I was fascinated with the idea of the temple structure of Gobekli Tepe. What sort of people built it? Why? How? We really know very little so far about the civilization that built GT. We know they were hunter-gatherers who were perhaps just beginning to domesticate certain grains and maybe animals too. We know a little bit about their iconography and what they hunted and how they lived. But we don't know much more.
2. Do people need to read www.Azariablog.com first before the book?
No. The novel stands on its own. Azariablog.com is a nice supplement after reading it though. There are posts on scientific articles related to the subject matter of the novel, as well as some excerpts and cut scenes. In the future, I plan on including brand new content that you'll only be able to find on my blog: short stories taking place in the Azaria universe and such.
3. How long did it take you to write this book?
It took about a year to research and another year to write the first draft. The editing process took the longest - 2 whole years. It was great fun though. I thoroughly enjoy every part of the process from beginning to end.
4. Other then the cover, do you have any other photos?
I don't have any illustrated artwork, but I do have some some personal photos of Gobekli Tepe I took when visiting the site in the winter of 2012-2013. I really should post those to Azariablog.com
5. How did you learn about Natu's Customs?
The specific customs and traditions are a result of my imagination based heavily on research. I studied the Natufi (Natu) and Kebaran (Kebar) Cultures, which are both historical neolithic cultures in the Levant and Fertile Crescent areas. The excarnation ritual is borrowed from a Tibetan practice.
6. Have you been in this temple?
Yes. I visited Gobekli Tepe in Southeastern Turkey in the winter off-season. The site was officially closed, but I was able to gain access by bribing the security guard with a couple of loaves of bread. It's a truly magnificent, awe-inspiring location. The monumental slabs tower over you. The reliefs are cryptic and exotic. When you stand there trying to take it all in, you feel like you should be able to gather some meaning from it all. You know it was built for some purpose, but you just can't put your finger on it. I really envy the researchers that get to spend their lives their. Besides all the incredible discoveries they are making, it's just a majestic place to get to work.
7. What is you very most favorite book of all time?
That's a really tough one. I'm tempted to say The Princess Bride, but it's really my favorite movie, even though the book is even better. I guess I'll go with Douglass Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. His satire slays me. Another favorite is Mysts of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
8. Who is your favorite Author(s)?
My favorite authors, in no particular order, are Neil Gaiman, Jean Auel, Mark Twain, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams and Carl Sagan.
9. What are your hobbies?
Obviously I like to read and write. If you've read Azaria, it's probably no mystery either that I like history, archeaology and anthropology. I also like politics and religion. When not working, reading or writing, I love to travel.
10. What all education do you have?
I have a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from Sonoma State University. I also took some graduate level courses at Harvard while working on the Chandra X-Ray Telescope at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
11. Please share with us your links and social media sites:
12. Anything to add:
Just thank you so much to Deneale for reviewing and spotlighting my novel. Independent writers can not have success without good people like her.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Azaria is only a fifteen years old girl. She is a very curious and brave teen too. Always out to show the boys and the men, she was their equal, if not even better!
Sadly, for her, one day she accidentally witnessed her Father, Azerban, involved in the sacrifice of a rival tribesman. This upset her very much.
Azaria is a character driven historical novel in the vein of Jean Auel’s Earth Children series. It’s woven around the mysterious hunter-gatherer culture that erected Gobekli Tepe the massive, 13000-year-old-temple structure in modern day Turkey whose discovery rocked the archaeological community and is now widely believed to mark man’s transition to civilization.
Natu customs are under the microscope, and Azaria must lie, deceit and keep her own secrets from those in Natu in order to try to make what she hopes- a difference. Azaria might be only fifteen, but she thinks much wiser, and knows and goes after what she wants. She wants to show those of her world, that she can be the first to be the one, to make the stand of a difference, and show her father, and the people of Natu, it’s time to make changes.
This book “Azaria” not only is a wonderful read, it guides you through History, and enlightens you about the people, and the World around the Natu people. You will feel like you are right there, you can see and feel like you are learning the ways of these people, and their world. It is a whole new time, and it is truly amazing. This is true five star educational read. It is like a History lesson, and so much more.
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