"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are." W. Somerset Maugham
Choose desired selection and click on title.
SELECTION: THE POWER AND THE PRICE - Prologue and 1st Chapter
SELECTION: MEMOIRS OF AN AMNESIAC - Introduction and George C. Scott
ESSAY BELOW: Genesis of THE LION DOMINION
ON USING ETHIOPIAN EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE IN MY NOVEL
THE LION DOMINION
I've come to realize that most of the people I've admired in my life are unknown to most of the people alive today. When asked about any well-known people that I've met or with whom I've been friendly, my responses are met usually with blank, uncomprehending stares from anyone born after 1970.
Which is probably the reason that even contemporaries of mine, writers and readers who've read my novel THE LION DOMINION (published in August 2010), are puzzled by my decision to construct it around Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 until his overthrow in 1974. (While he is a character and a central presence throughout the story, he is not one of the principal characters.)
"Why didn't you use someone who's known, someone more current, in the news? Who cares about a dead African king? If you're going to write about someone, why not use Muammar Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein, someone whom more people will know?"
My reasoning is simple. I choose my characters, real and fictional alike, because they interest me. Probably not the smoothest road to publication but, if I'm going to spend several years with these people, walking with them through the physical, philosophical and psychological places they inhabit, I might as well enjoy their company. And I set them in locations I know well and love to revisit: Jamaica - Rome - Mexico City.
All of which to justify why I shamelessly used the Emperor's visit to Jamaica as the setting and enabling event of THE LION DOMINION and borrowed the title from a Ziggy Marley song. The story was born as follows:
MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA: April 23, 1966 (Saturday)
There he was - King of Kings, Elect of God, Defender of The Faith, the Conquering Lion of Judah and a direct lineal descendent of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba - Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia since 1930, the living God of the Rastafarians. At his birth in 1892, he was christened Tafari Makonnen and later called Prince, or Ras, Tafari. The Rastafarians, members of a Jamaican religious cult, worshiped him as their Messiah. They believed that Haile Selassie was divine and that salvation would come only to those black people who were repatriated to Africa, specifically to Ethiopia, their spiritual Zion. They referred to the Old Testament where it is held in Revelations (5:5), "Weep not, behold the Lion of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book."
There he was, the man who had addressed the League of Nations in 1935, castigating the assembly of world leaders who had stood still and silent as the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini invaded his country. This was the man who led his army (from the front, on horseback) against the Italian invaders and who eventually regained his throne after World War II. This was the man who presided over the oldest Christian nation in the world and the nation with the longest history (3,100 years) of independence and unbroken leadership succession.
And indeed, there he was, a few minutes past noon on Saturday April 23, 1966, standing regally in the open rear half of a Mercedes limousine, as his motorcade swept up the entryway to The Montego Beach Hotel, only yards away from where I stood with my 8mm movie camera following him up the driveway.
As his limousine drew to a stop under the portico and the Emperor stepped down to meet the welcoming party, I found my attention being drawn away from him. I began to use my zoom lens to scan the faces of the male members of his entourage, especially those in uniform, on the off-chance that I might recognize a face from my past. I was looking for the Ethiopian Patrol Sergeant I had met and befriended during the fighting in Korea, Bekele Kebede.
Not surprisingly, he wasn't there. However, that remembrance of my Ethiopian comrade in arms, coupled with the proximity of his Emperor during one of my frequent visits to Jamaica, sowed a seed in my subconscious which did not take root until years later when I decided to write my story, THE LION DOMINION.
Now, several years and 116,000 words later, I have completed that journey and have published my story.
"Here Comes The Eagle, Here Comes The
Bear, And They're Fighting To Control
THE LION DOMINION."
ZIGGY MARLEY AND THE MELODY MAKERS
CONSCIOUS PARTY © virgin records usa
For purchase and more information about THE LION DOMINION please visit my eStore https://www.createspace.com/3458240
At the same time, I have begun three more journeys:
New York: MEMOIRS OF AN AMNESIAC - a collection of remembrances of friends and acquaintances of the past 55 years, some famous, some not (Scheduled for June 2011)
Mexico City: THE POWER AND THE PRICE - A 1967 covert CIA plot to restructure the oil business. (Scheduled for Nov. 2011)
Rome: THE POPE'S APOTHECARY - A speculation about Alchemy and lost Bible text starting in the 13th Century with the 4th Crusade (not yet scheduled)
For sample readings return to TOP OF PAGE