Here we go again. Welcome to the blog blast of the section that I call The Kingdom from the book Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 3: The Keep. The Kingdom is an explanation of the work itself. You can’t understand any writer unless you know their work. So Friday we began at 6 p.m. and I will release one blog every two hours and fifteen minutes. That means we’ll finish the story of my work and its future, my work and its past, at 7:30 on Sunday evening. There are some crazy things in here. Some setbacks we never could have made it past without the people who care about me. There are some crazy things in here. Plans that I have and things that I’m doing that, simply put, are impossible. But everything’s impossible until it’s finished, until it’s been done or accomplished. There are some crazy things in here. Dreams so wild and so immense that to think they’re within reach you have to be a little unhinged. And while reading this small collection of blog posts, you’ll hear the rantings of the Lunatic of Fantasy. You’ll find in these posts the past, present, and future of the writing of Jesse Teller.
The Great Hall was the last of the Mountain books. Peter and his men had traveled the world while the mountain burned. They had done so many great things while the people back home died, then Peter, Jordai, Gralton, and Aaron the Marked came back.
So the writing for book six of the Mountain was insane. I finished a seven-hundred-seventy-page book in the month of February. When I was done I felt like I had been hit by a train and I promised myself and my wife that I would take a long break, maybe a month, before I moved on. But two days later, I am back at it.
For The Great Hall everything slowed way down. One chapter a night took over eight hours as I tried to cap twenty-eight books in one. When I got about four hundred pages in, End of Book Mode kicked in and things went hot again.
Then Thunder From The Throne and one long night, 88 pages and now I am done.
I did a few cool down reps by taking four women mentioned in the Mountain books and writing Legends of the Exiles. I took a few months off to write about ten shorts filling in spaces for the Mountain. Plugging holes and finishing bits of tales. I wrote my Goats, but when that was done, I had to look up. And that is when I saw it.
I will explain the majesty and horror of the Mad Plan later. Probably later today. I’ve been up all night hopping between sections of this book and pounding. I have been working since two in the morning and it is now one in the afternoon. But I will tell the Mad Plan and how it was spawned before I sleep tonight
But the big issue came now, after the Mountain was closed, Exiles done, shorts finished, Goats completed and sung.
See in 2007 I was at Plan’s house playing with the kids in the backyard and a story came to me. I grabbed a piece of printer paper, sketched out the bare bones, and when I got home, I typed it out.
It was a short called “The Second Age,” and it takes place during the God War. When Simon comes up from the cave where he is building a new race of people, he sees the horror of the war in its rage.
The sky darkened, lightning slashes, and he sees moons where there were none before. But these are not moons. When the front lines of the war collided, they hit with so much force that the gods were instantly killed and their bodies fused together. Nemesis had lined up with nemesis and the impact was so great they just hovered in the air, below Heaven, above the world of man. They rolled across the atmosphere and the limbs were rubbing off. What was left at the end of the war was a nice round globe. Seven moons containing the souls of two nemesis each.
Well in The Madness Wars, one of them exploded. I didn’t know why when I wrote it. It was a huge mistake, I knew it when I did it. But these kinds of things can’t be undone.
We made a pact. Bekah and I agreed that if I came up with an idea and typed it out that it could not be deleted. We needed to trust the Wild and the Tempest. We needed to show that the mind was being listened to. If story is coming without your aid, then you can’t get in its way. When I saw that moon explode, my heart quaked.
Because one of them was loose. One of the dead gods had broken loose and was now in the world.
I did nothing. Well, I did a little.
Four armies began to form slowly. The army of the god that escaped, the army of the nemesis that came after him, an army of demons to fight those two gods and an army built and powered by the angels. Four armies were rising. And I did not know what that would look like.
Then the Mad Plan. Three acts and I get a look at them. But now the Mountain is done, the first act complete, and I have to start the second.
Well I contemplated retiring. I had done so much that I could call it a career. I had written four million, two hundred thousand words. All in the same world. I was up there with the champs. Now I could rest. Put out one of the finished books I had sitting around every six months and be done.
We talked about it a lot. I talked to Bekah about it extensively. I talked to T about it, Kraken, Tiger, Sasquatch, Vigil. I talked to Hymnal about it, and Plan. I talked to Sadie, my Rottweiler, and I talked to Katherine from the back patio. And when none of that made any sense, we flipped for it. Same quarter.
I had T flip that coin three times to see if I would retire or keep writing. Three times in a row it landed on heads.
So now I have to build four armies. I have to find a way to make that into an act. I decided twelve books would do it: one book for every continent and every world attached to my work. Then I would be done.
I wrote Heaven. The concept was simple. One of the shards of the moon shoots through the floor of heaven and soars. It collides with the castle of the God of History and Knowledge. Well the other gods and goddesses are so traumatized by the first God War that all they can do is bottle up and hide in their castles, and it is up to a few followers, of a few different religions, to try to fix Heaven.
By the end of it, there is a crew formed that are called the Divinities and they are sent to the other worlds to fix them after the god broke free, an event I am calling The Escape.
Well after writing that I have eleven more books to write, but that doesn’t make sense at all. I just wrote a three-hundred-page book about one world and didn’t advance my armies at all. Not at all. So what do I do? I realize that I have just started a new series called The Divinities but it has very little to do with the Four Armies.
I decided I would write four trilogies. Then it became four books in each series. Then it landed on five. Each series would tell the story of the rise of that army. I started with the army of the angels.
They are a group called the Hoodsmen and I had a few of them already. They are so powerful that I decided the entire army would be ten men and women. Then that became twelve. I would name each book after the star of the book, so I wrote Prince of Slaves to tell the story about how one of them joined the group.
The story was simple. An international crime boss name Fa La-may is dying. He has been poisoned and the end is about two months away. So he invites all his friends and enemies to a party he is calling The Death of Fa La-may. He promises to settle all debts, and that the party will end with his demise.
His plan is to try to find out who poisoned him, and with what, create an antidote, and cheat death. The book follows four story lines. The first is the star of the book, in this case, Fa La-may. The second story line is the main character of the series. This story actually begins after Fa’s party. There’s one story line that is only going to be in this one book. It fleshes out, fills out the book. It’s the cartilage between the bones, one story for this one book. And the final plotline is the backstory of the main character the next book is named after.
The only problem was that when I was done writing the book, I had shown a massive, two-hundred-guest party from the eyes of two people: the main character the book is named after and the cartilage. It was a party of intrigue and death. A party where, if you sat at the wrong table, you might be killed. And so much was going on behind the scenes that we didn’t see.
I started to hate the book. But I am a series hopper, so I started work on the first book of the next series.
That is when I got a look at the true madness of my mind.
The first book of the second series had two characters that were at The Death of Fa La-may. Then the pattern of the first continues. The main star of the series goes on in his own timeline and the background for the second book’s star is told.
Can you see it? The true and utter terror of the design. The second act came to me then, and I stood back and wept. It was not possible to do this thing my mind had decided on. It was not a thing that a mortal man could do.
Let me lay it out very simply for you.
You can read series A. Can read it books one, two, three, four, five. And they tell the story of the rise of that army and its clash in the war.
Or you can read books one, one, one, and one, and see the event that runs through all of them, because in all of the book ones there are two characters that are at the same event.
Books one are the party and The Death of Fa La-may. All of the books two, if read together, show the Raksa Genocide. All of the book threes are the Summit that is held to try to divide the world peacefully. Books four and books five are the war.
Think of it like a grid. You can read side to side. Or you can read up and down. Each book tells that army’s version of what happened at the event. Each book looks back into the history of the next star. And each book goes forward in the timeline to tell the story of the main series hero.
Nothing like this has ever been done before. No mind has ever conceived of such a thing. It is the very definition of madness.
I will be writing four books at the same time. But that is not all. The depravity of my imagination sinks lower.
Two of the series are Dark Fantasy. One of the series is a subgenre of fantasy called Grimdark and one is a subgenre called Noble Bright. The scope of the series also spans three different subgenres of fantasy.
And I am doing it. All of the book ones are done. Fa La-may’s party has been written. And the other stories are advanced. I started the second of the angel army books and finished it last year.
I took this year off to write my autobiography, but the next year I planned to write the other three.
That plan fell apart. Evidently, what I didn’t know, is that when you write your autobiography, often times there’s emotional ramifications. Huh, who could imagine?
I spent all of the pandemic and everything until this day July 29, 2022, just fighting to get the autobiography done. And to deal with the wild and horrendous, with the peaceful and the glorious, events of my life. I’m finishing this book as fast as I can.
When I say something like that it makes it sound like I’m finishing this book as fast as I can. But I’m finishing this book as fast as I can. The Keep was written over a year ago. We’ve been in stages of editing ever since. Every other night we’re in here working on, shaving away at, bracing and building, the themes and the tale of my life. I want to get it out. I truly believe Reality of the Unreal Mind can help people. I want to unleash it. I want you to see all of this, sit before it, think about it.
So yeah, the “finish the autobiography and start the next book of the fantasy world,” it didn’t pan out. Mice and men and an overbooked plane, and all that. And emotions and finances and family wars and a conversation with Katherine made it all go awry.
But I’m coming back.
I talk to my wife every now and then and murmur, “Should I still be a writer? Should I get started on the next plan? Should I go back to school?” I talk to my wife about how I deserve a rest, maybe my life needs to be about going to conventions and giving lectures. But in the end, you know what I know. I’m a storyteller. Caravan raised me to be a storyteller. I can’t help but have a story on my lips in every conversation I have.
In this very room there’s a hanging lamp right above my head so we can turn off all the lights except the hanging lamp to spotlight me as I tell oral stories. I’m gonna fight it. I’m gonna talk to my wife about it, maybe tomorrow, maybe in four days. Do you think I should retire? Do you think the first act is enough? But in the end, I’m gonna be in my office, key fall, hammer strikes, and a wooden iron desk. I’m gonna be telling you guys stories. Because if I didn’t, there would be no more climaxes for me.
If you have ever plotted out a book then you know what this means. I have talked to two writers and they warned me against it. I described it to a reviewer. He had a laugh on his lips when he said, “The number of outlines you’d have to write for that would be overwhelming.” It messed me up for a while, because I know that I don’t write outlines. The Alchemist said that such an undertaking would be too enormous and my mind would get tied up. The Cannibal said, “Just because you come up with an idea, doesn’t mean you have to do it.”
This is the project that will break my mind. No six writers could do this job. It took over twenty writers to write the MCU. This will be 74 books all in the same world all covering a scope of unimaginable size.
The reality has not been missed by Bekah, T, or I. We know that my mind will not be the same after this insanity has been written. We all know that this is what will drive me over the edge. Already by the end of the night I can’t work clothing and my wife has to undress me like a child and put me physically in bed.
By the end of this, there will not be much left.
But I am the Lunatic of Fantasy. My work was never meant to be sane.
This is Prince. This chapter is Prince. And I’m telling Adam about the rabbits.
Or maybe it’s the crows.
This chapter is from Reality of the Unreal Mind, Vol. 3: The Keep, available on Amazon.