Friday, October 10, 2014

Why one Author's Love of Egypt Inspired her to Write Novels

So why Egypt?

I've been in love with Egypt all my life. By the time I was nine I had read every book on Egyptology in  every library in our city. I longed to go there, but life had other plans and I was a fully grown woman when I went with my mother (who became a camel thief, but that's another story) on a perfectly horrible tour.

Still, it was wonderful. I wandered the temple of Karnak in the moonlight, all too aware that my sensible Nikes were treading on stones that had known the touch of pharonic sandals. Egypt has a magic... Later The Husband proposed to me in a moonlit garden at the base of the Pyramids, and still later, we went back for an almost month-long holiday where we leisurely explored the country.

That's where the idea for THE EGYPTIAN FILE originated. At El Kab there are old tombs that have been open since the Middle Ages, tombs still lively with paint. One of them also has a graffito, long reputed to be early Phoenician, since shown to be a degraded form of demotic. For some reason that sparked an idea of using the graffito as part of a key to solving a mystery. How does one use a two-thousand year old graffito as a clue in a modern mystery? (I'm not going to tell you how, but it does work!)

Every romance has to have conflict between the hero and heroine; every mystery has to have a puzzle that needs solving. After much stewing and (to the discomfort of our traveling companions) muttering, the story of THE EGYPTIAN FILE finally started to come together. Melissa is an art dealer suspected of being an antiquities smuggler, who comes to Egypt to retrieve a file left by her late father. David is a professor of Egyptology who is working with a task force to catch an antiquities smuggler. Of course they end up together, running across Egypt in fear of their lives from both a corrupt task force and a murderous rival who wants the file at any cost. Their adventures are great fun.

I got permission from Dr. Dirk Huyge, head of the El Kab dig, to add a tomb, as things go on in that tomb which should never go on in a real one! Also, the prototype of the hero David really exists. He was our Egyptian security guard during our group's Death March through the ancient quarry of Geb-el-Silsilla (that's another story, too!) and perhaps the best looking man I have ever seen.

I could blather on about Egypt and this book forever, but this blog has a 500 word limit (which I think unfair; some of us have difficulty saying 'Good Morning' in less than 500 words!) so I had better quit now. I hope you enjoy THE EGYPTIAN FILE and perhaps through it come to share a little of the love and fascination I feel for that ancient country.

For more information on Janis check out her website at
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