Yum Kax (Yoom Kosh) the Mayan Corn God
Peabody Museum, Harvard University
I may have mentioned once or three times that I write ‘quick-read’ fiction for young teens who are not too keen on reading. For those of us who cannot imagine ever being without a book, it is often hard to understand why some people struggle to ever pick one up.
The thickness can deter some doubtful readers. Pages dense with text also intimidate. Ransom Publishing thus produce slim readers with plenty of white space on the page. More importantly, perhaps, for teen readers, they are now also published in various e-book formats including Amazon Kindle, and e-pub and pdf versions at Hive.
The stories in the Shades 2.0 series are aimed at twelve-year-olds with a reading age of 9-10 years. They are around six thousand words in length, i.e. short story sized. But, to create interest and momentum, they are divided into several chapters (with cliff hangers), and then spread unthreateningly over 64 pages. The aim is to build reading muscles by creating works that are small in scale but big enough in content; mini novels if you like: do-able and hopefully un-put-downable.
The stories in the series cover many challenging themes and in all genres – from the trials of an apprentice apothecary escaping London during the Black Death of 1665 (Plague by David Orme) to Jill Atkins’ Cry, Baby which tells what happens when schoolgirl, Charlie, finds she is pregnant.
And where does Yum Kaax come in? Well he features in my story Stone Robbers, putting in a surprising appearance when Rico, the angry young hero of the tale, stumbles into a robber trench in an ancient Mayan city. But that’s all I’m saying, except to add that the part he plays in the story was inspired by the real and accidental discovery of a magnificent Mayan mural at San Bartolo, Guatemala back in 2001.
Stone Robbers, then, is both an adventure and a quest. Rico has a score to settle with an old adversary, Enzo. Then he discovers that antiquities thieves have been looting the ruined city near his home. Between Enzo and the stone robbers, lies yet another conflict: Rico’s fury at his Mayan heritage, this in a Guatemala where Mayan people are still second-class citizens. Suddenly it all seems too much to handle, and then the Corn God puts in an appearance…
Available on Amazon Kindle and on Amazon in book format.
Also in the Shades 2.0 Series Mantrap – a story about elephant poaching set in Zambia.
For more about Ransom and Shades 2.o series