Was Queen Elizabeth I a Man?

Image of book, Was Queen Elizabeth a Man?Was Queen Elizabeth I a man?  My current projects are related to that intriguing legend.

Ever since I read the article about Queen Elizabeth I rumors, I’ve been researching the history of that particular rumor and the evidence to support it.

My first discovery was Bram Stoker’s final nonfiction work, a book called Famous Impostors.  It’s difficult to read.  (That’s an understatement.)

Stoker definitely liked long sentences, longer paragraphs, and amazingly flowery language.

So, I spent several days trying to understand what Stoker was saying, and see if his historical references supported his claims.

Though I’d initially planned to write just one book about Queen Elizabeth I as an impostor, the Bram Stoker portion of the story was enough to fill a book, all by itself.  So, I decided to share my edited version of Stoker’s story.  It will save other researchers time and irritation.  After all, why reinvent the wheel? That book is Was Queen Elizabeth a Man?

Here is one of my charts from that book, and it describes what may have happened.

Illustration of wives and lovers and children of Henry VIII

I’m publishing this book in Kindle, today.  When I have more time, I hope to produce the second book in this fascinating series.

Later, I may explore the life of Catherine of Aragon.  While learning more about Henry VIII and his struggles to sire a legitimate, male heir, I stumbled onto something interesting.  There seems to be contemporary evidence that Catherine of Aragon struggled with anorexia, bulimia, or both.  Catherine’s hidden stories may become a third book in this series… but I’m not sure, yet.

For now, I’m excited to publish the current book based on Bram Stoker’s work.

North Korea – What’s Behind the Headlines

North Korea - What's Behind the HeadlinesNorth Korea – What’s Behind the Headlines was supposed to take about two weeks to write.  Early in March, I thought I’d completed all of my research.  I had my story.  I knew my angle.  Everything looked good.

My premise was simple:  For most of its history, North Korea had been distinct from South Korea.  Even during the centuries when Korea was united, the northern part of the peninsula was culturally and linguistically different. It was the more aggressive of the two regions.

I also had enough cultural information to show that the spiritual roots of North Korea made it vulnerable to social manipulation, so the people smiled and nodded as their leader spoke… and then they went back to their own lives, as best they could.

I’d heard rumors about prison camps and “total control zones.”  I knew a little about the Korean War.

In general, I had a far better understanding of North Korea than I’d started with.

At the outset, my only references were reruns from the old TV series, M*A*S*H, and K-pop music from South Korea.  (I was an early fan of “Gangnam Style.”)

So, I started to write this book.  Since it’s in the “30-Minute Guides” series, it didn’t have to be a long, complex book.

Then, North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un started making threats.

Every time a news headline appeared, I’d research every historical reference in it.  Suddenly, a very different history of North Korea began to emerge.  Those facts weren’t so easy to uncover.

As I traced the twists and turns of Korean invasions, the reasons behind those events cast a different light on the “land of the morning calm.”   Further research into the horror of the Korean War — and how those North Korean fears are manipulated now — helped me realize the depths of what’s behind the current headlines.

And, I developed a new appreciation for Kim Il-sung’s Juche vision of an independent, self-reliant North Korea.

At that point, it looked like a united Korea might be the best answer, after all.  I’m not sure how the religious, political, and historical differences could be ironed out, but… well, South Korea has resources that North Korea needs.  And, in return, North Korea has hardy, perpetually optimistic people with a strong work ethic. They could contribute to South Korea’s economic growth.

Korea's divisions in 105 BCESo, with my book nearing completion, the initial premise had been lost in the rewrites.

To be perfectly honest, I was almost ready to give up on this book.

Then, by sheer luck, I stumbled onto an old map of Korea.  It showed the peninsula’s boundaries around 105 BCE.  That’s my version of the map, at right.  (It’s based on a Wikipedia map by Historiographer, and released under the same terms.)

That map showed how South Korea (then called Jin) controlled far more of the peninsula than the north (then called Gojoseon) did.  (The current boundary is fair to both sides, and it’s drifted slightly in favor of North Korea.)

The more I researched Korea’s history — in relation to internal conflicts and invasions from outsiders — the clearer the picture became.  And, during the days that followed, more news reports from North Korea revealed even more about the Kim dynasty… where it succeeded and where it’s fallen far short of what its citizens deserve.

At that point in the writing process, I had to break down my original book and rebuild it.  My original premise had been accurate: North and South Korea are two very different countries, with contrasting cultures and belief systems.

However, the more hidden history of Korea was also necessary to understand modern Korea.

So, the final book includes the best of everything I discovered on this journey.  I’m pleased with it.

No book can convey all the layers of history and cultural conflicts within the Korean peninsula.  It’s too complex.

However, for Western readers, I think my book highlights the important points, and my predictions may be accurate.

Next, I’m ready to write some lighter books.  This one took much more effort than I’d anticipated when I agreed to write it.

However, I’m glad I accepted this project.  I learned far more history — and gained a greater understanding of how news reports are written — than I’d even glimpsed before tackling this complex topic.

Update: Due to the dramatic changes in the political scene — which my publisher cannot keep up with, editorially — we’ve mutually agreed to remove this book from sale.

Petrus Romanus – Who, Where, When

Petrus Romanus - Last PopeUpdate: This book is now out-of-print. Early in 2016, we plan to include its information in our other book about the Pope, along with new updates about the office of the pontiff and how prophecy is being revealed.

Here’s my original post about our Petrus Romanus book:

Yes, I have published two new books.

The past few weeks have been hectic but fun.  My friend Dace and I decided to put his research and my writing skills together, and work on a couple of books related to the Pope’s resignation.

Our latest book is Petrus Romanus – Who, Where, When.  It’s a shorter version of our earlier book, The Last Pope, reorganized for easier reading by people who want “Just the facts, ma’am,” as Joe Friday would say.

We’re intrigued by the idea that we’ve already seen the last Pope, and it’s not the current one. In fact, it’s possible the “last Pope” flew right under the radar, while everyone’s attention was focused on speculation about the Papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.

Things are changing at the Vatican. We’re still watching, closely. These are interesting times.