Friday, March 25, 2011

Interview with author Roland Yeomans PART 2

Author Roland Yeoman of Writing In The Crosshairs joins us again today. We are talking about his new ebook release on Amazon--THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.

 What inspired you to write a Fable style story with a Bear as the main character?

Roland :
I usually write in the first person. It involves the reader on a deep, empathic level.

But when I wanted to write a novel based in part on my mother's tales while I lay ill with double pneumonia, I knew it had to be done in the style of a Lakota storyteller, squatting in front of the campfire, spinning his tale to wide eyes and curious ears.

Third person it had to be. But the unique third person of a seasoned storyteller, painting with words a picture of different shades :

One level simple adventure for the children.
Another level speaking to the loneliness and alienation felt by all teens.
Another level singing of the quest each young adult undertakes to find love and meaning.
Yet another level whispering to all of us as we face that last great unknown : death and what, if anything, lies beyond.

Why a bear?

First, because my mother told her tales to a fearful and ill boy, using the bear as hero. I began to see the hulking shape of Hibbs in the shadows at the foot of my bed ... and I was comforted.

Second, The Grizzly bear has always been part of Native American Indian history; for as long as Native American Indians have been around, so has the big beast.

The big beast showed gentleness, but could also be fierce. All in all, the bear was a magnificent creature that they respected.They knew a mother bear would fight to protect her cubs, just like any mother would do. She could also be gentle and quiet, however, and she was just as good a hunter as the Indians.

Also Native American Indians regarded the grizzly bear with awe and respect. That awe which is so important to a story and to a reader, young or old.

Early hunting tribes noticed that these bears had very complex behaviors. Many native tribes thought of the bear as a "god".

American Indians saw that these grizzlies were large and very strong animals that could move quickly in spite of their size.

It's no wonder that these magnificent animals would become the center of Indian legends. Often found in Indian paintings and engraved in jewelry, the grizzly was a sign of strength.

The grizzly bear stood for many meanings and rituals among the American Indians.

The Indian Bear Dance was considered the Ghost Dance, bringing back the ghosts of their ancestors while helping the grizzly bear fall asleep for its winter hibernation.
Ancestors join in the dance in their spirit form while the bears are lulled to sleep. After the dance is complete, another Dance is celebrated, called the Circle of Life Dance.
This dance will be held around a burning log fire until the fire burns out. The Native Indians will dance, sing and chant for warmth and light from the sun during the time the grizzly sleeps.

It is important to note that Hibbs is the only grizzly that does not hibernate in the winter. Why is that? Ah, that is a secret that to which only reading my book will give you a hint.

How do the lessons of Lakota legends differ from the ancient Celtic ones?

Roland :
The Celtic heroes and legends are often fierce, prideful men and godlings. Take Cernunos :
The "Cernunnos" type being in Celtic iconography is often portrayed with animals, in particular the stag and also frequently associated with the ram-horned serpents. He is often described as a "peaceful god of nature and fruitfulness". But is also associated with coins and wealth.

In my novel, I had his nature perverted and twisted by the Adversary of All Life, the Gray Bear, until all that was left inside him was a wild lust for control and power.

Then, there is the Dagda. Irish tales depict the Dagda as a figure of power, armed with a spear. Again pride of arms of strength. Not surprisingly, he turns out only to be a mask worn by the Gray Bear.

On the other hand, Lakota legends and myth praise humility, compassion, healing, bravery, and honor. It is not that the Lakota do not appreciate wealth or material possessions, we just do not measure ourselves or others by those things.

 I thought your use of the ancient myth that the Sidhe were those angels who were undecided in the great war in Heaven in your story was very creative and frankly, cool. How did Hibb's encounter with the Sidhe change his path?

Roland :
The Turquoise Woman, who first met Hibbs far in the past as a grown bear, grew to love him as a cub later on when one of her plans to re-introduce the Whyte race backfired. She stole a human baby from a dimension beyond the mirror barrier. In him, she would bring the Whyte race back into being.
But you cannot trick the Great Mystery. The baby was transformed in her arms into a grizzly cub. And The Turquoise Woman knew she had brought this young infant to its death that she had seen far in the past. She determined to train the cub, mold him, strengthen him, and then to hide him in the wonders of Eire.
When the adult Hibbs saves the Sidhe, Leandra Dagda, The Turquoise Woman realizes he was bringing his own doom upon himself.

Destiny is a fearsome force to fight.

 Why did you choose the title "Answer" for God and "Question" for Lucifer and call it the War Between Question And Answer?

Roland :
One of Lucifer's first words in the Garden is "Has God really said?" He asks questions, not for truth, but to make us doubt ourselves and our worth.
Why is it "always inevitable for answer to triumph over question"?

Roland :
The Answer is the Light inside our souls that doubts wants to douse. And that is why Answer will always win. For even the smallest candle casts back the heavy blanket of dark night.

Life will always trump death. Without life, death would cease to exist. But life can roll on merrily without death. And in a realm where no shadow ever falls, life will do just that.

Ask Hibbs.

Thought provoking stuff! I've enjoyed learning more about you and your book. Thanks for sharing yourself with us. (=

Go to Amazon and get your own copy of Roland's book-- THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.

If you don't have an ereader--no problem! Just click the link below and get Kindle for PC for free!

Download FREE


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Wow. I really love the illustrations and designs you picked for our interview. They really added a sense of the Native American mythos blended in with the mystique of the Celtic legends.

And thanks so much for putting up the link for the free "Kindle for PC" of which so many are unaware. Kindle offers so many free books that this application makes of your computer or laptop a fantastic library at your fingertips.

And your questions were thoughtful and perceptive. I enjoyed how you designed and arranged this whole post. You are awesomely creative.

The adult Hibbs just nodded knowingly and winked your way. His cub self had a great time at your party, by the way!

You have made this a totally enjoyable visit! Thanks so much, Roland

Jo Schaffer said...

(= Thanks! Happy to do it, friend. Give Hibbs a big bear hug for me. (;

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Jo, Hi, Roland,

You took a lot of care in choosing how to tell this story.

It is so important as a writer to showcase his/her tale in the proper way.

Well done, Roland,

Michael Di Gesu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nas Dean said...

Hi Roland,

Great reading how this story came about. Wish you all the best!

Hibb's animal magnetism is so potent, here I come!

Donna Hole said...

Deep insights about the storyline.

I'm over half way through the novel, and just getting to all those deeper meanings.

I must say I did enjoy the concept of Question and Answer in the great battle. It somehow seems fitting.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks, Michael, for appreciating the amount of research, time, and imagination I put into THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS. It means a lot.

Nas : It's amazing isn't it how much creativity we put into our writing dreams? Hibbs' magnet has fizzled. He needs a couple of aspirins!

Hi, Donna, I'm still at work. But I wanted to say thanks for reading and sticking with THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS. I thought the concept of Question versus Answer would offend the fewest people in talking about the revolution in Heaven. Have a great weekend, Roland

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hi y'all! Jo, I can't believe I wasn't already following you, but I am now. Roland, wow. I've been gone so long and missed so much. Jo, great interview. Roland, man. Great answers. You have so much knowledge and wisdom that it constantly amazes me. I'm definitely going to have to download that free reader and get to reading!

Well done, both of you! ~ that rebel, Olivia

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks, Olivia, for following Jo. She has a great blog. I hope you enjoy Hibbs' adventure in ancient Ireland and mystic Avalon.

Have a great weekend, Roland

L'Aussie said...

Once more, great to hear more Roland. I left the comment below at the previous post about the pics, but of course I meant this one. Thanks for so much more and in such a poetic way.


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Denise : It's always good to see your name among the comments. Have a great weekend, Roland

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Jo, thank you so very much for being such a delightful hostess with flair and creativity to spare. You made these last two days very pleasant. Hibbs rumbles his thanks, too! Roland

The Words Crafter said...

Hey Jo! Hey Roland! I'm tired and sleepy and wanna curl up with Hibbs for a while.

Deep stuff here, and very interesting. I wish there had been more Irish and Native American mythology available when I was in school.....I've learned lots reading Roland's blog, and more reading this interview. Thanks!!!

Rose Transpose said...

A really nice interview! I'm always interested in legends and folktales. Lots of great stuff.
- Nicholas