The Journey Back (Way, Way Back)

The question I get asked the most whenever the book comes up in conversation is: “Why write a story set in the Stone Age? Medieval fantasy is the thing right now!”

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Well, to be honest, the answer’s right there. If I wanted to read an enjoyable medieval tale about wizards, dragons and kingdoms being threatened by dark magic … well, I’d have plenty to choose from!

The reason I decided to write a story about cave people, woolly giants and prehistoric gods instead is very simple: I really wanted to read it.

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Nazca Lines (500 BCE)

Anthropology always struck me as  a fascinating subject, as well as the intricate studies of carbon dating and human evolution. These branches of science seemed to converge in an interesting direction: once you start traveling backwards down the historic timeline, at some point facts begin to get fuzzy, until they unequivocally dissipate into theory and myth. That seemed like a very exciting grey area – a cloudy bridge from reality into fantasy.

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Jōmon figurine (1000 BCE)

The first author who brought this in-between to my attention was Erich von Däniken, with his mesmerizing “Chariots of the Gods”. In his book – and subsequent documentary – von Däniken explores the hypothesis that several ancient civilizations were at some point contacted by space travelers whom they revered as gods.

How else could we make sense of relics like the Hopi cave drawings, the Japanese statues from the Jōmon period, Stonehenge, the Giza pyramid and the Nazca Lines without resorting to the grey scale of science alone?

 

It was in this vast territory for research, speculation and adventure that the first seeds

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Stonehenge (3000 BCE)

for “The Missing Spirit” were sown. Soon enough, I’d find myself daydreaming about ancient gods and goddesses whose legacies might have been lost in time. Who were they? Where did they come from? What were their lives like? What did they want? Who did they fear? Where are they now?

By the time the last answer arose, the story I’d been wanting to read for so long now rested at my fingertips.

 

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