Search this blog

Tuesday 16 July 2019

ℚ The Awakening Aten: The Aten Saga [1] - Aidan K. Morrissey

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about The Awakening Aten (, Matador, 370 pages), a Historical Fiction, book one in The Aten Saga.

"A remarkable achievement. Not particularly interested in Egyptian history or historical fiction, this book may have swayed me. The author has obviously researched painstakingly to ensure the sense of time and place are correct; however, it is the inner stories which make this novel. Of course, the motivations are very human, but here they are subtle.

Beautifully written and crafted, the necessary rape, murder and sometimes vile behaviour are well- observed. There is also a fabulous hidden coming-of-age story at the end. Brilliant
~ 5 stars Amazon Review

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Aidan K. Morrissey; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for The Awakening Aten?

"A holiday in Egypt with my wife and friends, where I saw the mummy of Yuya and the few items which he had buried with him in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Yuya's sarcophagus and mummy
A man who came from nothing but became the most powerful person in Egypt as the Regent for Amenhotep III – during the richest period of Ancient Egypt, made me delve further into his life – with (for me) surprising results.

This was followed by a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Turin where all the amazing artefacts from the tomb of Kha, a tomb builder, are kept.  Kha was a contemporary of Yuya and the story gives voice to their possible lives."
Kha's sarcophagus and some object from his tomb
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"I am fascinated by history and I would not have been happy if the story had not been true to the history of the time period covered by the novel.  I don’t think any of the characters are particularly me – although I can’t say the same for some people I know!"
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for The Awakening Aten - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover was designed by Jack [Wedgbury] at Troubador.  I sent Troubador my ideas – Jack changed it completely and I love the result.

This is the first book in a series which covers the so called ‘Amarna’ period of Ancient Egypt.  This period is concerned with a change in religious beliefs from the worship of many gods to just one – ‘The Aten,’ represented by a sun disk.  The book cover shows how ‘The Aten’ was shown in the art of the time, a bright disk with arms (normally fourteen) protruding downwards from it."
Akhenaten Sphinx under Aten
Why should we read The Awakening Aten and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"There have been many novels written about this particular period of Egyptian history.  I have tried to read as many of them as I could.  However, almost without exception, these novels have ignored the historicity of the period.  The reality of the period is more exciting than we can possibly imagine, and I believe this novel and those in the series to follow it, which are as factually accurate as I have been able to make them, make it stand out from others.

I have had to perhaps, (as Bernard Cornwell sometimes does), change the dates of some events.  For example the battle against the Naharina Princes depicted in the early part of this novel, probably occurred earlier in the reign of Amenhotep II than is indicated in this book.  The events and punishment eked out to the losers however, are accurate and taken from the stone stela which was erected following the events in Amenhotep’s sun temple beside the Great Sphinx."
Can you tell us something quirky about The Awakening Aten, its story and characters?
"The main characters, being actual people, had their names given to me.  Most people who have read the book have not noticed that in the background events told in the Bible Old Testament and/or Torah and Qur’an are happening around the characters.  This is explained a little in the ‘Historical Notes’ at the back of the novel and I will over time give more details on my webpage –

One quirky story about one of the characters (which was edited out of the book) is that Kha was buried with over 70 pairs of underpants (more correctly ‘loincloths’).  All of these bear his laundry mark, which shows that even 3,500 years ago the Egyptians sent their dirty clothes to the ‘dry cleaners’ of the day."
Two of the loincloths found in Kha's tomb
Who would you recommend The Awakening Aten to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This book is for people who enjoy the writings of James Michener, Pauline Gedge and Bernard Cornwell.  Anyone who has an interest in, or love of, Ancient Egypt and who wants to learn more about the culture of that time, or who just wants to read a good, character led, novel of life, death, love and war.

There is some violence.  These were cruel times, however I hope that these scenes have, as one reviewer has told me, ‘evoked all that they needed to without being gratuitous.’"
If you could / wished to turn The Awakening Aten and the The Aten Saga series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"There are so many characters, but just as a few:
Ridley Scott
Liam Neeson
Aidan Turner
Queen Tiye:
Noémie Lenoir
Nefertiti (Child):
Amelia Flanagan
The location speaks for itself - Luxor/Cairo and the Sahara Desert!"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"My first love is history and so I am fascinated by the research that is required to go into writing such novels.  If it takes a thousand hours to write a novel, it will take 10,000 hours of research.  You have to love your subject to write successfully.  I do however read widely with crime and thrillers, great favourites along with historical novels.

I am just starting to write short stories, examples of which I will be putting onto my website."
What is your writing process?
"I work full time, in a job which entails frequent intercontinental flights, so my writing time is restricted to evenings, week-ends, long haul flights and daft o’clock in the mornings when jet-lag kicks in."
What is in store next?
"I am busy writing two novels simultaneously.

One, Book Two in this ‘Aten’ series, will take those characters who have survived Book One along the paths of intrigue and conflict which are hinted at, or blatantly obvious, from the end of this book.

The second project is a crime novel, written in the first person, where the protagonist is a mysterious vigilante, who, in this first novel, travels over continents and through several countries seeking justice and vengeance against a ruthless paedophile ring."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"This is a difficult one!

I suppose I would have to choose my Egyptian ‘Gallibaya’ the traditional dress worn in Egypt.  I came to appreciate the comfort of this in the heat of Egypt on my many long research trips to the Valley of the Kings, the temples and burial sites!  Not a particularly flattering picture – but it was taken at the end of a hard day!"
It's a great picture, and it definitely tells a story. Very fresh dress, which is definitely needed in that climate! Thank you for sharing!

Egypt 1420 BCE. Change is coming.

The Awakening Aten
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads


Anne Cater said...

Huge thanks for the blog tour support x

BooksChatter said...

Our pleasure! Such and interesting topic!