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So I always say, you've heard it right here over and over again. It all connects. Everything is a part of everything else. I talk about pulling all of the series apart and shuffling them back together in chronological order, and how doing that, you get a fuller story. 

Well when Covid hit, everything at the house here just kind of slowed down and stopped. In the first year I finished The Keep. But that only took a month and a half. In March we found out that my body works on a 48-hour cycle instead of a 24. It was a major change in our lifestyle. Today I got up at 6:15 PM and I won't sleep again until around midnight tomorrow night. Maybe as late as 2 AM the morning after. So we started doing that in March of 2020. 

When Covid hit a really rough patch, a friend of mine who used to be a nurse and now works in a different part of the hospital, was called back to the hospital floor to nurse again. I can't imagine the stress she was under, and how terrifying that was. She's a huge fan of my work and she's an alpha reader, so I promised her I would write every day that she was working. I ended up writing about 630 pages in the span of 22 days. I'm pretty sure that was in 2021, but it might have been summer of 2020. 

My wife's work slowed down quite a bit and the two of us had a lot of time to spend together. Most of my days were spent in our bedroom, sitting on the couch as she reclined on the bed. We talked about all the nuances of Reality of the Unreal Mind, the world, we talked about our relationship, how we were gonna come back. It seemed like part of our life was ending and a brand new life was about to begin. 

Well I guess I say all this to say I wasn't writing fantasy. I wasn't writing fantasy at all. Things were just slowing down, and I was getting distance, distance that I never should have from my work. Now it's been at best two years since I've written any sizable amount of fantasy. And I just don't remember. 

Pull them all apart. Shuffle them back together to get one long story. 

Well it was time to put my money where my mouth was. I went through everything I had written, everything that was published and everything in every other stage of drafts and notes. And I organized it all in chronological order. Then I began to create documents. The documents I decided would all be exactly 800 pages long, and I would only put finished work in the document. My guess was thirteen documents, thirteen books of 800 pages. I was wrong. Bekah threw out the guess of fifteen documents, each 800 pages long. What we ended up with was twenty volumes 800 pages long, and a twenty-first that was 659. If I'm gonna keep writing, I'm gonna have to go in and read all of that. Well, so does Bekah, right? It sucks, but so does Bekah. She's got to be able to have conversations and help me make connections with one work to another work. 

So we've been reading the volumes out loud to each other. No, yeah, no. Well, she reads it out loud to me. I read to her while she shaves my head and the back of my neck. I think it's pretty even. My twelve minutes of reading. She only averages about three hours a night. She hasn't complained yet. 

I wish I could read it all the way through, just keep reading seven-hour shifts a day, wake up reading and go to bed reading. But I find that this work is very intense because some of it I haven't read in a very long time. And sometimes you'll be reading something, turn the page, and you're on the other side of the continent, maybe the other side of the world. So I'll need to take breaks. But I'm traveling through things I haven't read in years. We've read from before recorded time all the way through 120,000 years before The Escape, and now we're at seven years before The Escape, and I find myself at Chaste, a book that came out in 2016. 

Twenty-one volumes. Each volume takes about twenty hours to read. I'll keep you posted. 

The Eye of Hecatomb

As the gods lined up and prepared for their war, the storyteller Simon Bard created the human race out of massive iron molds. When he was done, the god of self-sacrifice reached into his head and pulled out his own eye. He turned it to mahogany and leather straps drifted back behind it that had once been his nerve endings. It gave Simon the power to see the past and the present at the same time. And he would know any of the stories of anyone, with even the smallest amount of concentration. He gave the gift to his son, a 12-foot onyx statue named Furio, with a hollow section in his chest. Furio walked and talked and created art and sang. And all the time held the knowledge of everything in his chest. God of self-sacrifice's name was Hecatomb. The 21-volume set I spoke of above is called The Eye of Hecatomb. 

The Silent War of the Sour Eye

Here's your access to The Silent War of the Sour Eye. The recently expanded short story collection includes: 

The Banshee
The Slave
The Gilded Mares
Son of the Demontser
The Forge of Souls
The Master of the Hoodsmen

Jesse Teller

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Jesse Teller, 2443 S. Ventura Ave., Springfield, MO  65804 USA

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