Q: Tell us more about your background?
A: Well, I’m a first-time mystery fiction author. After a 30-year career as a business executive, most of it spent as a publisher and chief executive officer in the natural health field, I decided to explore a new avenue that allows me to stimulate my imagination and intellect in a completely different way. I’m still active as a board member, investor and business advisor, but I’m enjoying this new adventure of my own.
Q: How did your business career influence your decision to become an author?
A: It’s a good question. On the surface, it would seem like a pretty big departure, but there definitely is a connection. During my time as a publisher in the natural health field, much of the content we provided our readers was contrarian compared to content published by mainstream medical and health publishers. Looking at chronic health conditions and medical research through a different lens and then challenging consensus views of treatment and prevention options really appealed to me. Over time that contrarian mindset trickled into the reading I do for pleasure and really struck home when I stumbled across a set of books that challenged historical views promulgated by archaeologists and anthropologists about the rise of advanced human societies and ancient civilizations. The more I read these contrarian views, the more fascinated I became and it ultimately fueled my interest in writing adventure/mystery fiction about the search for ancient civilizations.
Q: With that in mind, what was the inspiration for Shadows of the Stone Benders?
A: Like I said, I stumbled across a set of non-fiction books that challenged the consensus view that advanced human societies were a relatively recent development from a historical point of view. About a decade ago, the two books that first caught my attention were Worlds in Collison and Ages in Chaos, both written by Immanuel Velikovsky. In these works, Velikovsky examined the commonality of the great flood myth across many cultures and arrived at the conclusion that it wasn’t a myth but a historical recording of an actual event. His views were so controversial at the time his books were published in the 1950s that it literally cost him his career as an academic.
Then I was introduced to Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock. In that book, Hancock detailed mythical and physical evidence that seemed to suggest an advanced society thrived on Earth prior to the earliest acknowledged advanced society.
Over the ensuing decade, I dove head deep into dozens of other non-fiction books written by range of authors who pursued answers to unexplained archaeological and anthropological mysteries, some related to Hancock and Velikovsky’s work and others not. The more I contemplated possible answers to these unexplained mysteries, the more interested I became in crafting a story based on my own imagined answers.
Q: So Shadows of the Stone Benders is a novel about an ancient civilization?
A: At its core, Shadows of the Stone Benders is an adventure story about the chase to prove the existence of an ancient civilization, but the adventure is interwoven with a murder mystery and even the undercurrent of a love story. Something for everyone!
And the adventure doesn’t end with Shadows of the Stone Benders. I envision my debut novel as the first in a series of adventures called The Anlon Cully Chronicles. In each of the following novels, more of the mysterious veil shrouding this ancient civilization will be peeled away. The next step along this adventure will be portrayed in the upcoming Race for the Flash Stone.