Thursday, December 9, 2010
Interview with Author Shirley Raye Redmond
“Thousands of European treasure seekers scoured the New World in search of untold riches. Some were lucky beyond their wildest dreams!”
Hello Shirley Raye. You are offering two books for give-away this week. Please tell us about Cities of Gold.
This title is part of Thomson Gale’s “Mysterious Encounters Series.” Kingdoms of power and great riches have long sparked the imaginations of people around the world. Over the centuries, adventurers have sought the lost city of Atlantis and the mysterious kingdom of Ophir, where King Solomon is said to have obtained the gold, gems, and ivory for his temple in Jerusalem. This book takes a look at both the fictional ones, such as Prester John’s legendary city and the real ones too, like the Aztec and Incan cities conquered by Spanish explorers Cortes and Pizarro. Both men became millionaires overnight—even after sending the required one-fifth of all the booty to the King of Spain. Pizarro also rewarded each of his foot soldiers with a bounty worth 90 pounds of gold and 180 pounds of silver.
The book is nonfiction aimed at young readers in 5th through 8th grades. However, I’ve had adult readers tell me they really learned a lot about long-lost treasure cities, and the men that hunt for them, including famous archeologist and explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett. He is said to be the real-life inspiration for the Indiana Jones character. In 1925, Fawcett led an expedition into the uncharted jungles of Brazil looking for what he called the lost Incan city of Z. He and his travel companions disappeared under mysterious circumstances. No one has ever seen or heard from them since.
Wow! This book even has a bit of mystery. Where did you get the inspiration for your book?
Actually, my editor suggested the topic, and wanted me to be sure to mention the Seven Cities of Cibola, El Dorado and Gran Paititi. Once I started researching, I realized there are many legendary cities of gold and treasure hunters still seeking them. In fact, when Hiram Bingham discovered Machu Picchu in Peru in 1911, he was hoping it was the long-lost Incan treasure city of Vilcapampa, but it wasn’t. Savvy seekers are now using satellite imaging from space to help them locate lost cities in the jungles. It’s really quite amazing.
You also have another book called Write a Marketable Children's Book in 7 Weeks. Tell us about it.
http://writechildrensbook.com Let me also invite your readers to visit my personal website too at www.readshirleyraye.com I have a book about the Cottingley fairy hoax being published by Random House in 2012 and one on the Oak Island Treasure Pit being released next year by Thomson Gale’s Kidhaven Press. I’ll post the covers as soon as they become available.
Those interested in her writing book, make sure you mention it. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
I’m embarrassed to say that I often make social blunders. Once I went on a tour of Greece many years ago. One evening, I slipped away from the group to explore a fascinating open-air food market in the city of Athens. I saw very few other women at all—mainly men. They were all so very friendly, talking and smiling and tugging at the sleeve of my bright red trench coat to get my attention. Some even pulled money out of their pockets and offered it to me. I thought they recognized that I was a foreigner and were suggesting that I exchange my American dollars for their Greek currency so I could buy stuff in the market. Not understanding a word of Greek, I just smiled and shook my head and kept going. Later, when I got back to the hotel and shared my adventure with our Greek tour guide, he laughed and said the men thought I was a prostitute, because only prostitutes would go out in public alone in Athens, wearing brightly colored clothes and hair uncovered. Boy, was my face red!!! As red as that bold red trench coat I’d been wearing!
Oh man! How scary! I bet you never went out alone again while in Greece. You’re a very independent and adventurous woman, aren’t you? This was fun getting to know you, Shirley Ray. For those who may not know, this author doesn’t go by Shirley. It’s strictly Shirley Ray. She had to remind me two times. I finally learned.