In 19th century Egypt. . .intrigue in the desert
“It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed.” Samuel McCord
In Roland's words, we find the inspiration behind the story:
We forget that the true monsters are us.
Ever since LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, I have been fascinated by the mysterious desert and the cold-blooded machinations of pompous politicians. KHARTOUM only intensified my fascination.
My childhood LEAGUE OF FIVE and I stayed up all Saturday night watching ancient black-and-white movies. We yelled at Flash Gordon to ditch Dale and take up with the evil Princess Ardala. We scratched our heads over Terry who never fell for the seductive Dragon Lady.
I swore if I ever wrote a book, I would have my hero marry the Dragon Lady. And so Sam McCord is married to the ancient, eternally young Meilori Shinseen to whom ancient Egyptians and Aztecs offered screaming sacrifices.
As a youngster, I was absorbed in Egyptian mythology and the scoffed at theories of Erich von Daniken in CHARIOTS OF THE GODS. I read and re-read AYESHA: SHE by H. Rider Haggard. I made my Alan Quartermain a cursed Texas Ranger whose belief in the redemptive power of love keeps him married to a being once called Sekhmet.
I thought of how human nature would remain in long-lived revenants (my vampires, like those of THE STRAIN, are quite different from the clichéd versions.) They would be driven by all too human lusts of ambition, greed, and vengeance.
I pitted an undead Abigail Adams as the dubious champion of the American revenants against Empress Theodora ruler of Europe’s and Asia’s revenants. I showed how their basic natures kept them at odds even when it was to their advantage to work together.
Samuel McCord said of this: “I wonder how much harm we do to ourselves and our world simply by getting out of bed in the morning and being ourselves?”
At the heart of this, I put a resurrected mummy child, the actual Princess Shert Nebti, whose body was filled with a pestilence that once released would drag the world into a new Dark Age as did the Black Death.
I mixed these elements against the backdrop of British arrogance, the Egyptian struggle for independence, the fanaticism of Muslim zealots, and the greed of the landed aristocracy. The seeds of today’s headlines were sown in the Egypt of 1895.
I let all the heartache, misunderstood humanity, and mortal and immortal ambition be seen by the reader through the eyes of a thoughtful, haunted man of honor in a world where compassion is seen as weakness.
Always fascinated by Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, Nikola Tesla, Ada Byron (daughter of Lord Byron), and Winston Churchill, I had them be my hero’s companions on a cursed expedition searching for Pharaoh Tutankhamun. (Or 'Pharaoh Two Tons of Almonds' as Mark Twain insists on calling him.)
In the desert wastes of Egypt lurk things older than Man that hum with mystery … and hunger.
Join Samuel McCord, his deadly wife, and his bickering companions on this doomed expedition. See what really causes dogs to howl in the darkness and cats to yowl after midnight. Read THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT. But should you hear long nails scratching at your back door … do not open it!
And now, for a detour to a different realm:
"D.G. has suggested I mention my first children's book, HIBBS, THE CUB WITH NO CLUE in MISCHIEF IS AFOOT. Hibbs endorsed that idea, too. Francene Lockett, the narrator for my soon-to-be-released audio book, BRING ME THE HEAD OF McCORD, suggested I write a children's book with Hibbs as the central character.
Francene said I fascinated her with the fun but wise tale of the young cub she read for the audio book. Hibbs, modest as always, thought that was a great idea as well. So I wrote HIBBS, THE CUB WITH NO CLUE -- a series of tales that mingles Lakota legends with Celtic mythology. Anything can happen in Hibbs' strange valley. He can fish for catfish ... and catch a dragon, or I should say the dragon catches Hibbs.
The Forrest Gump of mystical bear cubs, Hibbs, runs into leprechauns, Asgardian squirrels, insane unicorns, satyrs, and is mentored by the dreaded Turquoise Woman. I wrote the tales in the style of the Lakota storyteller: They do not begin with "Long Ago" or "Once Upon A Time." What happens in those tales is not measured in hours or by time.
A place can be "a hundred sleeps away" or "a thousand paces away." They often begin with "Hibbs was in search of berries" as if the tale had just happened or was happening right then. And such is the stuff of magic, that well might be the case!
The tales are in no certain order so that a parent or grandparent can pick up the book and read any chapter to their child just before sleep without worrying about continuity. For those out there who just must have continuity, the last 3 tales are loosely linked so that they can be read ... say for a car trip or when a child is ill in bed.
Hibbs hopes you enjoy his short book. It is tiny but anyone who has shared her bed with a mosquito understands the power of small things!"
Order or get more information on these two books at Roland's Blog. Visiting his blog will reveal to you how many other titles he has available, many of which I've reviewed. I'm a fan of the writing and of the characters, especially Sam McCord. I'll be reviewing The Stars Bleed at Midnight as soon as I'm finished reading it. (DG)
Have you read any of Roland Yeoman's books? Do you have a favorite character? AND Do you know a child who might like to read about a curious little bear with no clue?
Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, and you will get a response from the author, Roland, or me. Thanks for dropping by!
http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.ca/ Roland Yeomans' Blog
http://rolandyeomans.blogspot.com/2010/11/leauge-of-five.html The post on 'The League of Five', a young reading group.