How has your upbringing influenced your writing? Thankfully, it hasn’t.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Honestly, I don’t know. I was always good at it. Maybe I fell into writing simply because I was too lazy to cultivate a talent that would have required hard work to master.
When and why did you begin writing? Since I majored in English literature, I’ve been writing all through my school years and graduate school. My doctoral dissertation was my first book. As to why I continued to write, I suppose it was out of habit.
How long have you been writing? In the back of my mind, I’d always intended to write a novel at some point in my life. When I reached the age of 40 without having gotten around to writing that novel, I finally decided to knuckle down and get it done. I’ve been writing, off and on, since then. Nineteen years.
When did you first know you could be a writer? I think it was all the positive feedback from my teachers during my school years. I learned early on that I might be pretty good at this sort of thing.
What inspires you to write and why? I have to be in love with a particular subject or concept in order to write a book about it. Otherwise I’d just as soon not write at all. (There’s that laziness thing again.)
What genre are you most comfortable writing? History because I love the romance of the past. Mystery because I can’t resist a good whodunit.
What inspired you to write your first book? Guilt that I hadn’t gotten it done sooner in my life.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? I consciously avoided outside influences because I didn’t want to end up sounding like somebody else. I will say that I was quite impressed with Caleb Carr’s The Alienist when it first came out. That was around the time I wrote my first historical mystery. Similarly, I loved the divine feminine aspect of the The Da Vinci Code which may have influenced my archaeology thriller series.
What made you want to be a writer? I didn’t want to be a writer per se. If there’s an idea which I feel an overwhelming need to communicate, I’ll write. For example, my current series is all about the lost women’s history of the world. Things that have been forgotten for millennia are emerging in the archaeological record right now. To me, that’s an intriguing subject which people might want to know about.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? The biggest challenge has to do with the specific type of books I write. I use a fictional plot and characters to disclose loads of suppressed historical facts which aren’t generally known. Trying to assimilate the data and then convert it into something that’s entertaining and fits my fictional world can be quite a task.
THE ARKANA SERIES: Archaeological Thrillers That Defy History
Volume One – The Granite Key
“Think ‘MEDIUM meets THE LOST SYMBOL’ and it only begins to describe the pleasures of THE GRANITE KEY – 5 Stars.” (Kindle Nation)
A Wake-Up Call
In a nightmare, nineteen year old Cassie Forsythe sees her sister attacked by a man in a cowboy hat who demands something called “the key.” Her nightmare mutates into reality before the night is over. Cassie is called to identify her sister’s body–murdered exactly as her dream foretold. Cassie dismisses her vision as a fluke and fights to get on with her life. Disconnected and aimless now that her only family is gone, she drifts until the evening when she catches the man in the cowboy hat ransacking her sister’s apartment. He bolts with an odd-looking stone cylinder–the granite key. From that moment, Cassie’s normal world evaporates.
A Secret Society
She learns that her sister led a double life–retrieving artifacts for a secret organization called the Arkana. The Arkana’s leader, an elder named Faye, explains that her group performs a controversial kind of archaeology. They scour the globe for evidence of ancient pre-patriarchal civilizations in hopes of salvaging the lost history of the world. Their network of troves safeguards artifacts from highly sophisticated goddess-worshipping cultures on every continent. Cassie’s sister had the psychic ability to touch an artifact and relive its past. Cassie has now inherited this gift. Faye wants the girl to take over her sister’s role in the organization. Cassie doubts her powers but agrees. Now an insider, she is transported to the Arkana’s mysterious underground vault in the countryside outside Chicago where the group tackles the mystery of her sister’s murder.
A Dangerous Cult
The Arkana learns that the man in the cowboy hat is a hired mercenary named Leroy Hunt and that he is working for a fundamentalist religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim. He takes his orders directly from the cult’s domineering prophet–Abraham Metcalf. The granite key which Leroy stole is inscribed with hieroglyphics revealing the location of a mythological artifact reputed to have mystical powers–the Sage Stone. Although skeptical of its legendary capabilities, the Arkana is still afraid to allow the relic to fall into the cult’s hands. Abraham’s fanatical belief in the power of the Sage Stone could be the catalyst to start a war of religious genocide.
Unlocking The Key
Before she died, Cassie’s sister took photos of the strange markings on the granite key. The Arkana decodes the hieroglyphics which point to the ancient ruins of Minoan Crete as the hiding place of the Sage Stone. Faye hastily assembles a retrieval team including Cassie, her newly-appointed bodyguard Erik, and a British researcher named Griffin. The band of treasure hunters is mismatched and wildly dysfunctional from the start. Griffin has never gone on a field mission, Erik treats his inexperienced colleagues with contempt, and Cassie second-guesses her psychic hunches. She battles to prove herself to Erik at every turn. Their internal clashes rival the bigger crisis of what to do when they come face to face with their enemies.
A Matter Of Life Or Death
Even as they rake through megalithic tombs and Minoan palaces for clues, Abraham dispatches his son Daniel and hired gun Leroy Hunt to recover the Sage Stone. The Nephilim operatives won’t hesitate to kill anyone standing in their way. Will Cassie and her teammates avert global disaster or find themselves casualties of Abraham’s mania to exterminate the world of unbelievers? The Granite Key holds the answer.
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Genre – Archaeology / Thriller
Rating – PG
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