I am amazed at the readability factor of her book, as I have read it faster than I had anticipated and would like to share my review before we begin a chat with her.
‘Born in a Treacherous Time’ by Jacqui Murray explores that period of time, (1.8 million years ago) which was most challenging for mankind, when survival and finding food were the major issues, the only weapons to kill were stones or sticks and predators could attack any moment. I haven’t read any other book in this genre and have never given a serious thought to how humans lived in pre-historic times. It is interesting to note that nature ruled human beings! A feeling of revulsion hit me when I was reading the details of eating raw meat, with blood dripping from their mouths.
Only a few books have such a magnetic power! This book pulled me more because the protagonist is a woman – Lucy who had a ‘capacious’ brain, could invent tools, understand the herbs and plants that heal and is strong enough to save Baad, one of her male companions from the attack of an eagle. An element of mystery makes this fictional account of early man quite fascinating.
Murray’s superb handling of characterization, with the basic instincts of bonding, care for each other, urge for learning and raising children stands out to lend authenticity to the plot. However it is the resilience of human spirit and hope that shimmers through out the book.
Book Blurb: Lucy and her band of early humans struggle to survive in the harsh reality of a world where nature rules, survival is a daily challenge, and a violent band threatens to destroy everything Lucy thinks she understands.
If you like Man vs. Wild, you’ll love this book. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. It will bring that world to life in a way never seen before.
I am delighted to have you here Jacqui. Please meet my curious muse who has some questions for you.
- How did you think of such a different theme for your latest book?
At the root of Born in a Treacherous Time is Clan of the Cave Bear. Beyond that, the question of how man survived in primeval times filled with Sabertooth Cats and Mammoth was an idea that simply wouldn’t let go of me! I tried to push it away over and over and Lucy (the main character) just wasn’t having any of that. So I finally capitulated and agreed to write her story!
- Why have you given so much energy and intelligence to Lucy and not Raza?
I suppose because I identified with the female protagonist. I wanted people to understand her, why she did the things she did, her power to go beyond norms, her creative thinking when solving problems. I am planning a sequel to this book which will focus more on the males though still not Raza (probably).
- How much of the story is imaginative?
I spent considerable time researching all the ‘paleo’ topics for this book–paleoclimate, paleogeology, paleoanthropology, that sort. I came to realize that what we know about this time so long ago is limited and fragile, often based on a handful of artifacts. The best any scientist can do is extrapolate based on this evidence. So that’s what I did. I’ve read other stories of ancient man that gave their characters the power to read thoughts and more. I didn’t award any characteristics (such as that) without evidence it could be true.
- Do you think emotions guided people of treacherous times?
Yes though I’m unclear how much. Science is also unclear how much. As a result, I include emotion as one of those traits that make us uniquely human and allow my people to act based on emotion. Truthfully, it would be pretty boring without the pizazz of emotion in scenes, wouldn’t it?
- You are right Jacqui. Jealousy and kindness seem to be as old as Kelda and Lucy. Have you picked these traits from modern times?
Man’s instinct to survive is hard-wired and likely uses tools like jealousy and kindness. But emotions that rely on more modern actions–like specialization of jobs or detailed planning–I avoid. I won’t in the next book though!
- You are a prolific writer, reader, blogger and a teacher too besides being a home-maker. Tell us the secret of managing so many things together.
I keep a TODO list which I constantly check. I also don’t allot endless time to any one project. I have deadlines and meet them. Without that, I would constantly tweak everything!
Thank you for honoring us with your visit Jacqui. We wish you and your book a roaring success.
About the author:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagentethrillers, and theMan vs. Wild series. She is also the author of over a hundred books on integrating technology into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.
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