned [w/Thomas E. Sniegoski]
Crashing Paradise [w/Thomas E. Sniegoski]
(Features Wayland Smith)
THE COMPLETE SHADOW SAGA