I love doing research! I enjoy the way each new fact leads me to something else, a fresh insight, another avenue to explore.
When I began writing my Gods of Egypt paranormal romances, I had some familiarity with ancient Egyptian history and daily life but then I immersed myself in reading and studying everything I could get my hands on to become even more well versed in the lore.
Until the point I realized the research had become the work. I wasn’t writing!
I’d gotten so mesmerized by what I was learning, I’d lost sight of my actual goal – to provide my characters with the appropriate and believable setting for their adventures. I wasn’t trying to write purely historical fiction. My characters could not dwell in the real ancient Egypt because the men and women I write about interact with the gods, may have unusual abilities, go places that don’t exist and experience events that – sadly – couldn’t have happened beside the Nile of our world.
The various novels are set in roughly 1550 BCE, but since I’m working with an alternate universe, my pharaoh Nat-re-Akhte doesn’t appear on any list of Egyptian kings. His story combines selected elements of various historical rulers, along with his own unique experiences and challenges. The same applies to the men and women over whom he rules. Nor will any ancient map lead you to the nomes or provinces where action and romance occurs in Nat-re-Akhte’s Egypt.
Egyptian mythology and history are so rich in wonderful detail that I pick and choose which ingredients to mix into each adventure I write. There may even be some conscious anachronisms, for which I beg your indulgence. (The Egyptian ‘monetary’ system of deben didn’t involve actual coins, for example.)
At one point, early on, I tried calling the land my pharaoh rules something other than “Egypt” but, come on, who was I kidding? If the Nile is flowing and the lotus flowers are blooming, while the gods Osiris, Anubis, Isis and Thoth are taking a hand in human events, we must be in Egypt. I welcome you to that world and hope you will return as often as you like!
For anyone interested here is a partial list of books I consulted while writing my stories set in Ancient Egypt:
George Hart, PhD., The British Museum London, Ancient Egypt
Robert Hamilton, Ancient Egypt Kingdom of the Pharaohs
Mary G. Houston, Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian & Persian Costume
Tom Tierney, Ancient Egyptian Fashions
Tom Tierney, Ancient Egyptian Costumes
Zahi Hawass, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs
Fergus Fleming & Alan Lothian, The Way to Eternity – Egyptian Myth
Bruce LaFontaine, Gods of Ancient Egypt
T. G. H. James, Egypt Treasures of the Great Pharoahs
Lisa Reid, Tutankhamun & The Golden Age of the Pharaohs
Lionel Casson, Great Ages of Man: Ancient Egypt
Joann Fletcher, Ancient Egypt Life, Myth & Art
M. T. Guatoli & S. Rambaldi, Lost Cities From The Ancient World
E. A. Wallis Budge, Book of the Dead – Papyrus of Ani
Richard H. Wilkinson, The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt
Roy Willis, General Editor, World Mythology
Lorna Oakes and Lucia Gahlin, Ancient Egypt, An Illustrated Reference to the Myths, Religions, Pyramids and Temples
John L. Foster, Echoes of Egyptian Voices, an Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Poetry
John L. Foster, Love Songs of the New Kingdom
Carolyn Graves Brown, Dancing for Hathor, Women in Ancient Egypt
Edward Wente, Letters from Ancient Egypt
Miral Lashien, The Chapel of Kahai and His Family, The Australian Centre for EGyptology
Wolfram Grajetzki, Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom
Bill Petty, Ahmose An Egyptian Soldier’s Story
Oxford World’s Classics, Tale of Sinuhe
John L Foster, Hymns, Prayers and Songs An Anthology of Ancient Egyptian Lyric Poetry