Peter and Kathy wish you ...
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year
Inns, Castles, and Towers
Inns, castles, and towers are part of the literary fare that make fantasy stories so interesting. The Prancing Pony
in The Lord of the Rings
, The Silver Swan
in Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World
, and even The Phoenix
in Steven Eriksen's Gardens of the Moon
provide a "home away from home" with good food, drink, and a place to meet new characters as part of a journey quest. These venues contribute much to the ambience of the story.
Kathy and I had a chance to spend two weeks in Germany (Peter was on business, but we also had time to spend with family, sightseeing). Germany, like England, has many traditional inns. The food was uniformly excellent, the beer fine, and the wine of a very high quality.
My most recent book, The Battle for Halcyon
, also has quite a bit of action that take place at an inn (The Golden Goose
). It helps to add authenticity to writing if one can experience these fine establishments first hand.
My next (fourth) book is called Descent into Abaddon
and is the third in The Halcyon Cycle
. While in Germany I had a chance to visit a well preserved castle called Die Altenburg
. The header picture of this newsletter shows a bridge crossing a dry moat to the main gate of the castle. Inside there was a beautiful keep shown below. Both of these helped me imagine a fortress and keep in Descent into Abaddon
which play a critical role in the adventures. The tower in Descent into Abaddon
is much bigger than the one pictured below, dwarfing the walls of the Abaddon fortress. Travelling in Germany seems to make writing easier (especially if you write science fiction that reads a lot like fantasy) and I've come back with renewed enthusiasm to get my next book finished.
Reconnecting with friends is one of the things I like best about sending out these periodic newsletters. If you have a few moments during this busy season, please send me an email note and let me know how you're doing. Merry Christmas!