I'm extremely privileged to have debut author Christy Raedeke over on Pages for an interview! She's the brilliant author of Prophecy of Days, ranked as one of my top favorite books!
Tell us a bit about yourself, anything!
Anything? Hmm, where to start? I love the color periwinkle, ice water with lemon, and yellow cake with bittersweet chocolate frosting. I am unintentionally secretive. Sleeping is very important to me and I look forward to it every night. I make big plans and run headlong into things that terrify me and then wonder why I keep doing that. I really want a full-body x-ray of my skeleton. I’m incredibly opinionated, even on things I don’t really know anything about. I am shy but I cover it up most of the time. Should I stop now?
What was your inspiration for Prophecy of Days?
I set out to write the book that I wanted to read as a teen. I’ve always been fascinated by ancient mysteries, symbols, and other esoteric stuff. Writing this book allowed me to delve deeply into the subjects that interest me and make connections that perhaps other people had not made.
What is the main message you’re trying to get out to your readers?
My message is this: the world is full of wonder and mystery. Look around, ask questions, try to put the pieces together. There are more people under 25 on the planet than ever before in history. You guys are a driving force—you can make the world what you want it to be.
How much research did it take to finish Prophecy of Days?
It took a LOT of research! But that’s really something I love. For the last few years I read far more nonfiction than fiction in an attempt to get things as accurate as I could.
The cover is beautiful! What do you think? Did you have any say on what you wanted it to look like?
I’m so glad you like it! My design input was pretty limited. I told my editor that my dream cover was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo because I love the mix of modern design and fresh colors with an ancient symbol, and I thought this would work well with the content of the book. My cover designer, Kevin Brown, deserves all the credit for coming up with such a great look. Though darker and more masculine than I expected, the minute I saw it I fell in love with it—which is great since I have to look at it all the time!
Are your characters based off of anyone in your life?
Every character is completely fictional except one. The character of Uncle Li is based on a real person, Dr. Shan-Tung Hsu. Dr. Hsu has been my Feng Shui teacher for about fifteen years. He’s the head of the Blue Mountain School of Traditional Chinese Feng Shui, has a Doctorate in Chemistry, is a Qi Gong Master, and has written several books—he’s a true Renaissance man! Dr. Hsu has taught me so much about the subtle arts of Five Element Theory, Yin Yang Theory, Tea, and Feng Shui.
How did you come up with the name “Caity Mac Fireland”
I honestly don’t know! I don’t remember coming up with it but I do remember Googling “Mac Fireland” a million ways because I wanted a Scottish sounding name that did not really exist.
Is Math your best subject (like Alex) How did you work these numbers?
I laughed out loud when I read this question! No, math is not my best subject. I came sideways to it and learned what I needed to… My big regret is not pursuing more math and physics in college.
There are many Buddhist and Confucius beliefs and text used in this book; where did that come from?
This is probably weird to admit, but I’m kind of obsessed with Chinese and Tibetan hermits, those people who go off and live in caves for years and years to meditate. I think own every book ever written about Asian hermits! I don’t know why I am so drawn to them, but through my reading I’ve picked up a lot about Buddhism and Confucianism. Add that to what I’ve learned from Dr. Hsu, and you’ve got a serious undercurrent going.
Technology plays a key role in Prophecy of Days, are you a computer expert or something?
I wouldn’t say I’m an expert by any stretch, but I did start working in the high-tech world early on. I started at Microsoft in 1988 and had email and internet access before anyone else I knew. I think just by being in the world of computers I’ve absorbed enough to write technology into a plotline.
When you first looked at the Mayan Calendar (the one at the back of the book) what were your first thoughts?
I knew I was looking at something important, and I wanted to know everything about it. It’s difficult to look at the Tzolk’in calendar—to think about all the time and energy and knowledge that went in to creating it so many centuries ago—and not believe there’s some powerful stuff encoded within it. From the moment I saw it I was hooked and I had to learn more.
Are you fluent in another language other than English? (Like Mayan words, and Gaelic words?)
Not really. I took French in high school and college and studied in France my junior year. Nowadays I can read a bit of French but that’s about it.
(I know this is silly but…) Do you believe the world is going to end in 2012? If/when it does, what are you planning to do?
I absolutely, positively do NOT believe the world will end in 2012. I do believe we are on the cusp of a transformation, though.
The Shadow Government? How? Why? Really?
Yes. Really. I swear I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but after reading books like Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins, I was shocked into having to learn more.
Even though you explained it on the most basic terms in Prophecy of Days, I still don’t understand how the Mayan Calendar works?
For the one I talk most about in the book (the Tzolk’in) there are 260 days instead of 365, like our calendar. Each day has a symbol (there are 20 total symbols) and a number (1 through 13). Both the number and the symbol mean something, and when you combine them in different ways, you get different meanings for the day. If you want to find out what your Mayan birth date means, you can look here:
There are no acknowledgments in the book, is there anyone in particular you would like to thank?
This was a huge FAIL on my part—I thought the publisher asked for acknowledgements when it was time to put that section in. But then once I got all my last edits in, the book went to print! I felt terrible. The only consolation is that there is a second book and I’ll be able to properly thank all the people who helped me reach the dream of being published. The acknowledgement section is what I read first when I get a new book, so I’m kind of sad I don’t have one.
Thanks for the interview, Kirthi! I really appreciate your interest in my book.
Thanks for being interviewed! I'm so super excited!
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