To create a fictional world, you have to have a bit of the archaeologist or prospector in you. A penchant for saying ‘what-if’ helps a lot, too.
What if the eagle that flew by, yards away, pacing your jog on the bluff, was ten times bigger; if the tree-house in the backyard was a hundred times larger and higher and much more than the occasional playhouse for your kids; if the kilted guy you heard on St. Patrick’s Day played bagpipes that were...alive?
The dark, gritty fantasy world of the Six Kingdoms materialized over many years, unearthed book by book, and it comes with kraken that rule the seas and Erseiyrs the skies; with magnificent castles and timbered roads that link villages high in the canopy of forest wilderness; and in cities like Draica you’ll find bloodsnare dens, where pale musicians play living, parasitic creatures, the symbiosis producing an audible narcotic.
And somewhere above, the High Fates at their Loom Eternal weave the fabric of lives, whether human, stoneskin, Timberlimb or the mysterious and nightmarish Murkmen who haven’t as yet made their appearance in the series but will, I promise.
If you visit the Six Kingdoms I just hope you’ll be cursing or thanking those High Fates for what they’re doing to heroes, heroines and the in-betweeners: Lukan Barra and Rui Ravenstone; Falca Breks, Amala Damarr, Shar Stakeen and a Timberlimb named Gurrus. And hissing at the likes of Vearus Barra, Saphrax, Lambrey Tallon and Heresa Hoster.
The first book in the series, The Shadow of His Wings, was a finalist for the Crawford Award for best first fantasy novel and was Nebula nominated like the second, The Mace of Souls. Pass on the Cup of Dreams is the third and longest, to be followed by Kraken’s Claw which is set primarily in the city of Milatum, the jewel of the kingdom of Keshkevar, though for a time Falca Breks finds it anything but glittering.
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The first edition of The Six Kingdoms Codex, comprising an introductory story, glossary and background to the world, is now available as a companion volume to the series. Check my website for details.
And the suspense novels?
Research for The Piper’s Sons, nominated for best novel by the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Association, took me to various places in Washington state and elsewhere. The Cascade Mountain forest fires of the book were real; the derelict WWII freighter run-aground on an island in the San Juan archipelago wasn’t, but I had a fun time poking through the innards of an old Liberty ship berthed in San Francisco.
Prospecting for another suspense novel, Morgan’s Mill, found me on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where maternal ancestors once had a gristmill, if not secrets beneath it. I provided those. Family secrets are rarely as juicy as you’d like.
A third, Two Graves for Michael Furey, will be published in 2015. It’s set in the Northwest and in the Erie Canal region of upstate New York, near where I spent my high school years. Having a hero who never quite made it to The Show as a ball-player is, after all, the next best thing to your getting there.
Home now is in Edmonds, Washington, not far from the ferry landing where, in that 1959 best-selling post-apocalypse novel On the Beach (and movie; Gregory Peck played the lead), the submarine sailor jumped ship to live out the remaining radioactive hours of his life. Even if the worthies of the local Chamber of Commerce know about the fictional connection they’re keeping mum, understandably.
Still, a nice place to write books.
Where to find Bruce Fergusson online
Where to buy in print
The Piper’s Sons Subtit
Seattle carpenter Paul Sinclair is a man haunted.
Haunted by the disappearance of his brother many years ago.
Haunted by the death of his young daughter.
Haunted by something he senses just beyond his vision—a presence lurking around the shadowy edges of his life.
But he cannot begin to fathom the evil that surrounds him.
The Six Kingdoms Codex: A Companion Volume to the Six Kingdoms Novels
The Six Kingdoms Codex is a 55-page companion volume to Bruce Fergusson’s fantasy novels to date: The Shadow of His Wings, The Mace of Souls and Pass on the Cup of Dreams.
In it you’ll find a story written exclusively for the Codex; an extensive glossary and background material to the Six Kingdoms world; and a color map by cartographer Pieter Talens.
A Beast In The Ruins: A Six Kingdoms Story
“Old age sometimes carries with it the urge to confess to secrets accumulated over the years. I have only one: I murdered my brother. I had no hand in his death, nor did I ask anyone else to do what I could not. I never wished him dead even after we were estranged. You may think this a riddle. It is not. I did kill him. To understand why, you must come back with me to the day he and I met..."
Pass on the Cup of Dreams
Can a cut-throat reiver escape his nefarious past with the help of the only woman he’s ever loved and a promise he never dreamed he’d make? Falca Breks will find out on a dangerous journey toward confrontations with not only enemies past and present but also himself—and the lure of two things that could make him the richest and most powerful man in the Six Kingdoms.
The Mace of Souls
Wealthy, high-born Amala Damarr was supposed to be the means for Falca Breks—a roughneck, thief, and extortionist—to fulfill his long-held dream of escaping the decaying port city of his birth. But leaving the dismal, dangerous streets and alleys of Draica included a price he never thought existed: two souls worth saving...and Falca Breks was about to discover that one of them was his own.
The Shadow of His Wings
In The Shadow of His Wings, a miner’s son, Lukan Barra, joins forces with the beautiful and unpredictable Rui Ravenstone, his brother’s former lover, in an attempt to be the first to reach the lair of the Erseiyr, the god and monster whose great wings shadow the future of the land, and whose fate becomes linked with Lukan’s in a strange and wonderful bonding. First book in the Six Kingdoms series.
In pursuing the mystery of his grandfather’s disappearance, Thomas Morgan discovers shocking secrets beneath the family’s soon-to-be-razed gristmill that have linked two families in a deadly symbiosis going back to the Civil War, secrets that will thrust Morgan—and the woman he loves—squarely in the sights of a psychopath.
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