Nostrum: Episode 4 Released

So, episode 4 was released on Tuesday and I’ve heard from a few readers that they have already finished it. I’m always impressed by how fast people read. I’m a slow reader. I think part of the reason for my slow pace is the fact that reading, while immensely pleasurable, always holds a little bit of work for me. I’m always looking to learn what a writer does to interest me and keep me reading on. The fact that I read in bed when I’m exhausted doesn’t help much, either.

I’m happy that some readers get through the episodes quickly, though. One of my greatest fears as a writer is that readers will be bored by what I write. And when it comes to serials, that fear is magnified a thousand times.

**Spoiler alert** Minor spoilers about episode 4 below this point.

Dancing with the Saints. Could country-western line dancing be a direct descendant of St. John’s Dance? Discuss.

But enough about me, eh? In this episode, Edward and Co. found out what those crazy dancing people were all about. I mentioned in the historical notes that this was a very real phenomena in the Middle Ages, and it was. ┬áSt. Johns dance, (sometimes called St. Vitus’s Dance after the patron saint of dancers (nice irony there)), is associated with the modern disorder, “Sydenham’s chorea,” a sickness where the afflicted person experiences uncontrolled movements and emotions. They are not the same thing, these two disorders, despite the similarities. The medieval version was completely different. It was an actual dance and the afflicted could be quite violent if interfered with. St. John’s Dance was also contagious, although apparently in a psychological way. The disorder has been called a mass psychogenic illness, which means, basically, that lots of people suffer the same delusions at the same time. This fits in quite well with the theme of the Scourge books. After all, isn’t zealotry just a form of mass psychogenic illness?

So, tell me what you think about Nostrum so far. Why do you think Hugh the Baptist didn’t bite Belisencia? What do you think about the relationship of Tristan and Belisencia? Do you think our heroes might actually be in purgatory? And what’s up with the ending of this episode? A dragon? Really? Is this writer on crack? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts!

8 thoughts on “Nostrum: Episode 4 Released

  1. Has anyone seen the movie Two Mules for Sister Sarah? Clint Eastwood and Shirley MacLaine. Yes, my question is directly related to episode 4.

  2. What I think about Nostrum so far: it’s so unfair that we can’t buy it in the UK yet! Please talk to your marketing people about selling it on, I beg you, as the tantalising glimpses in your blog are driving me to distraction. Perhaps, as you pore over your OS maps (I’m sure you do!), you’ll think of your poor UK fans and have pity on us.

    • Hey Cyn,
      Thanks very much for you support. I can’t tell you how sad it makes me that my UK readers have to wait to get a hold of Nostrum. I visit the UK often and see it as my second home. My publishers would love to release the serial in other territories, but there are international complications with certain Kindle programs (UK citizens also cannot read my Kindle Worlds novella, Kingdom of Glass). Nostrum will be released in the UK in September, I think, as a complete ebook, and shortly thereafter in print. But since I adore my UK readers as my second-kinsmen and kins-women, I might be persuaded to send off the first episode of Nostrum (If that doesn’t make things worse for you). Is the email you registered on the blog accurate? Would you like the first episode? Thanks again for your support and you interest in my work!

      • You, sir, are a gentleman! The first episode would be such a gift; I will be forever in your debt. Well, at least until I purchase the whole book in September, which I shall do without fail. Now my problem will be making that first episode last for a whole month…. Perhaps I can learn your trick of reading very slowly?

  3. I have read all your published work. Your writing is fresh and direct. I especially like your unique way of bringing the historical to the readers attention. As well, your sense of humor (i.e., Tristan) is great reading. You’re especially good at it.

  4. My favorite piece thus far is without question The Scourge and The Scourge Nostrum. You seem to have hit your stride with suspense and with your wonderful humor, both of which make the series. I am not a zombie fan, but your story and your manner of telling it make it a wonderful read.

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