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Archive for July 10th, 2017

Title: THE RAID ON TROY
Author: Murray Lee Eiland Jr.
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 300
Genre: Light Fantasy / Historical Fiction / YA

The Greek raid on Troy is chronicled in the Iliad and the Odyssey. These poems are pillars of ancient literature and continue to be carefully studied. Homer, who lived in the 8th or 7th century BC, is credited as the author. The actual conflict has been dated from 1260-1180 BC or even earlier. The question is, how close is Homer’s account to real history?

In the Orfeo Saga volume seven there are some familiar characters from Homer. Their motivations, as well as their history, can be radically different. Memnon is a self-made man and a petty king who craves the fabled gold of Troy. His brother Menas is king of Sparta. They assemble a coalition to sack the city. Telemon, not eager to join the expedition, is moved to act after his daughter Elena is taken. He seizes the city of Mycenae and goes to Troy. Odysees might not be as clever or brave as the man described in Homer, but he joins the expedition out of greed. He soon meets Orfeo’s son, who is in search of his first real adventure. Orfeo is on the Trojan side, and has to face the assembled military might of Greece as well as Odysees cunning plans. The Greeks have Ajax, who they count on to defeat any foe in single combat. Can Telemon – now an old man – defeat the greatest Greek warrior and recover his daughter?

The Raid on Troy might not be any closer to real history than the ancient poems, but it does offer insights into what might form the basis of the stories.

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Excerpt:

Memnon knew the ship was hitting the beach. He heard the scraping of the hull against sand and

pebbles, and the angle of the deck changed as the prow rose higher. He had not seen the ship’s deck for days, nor had he been permitted to walk around on land for perhaps two years. Slaves on Theran ships were treated with about the same respect as sheep, only slaves could not even be eaten because of some Theran religious prohibition. Galley slaves were useful,but were neither expensive nor in short supply.

At age fourteen, Memnon had seen little else of the world, as he had been seized in a slaver raid as he and his brothers played on an unknown beach now well beyond remembering. He knew he was less than five years old at the time, and now he believed he was nearly fifteen, although no one had been interested in explaining the concept of birthdays to him. Memnon had learned virtually all of what he knew from other slaves in the orchards of Thera, where he had begun his working career by carrying buckets of water to the men who tended the trees and picked the fruit. He had been separated from the two older brothers seized at the same time, but recognized one of them as he was taken to his place at an oar on one of the warships the Therans used to exact tribute from various cities; Memnon had occasionally spoken with him when their different groups of oarsmen were allowed on deck

Memnon recognized that his brother burned with rage. Over time, Memnon found himself coming to understand its origin and nature. Although he could not recall much about his life before his abduction, he remembered a world with occasional comforts, and even times of celebration.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr Eiland is a psychiatrist by training, and has written about Near Eastern art and culture. His novels are set in the heroic past and feature fictional characters in a realistic matrix. He has a special interest in exploring how and why people lead. The books contain themes that are suitable for young adults who have an interest in history.

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Joe Bendoski studied psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human behavior, only to realize most the information never reach people, and when it did, rarely was it in a form that allowed for practical application. He started writing non-fiction, but soon came to understand how few people read that genre and began the difficult transition into fiction writing. His non-fiction works include; the Chemistry of Attraction and the Language of Emotion.

He worked as the head writer for the television show ‘Saved by Grace.’ After being frustrated with comments like “make this scene cheaper,” “What’s my motivation?”, and “Do we need this scene?” he decided to go in to literature.

His latest book is the thriller/espionage/conspiracy/historical novel, When the Sky Falls.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Would you call yourself a born writer?

No. I think writing is an incredibly complex skill that has to be developed. I also know that some writers pick up the craft just by reading, while other have to study directly. I’m the second kind.

What was your inspiration for When the Sky Falls?

I heard a podcast on the 1938 War of the Worlds scare, and it made me curious. One of the most interesting things to me was the conclusion that it could never happen again. That didn’t make sense to me, that’s not how real science reaches a conclusion, not only that but it happened again only six years later in Chile. Clearly, they got it wrong. I wanted to know what they missed

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Mass media persuasion is a big focus of the story, and it’s not subtle.

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Seven years. A lot of what was just learning how to write fiction, create characters, complicate them, write a setting that supports the emotional tone of the chapter. There was so much, and I’m still learning.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

I have my daily schedule in certain blocks, some for writing, some for marketing, but I shuffle them around based any immediate demands. I used to write more, but now that I’m marketing my books that takes a lot of time.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Answering the question of how it was all possible. How people have their fundamental beliefs about reality shifted in less than an hour? I spent years collecting pieces that all seemed relevant, but none actually answered the question outright.

What do you love most about being an author?

The first draft. Some days I hate writing it, but most of the time I get lost in the story, and it’s raw creation. It’s both calming and invigorating all at the same moment. I hate it when I’m done and know a lot of work needs to be put in to fix it, but during that first draft my imagination runs wild, and I love it.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self-publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I went indie with this one. On my first book, almost 8 years ago, I received a $40k advance, and 16% royalties on the back end. The offer I got for this book was $1,000 advance and 7% royalties on the back end. The indie market has cut such a big hole in traditional publishing that it’s not really worth it to pursue that avenue anymore. If you just want to write a single book and get it out there, traditional is a good way to go, but if you want to make a living at writing, indie is the new path.

Where can we find you on the web?

Joseph-bendoski.com is my website. You can also find me on Twitter @Jbendoski or my podcast on writing craft Start Writing. There is a fan page for me as an author, and I also run a Facebook group for my podcast. Since the podcast has started to take off, I have a huge backlog of Twitter messages and what not so it might take while for me to get to people who use that route. My website will connect people my email, and I’m really good and clearing that out each day.

 

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