Several More Chapters

The Risen God      I got in several more chapters of The Risen God today (here’s the facebook page). It’s up to 58,000 words and looks like it’ll end up being around 150,000 by the end of it. I’ve really heard when people have said that certain books weren’t developed enough. I had always thought I was “way too wordy” so I was actually relieved by the “negative” comments that allowed me the freedom to be as wordy as I feel I need to, in order to get the story across as fully as I desire to!

This is the beauty of negative book reviews (although I can say that I rarely get any genuinely horrible, mean ones, thank goodness)… you can learn from them if the person giving the review is willing to take the moment to explain why they gave them. It’s a gift, even if right in that moment you don’t feel like it is.

I still remember those negative comments, most of which centered around my Guardian of the Abyss book. They are very freeing, as odd as that might sound. I loved the book, but I, myself, actually felt disappointed because I didn’t feel like I could go into everything and develop the characters as I wanted to!

So, to fellow writers… don’t be afraid of negative comments. Let go of the desire to win with everyone–no one can. Look at the criticism and ask yourself, “What is the gift this person is trying to give me?” or “How is this person trying to help me so that more people will enjoy my books?”

Questions like these are very freeing. Remember, you’re a story teller. So tell yourself whatever story you want to about that negative review. Tell yourself “this person hates me!” if you want to… or tell yourself, “This person wants to help me, so how does this do that?” if you want to. YOU get to choose what story you tell yourself about anything that anyone says to you.

And readers… please, take a moment to write a review. It matters. It matters so much more than you will ever guess at. It encourages the author. If you like his or her books… comment. Because the more motivated we are to keep writing, the more likelihood you’ll get more books to enjoy!

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The Risen God by Shannon Phoenix

The book I’m currently working like mad on is currently called The Risen God.

So far as I know, my background is English or Irish. Possibly Scottish. Either way, with what little I know of my family history, at least some of my ancestors are from that area. I’ve always felt a pull towards that area, and thus I have decided to begin my ‘gods’ series with one of the most compelling ones from that area. I suspect that many of them will be from that area.

Something that is not talked about at all is how many of us white people have also lost our own heritages and backgrounds. I am not out to demonize Christians or their religion, I am simply stating a fact when I say what I am about to: Christianity in its early incarnation wiped out multitudes of other cultures–and many of them were white cultures.

The Irish, the Welsh, the English, the Scottish… they all had their own religions, their own culture, even their own writing. The Christians tried at that time to claim that they brought writing to the Isles, but this is not true. The druids (the ‘educated’ of the Isles) had a form of writing called Ogham well before the Roman Christian conquerors came.

So my first book in the Gods and Goddesses series centers around Gwyn ap Nudd. This ancient God was the Welsh God of the Hunt. His job was that of a psychopomp… meaning that he led forgotten or lost… or evil… souls to the Afterlife.

In The Risen God, the first in the series, Gwyn is found buried in a pasture by Terry. Terry is an average woman. There’s nothing special about her. She’s not psychic, she’s not the reincarnation of someone he loved. She’s just a typical American woman going about her day…. when she finds something extraordinary.

Now, Gwyn must find his Horn, fetch his horse and his hounds, and ride again. The fate of mankind rests upon the psychopomps being found and being able to do their jobs again. The gates to Annwyn (paradise) are degrading, and soon souls will be entirely unable to return home between reincarnations. And there will be no more choice in reincarnation thereafter–all souls will be trapped eternally on what will rapidly become a desolate planet upon which only a few will appear to thrive–even as the evil that rots their souls grows.

But that evil has had a lot of time to plot and plan. And even as Gwyn begins to search for his Horn, his Horse, and his Hounds, he continually finds himself stymied by the long-term planning of an encroaching evil.

The resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd is symbolic, certainly; as he was not dead. Yet it is symbolic on two levels, for the resurrection of Gwyn ap Nudd into common culture is past its time. All of us whose cultures were destroyed have a right to our heritage; to pride in that heritage, and to resurrect that heritage.

So I welcome back Gwyn, God of the Hunt, God of the Dead. May you once more, in the minds of mankind, usher the dead home.

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