M. D. ROSA
- Guest Author -
Today I welcome a very interesting man - M. D. Rosa. Here is some background information and my interview with this high calibre author. Who is Manuel Rosa you may ask?
MANUEL ROSA is a Portuguese-American historian and author who emigrated from the Azores to the Boston area in 1973 with his parents. He employed his early professional life as a graphic artist working on books and national magazines including The Atlantic Monthly and Boston Magazine. He is also a recipient of the 1976 Boston Globe’s Art Merit Award.
Beginning in the mid 1990s he became a leading expert in the digital artwork field and was a consultant to Prentice Hall Publishing. In the year 2000, he began a new career in IT with Lockheed Martin Corporation, contracted with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where his professionalism and high standards of quality earned him Lockheed Martin’s Lightning Award, in 2002. He is currently employed by Duke University Medical Center.
For the last 21 years, Mr. Rosa has investigated and searched out the facts concerning the discovery of America utilizing a non-biased scientific approach that has taken him to Portugal, Spain, Dominican Republic, Poland and many places in-between in a relentless pursuit of the truth. The new information he garnered about Columbus resulted in the publishing of his first book in 2006.
His ability to speak and read in several languages (including Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and English) has enabled him to search through original documents and maps and countless books and chronicles before reaching his conclusions. He is the first historian in 500 years to present new documents related to Columbus that had been overlooked in Portugal. He participated in the DNA studies of Columbus’s bones and has been invited to present the findings of his investigations at numerous places, including Portuguese universities, the Portuguese Air Force Academy and at the prestigious Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa in 2007 and again in 2010.
On May 16 2012, his lecture at the Portuguese Academy of History, packed with nearly 200 members of the Portuguese scientific community, who described his research as “a serious look at the truth and worthy of praise.”
Mr. Rosa has appeared in various TV documentaries, on many European TV and Radio interviews as well as on BBC Radio and WNPR. His book as even been mentioned on Saturday Night Live.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I was born into a family of 7 brothers on the little island of Pico in the Azores, in what amounted to Third World conditions. We had no electricity, no running water, no indoors plumbing, we ploughed the fields with a cow and we grew all we needed to survive on. Of course my parents put a lot of emphasis on studying and my grandfather, who died before I was born, had been the only person on the village who could read and write. He left behind many hand-sewn books of his writings, including a lot of poetry and I became an avid reader. It has been my passion for reading that led me to accumulate so much material to allow me to write my books on Christopher Columbus.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
In 1991, after having been living in the USA for nearly 20 years, I read in a book that Columbus had married a Portuguese noble lady. This strange fact intrigued me. I was born in Portugal and I had never heard such a fact. It sounded like a lie to me, since Columbus, as we had been taught, was a peasant wool-weaver from Genoa, Italy, and as we all understand it, peasants did not marry nobles in the Middle Ages. That’s how my journey of 23 years got started.
WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
Being that my book, COLUMBUS: The Untold Story, is a non-fiction work, I must first research and investigate, then I write about what I discover. Interestingly enough, a lot of my discoveries regarding the life of Columbus and his 1492 voyage could easily fit into a fiction book, the likes of Sherlock Holmes.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I like to say that I am not a writer. I am a reader. I have read over 3000 history books, documents and manuscripts in six different languages in order to acquire the material I present in my books.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
The hardest thing that I find is being able to cut back on unnecessary writing as well as knowing when something must not be cut. My first book had nearly 700 pages long and that was about half of the material that I could have presented showing how most of the “official” Columbus History is false. For my second book, I was advised by the publisher to make it close to 350 pages. Cutting back all that material was very difficult to do. In the end, if a reader has no clue about the subject, they could be left with a lot of disconnected facts.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
I guess I am still in my past life, since I continue to work my full-time job as well as continuing my research into Portugal’s Age of Discovery and the Templar Knight’s involvement in the formation of the Kingdom of Portugal. However, in my past life I have been a drummer and songwriter for a Rock n Roll band, and continue to write songs here and there. My song "NEW AGE MACHINE" won Runner Up Placement for Song of the Year ( http://syhout.blogspot.com/2013/04/new-age-machine.html ).
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
In a pure creative sense, I would have to say poetry. I have been writing poetry since I was 8 years old, I have even written poems in my sleep. True, I have woken up in the middle of the night with a fully formed poem in my mind, several verses of rhyme just ready to pen down. Many times the poetry just pops into my mind as if the poem was not mine but, instead, that I have tapped into a poetry radio station somewhere in the universe and am merely writing it down. There is nothing that compares to the magic of joining words that rhyme into a phrase that carries a message.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Currently I am finalizing the Lithuanian edition of “COLUMBUS: The Untold Story” for release during the Vilnius Book Fair, Feb. 2014.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
This is a trick question. I would say the highest inspiration comes from emotions. If you want to get a person inspired to write make them crazy sad or crazy happy.... then sit back and watch them attack the paper with a pen, bleeding their feelings into tiny pores of the paper as palpable liquid emotion.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
My books are all biographies, thus non-fiction. However, I have some five historic novels on the backburner waiting to be finished.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
Know your subject and know it better than anyone else.
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
I can’t say I do. I suffer more from writing more than I need to.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
Miltiades Varvounis, distinguished Greek-Polish historian, researcher and author called my book "a magnum opus” with “numerous reliable findings and solid theories would make Sherlock Holmes jealous. The History of Columbus has many mixed-up facts and personalities, and maybe the time has come for the discoverer's life to be finally rewritten." - Source Lithuanian Heritage Magazine, (January/February 2913) pg. 28.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
I can’t say that I have had a worst comment from a reader, but I have had many critics who have not read my books, yet felt justified in calling the book a work of pseudo-history.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes, if you cannot experience it, how can you write anything convincing?
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I enjoy songwriting. Wait, that’s writing isn’t it? I dream of one day finding a singer who will interpret my songs for the radio...
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes. I feel that the more eyes look at the manuscript the better off the book will be.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Write manuscript. Have the publisher say, “perfect, let’s publish it just as it is.”
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
Taylor Swift because we could make beautiful music together. Wait. Is my wife going to read this?
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Now you are touching upon a subject that I have often pondered. I could say a long list of things, from stop being corrupted, stop keeping the poor down while helping the rich, stop wars, preach peace, and so on... but one thing I would definitely say is, Please learn to be like José Mujica, the Uruguayan president, and be a servant to the people, not vice-versa.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I will continue to push for my book to be published in more and more counties so that the readers have access to the new information and understand the conspiracy and lie that the Columbus history was. I also have several historic novels that need to be finished...
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
I guess everything is relative. Depends on whether one is successful or not. So currently, yes, I am very frustrated by this industry. I have been trying to publish “COLUMBUS: The Untold Story” in English since 2005. Yet, I have only been able to publish in Portugal, Spain, Poland and Lithuania. Yet a book that is dealing with re-writing our common history and changes 500 years of perceptions needs an English language version. Otherwise the history will remain the same.
DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
No, I just try harder.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
Success would mean being able to quit your day job and live merely from one’s writing.
WHAT SHOULD READERS WALK AWAY FROM YOUR BOOKS KNOWING? HOW SHOULD THEY FEEL?
My readers walk away knowing that the history of Columbus was a lie. In fact his name was not even Columbus. They should feel angry that this lie has been allowed to stand for over 500 years.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
Wow, that is hard as I have a head full of dreams, but I will choose hitting the lottery for a whole lot of money. That way I can fulfill all my other dreams.
WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
Without marketing any book will fail. I market my work all the time in every possible way I can. In fact, had I not done so, I would have remained unpublished today.
ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
No, all my books are published by formal companies, however, I am considering self-publishing the English Edition if I do not find an English language publisher in the next 5 years.
DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN FIVE WORDS.
Considerate, easygoing, creative, tenacious, hopeful.
WHAT PISSES YOU OFF MOST?
Liars and inconsiderate people.
WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
“The Discovery of North America Twenty Years Before Columbus” published in 1925 by Dr. Sofus Larsen of the University of Copenhagen. It’s ok.
Manuel with Cavaco Silva,
Portugal’s President, receiving one of his books.
WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
Take care of one another!
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
Columbus Blog: http://christo-colon.blogspot.com
And I leave you with this short verse:
DREAM AND STAY STRONG
DON'T BE AFRAID TO BE WRONG
CAUSE LIFE IS JUST A SONG
YOU MAKE UP AS YOU GO ALONG
Clancy's comment: Thank you, Manuel, for sparing the time to be interviewed. I agree with your comments about marketing, and about quitting. I'm sure the many rejections I've received have made me a better storyteller.
Manuel Rosa will give a lecture at Duke University on April 11, 2014 titled ,THE FRAUD OF COLUMBUS’S HISTORY & IDENTITY EXPOSED (Don’t believe the lies your teachers have been teaching you!) at Duke's Perkins Library, 12:00-1:30 PM.
Think about this!