Ever had a writing epiphany? You are in your writing environment, ideas coming at you but perhaps glancing off… then it hits you, knocking you out of this universe into the next – a great idea that brings several threads of ideas and story together into a fine tapestry. Heather and I have had a few such moments, more than a few such moments, actually… many we can’t talk about because they occurred while writing later books that have not yet been released.
However, we did have a few moments like this come up with Book One, one of which was figuring out what the artifact was that the Lamia had been seeking in order restore to them Rome’s former glory; it was my idea, and I admit to being slightly drunk at the time, but Heather loved it, and it was incredibly plausible. (If you are reading this Sally, you will see evidence of a few other such epiphanies, and I can’t wait for your feedback when you hit those spots.) For those who don’t know, Sally Aalderink is our editor, and she is reading the second half of Book Four and all of Book Five (see list at the right for actual titles and links).
Anyway… another great writing epiphany occurred last night, while Heather and I were writing the prequel to Morrigan’s Brood: Dark Alliance, which as you have guess takes place after Morrigan’s Brood: Crone of War concludes. As you may know from recent writing I (Chris) have made about our up and coming new book, 237 years take place between the end of Book Two and the beginning of Book Three… 237 years… wow. So Heather and I are writing these mini-stories to somewhat bridge the gap.
Well, we decided to write one short story/novella on Mandubratius, which we will call Morrigan’s Brood: Madness. Why? If you have not finished reading Book Two, you will have to for the title to make sense. We are more than half-way finished with the first draft, but last night, wow… We decided to look more closely into why Mandubratius is the way he is and how he makes the transition from being Book Two Mandubratius to being Book Three Mandubratius. Yes, there is a difference, and Sally definitely knows, having edited Book Three and half of Book Four for us already.
Without giving too much away, Mandubratius, as you know from the title of the story/novella and from the end of Book Two, is quite mad, and as *everybody* knows, people who are quite mad have delusions, visions, nightmares, or what have you. Well, our epiphany last night was to bring back, in one of these visions, the Sponsor of Mandubratius, the one who transformed him and Amata into a Lamia… and that person is…..
“Who the heck is Felician?” you might be thinking… I just told you. Geez… OK, these are spoilers if you have not read Morrigan’s Brood, but here it goes…
Felician, while searching for the prize in 55 BCE, finds Mandubratius, spiked to a tree, on a beach in Eire near Loch Garman. Amata convinces Felician to sponsor him as a Lamia, and they live happily after… right? Until 410 CE, when in Rome, Amata and Mandubratius conspire to murder Felician on the floor of the Lamia senate in the Lamia catacombs beneath the Temple of Mars. *breathing heavily from rapidly spewing out all of this exposition…*
So, what the heck happened those 465 years in between? How did Mandubratius get along with Amata and Felician? Who was Felician beyond what little we have written about him thus far? Why is Mandubratius so messed up? The answers to all of these questions and more came to us last night, and we will be happy to share them all… when we publish Morrigan’s Brood: Madness.
As an aside, we would like to thank Amanda, aka Mandi (funny coincidence, since when Heather and I write, we refer to Mandubratius as Mandy or Mandi) at Norton’s Grill and Pub for such a wonderful writing environment and great food last night.
More to come later.