A wonderful suggestion by mentor, fan and fellow author, Cat Gerlach, has prompted me to set aside March to Nicaea (the second novel about Baron Godric MacEuan and the first Crusade) for the moment,  in favor of writing a novella about . . . Baron Godric MacEuan!

According to Wikipedia, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America specifies these word lengths for each category of its Nebula award categories:

Classification      Word count
Novel                    over 40,000 words
Novella                 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette           7,500 to 17,500 words
Short story          under 7,500 words

This novella is targeted at 25,000 words and 100 pages. It is set in Scotland in 1090 AD, between the end of Call to Crusade and the start of March to Nicaea, so this is an opportune time to write and publish it. And unlike the Siege Master novels, I am writing this in the third person . . . just to show any doubters among you that I can.

A recent email exchange with Kevin, good friend, former colleague and now one of my Readers, prompted me to borrow back his nickname, “Bone-Crusher”, for my main idea and my title. I gave him that nickname years back for his pulverizing handshake and his love of reenacting full-contact medieval combat in full armor. In truth, he is a gentle soul, but he is huge and powerful, and “Bone-Crusher” fit.

“Bone-Crusher” also aptly fits this book, which opens as Godric tests his newest prototype siege engine, a counterweight tree-bucket, when King Malcolm summons him to deal with a new crisis. And this book explains why Godric will later ‘miraculously’ know how to build a fully-successful counterweight trebuchet for the siege of Nicaea. In truth, it’s because he’s done it before, on a somewhat smaller scale.

In a week, I’ve written the first quarter of the first draft, so unless my Muse decides to abandon me for a sudden unannounced vacation, it’s conceivable It could be published as an e-book before summer.  And then I’ll give it away, freely and widely, to draw in new readers looking to read my kind of historical fiction.

And all of you, My Readers, will get a copy.

All the best,