DISCIPLE PART III
BY L. BLANKENSHIP
Book Blog: Disciple of the Fount
Writing Blog: Notes from the Jovian Frontier
(Kate and her teacher, Elect Parselev, are readying the infirmary near the city gates. The enemy army is just outside, preparing its first attack.)
“The king! The king!” I heard the shouts only a few moments before the company of banners and black-garbed Guardsmen arrived at a canter. Many banners, and I spotted the prince’s among them. The warhorses kicked up dust in braking, and shunted to either side of the gate to work their way to a stop. All the riders wore full gear, helms included. The king’s bore a simple gold crown around its brow.
Atop the tower, a yell and the catapults thrummed, sending loose shot over the wall. The crews were at them in a heartbeat to winch the long arms back down. I looked back to the royal company at the foot of the towers and saw half the horses standing with riders, half without.
“I must…” I began, looking about at the rows of cots, the stacks of bandage rolls waiting. The nurses and orderlies stood waiting, too, watching the wall as I did. Waiting for someone to bleed. “Should the orderlies be in the gate towers?”
“When the rhythm’s set,” Parselev answered, though that only puzzled me.
“Is Saint Woden here?”
“His concern, not ours.” Through his hand on my shoulder, I felt kir pulse into me and my next breath came easier, deeper. “Take a little more.”
“But you —”
“Drew all I could hold from the Pool this morning. Don’t worry.”
The catapults, once reloaded, shot again. The tower’s trumpet announced something new and behind me, on River Road, orders were shouted.
From the tower came a scream: “Cover! Cover!”
A black cloud rose over the city wall, peaked and began to fall. My feet froze as the arrows plunged toward me, hissing, striking the kir shield and shivering from the effort. They thudded everyplace else, on wood and earth. Then men scrambled up from under their shields, on the wall, and resumed their work. I realized the enemy had largely missed; our archers were further up River Road.
From there came an order: “Loose!” Our smaller flock of arrows answered, cresting lower over the parapet above the gate itself and vanishing.
And again: “Cover! Cover!”
And now, I would like to welcome L. to my site and below are her answers to some interview questions I put to her about her writing and the background to the Disciple series.
Thanks for dropping by L. and good luck with the new release.
When did you start writing the series?
I started Disciple, Part I, back in August of 2011 -- so it's been a little more than two years. The ideas had been simmering in my head for much longer, of course.
Did you have a reason for writing the series?
I write because I need to. There are always personal questions buried in my stories, and part of why I write is to answer those questions.
How has it evolved?
Disciple grew into a grander, more romantic story than I expected. But I managed to keep a gritty edge on it, I think, which was something I very much wanted. Realism is very much a part of this story; I didn't want to fall into the usual fantasy tropes of overlooking the gut-level impact that wars and upheavals have on ordinary people.
Where do you think the story is going?
Well, I know exactly where the story is going, actually… see the next question.
Are you intending to write a 4th book in this series?
The fourth book is finished. Disciple is a six part series, which I know because I have written all six parts. I'm not that kind of writer who leaves readers hanging for years and years while pondering the next volume… :)
As for where it's going -- Kate has to shoulder increasingly large duties in helping her saints defend the kingdom, and also keep the two men she loves from killing each other.
What do you see will be next for you?
Disciple, Part IV! That will be next year, though. More immediately, I am publishing the "prologue" to Disciple -- a little novella called Fire's First Kiss which is only available when I am running Kickstarter campaigns. There are other irons in the fire, too, in accordance with the first law of writing: keep writing!