I’ve been working on Tunguska, my current WIP, which may be the fifth installment in the shamansland series. Tunguska is its working title because of the famous or infamous meteor burst that flattened part of that region in the early years of the 20th century.
It’s also the home of the original shamans, the ones where the word originated. I’ve been reading Ronald Hutton’s book on the subject, which is subtitled Siberian Spirituality. Of course, the shamans in my books possess magical powers of a different order to those of shamans in this world, but what piqued my interest was the view of the local Evenk people with regard to the Tunguska airburst; they said it was caused by shamans fighting.
That made me sit up a bit! Because most real world shamans, to use the word in its broadest sense, don’t do that sort of thing. They tend to visit the spirit world and to sometimes heal other people. Fighting doesn’t feature.
So I thought I’d make my shamans go back to their roots. The only problem being that someone has hijacked the narrative (clue: some of the characters) and it has now veered suddenly off course and arrived in India, or Inde as it is called in my imaginary world.
This required some rather precipitate research. I was not expecting to go to India, but all of a sudden we arrived in Mumbai and got introduced to the Masters of Shamanism who are, on the whole, terribly old.
Thanks to a friend, at this point a soundtrack presented itself; the KLF, singing Justified and Ancient, with Tammy Wynette. Apart from appealing to my sense of humour, this seemed perfectly suited to the situation where my characters had to visit some ancient Masters (several of whom are women).
In other news, I’ve added a mailing list sign up form to this site, in the form of a pop-up that appears after 5 seconds. I’ll only use it for news relating to my books, and update it from time to time.