“Unholy War”

by Debra Killeen

Ah, a New Year and a new writing project, coming together at the same time!   Where else can you get the excitement of getting something new started and at the same time be completely intimidated at the work you’ll have to put into it?  How about tackling religion, politics and magic in a medieval society?  Which characters will turn to the “Dark Side” and which ones will redeem themselves?  Who will die and who will live?

Just a few of the questions I’m now asking myself as I begin what could turn into one novel or a trilogy, the project with a working title of “Unholy War.”  In the universe I’ve created in my first fantasy series, “The Myrridian Cycle,” I’m moving the timeline forward about a dozen years, giving a few characters the chance to grow up, others to fully mature into their roles, and a few to get crankier in their old age.  Such fun!  I’ll add new characters to the mix, good and evil, and broaden the range of ethnicities and religions, and magical systems to fit into those religions.

Most of the research is done, though you just never know where you might find little gems of trivia.  This past summer I was reading some psychologically oriented books, relating gods and goddesses from the Greek pantheon to Jungian archetypes present in the modern world, and what should I find?  A reference to Arabic hospitals in the Middle Ages.  I pounced on it, noted it down, and I expect to have some kind of hospital turn up in the new narrative.

I’m currently working on a loose plot outline – where the action will start, what’s going on with the known characters, and what’s just over the horizon that’s going to plunge the characters into a new adventure.  An adventure in which some of them are going to be less-than-thrilled to participate.  Political intrigue – there will be much back-stabbing and warring egos as nobility from several kingdoms come together and jockey for position in the crusading army.  Religious intrigue – evil characters from several religions, and plenty of good-hearted people to make up for them.  With luck, a theme of religious tolerance in there somewhere, but not enough to get in the way of the action!

Who will tell the story?  One character’s viewpoint, or several?  It’s an ensemble cast, so I’m leaning toward multiple viewpoints, with the goal of not confusing readers.  Exotic locations, diverse populations, and I expect a flying carpet or two.  Why set a story in the Holy Lands and their surroundings and not put in flying carpets?

In a few years, I hope to be sharing the final version of this tale with readers, whether in one volume or more, providing them several hours of entertainment and enjoyment.  In the meantime, the final novel in “The Myrridian Cycle,” Kingdom in the Balance, is scheduled for publication in a few months.

Happy 2011!

Debra Killeen is the author of the award-winning “Myrridian Cycle”.  Her fourth novel, Priestess Awakening, was published this past spring, with the final novel, Kingdom in the Balance, to be released in 2011.  Debra lives in Wilmington, NC – more info is available at www.myrridia.net

You can listen to the audio from when Debra was a guest of Blog Host, Gail Z. Martin’s Ghost in the Machine podcast here:  http://www.audioacrobat.com/play/WcQm7pdk

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