|Secret History of the Mongols:|
Genghis for poets?
|Alexander the Great|
|Genghis for girls?|
|Genghis for boys?|
I then, at the suggestion of another editor, had a go at rewriting my story in a linear form, by chopping up my three characters' stories into small sections and stitching them back together, year by year, so that the historical adventure part of the plot unfolded in a more traditional way. Sounds easy, you might think. Except of course it wasn't easy. As I was doing this, I realised quite a lot of my story depends on the reader seeing more than one point of view, and revelations that worked in the original three viewpoint structure did not work so well in the linear structure. After some drastic trimming and much cutting and pasting, during which entire scenes got rewritten, the historical adventure worked on one level, but I ended up with a pale imitation of Conn Iggulden's adult historical novel Wolf of the Plains. The resulting book might have eventually found a place on a YA historical list, although it seems historical YA is just as tricky to publish these days as novellas... and if I'd set out to write a historical adventure in the first place, I'd have chosen the third person viewpoint and written a very different book.
|Genghis for kids?|
I am fascinated by how different people can experience the same events in very different ways, according to their beliefs and how their minds work. In my interpretation of the history, Temujin is the most down to earth character, refusing to believe in anything he can't conquer or kill. Borta trains as a shaman and goes on spirit journeys with her pet deer, sending herself slightly crazy in the process, whereas the frustrated and confused Jamukha experiences spirit magic in the form of a silver-blue wolf that seems to be following him, but does not understand what he's doing until too late. Eventually, even Temujin is persuaded there are more things in Heaven than he has dreamt of on the steppe (sorry, Shakespeare!), which turns him into the conqueror we know as Genghis Khan. So yes, there is fantasy in the story, but not really the type of fantasy that appeals to younger readers more used to the magic wands and flying broomsticks of Harry Potter.
Fast forward to 2016. Since novellas are no longer taboo thanks to virtual bookshelves, have returned to my original structure, and you can now read all three parts as ebooks. I'd suggest starting with Book 1 Prince of Wolves and working your way through, but would be interested to know if the story also works the other way around.
You can read The Legend of Genghis Khan on your Kindle or Kindle app by clicking on the links below:
|1. Prince of Wolves|
|3. Blood of Wolves|
|2. Bride of Wolves|