(return to Part One)
The pointlessly brief eighth chapter of five pages (half of which is pictures) begins with Wolter stating in a footnote that the History Channel attempted to assuage his disappointment over the cancelation of America Unearthed in 2015 by telling him the show was “too smart” for History Channel viewers. I’m not sure whether to assume this to be a disingenuous attempt at flattery or to believe that History thinks its viewers are idiots. Really, both possibilities are equally probable.
The publisher of my Mound Builders book dumped 400 pages of proofreading and indexing on me yesterday afternoon with a very short deadline, and I am now swamped with work as two book deadlines loom. As a result, I will try to finish my review of Scott Wolter's new book for tomorrow, and then I will need to take time off to proofread and index.
Cryptic Code of the Templars in America: Origins of the Hooked X™ Symbol
Scott F. Wolter | 310 + xxiv pages | North Star Press | 2019 | ISBN: 978-1-68201-101-0 | price varies
When Amazon told me that Scott F. Wolter’s new book would ship in 1 to 3 months and North Star Press, the publisher, couldn’t provide a shipping date, I wasn’t expecting to see it anytime soon. But then it showed up on my doorstep from the publisher this weekend. I can’t tell you how that made me feel. Really, I can’t. Not in print, anyway.
Since Ancient Aliens is off again this week (though they are providing live coverage of the so-called "storming" of Area 51 on their Instagram account), I will be taking this weekend off to work on my book about pyramid legends. I am getting so close to the end, and I really want to be done. Crashing through writing and publishing two books in one calendar year is a little more than I can comfortably handle, and it is starting to wear me out.
Yesterday, Tom DeLonge of To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science announced that the History Channel had renewed TTSA’s Unidentified series for a second season. The final episode of the first season drew just 926,000 viewers, or 0.28% of the U.S. population. For all the people not watching the show—some 99.72% of Americans—the series and its media co-conspirators have an outsize influence on public discourse thanks to the complicity of the news media.
Scott Wolter’s new book, Cryptic Code: The Templars in America and the Origins of the Hooked X, was released on Tuesday, and … nothing happened. Can a book truly “change everything you thought you knew about the founding of America” if no one reads it? For being a cable TV host, you’d think he’d have more clout, or at least more savvy, in terms of getting his book promoted and marketed. If I were in his place, I’d have timed the release of the book for the broadcast dates of the recent season of America Unearthed to capitalize on viewership, especially since those viewers are likely to be the core audience for the book. I would also have tried to place the book with a more prominent publisher. The firm putting out the book is best known for self-publishing services. As it is, I’m not sure that Wolter has the pull to move product without the institutional advantage of a current TV series to keep him in the limelight beyond the core “Templar mysteries” audience.
After nine days without a computer, my laptop showed up unexpectedly from its vacation on the west coast with a new hard drive and an overhaul. Now that the machine is up and running, things can start to get back to normal. However, getting everything loaded back on to the computer, syncing it with my various clouds, external storage devices, etc. and then updating everything took most of my day yesterday, so I had no time for writing. If I can get caught up, I hope to be able to resume my normal schedule tomorrow.
My computer was supposed to be fixed and on its way back to me by now, but it still hasn’t left the repair center, so I remain limited in my ability to work. With the extra time, I’ve seen a few movies for the first time in ages. Having a toddler tends to make it hard to find long blocks of time to devote to movies. I can’t remember the last time I went to a movie theater. But I was struck by the contrast between two superficially quite similar films, Truth or Dare, a paint-by-numbers 2018 horror movie streaming on HBO this week, and Head Count, an independent horror thriller that just began streaming on Netflix after a very brief theatrical run this spring.
Since Ancient Aliens is off this week, and I have only limited computer time while I wait for my dead computer to be brought back to life and shipped back to me, I am going to take this weekend off to work on my book of pyramid legends. I have only a chapter and a half left to write, and I need to try to get it banged out, though to be honest, I find the absolute lunacy of the 1960s to the present to be the least interesting and engaging part to write about. At some point, it all starts to sound like a random word generator took over: piezoelectric space lasers, pyramid water pump, interdimensional star gate, sonic stone flotation, etc. etc.
As I continue to have only limited computer time due to the failure of my laptop hard drive, I have to devote the time I have with a borrowed laptop to paying writing projects. Today, however, I would like to present the cover for my new book, The Mound Builder Myth, which will be released in the spring. Yes, it is really happening. I think the cover looks beautiful, and the publisher did a remarkable job creating something evocative, beautiful, and also in line with the conventions of its genre. I cannot wait to see it in print!
The cover images include, at top, a historic photograph of men posing atop the ruins during the destruction of a Native American mound and, at bottom, the infamous Grave Creek Stone, a fraudulent artifact created in the early 1800s to provide proof of Old World contact with the Americas before Columbus.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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