Who's Kiya? - Hope of the Pharaoh

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Thanks for stopping in and here's to the start of a great week.

Being fascinated with all things Egyptian, I’m happy to host Katie Hamstead, who is going to tell us about the research that went into producing her book, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh.  

First up, thank you for allowing me to guest post here! I’m really excited about my debut NA Novel, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh. It’s is a Historical Romance released by Curiosity Quills. It’s the first book in the trilogy following Naomi’s (Kiya) life. It’s set during the late 18th Dynasty of Egypt, and begins when she is taken to be a wife of the infamous heretic pharaoh, Akhenaten.

This story took a lot of effort to write. With most of the characters being real historical figures, like Kiya herself, Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Horemheb, Ay, the three Queen daughters and Tutankhamen just to name a few, I needed to do a TON of reading and research on each and every one of them. I then had to figure out a timeline of events and line all their lives up. There was math to work out ages and corresponding dates.

I read up on Egyptian culture, especially during the Amarna period and the tension which ensued. The Amarna period was an enormous upheaval from the traditional ways as they moved the capital and disposed of all the gods except Aten. So I needed to understand a great deal about their religion too, and which god each of the characters favored and had to keep concealed.

I also read about daily living, what they wore, ate, how they went to the bathroom. All the small details counted to make it believable. With Naomi being Hebrew, that culture needed to be researched as well. The contrast between the Hebrews and Egyptians was dramatic, and a great source of internal conflict for Naomi. Being a stark believer in Elohim according to her people’s traditions, living in Amarna under the strict Aten only regime is hard for her and causes her trouble.

After doing all this research I was finally able to begin. But as I wrote I found I needed to research more and more so I was in a continual state of shifting events to match which historical theories I wanted to slot into the plot line. Incredibly, I enjoyed every second of it. I’d recommend reading about the time period. Being more than 5000 years ago the history is in fragments, especially as later pharaohs (especially the 19th Dynasty kings) tried to erase the Amarna period from history, and tomb robbers desecrated the Valley of the Kings for its wealth. So historians often have contradicting ideas, but that was part of the fun of it! I could pick which theory I liked the most and use it in my plot.

Some books I used while doing my research are below:
  • Littleton, C. Scott. Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling
  • Tyldesley, Joyce. Egypt’s Golden Empire: The Dramatic Story of Life in the New Kingdom
  • Hawass, Zahi. Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
That’s only three books, but most of my research came from online journals, museum and university websites etc.

Connect with Katie:
BlogFacebook  Goodreads ● Twitter

Purchase links:

So, are you as fascinated with Egyptian history as I am and would you dedicate yourself to this much research in writing your own novel? Share your questions and comments with Katie. 


  1. This is one of the reasons I respect historical fiction writers so much. They have to do tons of research to get everything just right and historically accurate. I read about this book on Tara Tyler's blog as well and I'm happy read an actual post by the authour here. Hi Katie and congrats on writing such an exciting book.

  2. Sheena, I echo what you said about being respectful of what historical authors do. I feel the same way about fantasy writers too.

    The details and the world-building boggle my mind. This is why almost everything I write is contemporary. Massive case of laziness. :)

    Me too, Lynda.

  3. I bet it took a lot of effort to line up all the timelines and events. Congratulations, Katie.

  4. Congrats, Katie! There aren't enough novels set in Ancient Egypt. In fact, I can't think of another one!

    That is an intense level of research. It sounds like you really threw yourself into it and it has paid off well.

  5. Way to go, and what a lot of work you must have put in. I love the time period you have written about and remember reading about the change in religions beliefs which came about for a while. Fascinating period.


  6. Thanks everyone! It was a period that was difficult to piece together, but I'm a huge nerd so I enjoyed myself haha!
    Anyways, it's nice to meet you all and thanks for dropping by and showing your support. I'll swing by a few times today if you have any questions.

  7. I bet all that research really adds to the depth of the book. Congratulations on the release-- really intriguing cover too!

  8. My son (who's almost six) is obsessed with ancient Egypt. In fact, his birthday party is going to have an Egyptian theme. I'll have to check out some of the sources you used to see if there's something he might appreciate, even if just for the pictures.

  9. Though a lot of work, that type of research sounds like my sort of thing. Sounds like a good book.

  10. I love researching, and I do a lot for my present-day books. But this much is amazing. Your book sounds awesome. Great to meet you, Katie.

    Thanks for hosting her, Joy.

  11. I'm so impressed by all the research you did, Katie. Since I live in Egypt, I couldn't be happier to see Curiosity Quills is publishing your book! Yay for you! :-)

  12. Thanks so much for dropping to visit Katie.

  13. Thanks everyone! I just found Ancient Egypt such an exciting back drop with such a rich culture.
    Thanks Joy for having me!

  14. Sounds like a ton of research went into that... especially sync-ing the time with the events...
    Ancient Egypt holds a certain fascination for most people!

    Writer In Transit

  15. I adore anything historical that is truly researched well. It's fascinating the angles people take on the same set of information, and wow do I love the ancient world. I think this one might need to go on my TBR list. =)

  16. I like that most of the characters are real historical figures - very cool. Congratulations to Katie, and thank you both for this interview.


  17. I love Egyptian history and mythology. Kiya looks like an interesting read. I can't imagine all the research it takes in writing something historical.

  18. Guys, thanks for visiting. My thoughts on Egypt and writing historical novels are the same as yours. Fascinating stuff that takes a lot or work to research. I'm forever in awe of writers who make history their subject.


Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you think.