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bear by san

March 2017

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bear by san

Matthew the Crow

There is no force on earth that could make me name a book The Dragon Prince. Thank you. Here all week.

The genesis of the above comment is that, because I am meant to be working on Undertow, the damned Promethean Age books will not leave me alone. Specifically, hot water being the second most sovereign brain-grease for bears (the first being long walks or bike rides) while I was in the shower today, I figured out a whole bunch of stuff about Matthias Corvinus (yes, that Matthias Corvinus) and how he fits into the Promethean Age stuff.

One of the planned novels in this series is set in Hungary and environs in the 15th century, and I expect his Majesty to slop over into several of the other planned titles (Patience and Fortitude... no, you know what, I'm clinging to my ampersands until Marketing pries them out of my clutching fingers... Patience & Fortitude, Rag & Bone, and Unsuitable Metal) (Most of the Promethean Age titles have an And, but there were a few titles just too good to sacrifice to gods of a hobgoblin consistency. Unsuitable Metal and Posthumous Jonson being two of them. Along with The Stratford Man and The Journeyman Devil. Assuming I get to keep any of those titles, of course.)

Anyway, I knew for some time there was going to be a book about 15th cen. Hungary, because for one thing, the Dragon Prince thing that's so important in Blood and Iron (note stripped-out ampersand) (and which gets some explanation in elaine_andraste; if anything is my lingering contribution to the stuff of story, the Dragon Princes may be it--it's probably the best real-world fantasy idea I've fielded; convincing enough, in fact, that people frequently won't believe I made it up and want to know my sources) rests heavily on Vlad III of Wallachia. (And Arthur of Britain. Among others.)

And I don't want to write a book about Vlad. He's overdone.

But a book about Matthias Corvinus and Stephen Bathory, that could be fun. (No Janos. Janos is dead by the time the story starts, which would probably be 1457 or so. Besides, stillsostrange has promised a book about Janos one of these days). Specifically, I wanted to write a book about what living with a Dragon Prince would be like. Why you would need one, and how much work it would be to keep him fed and maintained.

So I want to write a book about Matthias. And in the shower, it struck me that I knew why he married his cousin off to the psycho. (Which is a spoiler, so I won't tell you.) Which means that History Is Doing It To Me Again.

Also, convenient for me is that, at least on this side of the Carpathians (okay, technically it was this side of the Carpathians, what are you, my CE?), Matthias has kind of gotten scraped out of history a bit. (Not so in his homeland, mind you.) We hear about his dad (Janos Hunyadi) and of course we hear about the Draculas and the Bathorys, but Matthias, not so much.

...something he has in common with one of my other characters. *g*

I also got shower-injected with two possible working titles: Crow & Dragon, or Dog & Raven. (I'm leaning toward the second; not only does it have a lovely carrion ring to it, but it doesn't suffer from the dragon-in-title issue. Although that doesn't bother me too much in this case, as I'm talking about people, not fantasy tropes. (Corvinus is the raven; Bathory is the wolf (or dog, in this case) and of course Vlad is, well, dracul.)I also lean toward Dog & Raven because, well, it's not a book about Vlad, dammit.

Oh, and the other thing?

Matthias--like Arthur, like Vlad, like Owain and Bran--is one of the Sleeping Kings.

Something else that comes up in Blood and Iron.

***

Comments

It would be a great shame if they didn't let you keep Unsuitable Metal or The Journeyman Devil I think those are exceptionally fine titles.

Mike
(Who lately can't come up with good titles to save his life.)
Unsuitable Metal is possibly my favorite title of any title I have ever slung.

Though I am awfully fond of Hammered, too, it being about six puns for the price of one. *g*

Maybe more showers would help?

(Best title ever though, still Gun, With Occasional Music)
Great titles! Looks like you're in this for the long haul. :> I've been working my way through an ARC of Blood and Iron, and greatly enjoying it. :> I had to take a break when some of my own ideas came burbling to the surface, demanding attention, but now that they're satisfied for the moment...
Oh, goo,d glad you are liking it.

The Promethean Age thing could keep me intermittently busy for the next twenty years. In addition to the two sold books--Blood and Iron and Whiskey and Water, I have three more written--The Stratford Man, The Journemay Devil, and One-Eyed Jack, and a list of other ideas to work on:

Posthumous Jonson (England, 1620s), Unsuitable Metal (Stalingrad, 1942), Balm & Oil (Victorian Africa), Rag & Bone (Victorian England), Dog & Raven (Hungary, 15th century), Patience & Fortitude (USA, 21st century), and three so-far untitled ones: one set in India, one in 1740's England, and one dealing with American ballads in the turn-of-the-century West.


:-P I hope I don't get hit by a truck.
Corvid & Canine?
*grooooaaaan*
Wolf & Raven?

You have cool titles. And cooler ideas.

I feel inspired just reading about your being inspired, and I don't even write the same vein of spec that you do. LoL I also wish I could talk about my work and brainstorming as easily as you do.

*shuts up now and be's impressed in silence*
That's actually the kind of generic/forgettable construction I'm trying to avoid.

Dogs and crows, at this point, are far more interesting in titles than wolves or ravens. *g* But there's the issue of iambs, and of trying to avoid a jangly assonance (this no Dog and Crow, either)...

titles are hard!
I tried for a minute to fit Pippo Spano in there, then I realized he was a bit earlier, although he and Hunyadi sort of share Sigismund, I think. For only certain values of "share", though.

It's interesting how many connections you get between Hungary and the Italian states at that time, though.

If you have to deal with Vlad at all, far better to deal with him from the perspective of someone who had to work with him, which has to have been like handling a self-operating flensing knife.
Europe is a small continent.

Yeah, being Vlad's boss had to suck.
Where do you have Arthur sleeping? The locations in various versions include Mt. Etna. (And it just occurred to me that if I were giving him a bedroom on a volcano, I would pick Mt. Tambora -- which erupted in 1815, triggering "The Year Without a Summer," whose side-effects included Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein.)
*g* Read the books and find out....
Posthumous Jonson?

But your Jonson hasn't even come yet.
I think this is the book that you are writing that I am most excited about. My area of interest is more early 16th century Translyvania, John Sigismund and the Turks. Also, I like the &s.. they look nifty. :)
I'm excited about it too, but it's going to be years before I get to write it. Darned publishing schedules.
I find i miss the odd blurtings from the office or on walks when you suddenly come to these revelations leaving me standing there dumbfounded and in awe of the whole thing.
The best name for a book ever is the children's book Badass Badger Builds the Bomb.

--
Atomic Poet