Friday, March 8, 2013

Writing the Historically Accurate Novel

Guest Post by Charles Brokaw
Re-writing History: Uncovering The Oracle Code

Writing an adventure novel based on ancient mysteries is a great way to bring together historical realities with exciting characters and a thrilling plot. The newest addition to the Thomas Lourdes series, The Oracle Code, required a great deal of research exploring some history’s most mysterious myths regarding Alexander the Great and the truths, questions and the skepticisms, all of which have been battled over by historians for years.

Using primary and secondary sources, I wanted to explore these myths even more and take what is known to be true and build on it.

Beginning With The Atlantis Code

Every book in the Thomas Lourdes series begins with some real-life event or bit of historical information. For example, The Atlantis Code, the first in the Thomas Lourdes series, was based on historical information about the lost city of Atlantis. In the summer of 2004, satellite photography showed artificial formations of land that displayed a near identical description of Atlantis. The formations were discovered in one of Spain’s great national parks, in the city of Cadiz. The odds of excavating the finds were pretty small although the inability to dig and the uncertainty of the pieced-together information only fueled our fire. We wanted to know more. We wanted to uncover the lost city of Atlantis.

In researching and documenting all of the information that we discovered, our research team began to imagine what it would be like if the satellite imagery did in fact turn out to be Atlantis. We also thought the idea of hidden ancient code was fascinating—inevitably leading to the first addition to the Thomas Lourdes series, The Atlantis Code.

An Archaeological Journey Continued…

The disappearance of the tomb of Alexander the Great is one of the greatest archaeological mysteries to date and is a subject that piques my interest to no end. As a writer and academic fascinated by history, Alexander’s accomplishments in such a short-lived time have far surpassed any man to follow, leading me to question the very existence of the oracle and what role she played in Alexander’s divine existence and bitter end

Reading and reviewing each historical document pronouncing the mishaps of his early death has led archaeologists and historians alike to question the disappearance of his tomb that stood for centuries, untouched, in a sacred area of ancient Greece. This automatically begs the question, “Does the tomb of Alexander the Great and the oracle of Delphi’s secret still survive?”

An ancient scroll holding its location was said to materialize in Afghanistan. In writing The Oracle Code, a friend of mine along with a crew of researchers followed me on my journey to gain a deeper understanding of the Afghan culture—the food, clothing, trade routes and location where each scene took place.
Herat, Afghanistan—the location of the dig and one of the main cities in which the book takes place has an extensive history, dating back to the ancient times. Its location on the ancient trade routes of the Middle East, and Central and South Asia made Herat a vital city to research, especially when looking into the disappearance of Alexander the Great.

Without giving the story away, I welcome you to read The Oracle Code and to allow your mind to travel to a land that is not often associated with buried treasure and yet holds endless mysteries under the sand. By piecing historical data with conjectures, will you be able to discover what might have happened to the tomb of Alexander the Great and the Oracle of Delphi.
Charles Brokaw is a pseudonym for an author, academic, and college educator living in the Midwest. He’s had a rich and varied life, and is fascinated by history, human accomplishment, and archeology.