After writing his debut novel, Matt Rabidou hurried to get it published. That’s because the first-time author from Upton, Mass., wrote “Prophecy of the Mayans,’’ a thriller premised on the claim of a coming apocalypse this December.
After writing his debut novel, Matt Rabidou hurried to get it published.
That’s because the first-time author from Upton, Mass., wrote “Prophecy of the Mayans,’’ a thriller premised on the claim of a coming apocalypse this December.
Rabidou based his 285-page “escapist’’ adventure on varied interpretations of the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar that, according to some scholars, predicts a cataclysm based on completion of a 5,125-year cycle on Dec. 21, 2012.
A largely self-taught writer who admires Stephen King, he draws readers into “Prophecy’’ with an emotionally charged opening scene that set events in motion.
Rabidou begins his tale with a ritualistic sacrifice of a young woman in the Yucatan rainforest in 822 A.D. He then propels it into the present through the search of archaeologist James Knight for an ancient Mayan medallion and a lost temple.
Along the way, he mixes in an exotic guide, human sacrifice and a man-eating jaguar, sending readers on a satisfying ride into unknown territory.
“I set out to write a novel that would entertain my readers for the short time they spend in the worlds that I create,’’ he said. “I think I’ve done that.’’
Readers seem to be largely agreeing.
In early reviews on Amazon.com, a Kindle reader described “Prophecy of the Mayans’’ as a “riveting story’’ full of “romance and heartache’’ that “reels you in and makes you feel you’re right there.’’
Another reader described it as “a great read (with a) suspenseful plot and great characters’’ that left his heart “racing.’’
As a youngster growing up in Auburn, Mass., Rabidou knew he wanted to write a novel. At Framingham State College, he majored, on his father’s advice, in computer science to always have a job, and minored in English to pursue his interest in fiction.
“For a long time I’ve wanted to write a book outside the world I live in,’’ he said.
For his “day job,’’ he works for J2 Interactive and builds software systems for health care businesses.
Juggling work and fatherhood, Rabidou spent two years concocting an exciting, fast-moving tale that combines an Indiana Jones-style archaeologist, a villain reminiscent of Rider Haggard’s “She’’ and the exotic locales of Mel Gibson’s “Apocalypto.’’
Before starting, Rabidou read Blake Snyder’s popular book of screenwriting, “Save The Cat,’’ which he credits with providing pragmatic tips about moving along a multitiered plot. After “extensive outlining,’’ he compared writing his novel to “planning a vacation.’’
“I knew generally where I was going but it took some unexpected turns I hadn’t anticipated,’’ he said. “At first I tried to write it in big bursts. Eventually I realized writing a novel is more marathon than sprint.’’
Page 2 of 2 - Along the way, Rabidou relied on editorial advice from his wife, Gigi, who gave birth to their son James around the time he finished his novel.
After finishing his novel in 2011, Rabidou eventually decided to self-publish it through Create Space because he felt it was important to make it available to the public in 2012, the year believers say the prophecy will occur.
Without giving his novel’s ending away, Rabidou is planning for a future beyond 2012 by beginning his second novel, “The Other Side,’’ about a man who travels into a spiritual world parallel to our own.
Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Upton anymore.
Matt Rabidou’s “Prophecy of the Mayans’’ is available on www.Amazon.com in a paperback or Kindle edition.