Today, I'm so honored to feature author Chris Turner here on my blog. He is the author of Denibus Ar, an archaeological thriller set in beautiful Egypt which I had gotten a chance of reading and reviewing just a few days ago. It was a fun read and I'm pretty sure that fans of archaeological thriller out there would definitely enjoy his book. And regarding Denibus Ar, which I personally thought (in my review) had quite missed my expectation, Chris Turner has got something to say about the book and also about his deep fascination for Egypt. Read his post below...
The Beauty of Egypt by Chris Turner
The inspiration of Denibus Ar came from two trips to that timeless country where I was completely blown away by the archaeology and the fabulous array of ruins spread up the Nile. While exploring the underground mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, I remarked on the beautiful deep green and indigo frescoes on the walls, painted with cobras and myriad animals and figures and symbols--and I couldn't help but wonder if the master artisans and their patron pharaohs ever wanted their tombs defiled, or put on public display? This spawned a whole series of questions in my mind and led to the beginnings of a story. Being a fiction writer, I wasn't keen on writing a type of documentary or academic treatise detailing Egypt and her treasures, nor was I enthused to write another “The Mummy', yet I felt compelled to write something, at least about this strong feeling I had regarding Egypt's heritage and her long history of pillaged tombs and exposed temples. So, I attacked it from an archaeological perspective. Luckily, my mom is an avocational archaeologist and with her knowledge and my own interest in the subject, I was afforded enough content to create a story.
I focused more on the archaeology in the book rather than an evil "walking mummy" formula; in fact, I deliberately tried to make the majority of the events fall within the realm of plausibility, (which I hope I have). Examples include: the oppressive military presence, the coming of tomb robbers, the evil opportunists wishing to snatch relics and re-sell them on the black market. The horrendous underground traps were quite possibly products of the ancient builders, rather than pure paranormal happenings. At least this possibility exists in the reader's mind--some readers will believe that it was the dead pharaoh herself responsible for all the destruction. I was trying to create a sense of mystery, a philosophical dichotomy while not fulfilling the traditional role of a “Mummy”-type action adventure.
In Denibus Ar, the percipient reader finds serious people who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of archaeology, recovering artifacts and analyzing facts, then there are the unscrupulous villains who labour to pilfer such relics and make profit from their sale on the black market. But from the pharaoh's point of view (even the ancient builders), does it amount to the same thing? An invasion and an ultimate violation of a hallowed site, where sacred objects are put under the scrutiny of an ogling public. Were they ever intended for this?
More so, how would any ancient presences (if they existed) react to such a desecration? I wanted to infuse this contemplative question in the reader's mind. In between the lines, I wished to present themes which the traditional Hollywood handling of archaeological horrors could never do (modern film-makers don't have time, being wrapped up in chase scenes and pyrotechnics). Also, the question of what caused the destruction of the site and alleged paranormal activities throughout--is it disembodied spirit, or is it just the clever engineering of the tomb makers? These are questions that are put before the reader. Also the impact of our present-day world on the older one. What are the repercussions modern society must suffer as a result of unwarranted intrusions? Is the advancement of knowledge and the ability of modern machines to dig deeper and more accurately, really meant to be? Ironic then, if modern techniques do not get the 'gold' in the end . . .
The characters I envisaged were an international team of archaeologists employed in very specific areas of expertise. The skills and personalities of each provided enough contrast to create some drama. Of course, there was always room for romance, but I downplayed that possibility, because I felt again, it was too trope-ish for the seriousness of the theme; instead I opted for a general jauntiness in the characters' demeanours, which I thought would complement the archaeology and the extreme environment in which they worked.
The paranormal events are down-played in order to keep the story more within the realm of plausibility--particularly if a reader gives validity to the possibility of ancient spells as having some influence in the natural world.
Hope you enjoy the book, and if you have not already, get a chance to visit that fascinating country.
About the Author (taken from Goodreads)
Chris is a prolific author of fantasy, adventure and science fiction. His writing spans many genres: heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery and speculative fiction. His books include: the Rogues of Bindar series, Future Destinies, Fantastic Realms and Denibus Ar.
Chris is also a prolific painter, with nearly a thousand oil art works to his name. He has also been involved in extensive studio recording. After graduating from University of Waterloo in Honours Mathematics and Computer Science in the ‘90s he backpacked and biked throughout Europe and Asia before teaching computer programming courses in Ottawa, Canada.
Chris’s other interests are guitar, cycling, meditation, canoeing and tennis.