Sunday, December 16, 2012
Welcome Author Scott Harper
"Quintana Roo, Yucatan"
Blurb: Rikki Breitenberg is an archeologist in charge of the first team of American documenters allowed by the Mexican government to explore newly discovered Mayan ruins in the Yucatan. However, shortly after their arrival in Mexico, things go awry. Treacherous jungle, inclement weather and dangerous wildlife are only the beginning.
When Rikki and her team run afoul of members of an ancient cult devoted to the worship of a bloodthirsty god, things take a terrifying turn for the worse. During their struggle for survival, the team makes a startling discovery that may rewrite the whole of human history. Will they survive to bring their amazing find back to civilization?
Excerpt: “How much farther?” Constance asked, leaning over to see the small display.
Rikki studied the screen briefly, frowning at what she saw. “It looks to me as if we’re moving away from the site.”
“What?” Constance asked, leaning closer. “You’re right. It looks like we’re veering steadily away from it at an angle.”
Rikki heard anger rising in the other woman’s tone as she spoke. She held up a hand for silence and turned to call for Alamar.
“Si?” the guide asked as he stood and started toward her.
Holding up the GPS, Rikki said, “This red triangle here is the site of the ruins we’re here to explore. That’s where we’re supposed to be going.” She held the unit closer to him and went on. “This green dot shows our present location. It looks like we’re moving away the site, not toward it.”
Alamar peered critically at the little screen for a moment before laughing happily. “You rely too much on your technology and not enough on personal knowledge. You see, due to the position of the bridge we crossed and due to the position of the one we have yet to cross, the one I told you about earlier, we are forced to take a…how it is said? A less-than-direct route? Is that right?”
Rikki nodded, waiting for him to continue.
“Were we to ford rivers, rather than using bridges, we would be taking a straighter path. But it is not good to go into the water.” His grin grew as he added, “As you have seen, the crocodiles like the water. Because of them, we must use bridges. Because of the placement of the bridges, we are taking this less-direct route, but we will get there.”
Shaking her head, Rikki held up the GPS unit again, pointing at several tiny markers displayed on the screen. “No,” she said, “there are bridges marked here. Why aren’t we using those?”
“Is the bridge we crossed earlier on your little machine?”
Rikki glanced at the display. “No.”
Alamar nodded, looking as if he had expected that response. “There are many small bridges built by locals in this area. Most will not, I think, show up on your device. By making use of them, we can avoid harder country and get where we are going more quickly than if we used the bridges marked there.” He pointed at the GPS. “We could take that route, but that it would be longer because of the slower pace we’d be forced into. You are in a hurry; I try to get you there quick as I know how.” His grin grew larger still as he reiterated, “You rely too much on your technology.”
Still smiling, Alamar turned his back on her and trudged through the mud, returning to the porters. Rikki stared after him. She considered arguing further, but spared herself the exercise in futility.
“I don’t believe a word of what he just told you,” Constance said quietly.
“Neither do I,” Rikki agreed, still staring after the guide.
“What do we do?” Constance asked. “Should you radio Titus? You’re to contact him periodically with progress reports, anyway.”
Sighing, unsure, Rikki turned to face her. “Help me keep an eye on him; on all of them.” She took in Peter, Oscar, Hank and Sean with her gaze. “All of you, keep an eye out for anything odd, all right?”
Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Quintana-Roo-Yucatan-ebook/dp/B00A5WKT40
Bio: Scott Harper is the author of more than 30 published short stories and several novels. There has been talk, from several fronts, about turning his fourth novel, "Predators or Prey?", the first book in his Wendy Markland series, into a live-action project. Interest has also been expressed by a film producer in turning his eighth novel, "Quintana Roo, Yucatan", into a live-action film.
Harper graduated from Marysville High School in 1993 and began screenwriting in 2007, after the publication of several short stories and novels, and has worked on projects for James Tucker Productions and 11th Dimension Films. He is currently involved with several projects, covering literature, film and comic books.
1. How long have you been writing?
I've been writing since I was a young child. I've always loved to read. Before learning to read, I'm told I used to insist on being read to on a very regular basis. "The Tale of Peter Rabbit", I'm told, was my favorite story! Since learning to read and write as a child, the only thing I've ever truly wanted to do for a career is to write. When I was around 5-years-old I had a plan to open my own library and planned to write each and every book in my library myself!
2. What is your favorite genre to write?
Most of my work falls into the fantasy, paranormal or horror genres. My most recent release, my eighth novel, "Quintana Roo, Yucatan", is somewhat of a departure from that. While "Quintana Roo, Yucatan" has some science fiction and paranormal elements woven into it, the book is mostly straight-forward action/adventure. As for picking one single favorite genre in which to work, that's a tough call. Mostly, it depends upon what mood I'm in at a given time. Much as I sometimes like the no-holds-barred creative aspects of fantasy, in which I can create whole worlds and races, that can also be a major undertaking. Sometimes it's just exhausting. During those times, working on something grounded in the real world, even if that project has fantasy or paranormal aspects, can be much easier and more relaxing.
3 What are you working on now?
Though "Quintana Roo, Yucatan" just came out, my next book, my first-ever novella, will be out soon. It's called "Quagmire Fen". I've gone from one extreme to the other. "Quintana Roo, Yucatan" is the longest thing I've written to date. It's a little over 105,000-words-long. It's 564-pages-long. On the other hand, "Quagmire Fen" is only a bit over 18,000-words-long. It's short length is why you'll be seeing it out so soon after "Quintana Roo, Yucatan". Umbral Press, who published "Quintana Roo, Yucatan", will also be publishing "Quagmire Fen". The novella is set in the modern world, but is a dark, violent paranormal/horror/drama.
4.When you start a new story do you begin with a character or plot?
It can go either way. When I started work on my Wendy Markland series - "Predators or Prey?", "Necromancer" and "Vindicated" released of that to date; that series is also the basis of an up-coming, on-going comic book series called "Wendy Markland: Chronicles Nocturnum" - I had been wanting to write something revolving around a monster hunter for sometime. However, I lacked a main character. One day, out of nowhere, Wendy Markland popped into my head and introduced herself to me. The pieces fell into place and things started to move. Currently, I have a character in my head who is very, very slowly taking his time and letting me learn bits about him. The more I discover about this character, the more elements for a plot involving him are coming together. It's more frustrating this way. I want to know who this character is. As it stands, I only learn a tiny bit about him once in a great while. Most of the time, it's as if he's hiding from me.
5.Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What inspired it?
The idea for "Quintana Roo, Yucatan" morphed as things went along. The initial idea for it came to me several years ago while I was re-reading the novel "The X-Files: Ruins" by Kevin J. Anderson. I was a huge fan of "The X-Files" for most of the show's run and have a collection of novels and comic books based on the show, as well. Anyway, there was one brief scene, very late in the book, that sparked my original idea for "Quintana Roo, Yucatan". The initial concept would have involved a plot that was almost purely paranormal horror. It just didn't work for me, though. The more I thought about it, the less I liked that idea. There were a few elements that just wouldn't work when looked at logically. I toyed with that concept for a long time and just couldn't make it work. As I went though that process, other ideas came to me and bits, pieces and new ideas fell into place. Gradually, every bit of the original paranormal element for "Quintana Roo, Yucatan" ended up being dropped and replaced by a story that was pure action/adventure. During the writing of the outline, the science fiction and paranormal elements that are in the final, published, book were woven in.