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Old 03-27-2018, 12:27 PM   #1
The Silk Scarf Monkey
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Default My novel: The Promised Land

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I last visited here, but I've got some great news! Even greater because it's also Eagles related.

I have written and published the first Dutch novel about the Syrian war and ISIS. The story is about a girl who gets in a relationship with a boy who adheres to radical islam. He takes her with him to Syria, to fight along with ISIS for the caliphate. The book ends with my solution for one of the most difficult political topics, maybe, ever. The book came out in The Netherlands a few months ago and it's slowly gaining more attention. I'm doing interviews on radio and will speak on a festival next month.

I got the title for my book from two of my favourite songs: Tears For Fears - Sowing the Seeds of Love, and Eagles - Hole in the World, both songs mention The Promised Land, so that had to be my title. The Promised Land is of course ISIS's caliphate.

Besides that, I have written a whole symbolism around my favourite album of all times: Long Road out of Eden, and in particular the title track. Because English isn't my mother language and I'm only 20 years old, I might have interpreted the song inaccurately, but I always thought that it was about America's war on terror, their meddling with the Middle East, in particular the Iraq war, which Don calls "a bloody stupid waste". Especially the following lines give me this impression:
Back home I was so certain
The path was very clear
But now I have to wonder: "What are we doing here?"
&
Been down the road to Damascus...

The father of the main character in my story listens to Long Road out of Eden once. I made him a HUGE Eagles fan. Anyway, later in the story, the father gazes at the stars, and wonders what else there is in the universe, that's where I write about Stephen Hawking's latest work: the multiverse. I thought of this because of the following lines in LROOE:
Silent stars blinking in the blackness of an endless sky
Cold silver satellites, ghostly caravans passing by
Galaxies unfolding, new worlds being born

I also mention the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which you could see as a reference to Hole in the World. I explain how 9/11 was the beginning of America's war on terror and how they screwed up in the Middle East after that.

Other songs that I included in my book are my second favourite album: SMiLE by The Beach Boys and the songs One of these Nights by our guys again and Undercover (of the Night) by the Rolling Stones. Stephen Hawking, Eagles and all those other artists: the book also reads as an ode to my heroes. The girl and her boyfriend are named Meryem and Mustafa, M&M, which is a reference to my favourite rapper: Eminem. I have done that kind of word play a few more times.

It's very exciting to experience all of this and I wonder what else it will get me in the future. I hope that some of the people who will read it give the Eagles a listen and they might unravel the symbolism if they listen to LROOE.

Cheers!
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Last edited by The Silk Scarf Monkey; 04-24-2018 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 03-27-2018, 12:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

Congratulations SSM - What an accomplishment to tackle such serious subject matter in a novel at such a young age.

I love the idea of intertwining your favorite songs and bands into the storyline. I wish you much success with this and any future projects. Is an English version of your book available in the U.S. yet?
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Old 03-27-2018, 04:09 PM   #3
The Silk Scarf Monkey
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

That's so supportive, thanks!

No, or not yet at least. It is a goal of mine, but for now I'm still in the process of promoting it just here in my country. If my book would ever become available in the US, that would be a massive accomplishment.
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Old 03-27-2018, 05:24 PM   #4
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

Congrats SSM!!! That is amazing and I love how your incorporating music into your story too. I would love to read it if/when there is an English version. I write too and have self-published my novels and novellas, and music always features in mine as I use playlists while writing and some of my characters are musicians. My next one "Playing with Fire" I finally wrote after Glenn passed as the idea I first had as a little girl listening to "Take it to the Limit".
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

Congratulations and best wishes for much success.
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Old 03-28-2018, 01:27 PM   #6
The Silk Scarf Monkey
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

Thank you @LuvTim and @Buffyfan!

@Buffyfan I feel like writing about the things you like and the people you admire is always a good thing to do, I would always encourage people to do it, because you know so much of those things and you can write with much enthusiasm. I didn't only include bands, but also football players (football is BIG here in The Netherlands), scientists and artists (like in arts). I forgot to tell that I also included the song Speeding Cars by Walking on Cars. Mustafa sings it in the school band during a performance for the whole school and after that, there is a plot twist. Also, after the father of the family listens to SMiLE, he makes an important life decision. Along with all the references to LROOE, you could say that it is important for the story that those songs are included. Making your characters musicians is another good reason to include music in stories! Are your books all about music or even Eagles related? I'm always interested in what and how others write, I'm sorry.

Is self-publishing a lot of work? It sounds so hard to do it all by yourself, although I have to say that I did almost all the marketing myself and chose what the cover would look like too. I had full control over what the book would become, but I get only a low percentage of the profits.
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Old 03-28-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

SSM: Mine cover a wide variety of topics. One of my main characters was an alt-rock musician in my 2nd novel "Double Play", while this new one "Playing with Fire" is set in the current Nashville music scene. But I have other characters in my others that play various instruments for fun. Some Eagles songs and their solo work is on my playlists for a few of them, but "Playing with Fire" is the first that is majorly influenced by Eagles music. My other novels has different characters and storylines and are stand alones, but I do interconnect them in small ways so they all take place in the same universe.

Self-publishing can be hard and it's probably why it does take me awhile to get it done. I do have others edit and proofread for me and sometimes help with the cover. I write mostly as a hobby so I prefer to self-publish so I can just have them out when they're done and have copies of them for myself.
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Old 03-31-2018, 07:31 AM   #8
The Silk Scarf Monkey
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Default Re: My novel: The Promised Land

Wow, that's incredible! I love books from writers who have interests in many different fields, so there's always something to like. One of the first things I did was to take a walk and play the whole LROOE album from top to bottom. I wrote everything down that was interesting and I got something out of half of the songs, but I don't really get into the music industry like you. The Eagles have so much to talk about in their songs, they address issues like a strained marriage, global warming, war and the daily grind of life. Oh I like that, like having references between your own books. Because this was my first book and it might stay my only book, I made references to some of the biggest Dutch writers and their books.

Having others proofread your work usually pays off, but actually I had to do almost all of that myself, because no one is as critical as me. That sounds like the ideal hobby. For this book I also didn't really have much pressure to publish it for a certain date, because I was a starting author. I wanted to write a book about such an interesting topic as the Syria crisis in a young age, so it would be a bigger accomplishment, although people might take it less seriously because of my young age.
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Glenn: Good evening, we're the Eagles from Los Angeles...
Joe: Hey tell you what, if you got firecrackers, save 'em until you get home, lock yourself in the closet and light everything you got okay?
Glenn: ... Thank you Joe!
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