And The Earth Shook. I haven't read this book myself, but James was kind enough to agree to guest blog about their book to any readers who might be interested in the subject. James, how would you describe your book to your prospective readers? In broad terms, what is your book about?
James: An abundance of evidence in ancient myth and legend suggests that we have had help all along the path to our present civilization. Archaeological finds are eroding established notions about our past, and providing convincing evidence that we may not have always been alone on this planet.
Is it possible that we have been visited by extraterrestrials in our distant past? If we have, are they still here? If they are not still here, will they return sometime in the future?
These are questions you might ask yourself as you follow Dr. Sandra Ella Martin on her quest to discover what is causing abnormal readings from one of the deep ocean monitoring devices used by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to help predict tsunamis. This adventure will change almost everything in Sandra's life. What she discovers will call into question everything she believes she knows about her world.
Ana: What themes does your book explore and what do you hope the reader will take away from the experience? Is there a particular feeling or experience that you hope to evoke in the reader? Essentially, do you hope your book will mean to a reader?
James: Every ancient civilization has its own version of a creation myth. A central theme in each of these myths is that the creator emerged from the heavens, from under a lake, or from some other place to create the sun, the moon, the earth and everything on the earth. Some of these creators were said to have made men in their own image, and through the use of some cataclysmic event, they destroyed their early attempts and made men again.
According to Toltec legend, Tloque Nahuaque, Lord of All Existence, created the universe, the stars, the mountains, and all of the animals. Then he made the first man and woman from whom all the inhabitants of the earth descended. When the first cataclysm struck, the earth was destroyed by the water sun. The Toltecs appeared at the beginning of the second epoch, and after wandering the earth for many years, they made their home in Huehue Tlapallan. Then, there came a second cataclysm caused by the wind sun. The legend follows that mighty earthquakes shook the earth and destroyed the earth giants.
The Aymara Quechua people of Peru believed that Viracocha made both the sun and the moon, after emerging from Lake Titicaca, and that he made the earth and all of the people on it. Viracocha was a vengeful God. When he was assailed, he sent terrible storms and destroyed the property of his assailants. However, he eventually forgave the people and taught them everything. According to legend, when Viracocha left the Aymara, he walked away on the surface of the water.
These stories are clearly an attempt by the ancient people to explain an intervention in their way of life, by beings who possessed superior knowledge and abilities. Is it possible that these beings were visitors from another planet who came to earth in search of some natural resource not abundant on their own planet?
How can we explain the fact that all of the ancient civilizations on earth valued gold from the very beginning of their known existence? Did these people simply wake up one day, and decide to stop hunting for food to instead search for a shiny yellow metal for which they had no practical use?
Did primitive people just walk out of the jungles, deserts and caves with the prerequisite knowledge to allow them to build massive pyramids, ziggurats, and fortresses high in the mountains? If they did, where did they learn the complex mathematics, and stone working skills to allow them to make such a miraculous transition? If they did not, where are the remnants of all of the structures they must have built while they learned?
We slap ourselves on the back and proclaim that we are the most advanced, and most enlightened civilization this earth has ever known. But, are we really?
Ana: What prompted you to write this book and did you have a specific inspiration in mind? Were you influenced by a certain author or work that inspired you to add your voice to this genre? Besides the boatloads of money and rockstar fame, what motivated you to write this book?
James: From the time I was a small boy, I've always been interested in the past. My paternal grandfather would spend hours telling me stories about when he was young, and I hung on every word. I couldn't wait to hear the next installment. Through the years, my freelance study of religion, archaeology and ancient history has provided me with more questions than answers. I have come to believe that we don't really know much about our origens. This story is my attempt to entertain people, and entice them to consider and think about alternative answers. We don't really know any of the answers, and there is little evidence to prove what we have been told about our past.
Ana: If you could compare your book to any other existing works, which ones would it be and why? If the one thing you could say to a prospective reader was, "If you like X, you'll love my book!", which work would be invoked so that a reader could judge whether or not your book is their cup of tea?
James: The first book that comes to mind is Sphere by Michael Crichton. In Sphere, a group of scientists along with Navy personnel are sent to the deep sea habitat at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to explore what they believe is an alien spacecraft. In my book a young female scientist discovers an unknown structure on the floor of the Atlantic. At the age of twenty nine, Dr. Sandra Ella Martin is already the Assistant Administrator of her department at NOAA. She has worked hard to conduct meaningful research, and to publish her findings in one of the many professional journals dedicated to scientific research.
This assignment comes as a surprise to Sandra. One of the agency's deep ocean monitoring devices is sending back abnormal readings. Scientists at the National Data Buoy Center in Mississippi have used software programs to analyze the malfunctioning device with no success.
If the readings are to be believed, there is something ominous happening on the ocean floor near the mid Atlantic Ridge. The readings indicate significant movement, and movement of that magnitude can cause a tsunami of huge proportions. If something breaks loose and crashes down to the ocean floor, the tidal waves might result in a worldwide extinction event.
Sandra knows the readings are impossible, but the software indicates the device is operating properly. Somebody will have to retrieve the device and find out what is really happening. She is the right person for the job, but there is something sinister going on in the background. She can't put her finger on it, but there are things happening around her that she just can't understand.
What Sandra finds nestled between two underwater mountain peaks near the mid Atlantic ridge ignites a mushroom cloud of apprehension in her brain. Much of the factual information in Sandra's life is inextricably changed by her new found knowledge. The very essence of what she believes about her world is cast into the wind. Her astonishing discovery sets off a series of events that will end her career, and plunge her into an unfathomable nightmare in which she suddenly finds herself on the run. People she thinks she knows are part of a complex web of deceit with tentacles in a number of high level government agencies including her own NOAA. She is catapulted into a search for ancient treasure, and she is shocked by a baffling revelation.
If you liked Sphere, You'll love my book "And The Earth Shook."
Ana: Is this your first or only published work, or have you published other books? If you have published other books, how do they compare to this one? Do you have any more books planned, either as a follow-up to this one, or as a completely different book or genre?
James: This is my first published novel. I have two more books that are being edited now, and they will soon be ready for publication. "Legend of the Devil" is a post Civil War coming of age story, about a boy who leaves the home of his abusive uncle to find his own way in the world. Young William falls into the life of a gunfighter, and gradually evolves into a solid citizen.
"Petey" is the story of a thirteen year old autistic boy. Petey struggles with life in a very small town where people tend to mistreat him. A neighbor woman takes an interest in Petey when she hires him to do yard work. As the story progresses, the woman is murdered and Petey is faced with both the loss of his only friend, and the community response to the murder...
Ana: Where can readers obtain a copy of your book for them to enjoy? How can they contact you with any thoughts or questions? And do you have a means by which they can "sign up" to be notified when your next book comes available?
James: The title of my book is "And The Earth Shook." You can go directly to my product page at Amazon.com. Just click the following link. There is a place on my Amazon product page for customer reviews, and there is also a place for customer discussions. I am in the process of building a website which will soon be on line.
Ana: Thank you. I understand you have the first chapter of your book available as an excerpt for interested readers? Is there anything else you wish to add for our readers?
James: Thank you, Ana. My book is aproximately 317 pages, and I believe Amazon is making roughly ten percent available for free download. The free download should be enough to give the reader a good idea whether he or she would like to read the entire story. I hope everyone who reads my book enjoys it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
If you are an indie author interested in being interviewed, please read the interview policy here.
If you are an indie author interested in joining the Acacia Moon catalog, please visit the forums here.