Workshop Episode 18 (Guest Host: Abigail Hilton)

The Roundtable Podcast, Workshop Episode 18, with Abigail Hilton and Mercy LoomisAbigail Hilton – creator of the vast Panamindorah Universe and all the wonderful fiction encompassed within it – returns to the Roundtable and does a masterful job in workshopping our first Vampire story (squeee!) offered up by Guest Writer Mercy Loomis.  Mercy has crafted a rich and detailed universe and her story got all of us in a froth of creative fervor… so yeah, the episode is longer than most, but there’s so much goodness in there that I just couldn’t cut it down. (and for more writerly goodness, check out Abbie’s Showcase Episode!)

PROMO: “Twixt Heaven and Hell” by Tristan Gregory (on Amazon)

Workshop Episode 18 (Guest Host: Abigail Hilton)

[caution: mature language – listener discretion is advised]

Check out this and all our episodes on iTunes…

On Abbie’s Plate…

  • “Guild of the Cowry Catchers Book 4: Out of the Ashes” (lusciously illustrated) is now available!
  • Abbie continues her deconstruction of “Hunters Unlucky” out at her website
  • Currently working on the audio for the latest Cowry Catchers novel (looking at Aug/Sept for release)
  • And, of course, The Full Cast Podcast is a constant source of awesomeness

Upcoming Cons


Mercy Loomis’s Gloriousity…


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Comments (4)

The story described by Mercy Loomis is a particular type of “Alternate History” known as “Secret History”, where known history doesn’t change, but a new perspective or hidden can change the meaning of what happened. Tim Powers is known for writing this type of story, Kage Baker’s “The Company” series is another example. The father/son angle is very powerful, but if you can give equal weight to the skinchanger’s story, and make it work, that would be awesome.

Something that nobody suggested: What if you told the tale of Gabriel & his son entirely through the skinchanger’s POV? We view how the relationship changes them from the outside. I’m not sure if it is possible (it probably isn’t) but it was just a thought I had.

In spite of not being a fan of vampire stories myself, I though Mercy’s story sounded quite interesting.

Much credit to Abigail for reigning in Dave’s attempt to turn a character driven story into a “World-Shattering-Plot-Driven-Epic-Tale”. (One of the limitations of prequels & secret histories, is that your reader knows that the world isn’t shattered.)

I hadn’t heard the term “Secret History” before, but yes, that’s it exactly.

I’m glad you thought it sounded interesting! “Vampire stories” unfortunately get a bad rap, as if they’re all the same. It’s really just another part of the window-dressing, like the historical aspect. If you cut out the history and the paranormal, I think Empire’s Shadow will be sort of an action-adventure family drama. LOL.

Figuring out which POV to use where is killing me, frankly. I see the whole timeline in my head, so finding where to cut in and whose angle to use is proving very difficult. I *could* write the whole thing (or most of it) from Isolde’s POV–the story would pick up just before they three meet, and then still end at the same place…not a bad idea, actually. More to ponder. I’m getting very close to just writing the whole stupid thing out three times, once in each POV, and then grabbing whichever scenes turn out the best. (Ok, not really, but you get the idea.)

Thanks for commenting!

It seems to me that the story is about Gabriel and Paul. The questions I would have asked were: Why did he stay away from Paul and his mother? How does he feel about stepping in to be a single dad to a teenager? Gabriel himself never had a mentor. How is he going to mentor Paul? Is it by chance Mercy chose an Old Testament name for the father and a New Testament name for the son? Finally, Gabriel is an immortal super-being, so why does he live in hiding? Why isn’t he emperor?

Mercy seems to have really done a lot of legwork on the world the story is in. She will undoubtedly have a hit series on her hands. An author named Mercy on the cover of a vampire novel? As Dave would say “awesome sauce!”

Awesome questions, Daniel!

Gabriel stayed away from Lucretia originally because he wanted her to have a normal life. They really just had a one night stand, but that experince is what brought him back into social contact with humanity, and he was sort of grateful for that. (I’m really going to have to pub that as a short story, it makes so much more sense when you read it.) But Gabriel had no idea she’d gotten pregnant. He discovers Paul by chance when Paul is about ten, but doesn’t realize Paul is his own son. By the time he does, he’s been watching this weird kid for quite a while. Paul seems to be able to “pass” and live fairly normally. Gabriel isn’t sure that his own presence would be beneficial to Paul, until it becomes clear that things are starting to get out of hand. The single dad stuff is going to be fun. 😉

Gabriel had to figure stuff out mostly on his own, so he doesn’t see why he can’t do the same for Paul. Some of their abilities are the same, or very similar, so he can provide personal experience Paul doesn’t have. Not that Gabriel doesn’t worry about what he doesn’t know, but then, what parent doesn’t?

The Old/New Testament thing is a coincidence, but it also makes sense: Gabriel’s name is preChristian because Gabriel himself is. Paul’s name in Latin is Paulus–“small”–because he was a tiny baby. Gabrielus Gallus Paulus–Little Gabriel the Gaul.

As for why isn’t he emperor, Gabriel is still a pretty young vampire. He’s not all that powerful, especially compared to what’s out there. That, and he could never pull it off. An emperor that can’t be around during the day? He’d be killed in no time. (Even before the third century crisis, hehe.) Remember, ageless is not necessarily immortal. My vampires are completely helpless during the day, and humans outnumber vampires by at least 1000 to 1. (I haven’t bothered figuring out the exact numbers.) Mages, on the other hand, end up as figureheads on a regular basis.

On a side note, it did amuse me to have “Mercy” nicely framed by Gabriel’s blood-dripping hand on the cover of Scent and Shadow.

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