Ghost Singer’s Prophecy is the final book of the Blood Hammer trilogy by Quesnel writer Chris Kempling. (Tellwell Publishing image)

Ghost Singer’s Prophecy is the final book of the Blood Hammer trilogy by Quesnel writer Chris Kempling. (Tellwell Publishing image)

Quesnel author hammers out three books

Chris Kempling crafts fantasy trilogy using local inspiration

When you’re a writer that has journeyed as many paths as Chris Kempling, those nuggets of experience are going to shine through in the stories. His recently released fantasy trilogy was constructed using much of his background, and the Quesnel reader might detect a lot of familiarity. Kempling lived many years in B.C.’s Heart of Gold city, and he wasn’t shy about showing it off, at least metaphorically.

The Blood Hammer set includes the titles Quest for the Crown, Black Hand Rises, and Ghost Singer’s Prophecy. The characters are a blend of wizards, dwarfs, a humble tinker, assassins, those who can see the future, a royal family on the run, and one who wields a walking stick of immense power called Blood Hammer.

Although he now lives in Kamloops, Kempling was excited to let Quesnel audiences know that his longtime former town factored so heavily into his literary process.

“I use a lot of Carrier (now more commonly called Dakelh) language in the novel for the Yakat tribal group, some of which I learned when I was the First Nations 12 teacher at Correlieu (Secondary School) and some from former Nazko chief Stanley Boyd when we were co-workers at the Quesnel Native Friendship Centre. Many of the place names (e.g. Baezeko, Dadunko [Quesnel River], Puntatenkut [Tibbles Lake]), I borrowed for the novel.”

He also consulted with professor and author Bill Poser, the driving force behind the Dakelh dictionary, to deepen his accuracy with the language.

There were other international tongues he employed for the dialogue in the Blood Hammer books: Basque was borrowed for the wizard language, Mongolian for the Mythrycians characters, Kazakh for the Gotkurgans, Kirghiz for the Zerdagans, Tamil for the Bilurians and a few words of Sekani for the Jalagans.

“I used real languages because I’m not brilliant like JRR Tolkien to invent my own,” Kempling said. “I used (Dakelh) because I already had a vocabulary of about 50 words and I wanted an indigenous language for my indigenous people group. ‘Yakat’ is a made-up people, similar culturally to Tlingit or Tsimshian. Poser’s dictionary was Central Carrier, so that is what I used, mostly.”

He also used daily life in other elements of the book’s creation, including the seed that started it all.

“I make walking sticks for a hobby. I was cutting a stick and the saw slipped and gave me quite a gash on the hand,” he said. “I thought, ‘that stick was fighting back.’ That was the germ idea for the novel – a magic walking stick that fights back.”

He said the entire trilogy, 300,000 words in total, tumbled out of his mind in about five months. He didn’t initially intend a three-book set but some of his characters convinced him otherwise.

“Bahomet was so deliciously evil I couldn’t kill him off after just one book. And the younger daughter Joya was so delightfully spunky in Book One, I decided to give her a much bigger role in Books Two and Three,” he said.

Kempling built quite a community in the Quesnel area, having lived here from 1980 to 2008. He came as an elementary school teacher, then transitioned into employment counselling, first at the Native Friendship Centre, then at the Federal Employment Centre.

He went back to the school district as a secondary school counsellor at Correlieu, where he also taught Psychology 11 and First Nations 12 (the first in the district to teach that course). On the side had a practice doing marriage and family counselling. He was an elementary counsellor and psychometrician as well.

He was also highly active in a number of community volunteer positions.

“I had a very satisfying career in Quesnel and very much appreciated all the opportunities I had there,” Kempling said.

The trilogy is published by Tellwell Publishing under the author name C.S. Kempling. The paperbacks retail for $21.99 each, the Kindle version for $5.99 each, available for online information and purchase on the Amazon website.

Blood Hammer, book by book

No. 1… Blood Hammer: Quest for the Crown

Genneset is a humble tinkerman, a roving knife sharpener wandering the towns and villages of Zutheria. But a chance encounter with the wizard Astaran gives him a walking stick of unspeakable power: Blood Hammer. His eldest daughter Amathea suffers from an unfortunate winestain birthmark on her face. Her gift of second sight attracts the attention of the evil wizard Bahomet, desperately seeking the long-lost crown of Zutheria. Her kidnapping intertwines her story with that of Viscount Baragin, the rightful heir to the Zutherian throne, imprisoned for years by Bahomet. How will they escape? Can they count on the help of the Dwarf Lord Zerribil to win the final battle for the crown of Zutheria? Blood Hammer: Quest for the Crown is the first novel in the Blood Hammer fantasy trilogy.

No. 2… Black Hand Rises

What happens when someone truly evil takes the reins of power in Biluria? An accidental killing results in the spunky Joya becoming a formidable female warrior with the fierce Gotkurgan tribe, capable of taking on even the deadly Bilurian assassins. And a blue-eyed Yakat boy with second sight becomes the hope for the whole nation after his desperate father, King Baragin, loses almost everything. Can they overcome the villainous Bahomet? Find out in Black Hand Rises, and the final volume of the Blood Hammer trilogy, Ghost Singer’s Prophecy.

No. 3… Ghost Singer’s Prophecy

A vicious army of occupation takes over most of Zutheria. The royal family becomes refugees in their own land in the old castle at Amadel. Will Dwarf Lord Zerribil and his dwarvish regiments keep Bahomet and the Bilurians out of Evenshorn? How will Balyan harness the power of the Eye of Elbron when the evil Bahomet is doing everything in his power to acquire it? How many more X’s will the Khokhgui warrior Joya add to her benbay? Find out in the dramatic conclusion to the Blood Hammer Trilogy.

READ MORE: Quesnel author C.B. Clark an award finalist

READ MORE: Authors connect at independent book fair


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