He dreams of judgment before the gods and awakens to find new strength and even more questions. Whose blood is pooled on the floor beneath him and caked on his side when he seems, now, to be unhurt?
Wenatef lets his enemies think they have killed him and sets out to uncover who is robbing and defiling the dead. Each new discovery brings him closer to the heart of a far-flung scandal of greed and betrayal that reaches a climax in a final confrontation in the great Temple of Karnak beneath the gaze of the gods. (from the author's website)
A KILLING AMONG THE DEAD is a historical mystery set during ancient Egypt's declining years. It is a tale of betrayal, revenge and redemption, and one man's discovery that no matter how alone we seem in our struggle against evil, the Great Ones are never far away.
Describe what it’s like to be an author in three words.
Bringing stories alive.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story involves the reader. It draws you into it until you're following it, moving with the characters, participating in their struggles and triumphs. It becomes real. A good example for me was a book that had a prophet, a villain that nearly turned good, a courageous, self-sacrificing leader, an epic hero... I was there every step of the way. That was Douglas Adams' great book Watership Down. I kept forgetting it was about rabbits.
Do you have any suggestions for beginning writers? If so, what are they?
You mean after telling them to PROOFREAD? Well, most importantly: write. Get into a routine: have a set time to sit down and write. If you can't write, don't do anything else. Just sit there. If you feel blocked, write something, even if it's just a note to yourself about how you're having trouble writing. If you have a dry spell, take out something you've written and edit it. Make notes of something that happened. But just write. And don't get into a fuss about it. Just as important: learn to take criticism. You will have lots of people offering feedback. Listen to them. And, going along with that, develop a good feel for what is valuable or important to you and keep that in sight, because not everyone is going to like what you write.
How do you react to a bad review of your book?
(This ties in to the third point of my advice to beginning writers.) No one likes a bad review. I go into my room, close the door, and throw a fit in private. I get all the angst, shock, hurt - whatever - out of my system. Then I catch my breath, sit down, and reread the review. Is there anything there that can't be explained away as personal taste? Anything substantive like weak characterization? Or an 'author's pet'? Issues with wordiness? If those things exist in the review, I think them over. Is the reviewer maybe right? Is there a weakness that I need to work on? I may well decide that I'm satisfied with things as they are - but more often than not a bad review, if it is genuine, can point out a way in which I can improve. One thing I never do is complain about a bad review publicly, and I certainly never contact the reviewer and argue with them. In addition to being really bad form, it is stupid.
What are your hero and heroine of the story like?
A Killing Among the Dead is set during the time that
has gone into decline. Pharaoh's strength is failing, the old order is crumbling, and hardship is forcing the people to turn to desperate measures. Wenatef, the hero, is an officer assigned to command a group of workers as they complete Pharaoh's tomb. He is a battle-proven man, courageous and direct. He has faced danger and hardship before - but the lies, innuendo and evasion that meets him as he tries to learn the truth of a crime leave him nearly helpless. Someone tells him "You can't fight them as you are. You'd have to go to the Land of the West and return with an army." And that, it seems, is what he may have to do. Egypt
Is there one passage in your book that you feel gets to the heart of your book and would encourage people to read it? If so, can you share it?
This scene, toward the end of A Killing Among the Dead, expresses it well. The powerful villains have been caught, their widespread plot has been exposed and is being dealt with. All that remains is one man, driven to madness by the chief villain. Wenatef, confronts this man as he is despoiling a tomb and speaks with him:
** ** **
Unas seemed to writhe like a flame in a high wind for a moment. "It is too late for me!" he said at last. "I am lost - "
Wenatef felt words coming to him in a cool, soothing flood, filling his mind with light, rising effortlessly to his lips.
"Listen to me, Unas," he said. "You let yourself become apostate because of the lies of a man who sought your help in robbing tombs. You had no reason to believe such a one, and yet you did, and you did evil knowing it to be evil and rejoicing in the power it gave you. You have seen that you are mistaken. You have the chance to turn back. You can begin again as though nothing had ever gone wrong."
He saw Unas' mouth form words of incredulous denial.
"I tell you it is all true," said Wenatef with the certainty of a prophet. If you'll only let yourself be turned, you will be turned and all will be well once more. I was sent here to offer you that chance. Will you take it?"
Unas stared at Wenatef for the space of time it took to draw a deep, sobbing breath. His hand stretched out almost of its own accord, quivering, eager. Suddenly he wrenched his hand back, turned and bolted from the circle of red light into the darkness beyond.
Wenatef listened to the uneven footsteps as they blundered up along the stairways and then faded into silence along the upper corridor.
"You cannot run away from truth," he shouted after Unas. "Or from mercy! The only way to escape them is to reject them!"
There was no response. He had expected none.
I am finishing the first polished draft of a story that that is part of my cycle set in
Egypt just after the time of Tutankhamun, a sequel to The City of . The king (Seti) has learned of his son's sudden death two months before while he was out of the country. His son has been in his tomb for over a month. Grieving and lost, he leaves his life as a king and spends the summer as an itinerant scribe in the small village of artists who construct the tombs in the Refuge Valley of the Kings. They have come under attack by nomads, and the town is trying to set up a force to fight them. Seti is a warrior-king; he volunteers to help with the group and is taken into the hearts of the town. In that time he remembers that he is a man as well as a king. This story came about, in part, as back-story for one of the characters in A Killing Among the Dead - Ramses, the young man who is Wenatef's second-in-command.
What is your favorite meal?
Curried shrimp over rice with topped with chopped bananas, peanuts, bacon and chutney.
Do you have a Website or Blog?my website is www.dianawilderauthor.com; I blog at http://dianawilder.blogspot
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