Please welcome this week’s guest to the Showcase.
After her own words, there will be my review of her novel, Two Truths.
The author, in her own words.
People often ask me where I get the ideas for my novels from, but only once has anyone asked me, “Why do you write?” What an intriguing question! My first thought was that I write because I can’t not write. The stories are in me, all the time brewing away. But this didn’t quite resonate. Something was missing from the answer.
It wasn’t until someone commented on what an undertaking Two Truths, my first published novel, must have been and followed by asking, “Why would you take on such a task?” that I realized. The primary reason I write is to explore answers for the unexplained. Writing what might be the answer to something, or how something might happen, feel, or look, helps me to navigate life and attempt to understand its obscurities.
It started with archaeological mysteries – things we’ve found and can’t explain that date back to the beginning of time. In my mid-twenties, I became fascinated with the commonalities in these mysteries and, in turn, inspired to come up with an answer that explained them all. I knew some research would be necessary, but I wasn’t interested in an academic undertaking. I wanted to approach it as an artist, exploring an answer to the mysteries that was plausible and entertaining but also beautiful.
Some of the mysteries most of us are familiar with, like Stonehenge, the Nazca Lines, and the moai of Easter Island. Others few people have heard of, like the Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni in Malta – one of the oldest prehistoric underground temples in the world, with unique acoustic properties that have been claimed to heal illness. And the Antikythera mechanism found off the island of Crete – a computer-like device dated around 87 BCE with sophistications far beyond any known Greek technology at that time. Or the ancient Iraqi batteries dated about 200 BCE, before this kind of energy source had been invented. These are just six of over twenty archaeological mysteries that I found had common threads.
Many of the mysteries showed the existence of modern tools and engineering skills well before their time. There were often heavy items moved impossible distances, or objects created via an impossible vantage point. And several were surrounded with unexplainable weather patterns and healing energies. In a nutshell, there were lots of things where they shouldn’t be, made by things that didn’t exist, surrounded by unexplainable forces.
My imagination found that two inter-related answers were needed to create an entertaining and plausible story for these common threads – and hence Two Truths was born.
However, my imagination didn’t settle for just archaeological mysteries. I became obsessed with the idea of a story that brought all these intriguing conundrums together; puzzles such as Masaru Emoto’s water experiments, the idea of reincarnation, strange verses in the Bible, and things like genetic memory and genetic attraction. I wanted to not only explore these for myself but to spark others’ interest, to create wonder, and I wanted readers to feel that while my theory was fiction, it was also entirely plausible.
In the end, I incorporated, and in turn explored, seventeen ideas in the novel – which took me sixteen years to write.
Two Truths begins with a mysterious murder that flings four characters onto four different journeys, bringing them all to the same Two Truths. Two Truths that offer an explanation and glimpse into theories and mysteries that have existed for centuries. The answer to each mystery on its own is not necessarily unique, but the combination of them into two related answers is, and several of the facets of the theory are original ideas that I had a lot of fun creating.
But Two Truths isn’t the first novel I wrote. Before Two Truths, I wrote Meeting Eve, which is due out 2022. While it only has a touch of archaeological mystery (it’s set in South America and involves ancient ruins), writing Meeting Eve was more about exploring the mystery of relationships – particularly of the forbidden variety. It stumps me how modern societies create rules about who people should love. Hundreds of years ago, sure. But now? Still? I wanted to dive into the beauty of how these relationships might form regardless of an antiquated society, and reveal how they are really no different from, and are therefore just as legitimate as, traditional relationships.
Meeting Eve follows two backpackers who set off on an adventure that starts in Jamaica, takes them through Central America and eventually lands them in South America. Amid inbred communities, erupting volcanoes, covert drug plants, and deathly parasites, an unlikely relationship develops between them, as do strange coincidences that cause the reader to suspect their meeting was not an accident. It is a story about how normal the forbidden can be.
My favorite – and most daring novel – is Quatro, which is due out in 2023. Similar to Meeting Eve, Quatro explores the journey of a protagonist who sets out to live a life of polyamory, determined that her relationships will not be confined by antiquated customs but guided by truth and consciousness. As she attempts to live this ideal, she faces the difficulties of veering away from tradition, experiences the struggles of holding steadfast to a belief, and discovers that love is both complicated and fragile, regardless of the structure in which it grows. Like all my novels, Quatro has a sense of mystery and the paranormal. The main character knows that one of her lovers is going to kill her. The reader knows this because the main character is telling the story from the future. But which of her lovers will kill her? The reader enjoys four non-traditional love stories and gets to guess “whodunnit” along the way.
But what about Two Truths, my readers ask. What happens to those characters? When can we see them again?
Honestly, I had never thought of anything past the last chapter of Two Truths. But my fans have inspired me, and satellite stories are on their way – novelettes that will give readers glimpses of the characters they love, before and after the year in which Two Truths takes place.
Regardless of whether I am writing about archaeological, sociological, or paranormal mysteries, all my stories are thrillers that question the status quo and inspire new possibilities. If you’d like to hear more about the ideas behind my books, check out my website and my YouTube channel, and follow my Facebook page.
Thank you, Dana, now, my review of Two Truths.
Mind reading, gods, gifts, truth, danger …
“Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow meets Dan Brown’s The Davinci Code”
After the mysterious death of her husband, Renee Morgan is determined to protect her three daughters, forcing her to face a history she has spent a lifetime avoiding.
Groomed by her father to join the most elite of secret societies, Brett knows she is destined for something great. But her ambition demands a high price.
Sara is ready to avenge her father at any cost. When she finds herself swept up in conspiracies and family secrets, her search for answers uncovers a primeval power.
Hadley watched her father die and now he won’t leave her alone. Guided by his ghost, she begins to experience memories of past lives.
As the journeys of Renee, Brett, Sara and Hadley converge, two Truths are revealed that change everything they knew about themselves and the world they live in.
Imagine a place where everything was connected and it all made perfect sense. Where all history, myth, legend and faith are joined. And the answer was The Truth.
At first, I thought this book wouldn’t be my thing. But it drew me in, via its beautiful descriptions and the creeping realisation that there was one fantastic story unfolding.
There’s a secret at the heart of this story, a society dedicated to keeping it and one family’s journey as they navigate the various paths fate has set out for them.
At its heart, it’s a glimpse of the way that one man’s decisions, taken over time, can be seen through multiple viewpoints and the ramifications that ensue. That’s not all there is to it but to tell you more would spoil the delight of finding how each piece fits together.
The way the plot unfolds is nothing less than brilliant. Each of the four women in the story (as well as the other people we meet on the way) is seeking the truth and has a logical reason for their position, whether it’s fear, protection, the desire for knowledge or pure revenge. Yet as the tale develops, we can see that they all lead to the same place.
The author cleverly mixes just the right amount of history, faith, mysticism and conspiracy into the search for the Truths of the title, and we experience all the characters emotions as they get ever closer to it. It’s such a perfect mix that it’s hard to tell where the facts end and the fiction begins.
A Recommended read.
You can find Two Truths here,
My thanks to this weeks guest for a great post. I hope you all enjoyed it.
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Have a good week,