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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with John P. Goetz, author of Souls of Megiddo: The Caretakers

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Saturday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by John P. Goetz.

About John:

John P. Goetz is the author of two novels. The Protocol is a medical thriller about death panels and the danger of government-controlled health care. Souls of Megiddo: The Caretakers is an historical thriller that turns the Mayan prophesy of the end of days upside down. John grew up in North Dakota but moved to Nevada where he lived for 25 years. Now he’s back in the Great White North after having re-purchased an entire winter wardrobe. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he’s working on three more novels and has recently signed to co-author a book for a 1980’s rock star who also calls the Twin Cities home. John enjoys hearing from his fans and always responds to his emails, tweets, and posts.


Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, John!

John has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!

From Cuneiform to Telepathy: The Technology of Writing
by John P. Goetz

I’m sure you’ve received those chain emails with “You Know You’re Old When…..” in the Subject line. When you open the email you read things like:

“The Sony Walkman was introduced in 1979.”

“Your kids don’t know what a flash cube is!”

“Foreigner is now played on the Classic Rock station.”

If you’re old enough to understand, you just groan, shake your head, and then run to your laptop to make sure you did, in fact, place the online order for the two-month supply of your adult diapers. If not, you simply delete the email and say, “What’s a Walkman?” or “Flashcube?” or “They’re not called Foreigners anymore – they are undocumented residents.”

I try to stay up with the current gadgetry and technology. I don’t like clothes for my birthday or Christmas – I like gadgets.

Electronic do-hickies of any sort.

I have the latest iPhone. I have an iPad – although I’m one version behind on that. Since I want to make sure I test my eBooks before they are available to the general public, I have a Nook Color and a Kindle Fire. I just bought a new laptop with an i7 processor – I don’t think they sell the Pentium line anymore or anything that ends in x86. I have done lots of research about using my “i” devices to control light switches, appliances, and even the thermostat in my home. I just haven’t gotten around to getting it done. I want to get a souped-up MacBook and one of those behemoth Macs with the 27” screen.

I try to pride myself in being up-to-date with technology. To me, it’s fun.

However, at a recent book signing event, I learned that there was a gap in my technical library. A guy in line, holding one of my books for my autograph, asked, “So. Do you still use a keyboard?”

I cocked my head like a golden retriever puppy.

I have to admit, I was flummoxed.

Taken aback.


“Ummm. Yes. I do,” I replied slowly, waiting for the punch line.

“Why?” he asked.

I had to pause and think before I responded. I thought maybe I was on Candid Camera (yes, I’m old enough to remember that show).

Writing (the act of expressing the spoken word using symbols), just didn’t happen overnight. It evolved over thousands of years. Some probably believe it didn’t start until Steinbeck wrote “East of Eden.” The very young audience probably doesn’t believe writing started until the first edition of “The Adventures of Captain Underpants” hit the shelves.

I know that cuneiform was the earliest (known) form of written communication and it evolved from there. Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Greek, Semitic, Chinese, Mesoamerican are just some of the written forms of communication that we probably all learned about in history class. Some are dead. Some are very much alive. Somewhere in that long historical alphabetical string, our 26-character set of letters was born.

Writing has had a very long history – not all good. Cavemen, using pictures on their cave walls, described how they killed their enemies with long spears. Mary Queen of Scots was executed because of what she wrote against her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. Let’s not forget what the written profiles found on online dating sites have done to society. The “National Enquirer”? Need I say more?

But there’s also good. Shakespeare, Donne, Steinbeck, and Hemingway. The Magna Carta. The Declaration of Independence. The Constitution. Harry Potter. The Joy of Cooking. And let’s not forget Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Vince Flynn (ok, I’m somewhat biased).

I didn’t say this out loud to the guy at the book signing but I’m positive he wasn’t asking because he expected me to be writing my novels in Egyptian glyphs on papyrus using a sharpened reed and squid ink. There was a piece of technology that I wasn’t aware of.

I was ashamed.

I looked down at the floor.

He could tell I didn’t know how to answer his question so he continued to embarrass me.

“Don’t you use that new dictation software and have it write for you?”

“No,” I said (rather indignantly). “I have notebooks for each book that I use to record my ideas and thoughts. Then I sit at my laptop and write.”

“With a keyboard?”

“Yup. With a keyboard.”

“That’s so old fashioned,” he said. “I do all of my writing using this cool software. All I have to do is talk into my phone and it writes for me.”

As soon as he said “It writes for me,” I considered the conversation over. Maybe I am old fashioned, but I want to write. I want to press the backspace key. I like the feeling of pressing the keys and hearing the click they make. I like the power of being able to highlight words, press delete, and re-type. I enjoy flexing my fingers to get blood flowing back into them when I’ve been at the keyboard for hours on end. I want to write what my head is thinking. I consume cases of Diet Pepsi or quad lattes while I write – I can’t do that if I’m “dictating.” Most of all, I enjoy watching the words form on the screen as my fingers (not my lips) do the work.

Not to be rude (since there were other people in line and since he had purchased both of my books), I said “I’ll have to check that out. Sounds cool. Thanks for the info. Nice meeting you.” I signed the books, shook his hand, and we parted ways.

Maybe I’ll check that software out. Maybe I can dictate my grocery list while I’m at my keyboard writing.

Who knows what type of technology will be available in the next five or ten years? Perhaps we won’t have to actually dictate or even (gasp) write. Maybe everything will be telepathic. I’ve heard about some new software that will do that.

Let’s give it a try.

Here are the first six chapters of my next two novels, “Doorway to Your Dreams” and “Eat’s Perdition.”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Get ‘em? How were they? Cool plot lines, right?

What do you mean you didn’t get ‘em?

There’s probably a bug in the software.


Looks like it’s back to the old keyboard.

Life is as it should be.

I can breathe now.
Thanks so much for joining us today, John!

Three lucky winners will win copies of John's historical thriller, Souls of Megiddo: The Caretakers.

There will be two paperback copies (Canada/US only), and one digital copy (worldwide).

According to Mayan prophesy, the world ends on December 21, 2012. It’s not supposed to be a great day for humanity. So when your alarm buzzes on the morning of the 22nd and you still have to get up, take a shower, dress for work, feed the cat, feed the dog, suffer through traffic, endure a morning packed full of meetings, eat a terrible lunch out of a brown sack, suffer more afternoon meetings, tackle the commute home, push down leftover pizza for dinner, and watch reruns of some dancing competition reality show on television, what went wrong? Nothing. Everything went right. We have Jacob Collier and an ancient Mayan priest named Ixzalouh to thank. It’s 75 BC and Ixzalouh’s people are vanishing. He’s the last Mayan High Priest. With the help of Tepeu, his supernatural teacher, Ixzalouh creates two pendants to preserve the souls of his dying civilization. They are palm-sized granite stones each containing a hooked X on its face. One stone houses the soul, the ch’ulel, of a Mayan child named Bale’. The other Stone, a mirror image of the other, contains the soul of a criminal. In the twentieth century, Jacob Collier is a high school history teacher who has been bequeathed one of the Stones. Throughout his life, he learned how to understand its power and to manage the demands and responsibilities placed upon his shoulders. A secretive group called the Patrocinium helps Jacob understand the stone’s history and his till-death-do-us-part role as its Caretaker. Together, he and the Patrocinium must find the Stone’s twin and keep both from those who would abuse their power. Not everyone appreciates Jacob’s work.

Buy Links:
To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open until 12:01 AM EST on November 24, 2012.


  1. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to reading what to me sound fun. My b-day is the 22nd and I am curious if Jacob is going to let me have my morning cuppa LOL


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