What prompted me to write an action story mixed with controversial historical facts started with my ever-growing interest in ancient history. Many years ago a family friend introduced me to Zecharia Sitchin who was extremely influential in changing people’s perception of Sumerian tablet text and their knowledge of the cosmos.
In my library currently, there are twelve of his books. Another author Graham Hancock who wrote Fingerprints of the Gods has five of his books also on the shelf beside Sitchin. They are followed by a myriad of books on similar topics of ancient civilizations.
But the book that influenced me most recently is titled 1421; The Year China Discovered the World, written by the late Gavin Menzies. Part of his hypothesis was on the Starfleet, possibly the largest in the world at the time, that was commanded by Admiral Zheng He. Gavin mentions the admiral traveled the globe and may have reached the Americas before Christopher Columbus. It was quite a story with mountains of research that was hard to overlook.
The book was a gift from Christopher Bird, a friend, who was also a fan of ancient history. On an eventful evening we discussed our mutual interest in the topic; it was fuelled with the best single malt our budget could afford. And as the evening progressed our favourite quote “scotch wisdom“ was coined by my wife Angela. Christopher mailed me the book a week later.
The other part of the story concerns William Fox and stems from a visit to Pelee Island with my wife Angela. We spent a week at a cottage, after driving to the ferry in our 1978 MGB roadster. With little to do but relax we took in the local museum where there were pictures on display and stories of the rum runners who used the island to deliver booze to the US from Canada during prohibition. The Midnight Fox was a speedboat that was indeed sliced into two by a US Coast Guard cutter while running illicit liquor. It was too compelling to let go of the idea since it was so Canadian and so true. I decided to blend both of these ideas into a story that spanned from Hong Kong to New York, Newfoundland, Saint-Pierre Island, and finally to Sydney, Nova Scotia.
More research was amassed on a summer trip when we drove to Ottawa and onto Montebello, before stopping in Saint-Agathe-de-Monts, in Québec for lunch at a restaurant that gets mentioned in the book.
Often visiting real-life locations adds realism to the story that otherwise could not have been possible through research. From the quaint village in the Laurentian mountains, we drove our Jaguar XK8 roadster to Montréal where part of the story also unfolds. We spent time enjoying the sights and sounds of downtown strolling along Sainte-Catherine Ouest which has been recognized as one of the world’s most developed and growing streets to shop. It’s also where my favourite bagel shop is located. The street is now undergoing a transformation to improve the dynamics.
My interest in ancient history has also been a motive to travel to some of these distant locations. Besides Canada, we have traveled to Mexico to the Yucatan peninsula to visit the Mayan ruins of Chichén Itzá and Tulum. We spent a week in private tours visiting cenotes and temples some even not open to the public. Later we traveled to Peru and onto Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca where we spent time on the floating islands of Uros and then on onto Sillustani and Sacsayhuaman.
The last tour took us to Greece, the Parthenon and Crete and the Minoan civilization ruins.
Then our cruise ship sailed across the Aegean Sea to Ephesus in Turkey, a Greek-Roman city founded in the 10th century BC that is spectacular, to say the least.
All in all traveling for story ideas or for the joy of adventure and knowledge is extremely rewarding. A lot of research can be utilized in a good storyline, it just takes your imagination.
Peter Pontsa can be contacted here: https://peterthomaspontsa.com/contact/