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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Valley of the Kings: The 18th Dynasty by Terrance Coffey


About
In this sweeping tale of ancient Egypt, Terrance Coffey magnificently evokes the turbulent reign of Amenhotep IV, the controversial pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty who single-handedly launched a religious revolution that nearly destroyed Egypt and was later challenged by his own son, King Tut.

After the untimely death of his older brother, six-year-old Prince Amenhotep IV becomes the unlikely heir to the Egyptian throne, the most powerful kingship in the ancient world. By the time he becomes pharaoh over a decade later, the growing influence of the wealthy and corrupt Amun priesthood threatens to undermine his sovereignty. Desperate to maintain power, Amenhotep outlaws the Amun religion, renames himself Akenaten, and proclaims himself the living incarnation of a single, all-powerful deity – the Aten, or sun. With the help of his headstrong mother, Queen Ty, and his beautiful wife, Nefertiti, Akenaten erects a new capital in the desert and entices thousands of citizens to uproot their lives and join him there. But the magnificent new capital harbors a host of new threats: betrayals, curses, conniving relatives, murderous jealousies, plagues, famine, hidden heretics, and foreign enemies.

Inspired by the actual Hittite and Amarna letters of the 14th century B.C.E., Valley of the Kings: The 18th Dynasty is a novel of intrigue, passion, and betrayal, resurrecting the thrilling story of a singular leader whose beliefs were both visionary and disastrous.


Interview
Welcome to my blog Terrance.  Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself and your latest book.  We appreciate your work and views, particularly in these times of uncertainty.
 

Your Name
Terrance Coffey


Your contact info
E-mail:   terry@terrycoffey.com 

Book Title
Valley of the Kings: The 18th Dynasty

Available at
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EG5NGFA

Blog/website URL
www.TerranceCoffey.com

Video URL

Q:
Tell us about your latest work—title, genre, etc.
A:
'Valley of the Kings' is an historical fiction book series that chronicles the turbulent lives of some of the most known and sometimes lesser known pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Told in story-form, it’s a fictional biography based on historical facts and events. The 18th Dynasty is Book 1 of the trilogy which recounts the reign of pharaohs in that particular dynasty. The next installment is The 19th Dynasty that will focus on the pharaoh Ramesses and the pharaohs that followed his reign.
Q:
What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A:
Since early childhood I shared a genuine love for history and historical biography. Real people of the past who have experienced real-life tragedies and triumphs I find fascinating and relatable. 
Q:
What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A:
I’m an avid believer in outlining because I like the idea of having a roadmap that will carry me from the beginning to the end of the book.  It’s what keeps me focused. I first write each chapter by hand in a notebook then write it again in MS word making necessary changes as I transfer it.
Q:
What kind of research was involved?
A:
I actually started researching the story for Valley of The Kings in 2001, after stumbling across a televised biography about king Tut. Though the bio focused mainly on the young pharaoh, I was more intrigued by the story it wasn’t telling—the story of his father, the pharaoh Akenaten. The untimely death of the young pharaoh Tut was ominously tied to the life of his father who at the time of his reign was considered a heretic and it was his actions and decisions that almost destroyed the Egyptian superpower. I was fascinated by just the little I knew of his story and from that spark, I really got into researching the history of the 18th and 19th dynasty pharaohs. After two years of research, I wrote a fifty-page outline for a television mini-series based on my story and from that I wrote a one-hour pilot episode. I then put the whole thing away and would periodically update it whenever new information or recent discoveries in the tombs of Egypt were documented. I did this up until I actually began writing the book in 2014.
Q:
How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A:
Probably very little. I’m more or less an introvert and most of my characters are extroverts who are unhinged and very clever.
Q:
How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, work, etc.?
A:
Most of my career I’ve worked as an independent consultant through my own company, so I’ve always been able to set my own working schedule so that it wouldn’t detract from my writing.
Q:
Have there been any authors in particular, that inspired your writing?
A:
Yes, Richard Matheson, Rod Serling, George RR Martin and Alice Walker.
Q:
What is the story behind how your book came about?
A:
 I asked a friend to read and then give me his comments on a television series pilot script I wrote back in 2003.  He loved it but felt the story deserved to be told in its entirety first, and suggested that I write a novel based on the series outline. At first I didn’t take the suggestion seriously because I had never written a book before, but because he was so tenacious in his opinion that it would make a great novel, I decided to give it a try. Once I started writing it in early 2014, I literally couldn’t stop. I worked on it at least 6 days a week, spending 5 to 8 hours on it a day. It was as if the characters were telling the story themselves. It took me about a year to actually complete the first draft and an additional six months for the 2nd and 3rd drafts. The editing took a total of five months before I passed the final manuscript on to the publisher.
Q:
What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A:
I’m working on the sequel to my debut novel Valley of the Kings called The 19th Dynasty and also a sci-fi thriller called “Something Happened to Maggie.
Q:
Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A:
Though Amazon does the major part of the marketing for my book, I try to do something everyday to help market the book myself. I advertise my book links on related facebook bookclubs, twitter ads and other social media sites. I can’t really tell which strategy has been the most effective. For me, marketing is not fun at all but very necessary if you want your book to stand out. The challenging aspect is deciphering what information or marketing technique(s) are best and most effective for your particular book. 

 
Again, thanks Terrance for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.

BIO

Terrance Coffey is an author, screenwriter, composer, and Winner of the 2016 International Pacific Book Award for Best Historical Fiction. With a predilection for Egyptian history, he has written numerous short stories, screenplays, television pilots, and even Coca-Cola music jingles. Born in Chicago, Illinois, Terrance now lives in an ambitious little town near Atlanta, Georgia, where he constantly dreams of ancient Egypt.



Excerpt
Valley of the Kings: The 18th Dynasty (Chapter 6 excerpt)

DESPITE THE QUEEN and the pharaoh’s somber mood, their royal reception hall brimmed with military captains and soldiers eager to celebrate their victory over the Nubians with a commemoration to Montu, the god of war. For the special occasion, Amenhotep requested the most agile dancers and gifted musicians from the faraway land of Byblos to dance and parade around the reception hall like domestic animals, begging to please their masters in prostration to the Amun god—a ridiculous ritual in the eyes of Queen Ty.
Four female musicians from Egypt were chosen to join the others. They sat on the floor playing indigenous music on double-reed pipes, harps, sistras, and tambourines.
In the center of the hall, at the head of a massive slab that stretched the length of the room, Amenhotep hosted the festivities garbed in his new war armor. Queen Ty sat next to him dressed in her best silk and jewels. On the other side of Amenhotep sat Lady Lupita, Amenhotep’s secondary wife, the sister of Artassumara—king of Mitanni.
The remaining seats in the reception hall were filled by military officers and palace officials shouting over the music boisterously. Victory banquets were the types of events the queen could do without. If she had not been told that Lupita would be attending, she would have remained in her palace chamber, away from the debauchery of the soldiers and their desire to be surrounded by nude female servants with oversized breasts, catering to their every whim. This was beneath her, but she could not allow her husband’s secondary wife to be seen there without her in attendance. It was necessary for the high-ranking officials to witness her consuming a meal with her husband as a symbol of their unity.
Queen Ty forced a welcoming smile at Lupita who returned her gesture with the same disingenuousness. 
The girl was strikingly beautiful and was just fourteen years of age when she arrived a year earlier in Thebes to marry Amenhotep, accompanied by three hundred and seventeen maidservants. Though Queen Ty easily matched Lupita’s number of attendees, she could not compete with her youth. The young girl’s olive toned skin was perfectly kissed by the sun, and her eyelashes were naturally long and curved above the hazel pupils of her eyes. She had dimples in her cheeks that made her smile even more inviting. Her breasts were perky and her hips appeared overly developed because of her tiny waist. Every one of the young girl’s physical features appeared to be molded by the hands of a master sculptor, and what was even worse for the queen was that Lupita’s disposition was humble and kind, the abundance of which, along with her femininity, had enchanted Amenhotep. It all made for an alluring combination impossible for Queen Ty to outdo.
The smile she shared with Lupita shifted into a stare of contempt when the young girl turned her attention away from her and toward her animal. Lupita caressed a white cat perched on her lap. His name was Bastian, and he had sea-green eyes and a solid gold collar fitted with a ruby medallion that glistened around his neck. The queen loathed Lupita’s cat as much as she secretly envied her. Its presence at the banquet served as another entity united against her right to happiness with her husband.

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