Now that “Triangle:…” is complete and published, Project #1 becomes a Grail Mythology with the working title, “The Pit”, in which my protagonist, Rick Townsend, will seek to learn the source and nature of a treasure being sought by a mysterious employer, whose identity is being kept from him. In the course of his research, the story flashes back to medieval Europe and even ancient Roman times, in the same way that Michael and Kathleen Gear used historical period transitions in their trilogy, “The Anasazi Mysteries.”
In the first of the four novels in this series, our protagonists, Rick Townsend and Monica Scott, begin researching their client’s sought treasure, a quest which leads them from mysterious carvings on an ancient stone, to an elderly widow who holds the key to their quest in an old, family Bible which they will come to call, “The Leichti Bible.” From there, our two intrepid heroes are inexorably drawn into the dangerous pursuit of objets de magie, long sought by powerful entities who will stop at nothing to gain their prize. At the same time, Rick and Monica become the targets of other powerful entities who are equally ruthless in their determination to prevent them from recovering the well hidden treasures. But, before we go further into plot, or characters, I think I should talk a bit about the genre itself. When I say, “Grail Mythology”, you say…. You see, most people don’t know what I’m talking about.
If you have read Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” , or “The Hiram Key”, by Christopher Knight, or “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”, by Mark Twain, or the more traditional tales of King Arthur by Thomas Malory, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Maude Radford Warren, or Mary Stewart then you’ve read a grail mythology. Over many centuries the theme of the Holy Grail and its various plots have been very popular, not only as books, but also as screen plays like “The Fisher King.”
More than a few years ago now, Umberto Eco wrote “Foucault’s Pendulum”, a satire on the genre, in the manner of Mark Twain. About that same time, however, in the late twentieth century, the genre took a turn away from the traditional view of the Holy Grail, to a more sinister, denial of Christ, an attack on the orthodoxy of the Bible and the very tenets of Christian faith. Perhaps the first of this new wrinkle in the genre was “Holy Blood, Holy Grail”, by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. The novel’s plot is a complete fiction, though it is presented to the reader as documented history. It was followed then by many others, “The Da Vinci Code” and Kathleen O’Neal Gear’s “The Betrayal,” to name just two. My vision for Gray Empire, however, is to use this sinister turn in plot to direct the genre back to the more traditional tale, but with a surprising new twist at the end, a reveal of an aspect of the grail never before told in fiction, or in truth.
I hope to have “The Pit”, book one of the series called, “Gray Empire”, completed and released for the new year, 2017. At this writing I am more than 51,000 words into the first draft of the manuscript and making fairly steady progress each day. My hope is to use this blog to introduce you, in advance, to the characters in the novel, to talk about the complicated research involved and to keep you up on the progress, or lack thereof, whichever the case may be. I hope you will follow along as our character’s develop and are launched on their quest into the arcane world of grail mythology, a genre of writing that can truly test any author’s skills.