I am thrilled to welcome my guest this week, a writer whose subject is absolutely fascinating – the very early inhabitants in the Americas. I can’t even begin to imagine the amount of research it takes to write each book. As new discoveries are made, it turns many of the facts we have been taught upside down as the truth is revealed.
I retired to Alaska, exquisite land which I had come to love. I heard the story of how Americans first came over the Bering land bridge and moved through the ice-free corridor to what is now the USA from which they continued south killing megafauna all the way through South America. I couldn’t “buy” the massive megafauna kill claims, but had no bone to pick with archaeologists until I began to research. Research showed my hunch on the megafauna was right, and, to my horror, so much that’s been taught is pure fantasy. I went ballistic! I turned to writing as a way to fight the fiction/fantasy that is being taught as fact—with fiction. I’m not credentialed to write non-fiction, and it already exists and has been done well. Oddly, with fiction I can reach a much wider group of people to deal with facts. So, I’ve given it my best effort.
First of all, I did five years of heavy research on the topic of the peopling of the Americas. That means seven days a week, exceptionally long hours, researching a journal an issue at a time—that type of research. It continues, shared on my Facebook author page (https://bit.ly/1MZ76gg). I wrote a tiny little book that is my western hemisphere population origin paradigm. It explains my view which Einstein summarized succinctly, “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the theory.” People have lived in the Americas far longer than anyone wants to admit. Unless camels (or some other pre-ice age animals) can carve, humans carved a gomphothere (four-tusked elephant) and a speared cat on a mammoth pelvis bone 250,000 years ago in Mexico. The carving was carved fresh, so that means the carving dates to the date of the bone. People who came to the Americas before the end of the ice age likely came from Asia, Pacific Islands and Aboriginal Australia, Africa, and France/Spain. This information is not being taught.
My books consist of a novel series, Winds of Change, on the peopling of the Americas before the ice age. There are five novels: Ki’ti’s Story, 75,000 BC, Manak-na’s Story, 75,000 BC, Zamimolo’s Story, 50,000 BC, Tuksook’s Story, 35,000 BC, and The SealEaters, 20,000 BC. They’re designed for adult readers though with a PG-type rating. Readership varies from elementary school to seniors. That holds true for all my current fiction. The novels show how the peopling of the Americas could have occurred. I shifted my novel series writing to a novella series, designed for young adults, but still read by a wide range of readers. The novella series focuses on specific, extremely old archaeological sites. The first, Freedom, 250,000 BC focuses on Valsequillo in Mexico where an amateur archaeologist found the carved bone mentioned above.
The second novella, Courage, 30,000 BC focuses on Pedra Furada in Brazil where some of the most vital and amazing art work in the Americas can be found. Ironically, I lost my courage in writing Courage. I used 30,000 BC knowing I should have used 48,000 BC as the date. There was so much fighting in the archaeological world over the date, I frankly got cold feet. I am in the process of having my publisher change the year from 30,000 to 48,000 BC. If I’m going to name a book Courage, you’d think I could show some! The novella in progress is Integrity, 130,000 BC about the Cerutti Mastodon find at San Diego in California. It should be out December 2018.
Every single novel and novella listed here has won an award, all are first place except Zamimolo’s Story, 50,000 BC. The year I competed that novel I also competed Tuksook’s Story, 35,000 BC. Only one could win first. I am updating the images of the awards. Not all appear here with awards affixed, because some were awarded as late as September 2018, when Courage, 30,000 BC won First Place Young Adult Fiction at the National Federation of Press Women for 2018. According to Grace Cavalieri, award-winning poet/playwright, book reviewer, host of The Poet and the Poem from Library of Congress, Matthews is America’s pre-eminent author of prehistoric fiction. George Steiner, quaternary geology and pleistocene cognitive archaeology expert, “Her stories are fascinating and the science behind them is cutting edge.”
This work is the most demanding, has the longest hours, and is the least financially rewarding of any work I ever did. I love it the most of all. There is a spark to life that comes when a writer and a reader connect in communication through fiction. There is no other comparable experience.
All books are in paperback and e-book. The novellas are also in audible form. My books are available at local bookstores, libraries, or Amazon
Thank you Bonnye for being my guest, and I am most impressed with your logo – you will have a lot of other writers thinking about getting one I’m sure.
Till next time, take care.