Q. Is this your first novel? Where can I buy it?
A. Yes, The Long Guest is my first novel. Unfortunately, it’s not for sale yet. I am in the process of trying to get it published. (The publishing industry is often described as “glacial.”)
Along my journey of learning about the publishing industry, I discovered that even aspiring, not-yet-published authors are expected to have a web page, blog, or podcast so they are “findable.”
So, it seems counter-intuitive to have a blog dedicated to a book that’s not out there yet, but luckily, writing about the ancient world yields tons of cool research that could fuel a blog for years.
If I don’t succeed with traditional publishing, I will probably indie publish and then this web site will start to promote books that you can actually buy. In the meantime, if you request it I will e-mail you a PDF of the first chapter of either book. You can e-mail me at my first name dot my last name at gmail.
Q. What genre are your books? I can’t figure it out.
A. Me neither. Hey, I just write ’em.
Figuring out a book’s marketing category can sometimes be a challenge. A wise agent once pointed out that the author might not know the category, but an agent might be able to recognize it.
One method is to list “comps,” comparable books, fans of which might also be interested in your book.
So, let me give it a try with the comps thing …
The Long Guest has comps in Biblical fiction. These could include Havah (Eve’s story) by Tosca Lee or the feminist classic about Dinah, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant. It could also include Brian Godawa’s novels: Noah Primeval, Enoch Primordial, etc.
The Strange Land moves away from the story’s original biblical setting. Because it deals with the Land Bridge, its comps could perhaps be novels about ancient North America like those of Kathleen and Michael O’Gear (People of the Earth, People of the Silence, etc.).
The series as a whole might be compared to Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series and would probably be at home on a bookstore shelf next to it, although my books have far fewer sex scenes.
Q. What did the Land Bridge perhaps look like?
A. Glad you asked:
Q. Why are your novels set in 10,000 BC? Are you a young earther or an old earther?
A. I am neither a young earther nor an old earther.
I don’t believe the world was created just 7,000 years ago, for a lot of reasons, including some biblical ones. As a linguist, I don’t find the argument that the word “day” always means a literal day convincing. In fact, I find it really simplistic. Also, there is lots of evidence that genealogies in the Bible tend to skip generations, just hitting the highlights of an ancestral line. This makes it impossible to calculate Genesis timelines with precision by using the genealogies and ages given.
But I’m not an “old earther” in the sense of accepting without question the conventional wisdom of mainstream archaeology, paleontology and anthropology. I believe that “modern” human civilization, complete with writing, mathematics, astronomy and engineering, is much older that we are usually told. Like, tens of thousands of years older. We’ll explore some of my reasons in the blog.
How did I arrive at 10,000 BC and why aren’t my characters cave people?
Obviously, to justify my choice of dates would require a really long answer. I may expand on my thinking later, either on this page or in a blog post, but briefly, here it is.
I took a few different lines of evidence, including evidence about the most recent North American ice ages, the last time the earth’s magnetic field reversed, and some of Graham Hancock’s wild historical theories. (For more detail see the Graham Hancock post here.) Putting all these together, I decided that for the purposes of my book, around 14,000 BC the earth (already populated at that point by advanced and probably evil human civilizations) entered an era of cataclysms that included lots of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, as parts of the earth’s crust slipped much more quickly than we usually expect. This culminated in the Flood, which in the world of my books happened about 10,400 BC. I have people beginning work on the Tower of Babel at about 10,250 BC, which leaves The Long Guest opening at 10,200 BC and The Strange Land taking place at about 10,175 BC, twenty-five years later.
Obviously, not only are my dates guesses, but the “evidence” they are based on is little more than other people’s guesses. It is really really difficult to tell what happened tens of thousands of years ago, which is part of the reason that literally every theory is controversial.
Luckily, this state of affairs leaves some leeway for authors like me. For example, the ice-free corridor across Canada was supposedly not open until about 9,500 BC. In my books, I have it open almost 700 years earlier. This is not a huge problem because in this field of study, dates keep getting revised as new evidence or new methods of analysis come up. Unlike with more recent history, +/- 700 years is not that huge a margin of error.
Q. What’s with the dragons in your books?
A. They are not magical. They are dinosaurs.
The Long Guest features a duckbill dinosaur, a raptor type of dinosaur, a passing mention of stegosauruses (in Paradise Valley), and a slightly longer encounter with a feathered triceratops. In The Strange Land, we only occasionally see flying dragons from a distance.
In both books, we don’t interact with a dragons a great deal, because they are not characters in the plot. (Sorry.) They are part of the ancient milieu through which the human characters move.
There is historical evidence that “dragon” was the ancient world’s word for dinosaur or for certain types of dinosaurs. See the dinosaur post for more information.