Posted by Literary Titan
The Matriarch Matrix is a unique blend of genres combining history and centuries of speculation regarding ancient alien invasions of Earth. What made you want to start writing this novel?
I few years ago I read a news release on the world’s oldest temple built 12,000 years ago at a site called Göbekli Tepe in the Anatolian region of Turkey. Somehow hundreds of nomadic hunter-gathers came together and built a complex of monolithic pillars weighing tens of tons each. 6,000 years before Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza, pre-pottery Neolithic man figured out how to work together to build a stone complex seemingly unrelated to ordinary living.
Archaeologists would say that mankind was far more advanced than we give credit for coming out of the Paleolithic age, coming out of the ice age. Alien theorists would say that Göbekli Tepe is further proof of alien intervention in human history. Given some believe this complex represents the oldest temple known to modern man, some may believe that divine inspiration guided mankind into the modern age.
In 2016, more time came into my life and I wrote a story line pitting people with these three inherent beliefs into a search for a legendary object which will save the world from impending war. A key theme is what has happened in the past continues to happen throughout history. Mankind continues to repeat the same issues, the same themes. But to what end?
Zara endures many horrors, but becomes a woman who is true to her roots and a follower of her faith. What was the inspiration for Zara’s character?
As I crafted the story in early 2016, the lands south of Göbekli Tepe had been conquered by the Daesh, or ISIS as the West calls this group – a name which evokes religious stereotyping. In researching the lands around this temple, I read about the Kurdish women who fought the Daesh in all female units. So I decided to make the main female character a Kurdish woman who fought for her people’s freedom. As I researched the Kurds, their culture, their history, their centuries of oppression, Zara’s character became more complex and dark as a metaphoric reflection of what Kurdish women have endured. Hence I made Zara Khatum a woman who fought Saddam as a teen, then Assad as a young adult, and finally the Daesh only to be captured by the latter.
The horrors of her past life, the darkness she carries in the story, combines the biographies of Kurdish women, accounts by social workers treating Kurdish women refugees, the news stories of the Kurdish struggles, and documents from international governing bodies investigating human right violations in Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, including institutional violation of women en masse.
What has happened to Kurdish women is a continuance of the horrors women have suffered repeatedly in periods of genocide or cultural/racial oppression throughout time. The accounts in Bosnia are very similar to that of the Kurds. Similar accounts are told in WWII between the Germans and Russians, with the Japanese to the Koreans and Chinese. History repeats itself in the worse ways.
I made an active decision not to pull punches in describing this oppression staying true to the multitude of actual accounts. But I made the ancient race, the giant Reindeer warriors, the originating perpetrators as to not condemn anyone in the present as to avoid the equal horror of stereotyping a group of people based on the crimes of but a few. I understand for some readers, this reality is too much. I opted to stay true to historical accounts as we must learn from our past follies in order to prevent the same horrors from happening again. In a number of European countries, they teach the past in this way so people will be sensitized to not repeating the bad of what happened in the past.
My inspiration to bring Zara’s story to life in this manner came from the words of a 22-year-old beta reader from Germany: “I would actually like to extend my gratitude. I can’t explain how touching it has been to read about a character like Zara. I think it sends a really strong message home that people seem to really forget. We can all be subject to rape. The world isn’t pretty. And it doesn’t matter how strong you are. But through everything, Zara is so incredibly beautiful. I think that’s important. Whether she agrees or not, she’s a stronger person for everything she’s been through. Thank you for not writing her as some typical rape victim. Thank you for creating something so much more powerful.”
What the portrayal of Zara did for her as a person gave me the conviction to bring this story to others. To bring strength into people’s lives.
I enjoyed the intuitive technological advancements juxtaposed with a glimpse into 9500 BCE. What were some themes you wanted to capture with this story?
The first theme is that culture did not start with written history. The wisdom we believe came from the Greeks and Persians through their writing likely came from their predecessors from oral traditions passed down through the centuries before mankind learned to write. For all we know, themes in our lives today came from the end of the ice age through stories passed from one generation to another.
Another addresses the dangers and opportunities of the modern digital age. Is the advancement of science, of technology leading to dystopic world? The recent FB data privacy issue is only an example of the magnitude of such privacy incursions all over. But what if the collection of information worldwide could lead to the cure for the worst diseases, could lead us to a greater prosperity and peace? Is the body collecting that data for these ends so bad after all? I built that notion into the book’s villain who in end professes in his Machiavellian way he was only trying to save us all.
The last, the most subtle, and yet the most important is the human tendency to pass judgement early and form stereotypes and harmful impressions about other people who are different from them. Zara has been a victim of this trait by others to her, but she does the same until she hears “the voice”. I made her Muslim to show the metaphoric example of what religious discrimination does to negatively form a child’s life. Like other forms of hatred and discrimination, Islamaphobia shaped her belief of the world only to be changed by her meeting her other half from the other side of the world. The book is written in a way that if the reader passes judgement too early they will not glean as much as those who are patient. Peace in this world will us striving to understand each other.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The Matriarch Messiah is the working title. What is “the voice”? Is it good or bad? From the divine or anther planet? What secrets lay buried in the Crimea? The protagonists travel through the pyramid lands of China, through Jerusalem, and finally back to where the originating family came from in the Crimea.
The first half of the book is with four alpha readers. Four of the most intelligent, insightful, powerful, and well-read women I know. Release maybe by the end of this calendar year.
Kidnapped again. But this time by the oligarch who saved her from kidnapping by the Daesh. And he wants her to do what? With whom?
Meet Zara – a woman of great depth, courage, faith, and human frailty who only wanted to follow the path of love and peace. But a dark, violent past haunts her from which she cannot escape. Destiny calls her to shake up her life and partner with her exact opposite from the other side of the world. Together they must discover the answer to an ancient legend from the world’s oldest temple locked in their DNA. Only through finding a certain love as told by an ancient matriarch will they unlock this mystery and stop the next world war.
The fate of Earth is now in their hands in an all-encompassing narrative of conflict, salvation, and the struggles of womankind across the ages in this dark, intriguing science-fiction fantasy epic.
Posted in Interviews
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Posted by Literary Titan
Buried deep within families from all walks of life around the world lies a secret. This secret is beyond the comprehension of most humans and would more than likely be rejected by the rest. Zara and Peter, two strangers with more in common than either is willing to admit, are united under the unique and all-powerful leadership of Alexander Murometz. When Zara and Peter are forced together in an effort to save mankind, the two learn much more about each other’s culture, their own weaknesses, and the value of their strengths than they would ever have believed possible. The Matriarch Matrix, by Maxime Trencavel, is the intricately woven story of our history and, to some degree, our doomed future.
The Matriarch Matrix is a unique blend of genres. Within its covers, Trencavel has managed to pull together a rich blend of historical accuracies and centuries of speculation regarding ancient alien invasions of the Earth. Furthermore, the author details each and every aspect of the characters’ religious and cultural restrictions and requirements. What makes Trencavel’s interpretation of events so different is an added layer of incredibly intuitive technological advancements juxtaposed with a glimpse into 9500 BCE. Alternating the settings and weaving the two eras together throughout the storyline, Trencavel manages to gradually explain the impact of a centuries-old affliction.
Of the various connected settings and storylines, I have to say that Zara’s kept me the most intrigued. The horrors she has endured to become a woman who is again true to her roots and a follower of her faith have left her hardened but at the same time caring and receptive to the feelings of those around her. She has built a wall around her that not many can penetrate and, when they are able, she becomes their biggest ally. Zara is a memorable character and one who is easily visualized.
The Matriarch Matrix is written in the present tense, and this choice by the author creates an especially engaging reading experience. I am a fan of the use of present tense, and Trencavel has chosen wisely here. The depth to which the characters are related and the constant shifts in time and place could lead readers down some confusing roads. The use of present tense throughout the story ties characters and eras together almost flawlessly.
As well-written as Trencavel’s work is and as intricately woven and engaging as the plot itself is, I did struggle with one particular facet of the story line. Those afflicted with sleeplessness and the burden of message-bearing dreams/nightmares must be comforted into a frame of mind which makes it easier for them to share their recollections. In order to communicate these messages, the afflicted must rely on heavy stimulation of the senses and sexual contact. The fact that this sexual stimulation was made such a vital role in recalling repressed memories temporarily changed the direction of the book from one chapter to the next. I saw the rapes and scenes of sexual slavery as a bit overdone. Much of the plot centers around this domination by oversexed beings, and the sexual overtones permeate the book.
Readers with open minds seeking mysteries steeped in culture and yearning for a complicated but readable plot will be drawn to Trencavel’s Zara and Peter and the intensity surrounding the immense task that lies before them.
Pages: 530 | ASIN: B075R2DD4Y
Tags: alibris, author, author life, authors, barnes and noble, book, book club, book geek, book lover, bookaholic, bookbaby, bookblogger, bookbub, bookhaul, bookhub, bookish, bookreads, books of instagram, booksbooksbooks, bookshelf, bookstagram, bookstagramer, bookwitty, bookworks, bookworm, ebook, goodreads, ilovebooks, indiebooks, kindle, kobo, literature, maxime trencavel, nook, novel, publishing, read, reader, reading, shelfari, smashwords, story, The Matriarch Matrix, writer, writer community, writing