I chose to write about the Russian Revolution—the overthrow of the monarchy and installation of an atheistic Communist regime—to refresh our minds of its monumental impact on world events for seventy years. The Bolshevik’s leaders—Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, and Felix Dzerzhinsky head of the Soviet secret police, for examples—exercised their unmitigated evil and bilious paranoia by slaughtering some twenty- to thirty-million Russians. The malevolent cruelty and manifestly unnecessary regicide, is a horror of their rabid Communist orthodoxy that engendered the slaughtered of Czar Nicholas II, Empress Alexandra and their five children, including their youngest daughter, Anastasia.
The Comintern apparatchiks spread its tenancies worldwide to overthrow western democracies and corrupt its citizens with agitprop in the media, films, and universities. For several decades, we fought the Soviets in Winston Churchill’s “Cold War,” oftentimes on the cusp of a real nuclear war.
Since I was a nipper, I had interest in Anastasia because of the films, stories, and flimflam hustlers hawking the fiction that she survived the regicide and was living incognito in some exotic locale. During my naval career and after retirement, I studied Russian/Soviet and modern-day Chinese history.
Scribing St. Catherine’s Crown was a classic evolution process. It started as a short story about fifteen-years ago. I combine my two interests: Russia andChina into one narrative. I started with the tale of the regicide and the then acceptable idea that Anastasia survived and escaped to a refuge in China.
As a young lad, I enjoyed stories about the orient—especially the comic strip titled “Terry and the Pirates,” by Milton Caniff—who featured such gorgeous femme fatales as the Dragon Lady, Burma, and Copper Canyon.
My tale grew into a novella as I developed Anastasia’s China adventures with blackguards that included the femme fatale, Black Orchid: whom I based on The Dragon Lady.
For reasons I cannot explain I could not leave this tale alone. Then several years ago, I stumbled upon an article about the Czech Legion—never heard of this outfit. Did research, got interested, and decided to incorporate the Legion into my narrative. My novella evolved into a complete historical novel.
Captain Shelton retired from active and reserve naval service several years ago. He was an photojournalist skilled in several facets of his profession and has an extensive background in Soviet and Chinese studies. He served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. His duties required that he travel throughout the world and with particular emphasis on the Far East.
Shelton earned his Bachelor of Science degree (Physics) from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, and his Master of Arts in Cinema from the University of Southern California. For several years, he produced a host of information motion-media shows, winning over forty awards in national and international film competitions and festivals. He was elected a fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and the Information Film Producers of America.
Shelton has published extensively in trade magazines, peer-reviewed journals, and commercial publications. After retirement from the Naval Reserve, he completed his book Communicating Ideas with Film, Video, and Multimedia, which earned the Best of Show award in a major publication competition. He continued his writing completing his first novel St. Catherine’s Crown
. He has authored a number of short stories and three novellas, all unpublished. Now he is working on his second novel, which he has titled Abyssinia
. The narrative is set shortly after the conclusion of the Second Italian-Abyssinian War in 1936.