Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meet Hibbs, The Bear with Two Shadows

From Amazon: "In a land just beyond your mirror lies a realm few discover. It is a magical, dangerous dimension. There lurks your darkest nightmares and your fondest hopes.

For nearly two thousand winters there, the seasons have flowed inevitably one into another. Life is as it always has been. The Huron war with the Iroquois, the Commanche with the Lakota, and the Apache with everyone.

Across the great waters, the Mongul storm the great wall of Chin. The samurai of Nippon invade Indus. And the vast Collisium lies in ruins, overgrown with vines and olive trees.

The deer and bear roam the deserted villages of Gaul. And the lonely wind whispers through the towering monoliths of Stonehenge. The race called Whyte is not even a memory. Except to Estanatlehi, The Turquoise Woman, once named Gaia, Goddess of the Earth, by the People she alone remembers.

All of which means exactly nothing to the young bear Hibbs. For as long as he can remember, he has been raised by The Turquoise Woman, whom he simply calls GrandMother.

Trained by her, hunted by the Lakota, accompanied by the strange hawk, Little Brother, Hibbs has happily ambled from mountain to desert to forest, even sometimes across the great waters.

Often he has asked GrandMother why she has led him to so many different lands. The answer has always been : Because a moving target is harder to hit.

He thinks it is a joke. It is not. He is hunted by more than the Lakota. He is being hunted by a being now known as the Gray Bear, though that has not always been his name.

Hibbs is the unknowing key to rescuing the race once called Whyte from oblivion. For that very purpose the Turquoise Woman has raised and trained him. But now she repents of her actions.

She has grown to love the young bear. And for the Whyte race to live, Hibbs must die.

So she has hidden him in the ancient land of Eire, home of all manner of strange beasts and wonders, ruled by the stag-being Cernunnos. Here she hopes she can cause Hibbs to be lost among so many fearsome creatures.

It is a vain hope.

Hibbs, large of heart, bold of spirit, cannot see pain without trying to help. He has become a healer. And heal he will do no matter how much Cernunnos protests.

And protest the tyrant does -- with his vast army of Darklings. To survive, Hibbs and Little Brother must escape, using a mysterious construct called a Sidhe Mound.

Estanatlehi sees her plan to save Hibbs further unravel as the bear and hawk find themselves in Avalon, now being bloodied by an eon-long civil war.

There, in the crystal and gold palace of Caer Wydr, Hibbs interrupts the dark ritual, Diatheke, setting the race called Whyte a step closer to their destiny and himself into a desperate struggle of spirit with the Gray Bear."

One day, less than a year ago, a writer named Roland Yeomans visited my blog and left a comment that touched and delighted me. I hastily clicked over to his blog, Writing in the Crosshairs, to read his entry in the blogfest through which he had found me.

What I read brought tears to my eyes. First, because I'll never in a million years be able to write as beautifully as Roland. He portrays even unsavory characters in such a light that you can't help but connect with them, feel for them, love them. And his main characters? I'd marry 'em.

Now we have Hibbs, the Bear with Two Shadows, who was conceived in a icy-cold apartment as Roland's Lakota mother spun tales for her sick son. Beautiful, poignant, exquisite. These are all words I would use to describe Roland's writing. Sprinkle in humor, wit and a lot of heart and you have the makings of an iconic bestseller. Tolkien, move over.

Roland was kind enough to grant me an interview as he is making the rounds to promote his new e-book. You can't beat the price: $1.99 to download. If you don't have an e-reader, you can download a free app here. Then download the book on Amazon here.

Ready. Set. GO! First off, thank you, Roland, for stopping by. I just have a couple of quick questions, then I'll let you and Hibbs get on with your tour.

First, what is the one thing writers lose sight of, and shouldn't?
"Writing is not all about me --

not even about you --
it is about the readers out there.
They wander into their favorite bookstore, hoping to find a novel to knock their socks off.
Different things will do that of course.
Adolescents hope to find a novel that speaks to their desires and questions, hoping to find a few answers that make sense of a world that we adults have come to realize often makes no sense at all.
A middle manager might want fast-paced action.
A disillusioned woman might want to find a novel that whispers real romance between two lonely adults is still possible
In short they all want a novel that speaks to the universal themes that stir beneath the waters of their unconscious desires."

You were a teacher, a psychologist, a book store owner and now a blood courier. Each of these has prepared you in special ways to be a writer. You have a sixth sense that allows you to see people: not just their outsides, but their insides as well. That is quite a gift. I'd like to know what your take is on myth. What is it and what does it mean?

"We are all bound by universal desires. Yet despite that fact, we are alone. We start life alone. We walk it alone. We meet its end the same way. Along the way, we reach out. Sometimes our touch is returned. Most times it is not.

For a time our paths mingle with the steps of others. But misunderstandings, death, or conflicting goals cause our paths to part.
Some pray to God. Some feel that they are prey to God, playthings of a capricious being without feelings for his toys. Still others feel that they are alone in a random cosmos.
Myths come from our striving for answers to these universal questions that can be distilled into one word : Why?
Myths are Man's way of making a stab at guessing the unknown answer to that one word question."

In The Bear with Two Shadows, you employ Native American mythology. Why did this particular form appeal to you?

"The Native Americans were masters of myths. They needed a mythology to explain, not only the vastness and power of the cosmos and the wonders of nature, but also to explain the mysteries of the human mind with its desires; its fears, and capacities for good and evil; creation and destruction; and selfishness and self-sacrifice.

One such myth strangely transcended across all the tribes from the Apache to the Aztec, from the North American continent to the South. It was the myth that dealt with evil and why the monsters from without can be defeated and why the monsters from within cannot. At least not fully.
The Native American did not dissolve into the winds with the coming of the White Man.
They fought us,
Or should I say half of my mixed bloodline fought with the other half.
In that I am a walking parable of 21st century man : a man at war within himself.
Be that as it may, the Native American fought the Europeans then receded into the shadows of our consciousness -- like their myths of undying evil. And as our headlines reveal, that evil is all too real.
Perhaps then, there is something real within the myths sparked by that evil as well.
It has been said that Man is least himself when he talks in his own person -- but give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. If that is correct, then my novel, THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS, is the truth as I see it.
And perhaps it will speak to the truth lurking within those who read it.
A novel, like a man, is never one thing. There are always several faces behind the mask it shows you.
It is up to each reader of my novel to decide for him or herself which is the mask and which is the true face in what they read of themselves and others in THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS."

Wow. I stand in awe of you, Master Storyteller. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop in Rebelville.

Let's hear it for Hibbs and Roland Yeomans, ladies and gentlemen. *loud applause*

I, for one, am clicking on over to download that free app and The Bear with Two Shadows. Right now! I'm hoping that all of you will help me support my friend and fantastic author and do the same. All you have to do is click on the links I've provided.

Happy Reading ~ Olivia J. Herrell
P.S. I believe there are prizes to be won (as in books) if you comment, buy a book, facebook or tweet it, etc. Just click on over to Elliot Grace's blog to get the details and possibly, if you're lucky, a free book!


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks, Olivia, for such a lovely job at interviewing. You made me look good with your handling of the questions.

You know, I do not think I ever posted the four books I am giving away on my blog. How silly is that?

But Elliot has the books listed with how you can win them. In fact, I believe all my prior book hosts have the books and rules posted as well.

Thanks again, Olivia. Work beckons. It's been a long midnight run. Roland

Nas said...

Hi Roland, Hello Olivia.

Great interview! I loved reading more about you. Thanks Olivia for hosting Hibb's and Roland today.
Yes, I also have the books listed on my blogpost on you as well.


Jules said...

Great interview Olivia and yes I'm SO wishing Roland the best with his book. You are correct his ability write transcends all :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

N. R. Williams said...

Great interview. My daughter lives with me and she just bought a kindle. After my book, she downloaded, The Bear With Two Shadows. I can't wait to read.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks, Nas, for visiting and letting folks know about the offered books at your site, too. How odd that I did not mention them on any of my posts. Guess I did not want to detract from any of my hosts!

Jules : Thanks for the well wishes for my book and for the very kind words about my writing.

Nan : I hope my novel is a fun read for you. But it may be hard to wrangle that Kindle away from your daughter. Folks get hooked on it!

Autumn Shelley said...

Thanks Olivia and congrat's to Roland!
Olivia:(I too, found him via a very kind comment and have been following Writing in the Crosshairs since.)
Roland, I'm constantly in awe of your prose and look forward to seeing you more frequently!

Elliot Grace said...

Dearest Hibbs, it appears as though I've followed one of your Two Shadows over here to Rebelville, but purely for entertainment purposes. For you see, Olivia's a Blogger fave of mine, and your creator's a pal as well, therefore, no wind on earth could've kept me from stopping by and saying hi:)

Great interview, guys!


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Autumn : Thanks for following me since my comment. That means a lot to me. I look to seeing you more frequently too, Roland

Elliot : Yeah, even Hibbs' shadow makes deep footprints! Hibbs bobbles that massive head of his in happiness at your friendship to him, me, and Olivia. Have a great week, Roland

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

It was fun to follow Hibbs' journey to so many fantastical places. I'll bet he needs a good rest!

Eric W. Trant said...

Woohoo! I downloaded the Kindle App for PC! Sweet! Now I don't have to buy a kindle, not yet anyway.

I also got Roland's tome. It says it's 8000 pages in Kindle, not sure if that's a literal number or not, never used Kindle.

- Eric

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Wendy, Hibbs, the cub, is beginning to demand frequent flyer miles!

Eric : That's 80,000 words luckily for weary eyes and not pages!!

Thanks for downloading Hibbs' adventures. I hope you enjoy them, Roland

dolorah said...

This was an insteresting interview. Roland, I'm amazed at how different most of your interviews have been. Well done.

Olivia, I really liked your questions. They were thought provoking.

I hope your weekend is relaxing.


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