Harry Gilleland has started an action/adventure novel set back in the 12th century, the King Author era. The working title is Aldrich and Anneliese.
He says the work has been in limbo for several months because the feedback from family members who read it wasn't encouraging. As those of us who write know, encouragement is needed to keep us going.
Below is an excerpt from the first chapter of his work in process:
Edmund picked his way among the dead and the dying strewn across the day’s battleground, those not mortally wounded already having been carried to have their wounds attended. The heat of the afternoon August sun intensified the clinging smells of battle – blood, sweat, urine, and feces…death. Edmund had never quite become accustomed to the terrible carnage wrought by one army of men slaying another. As far as his eyes could see lay the hacked bodies of soldiers, dotting the rolling meadow, once idyllic but whose wildflowers and grass now lay trampled by the morning’s stamping of horses and men and splattered red with their blood. A covering of dust, not yet fully settled from the battle, stung his eyes, and the last moans and gasps of the dying filled his ears. Edmund bent down and picked up a rock, then flung it at a flock of vultures feasting upon the carcass of a horse, sending the birds skyward. Edmund rolled over one man after another to see his face, muttering a few words about those he recognized, noting their loss. He was thankful there was more enemy than friendly soldiers populating the field.
As Edmund approached one of the enemy soldiers who had been knocked unconscious, the man slowly regained consciousness and became aware of Edmund’s presence. Lying still, the soldier reached out his right hand and felt for a weapon. His hand grasped the handle of a sword. He remained still, waiting for Edmund to pass. Edmund paused to examine a nearby body, then walked past the soldier. As Edmund looked skyward at the growing number of vultures circling overhead, he was oblivious to the enemy soldier rising to his feet behind him. The man raised the sword above his head and lunged at Edmund, simultaneously bringing the sword downward with all his might. Suddenly, the sword was knocked from his hand by the swing of a broadsword from his right side, and the soldier stood stunned for a moment before he was run through with the same broadsword. As he fell in a heap, Edmund whirled around to witness the action. Edmund said, “Once again I owe you my life, Aldric. You are my guardian angel.”
“Hardly anyone’s angel, sire. You shouldn’t walk the battlefield without me at your side. What does it serve to win the battle if we lose the king afterwards?” Aldric replied.
“So many good and loyal men died today fighting in my behalf. It is a heavy burden I must bear,” Edmund said, as he continued to examine the dead.
Let's leave comments concerning this excerpt: Do you find this beginning interested?
I asked Harry what he wanted to accomplish with this novel if he finishes it. His answer,"To answer your question, I want to write a novel that is well-received by readers and reviewers alike and that sells hundreds of copies. It would be nice if it became a best-seller and then a movie -- every author dream -- but that isn't realistic. I want to grow as a writer by writing in this genre. I have published three poetry books, a fantasy novella, and a contemporary romance to date. I'd like to add an adventure novel to my accomplishments to improve my prose writing. Mainly, I want to write a darned good book!"
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