The BLOG: Culture
Seventh Plague: American History Meets Egyptian Lore
Diane Kilgore | February 6, 2017
James Rollins, a prolific writer of best-sellers, introduced Seventh Plague, the latest tale of intrigue in his Sigma Force series, to a recent gathering at the Harvard Square COOP.
The master-story teller regaled attendees of the book-signing event with anecdotes of elaborately crafted childhood pranks, a voracious passion for reading, and his early career as a veterinarian. His amalgamated spin provided insight into his fertile imagination where legends are born in a cerebral vortex of curiosity, historical facts, and scientific data. That primordial fusion seeds the author’s fertile mind. He has penned thirty-three genre-crossing novels, twelve of which are of the Sigma Force series.
Rollins is famous for breathing life into characters and saturating his page-turners with details designed to stimulate all five senses. Gray, Kowalski, and Seichan are three of the well-loved characters returning to this novel of environmental foreboding that traces sand-swept foot-prints in the Sudan and drives readers into the wind-whipped Arctic.
Seventh Plague braids American history with Egyptian lore and scientific facts that glow in laboratories around the world today. A ring of truth in every scene keeps readers peeling though pages virtually infused with the scent of ancient dust and a splash of distilled spirits as they attempt to solve a medical mystery and thwart biological annihilation.
Many of the facts in this book co-opt research originated by Nikola Tesla. Recognized as a visionary in the field of physics, Tesla is credited with pioneering theories of electromagnetism, systems of hydro-energy, and laser technology. His inventions continue to spark innovation in wireless communications, environmental sciences, and medicine. Although not a gifted marketer, Tesla’s disruptive genius is argued to be of equal or greater significance to the world than that of his one-time boss, Thomas Edison.
In Seventh Plague, Rollins color-codes twists of treachery and headline news into a sci-fi helix worthy of contemplation. Literary ingenuity wraps around mummified plot lines that dissect then preserve Biblical interpretations of the ten plagues of Egypt. Humanity is challenged by an ice-booted battle of epic betrayal and deployment of potentially disastrous electromagnetic particle beams, much like those theorized by Nikola Tesla.
In reality, rumblings of potential death-beam technology was considered to be of such national significance that upon Tesla’s death, in 1943, his writings were removed from his New York hotel suite by FBI agents. The collection was then given to a brilliant professor of electrical engineering at MIT, John G. Trump, President Donald J. Trump’s uncle. After review, the research was returned to the Tesla family, with the exception of one mysteriously unaccounted for journal.
Chatting with the author in a third floor lounge as the crowd settled into their COOP seats, Rollins seemed as funny as he is thoughtful. He said telling apocryphal stories had been his forte growing-up as one of seven kids in a Polish-Catholic, Brady-bunch style family. His imagination was fueled by reading master-of-disguise magazines, tales of King Tut, and chronicles of under-sea explorations until he studied evolutionary biology and then earned his degree in veterinary medicine.
The doctor-turned-author loves the inexplicably intuitive soul of animals and includes them as emotional bridges and colorful foreshadowers in his work. Because he began his second career in between patients Rollins says he has the ability to write anywhere no matter who’s barking, meowing, or pecking at him. Religiously, he bangs out five double-spaced pages of a story five days a week. No matter the sentence structures quality he works with discipline, crediting his prose production in part to a collection of random thoughts stashed into an unassuming idea-box for inspiration. It’s that commitment to routine that Rollins says allows him to finish two books each year.
What he didn’t add to his animated presentation that evening is his commitment to support veterans through two philanthropic endeavors. The first, USA Cares, is a non-profit organization Rollins founded dedicated to assist soldiers and their families find jobs and homes as well as provide emergency aid.
With a group of like-minded best-selling authors, the goal is to restore financial stability and renew hope in the lives of men and women who have fought for our freedoms. Over the past decade USA Cares has provided ten million dollars in grants to veterans and their families.
Another philanthropic program is soon to launch as a literary service designed to help vets relieve trauma through a writing program proctored by Rollins. Encouraging participants of the mentored program to explore their personal and historically significant thoughts in text, their works will serve as a first-person chronicle of war to be shared or held in silence, respecting individual wishes for privacy.
If something is lacking from Seventh Plague it would be a John Williams score to add melody to the time-stamped adventures that are as engaging as any Indiana Jones or Jurassic Park movie. Perhaps that’s why Rollins is in final negotiations with Lions Gate Entertainment to turn at least one of his Sigma Force novels into a film.
To learn more about James Rollins writing seminars, his philanthropies or other books visit :
www.James Rollins.com or
His final thought~ don’t forget to spay and neuter your cats!