Author: Mark G. Cosman
Series: Stand Alone
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Release Date: Oct 2 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
In their self-indulgent realm, the gods know no suffering until the end of their days. Compassion is the only portal through which they can escape the self and its eventual demise, but without suffering, compassion cannot be recognized. So, they go in search of compassion in the human domain where happiness and sorrow abound. There, they genetically engineer a superior humanoid race and are soon distracted by the delight they find in the daughters of men. The gods are the extraterrestrial visitors of our collective memory.
Tormented by envy, the Asuras are warlike demigods that follow the gods into the human domain. They become the demons who initiate our concept of evil.
Quay is the son of Om, the father of the gods. Quay’s childhood adventures with Daya, his female humanoid companion, take place on the Isle of the Gods, which closely parallels the legendary Atlantis. On coming of age, Quay and Daya become inseparable lovers. Quay is challenged to separate passion from compassion.
In the human domain, the gods were simply gardeners. When the god Talmund left his garden across the Salt Sea and returned to the Island of the Gods, he left his humanoid workers behind. Eventually, two civilizations evolved from his workers, the sedentary Taltecs in the south and the nomadic Tulacans in the north. The civilizations resemble the pre-Columbian cultures described in the Book of Mormon.
Fearful that these autonomous humanoids were exceeding limits the gods set for them, Om sends Quay across the Salt Sea to observe. Before undertaking his mission, Quay interviews the first humanoid, Ahn, and the god, Elo, to whom Ahn was given. The meeting occurs in Eden where Elo kept an expansive garden. The interview is essentially a discussion with the Biblical Adam, which sets the tone for the human condition and their relationship with the gods.
Quay’s mission abruptly separates him from Daya. Ri, an Asura driven by hatred of the gods and an erotic desire for Daya, pursues Quay. Quay’s adventures among the Taltecs and Tulacans are interrupted when the two civilizations collide in an epic conflict that spans a continent.
Meanwhile, a geologic cataclysm destroys the island of the gods. Daya is rescued by an Asura ship, is assaulted and subsequently escapes into the forests of the Eastern Isle that survived the deluge. There, she becomes the legendary huntress of the forest, similar to Artemis, twin sister of Apollo.
In the Land North, on a field of flowers, during the final battle of the great war between the Taltecs and Tulacans, Ri finally comes upon Quay and attacks, but he is shot through by an arrow from the bow of a nomad who had befriended Quay. Quay assists Ri through his dying experience. By his outreach to his mortal enemy, Quay discovers the compassion for which the gods had entered the human domain.
Quay ventures back across the Salt Sea to find the Isle of the Gods has vanished. He sails on to the Eastern Isle where he is reunited with his kind. Scarred and embittered, Daya courageously defies the authority of the gods. It is the darkest of nights when Quay watches from a distance as Daya releases a virus from an urn that the gods had prepared in secret to cull the humans. Her act is reminiscent of the legendary Pandora. The freeing of the virus results in Daya’s death and that of all humanoids on the Eastern Isle. In effect, she impedes the grand experiment of the gods and alters human evolution forever.
In his 977th year, Quay began to die. His dying experience is detailed using the Tibetan Book of the Dead as a guide. Quay was the last of the gods that walked among us.
“Everyone knows.” He whimpered remorsefully and embraced his knees. “You see, it has all gone wrong. My consequences are like infectious demons, blighting the generations that stem from me. There is no escaping them. The fault is mine, eternally mine! My seed is bad.” He began rocking rhythmically.
Ahn’s demons are concoctions of his mind, Quay thought. They seem to appear to humanoids when life’s balance is distorted. Guilt is an indicator.
It occurred to Quay that the humanoid mind acts much like a judge. Once the cause of guilt is discovered, its harsh reasoning carries out the sentence. Neither gods nor humanoids can help him. The humanoid mind is a stern taskmaster. It will unlock Ahn from guilt’s yoke only when his imagined demons are satisfied and life’s balance is restored.
Places to find: Decent of the Gods
Where did you come up with the idea for your book?
I believe the seeds of my interest in writing “Descent of the Gods” were cultivated when I was quite young, after reading “Chariot of the Gods” by Erich von Daniken and Zecharia Sitchin’s “Wars of Gods and Men.” Later, in my travels to Egypt, Greece, Turkey and the Middle East, I found great similarity between the antediluvian lore of those ancient places.
For example, the aerial combat between Seth and Horus of ancient Egypt seemed to closely resemble the struggle of Arch Angel Michael in casting Satin from the heavens. The ancient wars of India revealed in the Mahabarata and the Puranas, told of an age of similar battles between gods, possessing advanced weaponry. Relatively more recent, the interaction of the pantheon of the Greek gods with human beings contributed greatly to the mysterious sense of competing clans of ancient visitors, more advanced than the humans that worshipped them.
I became extremely interested in why these visitors, we knew as gods, came here and how did they interact with native human beings. What biological contributions did they bequeath to their worshippers? The questions kept biting until I wrote about them.
How did you come up with your characters?
I chose the god, Quay, as a character to impart the spiritual influences that seemed to have originated with these ancient alien visitors. Their wisdom was handed down through human generations, influencing the Vedas of ancient India, as well as early Egyptian, Greek and Judaic/Christian cultures.
I also chose, Daya, a unique human female as a most complex companion of the god Quay. In Pandora-like fashion, it is Daya who unexpectedly thwarts the grand experiment of the gods and changes human evolution forever.
Who did you show your first draft to and why?
I showed my first draft to my “x” wife, Susan. Endowed with sound judgment and an avid reader of good books, Susan is a dedicated partner to my writing success. With the murder of our daughter some years ago, we have been through a great deal together. There is no one whose judgment I trust more.
Do you have plans to do a follow up?
My newest book, “The Kids from the River,” a Solstice Publishing title, is a follow-up to “Descent of the Gods,” philosophically. It is a dystopian work taking place in the not too distant future.
Open your book to a random page and tell us the first paragraph…
“Father recounted our legends to me when I was very young, so his words are a distant memory, but I remember the essence of what he imparted. He said we were drawn from the purity of our Source by the distraction of a separate self. Father called our separate self the ‘phantom’ because it is a concoction of mind and does not really exist.”
What do you like to read? Do you only read the genre you write in?
I read every day from the Bhagavad Gita. Additionally, I enjoy reading about ancient Egypt. “Egypt Light of the World” is an excellent text. I also like to read about current events, given that my career included interaction with world leaders.
Where do you go to escape?
Because I have traveled so much in my career, my favorite escape is down the hallway to my office where the characters of my next book are waiting for me.
Do you have a favorite chapter in Polished?
I do not understand how “Polished” is used here
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Know thy self. You’ll find everything there.
Would you recommend self-publishing or main stream publishing for first time novelists?
You can self-publish to begin your career and suffer the embarrassment of putting yourself before the criticism of seasoned readers as did I. Eventually, being published equates with recognition that amateurish writing is at last behind you and you can move forward with new, well-founded dreams and aspirations. However, I also believe and author can derive more income from a successful self-published book rather than having the majority of profits go to a publisher.
Some writers are good from the start. I wasn’t. My love of the subject matter is what brought me through, dragging my inabilities behind me until they caught up with my vision and became refined.
Mark Cosman’s writing began when his daughter, Berlyn, was murdered at her high school prom party. It was when Mark left the rubble of his beliefs and assumptions to go in search of the most profound questions we ask ourselves. His first book, “A Flower in the Snow,” and his latest work, “Descent of the Gods,” is the result of that odyssey.
Where to find: Mark G. Cosman