Interview with K. Patrick Donoghue, Author of Priestess of Paracas
17 Dec 2019
What can you tell us about your new release, Priestess of Paracas?
While Priestess of Paracas is book 4 in the Anlon Cully Chronicles series, it is actually a stand-alone mystery. The storyline does draw upon events that occurred in the previous three books, but I’ve made sure to include all the background necessary to enjoy Priestess of Paracas. So, new readers to the series will be able to enjoy the book as much as devoted fans.
As is the case with the other books in the Anlon Cully series, Priestess of Paracas explores unexplained archaeological mysteries. The most notable mystery examined in the story is the Paracas Candelabra, a massive geoglyph carved into a Peruvian coastal hillside roughly two thousand years ago. No one knows who created it or why. No one knows what the Candelabra symbol stands for and no one knows how the creators petrified the sand to keep the symbol from blowing away in the ocean winds or crumbling under the force of frequent earthquakes in the area. Through the plot of the story, I offer speculative, fictional answers to explain these mysteries (and others).
What or who inspired you to become an author?
For me, I think a better question would be: what inspired me to write this series. The short answer is I’ve always been fascinated by the discoveries of unusual archaeological artifacts that seem to challenge consensus views of the history of humankind. The stories in this series provide me an opportunity to imagine solutions to these ancient mysteries. I find that fun and inspiring.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Relative to this series, there are three books that were responsible for sparking my interest in unexplained archaeological phenomena. The first two, Worlds In Collision and Ages in Chaos, were written by a psychologist named Immanuel Velikovsky. In these books, Velikovsky explores great flood mythologies from around the world and concludes they represent retellings of actual events. The third book is Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock. In this book, Hancock examines mythologies and physical evidence of a mysterious, advanced prehistoric culture.
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
George R.R. Martin. First question: when are you going to finish your next GoT book?
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
First and foremost, writing provides me with an opportunity to stretch my imagination.
What is a typical day like for you?
One part family, one part writing, one part marketing, one part hiking.
What scene in Priestess of Paracas was your favorite to write?
I’d love to tell you, but it would ruin an important twist in the story! In general, however, I enjoyed writing the dream sequences that appear throughout the story. My main protagonist in the story discovers clues to the Paracas-related mysteries through a series of mystical dreams.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
When my wife and I began to raise a family, she bought a poster that now hangs in our kitchen (see below). I can’t say I religiously live by these rules, but I try.
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