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.
Hello and thanks for stopping by and visiting with us today. It is so nice to have Mark G. Cosman here. Readers I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did. Oh, hold on while Mark and I grab our favorite beverage.
What do you do when you are not writing?
When I am not writing, I am usually researching. Research can take the form of studying various text related to what I want to write or traveling to locations where the book is imagined to take place. I also enjoy putting ideas before people to assess their reactions.
In terms of career, I created and marketed the Torch of Liberty Award, reserved exclusively for heads of state. Funding from corporate sponsors of the award provided supplemental university scholarships for a nation’s economically poor, but promising young women.
Past recipients include: Her Excellency The Late Benazir Bhutto; Their Majesties, The Late King Hussein and Queen Noor of Jordan; Nursultan Nazarbeyev, President of Kazakhstan; Sulyman Demirel, President of Turkey and Hosni Mubarak, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
I also instituted the Marco Polo Award to underwrite the cost of bringing volunteer medical, agricultural and educational experts to serve humanitarian missions in areas of China designated for poverty alleviation. Presented in Beijing, the award brings China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts affairs together with the world’s leading CEO’s.
In addition, I created a series of “Salutes to Working Kids” where celebrities from Los Angeles’ entertainment community honor working young people. Proceeds from the salutes provided supplemental university scholarships for “Working Kids.”
Where do you get your ideas?
Ideas for my books come from real-life experiences, my studies and travels. 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 antediluvian lore and stories of the gods that were said to have interacted with the people who once lived in these enchanting places. These legends served to further my interest in writing about them.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
The legend of Pandora influenced me greatly when I was a child and plays a major role in “Descent of the Gods.” Along with everyone else, I used to think of Pandora as being just a curious little girl. Then, I thought of how she was chosen to receive a mysterious box from the gods that she was forbidden to open. Even a kid, I suspected the gods were playing her. They knew Pandora would open the box. It’s why they gave it to her. Who gives a gift to a girl and then tells her not to open it? I thought.
We all know the story. Supposedly, Pandora’s curiosity had the best of her and she opened the box, releasing a terrible scourge into the world. It seemed to me to be analogous to the first sin, but who really sinned? I asked myself at the time. Where did the terrible scourge come from, if not from the gods? It seemed to me the gods used Pandora to forever take the blame.
In the original story, it’s not a box Pandora opened, but an urn. According to the original, the world was first populated by a race of men. How they got there, as a kid, I had no clue. Pandora was the first woman the gods created. They created her to punish the race of men for stealing the secret of fire. According to the legend, the gods gave Pandora the most evil qualities so she, and all the women who descended from her, would torment men forever. Pandora was made so beautiful men couldn’t resist her. The gods also gave her a deceitful nature and twisted her tongue so she could lie.
Finally, Pandora was given the urn she opened which sent the plague to mankind. Apparently, only hope hid under the lip of the urn and didn’t spill out with the rest of the evils. Pandora’s indomitable spirit, rather than her perceived evil side, plays the most pivotal role in “Descent of the Gods.”
My adult life has been greatly influenced by the Bhagavad Gita, composed as a song by the ancient sage Vyasa. I read from it every day. Vyasa’s works contain soul-stirring spiritual revelations for the benefit of humanity. For me, it represents an ocean of knowledge and an inexhaustible spiritual treasure.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
My first book, “A Flower in the Snow” was indeed a heart-wrenching challenge. The book contains the searing personal account of when my daughter, Berlyn, was murdered following her high school prom. The tragedy caused me to leave the rubble of my assumptions to go in search of the most profound questions we ask ourselves. “A Flower in the Snow” and later “Descent of the Gods” is the result of that odyssey.
Berlyn’s murder also created an insatiable need in me to know more about the dark mystery of dying and death itself. What happens to us when we are no longer connected to the senses that tell us who and what we are? Where do we go? Who or what are we? “Descent of the Gods” takes a fascinating journey into these questions and more, using the “Tibetan Book of the Dead” and the Egyptian Book of the Dead” as guides.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
Marketing is a most difficult task. Hopefully, reviews of the work will bring about readers who will tell their friends about the book. I am hopeful “word of mouth” the best, most trusted advertiser, will take over, but I am always open to new avenues.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your book or getting it published that you would change?
I would not try to self-publish first to test the book’s traction with readers as it is only confusing to the final traditionally published work.
Tell us about the first story you ever wrote and how old you were
The first story I ever wrote was, as I previously mentioned, was “A Flower in the Snow.” I was forty six.
Do you prefer to live in a big city or in the country?
I prefer country living near a big city.
JUST FOR FUN
Night Owl or Early Bird?
One food you would never eat?
Fermented, old or stale foods of any kind.
People who drive in the passing lane, at an even pace with the car in the slower lane and do not move over to let cars pass.
Plain or Peanut (M&Ms)?
Coffee or Tea?
Never coffee and seldom tea.
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.
Places to find Mark