Music Shall Untune the Sky
The Celwyn Series Book 2
by Lou Kemp
GENRE: magical realism
It’s 1865 and three close friends; the immortal magician Celwyn, the automat Professor Xiau Kang, and Bartholomew, a scientist and widower from Sudan, set out on another adventure as they travel to Singapore to fetch the professor’s wife. Prepare to explore a world reminiscent of our own yet filled with magic and steampunk!
Their private, magically enhanced train, the Elizabeth, is carrying them through the countryside when they witness the purposeful crash of a hot air balloon next to them. Jules Verne emerges from it and joins their party. As they continue east, the danger following the author shadows their train, and the murders begin. When they arrive in Singapore, Captain Nemo uses a unique method to trick Professor Kang into climbing aboard the Nautilus.
Music Shall Untune the Sky is a steampunk fantasy filled with murder, magic, and adventure.
The sun rose, glinting off the ornate cornices and brass crossbeams of the Prague Opera House. A murder of crows hovered over the top of the dome; their plaintive cawing as articulate as words.
“Francesca is most angry. Somehow, she knew Christina had died.” Kang shielded his eyes against the glare. “I believe she is the loudest one with the long neck.”
Celwyn sat beside him on the rim of the fountain, shivering under the shadow of the dome and too shocked over Christina’s death to even cry. He’d only begun to know her and her inner beauty. Later he would ask himself if he was the reason she had been killed or because the witches of Prague had a longstanding feud with vampires., The way Christina was murdered would make it worse. Too exhausted to stand, he watched the crows for a moment.
“Agreed. She has every right to be angry at Delgado and the rest of them.”
The magician couldn’t help glancing across the street to the Vltava River running swift and dark through the city. In the last few hours, he had made sure Delgado would never hurt someone he loved again; but in the end, he had been too late to save Christina.
The sun rose higher, spreading light over the city. The aroma of cooking fires reached them as the residents prepared to greet the day, and a forlorn siren wailed in the distance, competing with the cawing of the crows who circled, pecking at the magically enhanced net dangling from the spire.
Lou Kemp’s Source of Book Ideas
Let’s assume you are a fiction writer, and your well of ideas for a new book have run dry. You want to do something different. Where do you start? You could put this off until inspiration or your editor strikes, or maybe prime your inventiveness with a few suggestions.
Narrow your focus to what you care about enough to write about it. Or settle on a genre you’ve always admired and wanted to try. It might be the time to check with your editor (or family) to see if they think this is a good time to change horses mid-stream. If you identify with the Lone Ranger or Jason Bourne,then damn the literary torpedoes and full ink-flinging ahead.
The following information could apply to almost any genre.
- Settle on a genre or combination of genres. Example, Tragedy.
- Define it.
“Tragedy is a genre of drama based on human suffering and, mainly, the terrible or sorrowful events that befall a main character.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tragedy
Definition of a Tragedy: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/tragedy
- Read as many of the genre (this example, Tragedy) you are going to write in as possible. You may find it is not you, or you may decide to add in another genre to the mix. Keep track of what about it draws you in. Take notes on what works and what doesn’t.
- Sample the genre by writing a scene. After you edit it, and let it sit a few days, look at it again. Is this you? Was it easy to write? Or torture?
- Many genres are either featured or a part of professional writing organizations. Examples are the Romance Writers of America and the Mystery Writers of America. The Thriller Writers might include tragedies, or the Romance Writers. These groups charge a yearly membership fee which is repaid in stellar support and information to members.
When asked where I get my book ideas, there is only one answer: my characters. Jonas Celwyn, the peyote-eating immortal magician drives the plots and those around him. I’m just here to edit him. I hope you enjoy book 2, Music Shall Untune the Sky.
Author Lou Kemp – Bio and Links:
Early work was horror and suspense, later work morphed into a combination of magical realism, mystery and adventure painted with a horrific element as needed.
I’m one of those writers who doesn’t plan ahead, no outlines, no clue, and I sometimes write myself into a corner. Atmospheric music in the background helps. Black by Pearl Jam especially.
More information is available at LouKemp.com. I’d love to hear from you and what you think of Celwyn, Bartholomew, and Professor Xiau Kang.
2009 The anthology story Sherlock’s Opera appeared in Seattle Noir, edited by Curt Colbert, Akashic Books. Available through Amazon or Barnes and Noble online. Booklist published a favorable review of my contribution to the anthology.
2010 My story, In Memory of the Sibylline, was accepted into the best-selling MWA anthology Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris. The immortal magician Celwyn makes his first appearance in print.
2018 The story, The Violins Played before Junstan is published in the MWA anthology Odd Partners, edited by Anne Perry. The Celwyn series begins.
Present day My new publisher, 4 Horsemen has reissued book 1 of the Celwyn series: The Violins Played before Junstan. The remaining books in the series; Music Shall Untune the Sky, The Raven and the Pig, The Pirate Danced and the Automat Died, The Wyvern, the Pirate and the Madman will debut, beginning in 2023 -2024. The companion book, Farm Hall, will be reissued in 2023 where readers will see more of Pelaez, another immortal magician and Celwyn’s brother. Another companion book, The Sea of the Vanities is due out in 2023.
Lou Kemp will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Thanks for hosting!
Great excerpt and cover.
I love the cover and the excerpt.
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