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.
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.