Friday, March 7, 2014

Radio Hope & Celebrate

Today, I'm happy to have Sean McLachlan's guest post about Egypt and its connection to his new book, Radio Hope!  Take it away, Sean!


Image from Dennis Jarvis via Wikimedia Commons
Ancient Egypt and the Apocalypse
By Sean McLachlan

Don’t worry about the title, I’m not about to start talking about how aliens built the pyramids and left a secret hieroglyphic code predicting the end of the world.  If you want New Age archaeology, watch cable TV.

Instead I’m going to tell you about the first time my mind was blown and how that indirectly affected my writing a post-apocalyptic novel twenty-four years later.  For some reason the Discovery Channel didn’t want to do a documentary about that.

Back when I was twenty-year-old archaeology student, I visited Egypt. I spent a wonderful month traveling up the Nile seeing every ancient site I could along the way.  The most impressive by far was the temple complex at Karnak.  At its heart is the Grand Hypostyle Hallway in the Precinct of Amun-Ra.  It’s a forest of towering columns all covered in hieroglyphics.  I sat in there the entire morning, awed, watching the light and shadows move over the ancient writing.

I’ve been to hundreds of archaeological and historical sites since then, but that place has always remained vivid in my memory.  Its grandeur, its mystery, its sheer size, all made a permanent impression.

In my post-apocalyptic novel Radio Hope, the action takes place barely a century after the fall of civilization, and yet that civilization seems almost as remote to my characters as ancient Egypt seems to us.  Only the very old had grandparents who remembered when cars sped down highways and the skies were full of airplanes.  Only a few settlements have electricity and virtually no one has seen a functioning computer.  In fact, most younger people think all the stories of a global communication network that brought libraries and movies into people’s homes are just fairy tales.  Sure, the Old Times were great, but the people were only human, not miracle workers.

And yet, there’s something magical about the ruins from the Old Times.  In this new toxic world the largest “city” has only three thousand people, while the ruins of the Old Times looked like they could house tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands.  Stories that the bigger cities had populations in the millions are exaggerations, of course.

And what will the great-grandchildren of my characters think?  By then all the computers will be dead, the photovoltaic panels degraded, the old magazines all faded away.  How much more mythical will those old ruins seem then?  If they wander through the rubble of London or Los Angeles, will they even recognize that human beings had built these great cities?

Maybe they’ll think up aliens to explain it all.  It will be a post-apocalyptic version of New Age archaeology.  At least there won’t be TV shows about it.


Sean McLachlan is an archaeologist turned writer who is the author of several books of fiction and history. Check him out on his blog Midlist Writer.


Blurb:  
In a world shattered by war, pollution and disease. . .
A gunslinging mother longs to find a safe refuge for her son.
A frustrated revolutionary delivers water to villagers living on a toxic waste dump.
The assistant mayor of humanity's last city hopes he will never have to take command.
One thing gives them the promise of a better future--Radio Hope, a mysterious station that broadcasts vital information about surviving in a blighted world. But when a mad prophet and his army of fanatics march out of the wildlands on a crusade to purify the land with blood and fire, all three will find their lives intertwining, and changing forever.

BUY LINK:  AMAZON



CELEBRATE THE SMALL THINGS

This week I'm celebrating:

1) I only wrote 2k on my WIP this week *facepalm* but 2k is better than nothing, right?  And there's always next week to try, try again.
2) I finished a guest blog post for Tara Chevrestt's blog Book Babe.  She does a special feature every week on a strong heroine from a book. So if you have a book with a strong heroine, TARA WANTS YOU to write a piece about her.  For more details, go here: Book Babe: Seeking Strong is Sexy Heroines for 2014.
3) A lovely 5-star review popped up on Amazon from Lori at Contagious Reads Reviews.  Normally, I don't crow about my reviews here, but since I just did a HUGE read-for-review giveaway on Library Thing, and Lord knows what will be coming down the pike in the next few weeks *cowers in the corner* I'm going to celebrate this great review now!

Do you think an author should read reviews on their book?  What about strong heroines -- do you write them or like them in the books you read?



This post is part of VikLit's blog hop, Celebrate the Small Things. To be part of this blog hop, all you have to do is follow the link and put your name on the Mr.Linky list, and then be sure to post every Friday about something you're grateful  for that week.  It can be about writing or family or school or general life.  This is the funnest and easiest blog hop ever! 

47 comments:

Tammy Theriault said...

I heart sean!! he has been everywhere and always has the most knowledge of things I have no clue about! hugs to lexa and a big rub to the eye!

Weekend-Windup said...

Enjoyed reading your post. Nice to hear about the archaeologist.
Happy Week end!!

Medeia Sharif said...

2K is better than nothing. :)

Great post. That's how people would look like at big structures in those conditions.

Little Gothic Horrors said...

Oh, gotta love a strong heroine! Absolutely! :)

Kate Larkindale said...

Strong heroines are the best! And I think you should only read your reviews if you're tough enough to take the bad ones and shrug them off. If not, then maybe it's better not to read any of them....

Don't sweat the 2K. It's still more than I've done all month!

Sean McLachlan said...

Thanks for having me, Lexa! Don't sweat the word count. If you do 2,000 words a week, that's 110,000 words in a year!

Heather Musk said...

2000 words in the week is fine. They all count in the end. You've done more than I have this week ...

joss said...

Another book for my to read list :) 2000 words is fine. So don't worry. I always used to worry when I had a low word count for the week which was often, but then out of the blue I would always have a few awesome weeks that would more than make up for it. Just remember something is better than nothing xx

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sean, never say never on the television show.
I imagine that's how people would look at our massive cities. They'd look at skyscrapers and wonder how we did it.
Enjoy the review, Lexa! Giveaways can bring weird ones, but they could be awesome as well.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Wonderful post, Sean! The idea that entire libraries could be delivered to a small device in your home was "science fiction" when we were children! I can imagine that in a future where this technology was lost, it would become mythology. That's why, when I watch Ancient Aliens (and okay, I sometimes do), I always think that aliens are a lot less likely than the idea that ancient people were just a heck of a lot smarter and more advanced than we think.

Julie Flanders said...

Sean's book sounds so fascinating.
And huge congrats on the review! You deserve to crow a bit. :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Sean's book does sound amazing! Hell, yes, read your reviews. And congratulations!!

Stephen Hayes said...

This sounds like an interesting topic. I love stories like this.

Jessica Lawson said...

Cool post and cool-sounding book!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I can't stop staring at that huge cannon.

Suzanne Furness said...

Any progress is good and worth celebrating. Happy weekend, Lexa.

Jennifer Kreft said...

Love strong heroines! There can't possibly be enough of them!

shelly said...

Loved your guest poster today and his book blurb. I rewrote 3 chapters this week. I'm feeling a face palm, too.

Heather Holden said...

2K is definitely better than nothing! Also, congrats on the review! Praise like that never fails to brighten up the day. :)

Cathy Keaton said...

Radio Hope has a really cool concept, one I've thought of before. Great idea for a book!

I only wrote around 2,400 words on my WIP this week, so don't feel so bad. I'm just going slow right now so as to pick up speed later on. And, definitely celebrate those 5-star Amazon reviews! That is really awesome, Lexa!

Ava Quinn said...

I'm enjoying Sean's archaeology perspective. Very interesting stuff.

And yes, Lexa, 2k is definitely better than nothing!!

I like to think I write strong heroines. My current one is transient pool hustler. But I think I'll be too chicken to read any future reviews I might get. Bawk!

Ava Quinn said...

And congratulations on such a great review!!

Leandra Wallace said...

I love Sean's author photo! Something about the angle and that long barrel is so trippy. =) Yay for adding words and good reviews!

DMS said...

It was awesome to read about Sean's most memorable moment- I could easily picture it (though I am sure with my limited knowledge I didn't do it justice). His book definitely caught my interest and I can't wait to read it!

Congrats on being spotlighted for your strong heroine. I love strong female leads. I know it can be hard to read review and I read mixed things about reading them, but so far- I do read what people say. Happy writing!
~Jess

Rhonda Albom said...

Sean's book sounds cool, as does Egypt. It still sits near the top of my bucket list. I will get there one day. If I ever get a book finished, I am sure I will read the reviews, even if I am advised not too.

Shah Wharton said...

Loving the sound of Sean's book. Regarding the strong heroine - I hate with a passion unrealistic 'kickass' females. They are like boring robots to me and there are so many of them in urban fantasy. I want heroines to be real, have weaknesses as well as strengths, and to illustrate strength after internal struggle. I think this is because I don't relate to highly confident individuals, so I feel detached form those characters. And being detached form the lead character is never good! But I do realise many love kickass, so perhaps I'm in the minority?

Best of luck with the reviews, the week ahead's wordcount, and good luck to Sean for the book launch. X

shahwharton.com

Sean McLachlan said...

Cathy: Whoops beat you to it. You can always write HOPE TV!

Shah: Unrealistic kickass males are boring too. Even Jayne from Firefly had depth. Annette has layers to her, although being tough is how she managed to survive all this time. Pretty much anyone still standing by page 100 is tough.

Donna Volkenannt said...

Great post, Sean. What an amazing adventure for a 20-year-old student. I love your description of "the light and shadows move over the ancient writing." Very vivid and evocative.

D.G. Hudson said...

Very interesting, Sean, spending a month on the Nile River, exploring old ruins. That would be one of my dream trips. . . I like hearing how an author gets his ideas. You let your percolate a bit, and voila!

Thanks for hosting Sean, Lexa!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Sounds like a good read. Best to Sean. And congrats on all them words, Lexa. you go girl!

Steven said...

Interesting-sounding book! As some people say, some weeks you eat the bear and other weeks the bear eats you. I figure if you're making forward progress on your WIP, you're headed in the right direction!

JeffO said...

I agree, the book sounds very interesting! And yes, Lexa, 2K is better than no K!

Milo James Fowler said...

Very cool premise -- and 2K is nothing to sneeze at, Lexa. Anonymous once said, "The worst stuff you write is always better than the best stuff you don't." And that goes for word counts, too.

Nigel G. Mitchell said...

Sounds like a great book. That whole "the past is lost" reminds me of Futurama. And Milo's right, 2K is a great achievement.

Liz Fichera said...

Radio Hope sounds very intriguing. Good luck, Sean!

And I wish I could say that I wrote 2K last week. Go, you! :)

Guilie Castillo said...

Sounds like a great read--best of luck with it, Sean! Visiting from the April A-to-Z Challenge and The A-Z Theme Reveal -- looking forward to your April posts :)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a dismal future world. I must read the book to see what happens. Congratulations, Sean, and best of luck to you.

2K sounds good to me. I doubt I wrote that many words. I don't keep count. It's too depressing. :)

Have a super week.

cleemckenzie said...

I loved reading about how Sean held onto his memory of those ancient buildings, and then used that idea in his own novel years later. For me Archeologists are right up there on a platform with librarians. Their work fascinates me.

Congrats on your review!!!! You're allowed bragging rights. Glad you did.

Sean McLachlan said...

Thanks everyone!

Lady Lilith said...

Egypt is a great setting for a book. I am with you when it comes to its archeology and architecture. Nothing comes close... although maybe ancient Roam.

Georgina Morales said...

Radio Hope sounds like a fantastic book! I'll be checking it out for sure.

2k are still 2k you didn't have before, so kudos for you Lexa. You also manage to be a consistent blogger and help others in the process. My hat's off to you. I'm finding it very hard to find inspiration for my blog but I always enjoy reading what you prepare for us. You are a great inspiration!

Jocelyn Rish said...

I'm so jealous of Sean getting to visit all those ancient sites, and how wonderful that he used the experience to inspire his fiction.

Hey 2K words is 2K more than I wrote this week, so you're doing awesome in my book! :-)

Kelly Steel said...

What a wonderful life experience. And his book sounds so awesome!

Congratulations on the release!

klahanie said...

Hi human, Lexa,

Wow, that's amazing and Sean's book is riveting. I just has a Pharaoh of this article. Sean is all over the place. 2K on your WIP? I have no idea what that means. Actually, you do very well for a human, Lexa. And once again, nice one, human, Sean.

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! :)

Kim Van Sickler said...

I've often wondered what we are creating in our lives that will withstand the test of time. One of the most powerful images from my youth was the final scene of Planet of the Apes when Charlton Heston stares up at the half buried Statue of Liberty and realizes he's been flailing around a much-changed Earth all along. So is our contribution going to be a pile of useless computerized parts? Anyway the book sounds great. Good luck with it, Sean. And Lexa, congrats on your glowing review. I don't necessarily believe authors who say they NEVER look at their reviews. I say read a sampling of them. It's good to know what your audience thinks about your work.

LD Masterson said...

The post-civilization world is always fascinating to consider. Radio Hope sound intriguing. Best of luck, Sean.

Strong heroines? Absolutely. And never scoff at 2K. That's 2K more than you had at the start of the week.

Jen Ryland/YA Romantics said...

I have always dreamed of going to Egypt. I love the idea of a post-apocalyptic story set there.
Should authors read their reviews? I think that depends. If an author can really, truly accept the idea that no book is universally loved and accept the reviews with a grain of salt and a sense of humor, I say go for it. However, if an author knows that they are sensitive to criticism and worry that it might shake their confidence, then I'd recommend they ask a critique partner to read the reviews and see if there is any valuable feedback in there. Sometimes criticism gets inside your head and it's hard to get past it and keep writing.
Congrats on the rave review -- well deserved :)
Jen @ YA Romantics

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