M. Robertson wears a mask – not to cover the face; rather, it is a sacred jade mask and the subject of the exciting debut-novel “Mask Among the Bones.”
I usually feature history and archaeology on my blog and this adventure-thriller deals precisely with both. But its location is on the other side of the world from Ancient Egypt. The breathtaking action takes place in the jungles of Belize.
As someone always threatening to move to a warmer climate, I again became curious about Central America and had to ask a few questions of my own:
M. Robertson, how did you come up with Belize?
My spouse and I had been fantasizing about retiring somewhere warm and tropical. We started looking at Belize after a friend raved about a vacation on one of the islands. The more we looked the more we loved what we saw.
Without giving away a spoiler, tell us about the Mask in your title and its history.
While researching Belize I began reading about the Mayan civilization. That lead on another path and I wandered off into the mystical powers of crystal skulls and found a beautiful photo of a mosaic mask that peaked my curiosity. While poking through information on the skulls I read a tiny little paragraph about jaguar priests in Belize and that some still practiced today. I loved James Clavell’s Shogun and remembered that he had based his entire book on one sentence he had read about a British samurai.
Mask among the Bones has been simmering for a long time. When I first started research for my story Desert Storm was going on in the Middle East. I was horrified as I watched their museums being looted knowing that the public would never again see their historical treasures.
How difficult was it to research real locations and historical facts?
I read everything I could find on the early civilizations in Central America and combined information on multiple digs in and around Belize. Does this particular jade jaguar mask really exist? Who knows. The Tikal funeral mask made of jade, jasper, serpentine, obsidian and shell was discovered in northern Guatemala in 1963, and later featured on the cover of National Geographic.
I love your writing style. Are you planning a sequel?
Thank you. I know I left it open for a possible sequel, but some other characters are running around in my head screaming for their day on the page. One takes place in a little town called Hardly, Arkansas and the other is based on our time spent living in a haunted house. We’ll have to see who keeps me up at night the most.
Thank you so much for telling us about your debut-novel. I am sure you will soon have a following of readers clamoring for a sequel; so, think about it.
For an intriguing Look-Inside, visit M. Robertson’s Amazon Page: