Latest figures show more than 700 copies of both The Excalibur Parchmentand The Lucifer Scroll have been sold so far. What a wonderful realization that so many people are not only buying, but really enjoying the books.
It has been fun writing them and even more fun meeting and interacting with readers at various book events.
Invariably, the question arises, how (why) did you write the books? They emanate from my love of history and the profound impact history has on today’s society—both for good and evil. It has been said that if we don’t learn from history, we are condemned to repeat it. Greed and power seeking has long been part of the human psyche, as has the desire to revere icons as tools of power. We see that in the famed Spear of Destiny (featured in The Lucifer Scroll) as the icon Charlemagne, Napoleon and Hitler all sought, believing it contained supernatural powers that would lead them to world conquest. Similarly, icons such as Excalibur (The Excalibur Parchment) are portrayed as powerful national symbols to be revered.
Today, the same use of iconic objects and the same greed for power drives zealotry around the world. And we, as a society, see the results in terrorist atrocities in London, Berlin, Nice, Manchester and other places.
I hope that my books, in an entertaining way, can peel back some of the mystique around terrorism and show that there is good that will overcome evil; that there is hope in a fragile world.
Who is Prince Madoc? What’s his secret?
The third book in the series is “The Prionce Madoc Secret”, which begs the question who in the world is Prince Madoc. This is the stuff of which legends are made and in which history and mythology, born out of an oral historical tradition, lead us to some fantastic stories.
Madoc was the son of Owain, King of Gwynedd (in North Wales). Although he was an heir to the throne—along with four other brothers—he wanted no truck or trade with the internecine warfare that would follow Owain’s death. He loved the sea.
Reportedly he sailed west with a group of companions and followers, eventually landing in Mobile Bay on the border of what is now Florida and Alabama. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) placed a plaque on his supposed landing site, so convinced were they of the story. Madoc never returned to Wales and legend says he and his people sailed up the Mississippi, everntually intermarrying with the native peoples and building stone fortresses along the way (which now baffle historians and archaeologists) leading to stories of a Welsh-speaking tribe. President Thomas Jefferson wanted to seek the truth and that was one of the mandates he gave the famed Lewis and Clark expedition; find the Welsh-speaking tribe.
The question I pose in this novel is, “did Madoc sail west because he was fleeing his home or because he was on a mission, carrying a secret away to safety?” In that premise, what was the ‘secret’ and how does it impact the modern world. In particular, how will it impact Stone Wallace, and Huw and Mandy Griffiths?
This year I’ve had the opportunity to attend a number of special festivals, including the North American Festival of Wales (NAFOW) in Rochester NY and the Niagara Celtic Festival. The books have been warmly received and many wonderful comments and reviews resulted. I appreciated all of them so much.
Speaking schedule and events
Apart from those festivals, we were also at the Ontario Welsh Festival in Stratford, did book signings at various Chapters and Indigo stores across Ontario as well as in Wales and in Orlando, FL, and had the privilege of speaking at a number of churches.
In September, I did a presentation on “History, legends and the art of storytelling” in upstate New York at the Celtic Festival. The rest of the fall is dedicated to finishing and editing The Prince Madoc Secret with a presentation in October at the Barrie Public Library (no, it’s not named after me. It is a city in Ontario) and in December at an independent author’s event. For a full list of events, contact me.
In 2018, we’ll do the launch for The Prince Madoc Secret and are also already scheduled for the Ontario Welsh Society in Kingston (April) and the NAFOW in Washington DC (Labour Day weekend). More to come.
Just a reminder that if you have a group or association interested in books, mysteries, history or the like and want to book a presentation, please contact me for availability. I will work with you to tailor a presentation especially for your group and its interests. And, it goes without saying, if your local Welsh society wants to learn more about Madoc, Excalibur and how they tie into modern Wales and society, please let me know.
The latest reviews
Bruce Rogers, one of Canada’s premier broadcast journalists, recently read and reviewed The Lucifer Scroll. He said: Your ‘Lucifer Scroll’ is one hell of an adventure! Fast paced and intriguing, you had my attention with the opening that recalls the Islamic siege and the eventual fall of Constantinople. Then you took me on a breathtaking trip touching Georgian Bay, Arizona, D.C., Ireland and Wales. I could almost hear the street noise in Istanbul. Thanks for the fun. Well done!
Hollywood producer, author and scriptwriter Coleman Luck said this: The Lucifer Scroll takes us on another strange, wild ride that spans centuries and continents. We race from Turkey, to Canada, then to the American Southwest and Wales, facing danger and evil in search of ancient writings; penned in ultimate darkness. Barrie Doyle has done it again. Yes, I do think you should read this!