Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Best Opening Pages 2010 - UK Authors' Int. Writer's List for Egypt adventure thriller The Smiting Texts



Chapter 1


THEY INTERCEPTED him as he came out of Baltimore-Washington Airport, two
men wearing suits and an air of officialdom like a brisk cologne.
“Mr Anson Hunter, the British Egyptologist?”
Egyptologist? That sounded good. Very establishment. Anson stood a bit taller, which
placed his beanstalk elevation a few inches above theirs. The man could have said
independent, renegade Egyptologist and phenomenologist, lecturer at out-of-town halls
and auditoriums, writer, blogger and alternative theorist as well as leader of occasional,
fringe tour groups to Egypt. But instead the man had said ‘Egyptologist’.
“Who wants to know?”
“You are invited to Johns Hopkins University. They wish to hear you speak.”
Anson goggled. Johns Hopkins and Anson Hunter? His moment of elation quickly
faded. They didn’t belong in the same sentence.
“A nice thought, gentlemen, but venerable institutions like Johns Hopkins don’t wish
people like me to speak. They would prefer us not to breathe.”
Anson had arrived to give a lecture on ancient Egyptian ritual smiting power and
execration texts at a hired Masonic hall that evening.
He tried to move past, but the men blocked his way, smiling with steely politeness.
“Please come with us, Sir.”
“There must be some mistake.”
The spokesman frowned and reached inside his coat.
Hell, Anson thought, what is this? Has mainstream Egyptology finally sent a hit squad?
The hand came out of the coat.
Anson resumed the business of breathing.
The man flipped open a wallet, by way of introduction.
Anson glimpsed a crest – an eagle inside a circle and the words:
U.S. Department of Homeland Security.



Also a name, Browning. He was a broad-faced man with steady eyes.
Why me?
Anson’s ex-wife May had always said that he had the burning eyes of fanatic. Had they
picked him out as a likely threat to the US homeland? This Johns Hopkins stuff was just
a cover for an arrest.
He suddenly felt very alien.
“I’ve been a mild threat to conventional Egyptology for years,” he said, “but I hardly
rate as a security risk.”
“We need your help, Mr Hunter.”
The other man relieved him of his suitcase and also took his briefcase containing his
laptop.
“Careful, there’s an explosive PowerPoint presentation in there,” Anson said.
Browning flicked a glance towards Anson’s briefcase, but a sense of humour overtook
his instinct to protect the homeland. He allowed himself a flinty smile.
“Ah, yes. Almost had me going there.”
“Would you please explain why Johns Hopkins Near Eastern Studies Department
would be even faintly interested in my theories?”
The man lowered his voice.
“It’s not that Department that wants you. Johns Hopkins is also the Centre of
Excellence for a new Homeland Security Centre. Goes by the full name of the Centre for
the Study of High Consequence Event Preparedness and Response. You’ll be addressing
a consortium that’s studying how the nation can best prepare for and respond to a range
of unexpected large-scale incidents or disasters.”
“Me?”
The only large-scale disaster he was familiar with was his own career – his failure to
swing the world of Egyptology, with very few exceptions, to his alternative theories. But
maybe his luck was changing. Any invitation to speak at Johns Hopkins – anywhere at
Johns Hopkins, even in a restroom - was too intoxicating to pass up. Not that his
abductors were giving him much choice in the matter.
They led him to a waiting black sedan that purred on the kerbside
He shrugged, climbed into the back with one of the Homeland men and sank into
baffled acceptance. The sedan slid away into traffic.
This was the smoothest of smooth abductions. But they had his attention. He decided
he quite enjoyed being whisked away into intrigue.
He was still troubled however.
“I’m not exactly sure where we’re going with this. What has US Homeland Security got
to do with ancient Egypt? Or me?”
The Homeland man who sat in the front beside the driver, threw a mystified look over
his shoulder.
“Beats me, I’m a practical man. I’ll leave it to others to explain.”
“Then there’s the small matter of my engagement. I’m booked to give a lecture tonight.
Hundreds of people will be disappointed. Well, dozens.”
“Cancelled already. Just consider it a change of venue.”
It was quite a turnaround from out-of-town Masonic hall to Johns Hopkins University.
A bit presumptuous of them, but he could be flexible.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Author who movie-storyboards key scenes before writing his Egypt-based mystery adventure thrillers...

How I visualized the opening to The Smiting Texts Egypt adventure novel.

What comes first - the book or the movie?

As a Creative Director in advertising, I've learnt to think visually. As a result, I like to do a book storyboard using Googled photos - like this opening scene from The Smiting Texts. As the storyboard shows, I visualized a Hugh Laurie type as my witty British rogue Egyptologist Anson Hunter.

I did the same with the next books in the Egypt adventure series: "The Hathor Holocaust" "The Ibis Apocalypse" and the rest in the series.

This approach helps to achieve a heightened sense of reality - as important for the author in writing as it is to the reader living the story.

I've almost shot the movie BEFORE I've written the book.

SAMPLE THE SERIES HERE (click)



e Ibis Apocalypse. The trilogy is now a series...

Monday, October 11, 2010

A DAZZLING RIVAL CIVILIZATION TO EGYPT

The African Kingdom even toppled the might of Egypt.
Photo from a research trip to Nubia.



Not long ago I was lucky to attend a lecture by visiting German Professor Wildung on the Rediscovery of Ancient Sudan. It raised the question for me: why aren’t the so-called Afrocentrists content to claim the dazzling rival civilization to Egypt, Nubia/Sudan?

Here, my renegade fiction hero Anson Hunter touches on the controversial issue in a scene ('The Hathor Holocaust').



Chapter 11
Gebel Barkal, Nubia




ANSON SAT next to the driver, thrown around in the cabin of the Land Cruiser, as they approached an isolated butte rising in the shimmer of the desert.

Here the great Nubian kingdom of Napata once flourished at a place where the River Nile, slithering like a snake on a scorched belly across the largest desert on earth, loses its way. Stunned by the smoking heat of the Nubian sun, it twists back on itself, flowing in the wrong direction for 270 kilometres - back towards the heart of Africa, before winding its way into Egypt.

And here, too, the design of pyramids changes direction. Unlike those of Egypt, they were smaller, clustered together and tapered, with steep-sides inclined at seventy degrees, as if stretched in a heat haze, or as if viewed through the eyes of a Modigliani.

“That’s the holy mountain of Gebel Barkal over there, near the town of Karima, where we’ll camp. It marks the most important religious complex in Nubia and the second most important to the Egyptians,” he said for the benefit of Gemma. “It was the southern home of the God Amun-re.” He pointed into the haze. “The Royal Necropolis of the ancient city of Napata, the Nubian capital before the Meroitic period, lies over there to the north. There are also large pyramid fields at El Kurru, a few kilometres southwards from the mountain, and at Nuri, on the other side of the Nile.”

Gemma, in the back seat, commented:

“I suppose with such an influential neighbour as Egypt, Nubia was bound to become a mirror society instead of a stand-alone civilisation.”

The Nubian driver growled.

“Let me tell you something. Nubia not only stood alone. One of our great Nubian kings, Taharka, formed an alliance with ancient Israel and defended Jerusalem from a siege by the Assyrians, driving them away. He is even mentioned by name in the Old Testament.”

The driver was no mere driver. The shiny headed man, as dark as the image of a shade in an Egyptian tomb, was a former inspector of Nubian antiquities. Ali had a degree in Egyptology and was now a specialist tour operator and something of a renegade as well as a friend of Anson’s.

Anson added: “The Nubian Taharka may have done more than save Israel’s bacon. He may have rescued the entire Jewish culture and religion. The Assyrians under Sennacherib were intent on destroying Jerusalem and deporting its people. Consider this. The Old Testament had yet to be written and they were still wrestling with the concept of Yawveh. Where would the Abrahamic faiths Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - be, if the Nubians hadn’t stood by Jerusalem? It was a turning point for the Western world and the Middle East.”

“I’m no Afrocentrocist, by the way,” Ali said, softening. “I’m not claiming that Egypt was a black civilisation. It wasn’t, although there certainly were black elements and black pharaohs. No, we have our own civilisation to be proud of.”

“Indeed the Nubians had a long and intricate relationship with Egypt,” Anson said, smiling. “From New Kingdom times they were admired for their loyalty and honesty and hired as the police force of Egypt and also as mercenaries because of their prowess with the bow. The Egyptians felt they could rely on the Nubians - right up to the point where they invaded and took over the country in the eighth century BC. These guys did a reverse takeover and ruled Egypt for almost a hundred years! They became the pharaohs of the twenty-fifth dynasty, with their capital at Gebel Barkal.”

Ali laughed.

“And Anson trusts me!”

Friday, September 24, 2010

2 Egypt Action Adventures for Young & Old - New Paperbacks

Egypt fantasy action adventure for young adults/juveniles with photos (Amazon Books)
Egypt action adventure thriller - 3rd in series
after The Smiting Texts & The Hathor Holocaust
(Amazon Books)


THE IBIS APOCALYPSE

Egypt’s forbidden power…
The fate of the world written in stone.

Third in the Egyptology thriller series after 'The Smiting Texts' and 'The Hathor Holocaust'...
Was Egypt's magical Book of Thoth originally carved in stone - on a stela - rather than written on a scroll?
Anson Hunter, controversial alternative Egyptologist and theorist, is obsessed with locating the forbidden Stela of Destiny before the wrong people get hold of it.

The Stela, or stone book, of Thoth, Egypt’s god of magic, is the most powerful and malefic source of esoteric texts ever written. The texts bring frightening power but also a terrible backlash. Twice in history the contents have come to light – the first time in the reign of Rameses the Great, linked with the Plagues of Egypt and the suffering of the Hebrews, and in 1939 when a German Egyptologist took rubbings of the stone texts to Hitler’s Germany before the horrors of World War II.

Israeli Intelligence and its allies in the USA become alarmed when the Destiny Stela threatens to break into history once again. As they are all too aware, the Stela of Destiny is the Holy Grail for organisations and conspirators with dangerous political and religious agendas, both in the USA and in Europe.

Anson embarks on an investigation under the cover of shooting a screen documentary, pursued by enemies and shadowed by striking Israeli Mossad agent Zara Margolin and suspicious Egyptian authorities, in a hunt that covers USA, UK and secret archaeological sites in Egypt.
Can he find and penetrate the deadly series of chambers of the Sanctuary of Thoth that guards the Stela of Destiny before a dangerous new dawn breaks for humankind?

‘The Ibis Apocalypse’ is a danger-fraught adventure that unfolds against the background of ancient Egypt’s enthralling legend and mythology.




EGYPT BREAKOUT - Soldiers of an Endless Night

"Egypt Breakout" is a photo iillustrated story for young readers and adults about a break out from the Egyptian gallery of a museum. A little wooden spearman, Karoy leads a breakout during a children's flashlight tour of a museum, along with three comrades and a crew of boatmen.
The event that triggers his decision occurs when the Lady Tiy, a sycamore girl that Karoy has admired for three thousand years, (without ever speaking his heart to her) is stolen from the display case by the young daughter of the museum keeper during the flashlight tour of the museum. Karoy faces urgent time pressure. Outside of the climate controlled case, how long can Tiy survive? And how is the jealous magical figurine Heka involved in her disappearance?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Pyramid - "horror heaped upon stone horror"?




How do you lose a pyramid?


“On a good day, the Pyramid is a morbid wonder...

today, it’s suffocating.

Both inside and out.

I don’t need to be toiling up the claustrophobic lengths of its corridors and galleries, with walls that seem to be sweating under the crushing weight of stone above, to feel it.

Just standing in front of the myriad layers of blocks - horror heaped upon stone horror - hazing upwards to the heavens, is enough.

The scale of its disregard for human misery is breathtaking in itself.

All of which makes it quite hard to believe that pyramids ever came to be lost at all, yet lost some were…

In fact, they keep turning up today.

Astonishingly, a new, unknown pyramid was discovered not so long ago on the

highly excavated Giza plateau, of all places, in the immediate area of the Great

Pyramid of Khufu.

A ruined pyramid, yet three courses of limestone remained. It was only discovered

by accident.

Egypt's ninety-sixth pyramid, built in the time of the Queens’ pyramids, lay hidden by

an asphalt road running alongside Khufu's monument.

If a road can hide a pyramid on an overworked plateau like Giza, what can the

shifting sand of the desert hide?”

- Blog from Anson Hunter, renegade Egyptologist, theorist, phenomenologist and

avid blogger, hero of my novels The Smiting Texts, The Hathor Holocaust and

The Ibis Apocalypse… (Amazon Paperbacks and Kindle).

Friday, September 10, 2010

NEFERA (New edition) - The Princess Who Lost Her Scroll of the Dead.

Two fascinating facts about ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and the tomb:





Fact 1. Egyptian hieroglyphs – an alphabet menagerie - capture the essence, magic and appeal of ancient Egypt. Many of the symbols, more than a quarter in fact, were of animals, and the Egyptians greatly feared that these creature-symbols might come to life in the tomb and become uncontrollable forces – lions, jackals, snakes, vultures, crocodiles … [For this reason, scribes would sometimes damage hieroglyphs of living things, cutting off the head of a snake or a lion or showing animals pierced with knives or spears in order to render them harmless.]

Fact 2. A totally blank, rolled-up scroll, supposed to be a costly Book of the Dead complete with spells for survival, has actually turned up in a tomb – empty as the desert- leaving us to wonder about the fate of its owner, bereft of a magical passport.


"NEFERA...Ancient Egypt and a young royal in eternal trouble" (Kindle)

This fantasy fiction story for Egypt-lovers, young and old, relates the journey of two children, Egyptian Princess Nefera, and a boy tomb robber, Ipy.

Nefera wakes up to encounter a shock in her decorated and treasure-laden tomb.
Her royal scribe has cheated her and substituted a blank, rolled up scroll for her valuable Book of the Dead, hoping his crime will never be discovered and that he can sell the real one to someone else. Nefera suddenly realises that she has no magical passport-and-guide to the underworld of scary animals and
animal-headed guardians. Hieroglyphs surround her on the tomb’s walls, but her papyrus scroll is totally blank, as if the text had been written in disappearing ink.

“My scroll is as empty as the desert. Where are my magical Words of Power?”

She quakes. Must she enter the shadowy world of animal-headed monsters and demons, alone, unprotected and guideless, clutching a worthless scroll? How will she ever reach the Egyptian heaven? She prays to the ibis-headed god of writing and spells: “Lord Thoth, send me Words of Power to take me through the underworld.”

It is a risky prayer. Hieroglyphs can come to life in the tomb and become uncontrollable forces!

A magical journey on a living lion couch

Nefera is swept up and carried away to experience a thrilling underworld journey. She rides on a nightmarish piece of tomb furniture, a living, golden lion couch with snarling lions’ heads, racing across a papyrus-like desert surface, where monster guardians pop up to challenge her and hinder her race to reach heaven.

She must succeed before the new dawn or perish forever. Can she reach her goal, especially when tomb robbers have broken into her newly sealed tomb and are stealing her treasures and possessions for the afterlife, one object after another, and now a mysterious boy, Ipy and his thieving monkey, Little Robber (both members of the tomb robber gang) suddenly appear and hitch a ride with her on her loping bed? Is the boy dead too?

Wracked by guilt, the boy tomb robber promises to help save the princess and the journeying companions become friends. What happens when the young renegade, filled with remorse and shame at his crime against Nefera, faces the Great Judge, alongside the royal Princess, who does not yet know his secret?



Amazon

As well as my adult thriller adventure fiction, written under the name Roy Lester Pond, you can find a range of fiction for young readers and young at heart - published under the name Roy Pond

GREAT EGYPT READS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH A KINDLE, IPAD OR SMART PHONE

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

'THE EGYPT TOMB MACHINE' Apple iBook - for young adults

Out now on iPads in the Apple iBookstore, USA, UK, Canada, Germany and France.
Also out soon in a paperback edition (via Amazon).


THE EGYPT TOMB MACHINE by Roy Pond, is an action story for young adults and adults (the Twilight and Stargate age group - said to range anywhere from 13 - 30!) and also for all for who love the enthralling mystery of Egypt and the heady excitement of archaeological adventure.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Egyptology thriller series out soon in paperback - cover thumbnails





New rogue Egyptologist Anson Hunter adventure series already out on Amazon Kindle will soon be available in paperback. Here are the new paperback covers - thumbnails.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

THE IBIS APOCALYPSE - NEW IN EGYPTOLOGY THRILLER SERIES

Latest in the new Egyptology thriller series after 'The Smiting Texts'
and 'The Hathor Holocaust'...


Egypt’s forbidden power The fate of the world written in stone.


Was Egypt's magical Book of Thoth originally carved in stone - on a stela - rather than written on a scroll?


Anson Hunter, controversial alternative Egyptologist and theorist, is obsessed with locating the forbidden Stela of Destiny before the wrong people get hold of it.


The Stela, or stone book, of Thoth, Egypt’s god of magic, is the most powerful and malefic source of esoteric texts ever written. The texts bring frightening power but also a terrible backlash. Twice in history the contents have come to light – the first time in the reign of Rameses the Great, linked with the Plagues of Egypt and the suffering of the Hebrews, and in 1939 when a German Egyptologist took rubbings of the stone texts to Hitler’s Germany before the horrors of World War II.


Israeli Intelligence and its allies in the USA become alarmed when the Destiny Stela threatens to break into history once again. As they are all too aware, the Stela of Destiny is the Holy Grail for organisations and conspirators with dangerous political and religious agendas, both in the USA and in Europe.


Anson embarks on an investigation under the cover of shooting a screen documentary, pursued by enemies and shadowed by striking Israeli Mossad agent Zara Margolin and suspicious Egyptian authorities, in a hunt that covers USA, UK and secret archaeological sites in Egypt.

Can he find and penetrate the deadly series of chambers of the Sanctuary of Thoth that guards the Stela of Destiny before a dangerous new dawn breaks for humankind?


‘The Ibis Apocalypse’ is a danger-fraught adventure that unfolds against the background of ancient Egypt’s enthralling legend and mythology.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

THE HATHOR HOLOCAUST - New Egypt adventure thriller

Out now on Amazon Kindle http://amzn.to/cW9a70
(also on on free Amaz. Kindle apps for iPad, Mac, PC, iPhone, Android and Blackberry.)


Can a renegade Egyptologist stop the re-activation of an ancient Egyptian apocalypse of plague, pestilence and global scorching?

An apocalyptic danger has arisen from the ancient past in Egypt today bringing a threat to the Middle East and also to the West - of plague, pestilence, fiery destruction and global scorching. Anson Hunter, controversial, alternative Egyptologist, theorist, blogger and phenomenologist is the hero of this historical adventure novel with a rich mythological vein. Followed by Western Intelligence organizations, shadowed by a mysterious androgyne assassin, he must race to avert a crisis in a quest spanning USA, Britain and Egypt. Who is behind the plan to trigger an apocalypse? Neo-religionists, Torchbearers with a dangerous New Age agenda, Christian dispensationalists who are eager to bring on the ‘end times’ or radical Islamists with a hatred of the West? In mythology, Ra Egypt’s sun god, hurled an execration upon a rebellious humankind and, in a hot rage, despatched the scorching Eye of Ra, a holocaust sun in the form of the goddess Sekhmet, to destroy them. A marauding lioness, her breath spread pestilence and plague and her claws and teeth death as she swept through Egypt in an orgy of killing. Then Ra had second thoughts and halted her apocalypse. But the execration had been uttered and it was always feared that the inherently unstable agent of destruction – the Female Soul With Two Faces – would one day return to finish off what she had started, cleansing the earth.

THE HATHOR HOLOCAUST follows "The Smiting Texts" (which also featured Anson Hunter and was published in hardcover and paperback, available online at Amazon, WH Smith, Blackwell etc).

Friday, June 25, 2010

Egyptologist Kanawati on novel "The Smiting Texts"

Professor Naguib Kanawati, Australia's top Egyptologist, from Macquarie University, read "The Smiting Texts", my Egypt-based thriller and said: "Congratulations! I really enjoyed your book."

Nice from such a respected field archaeologist who allowed me the creative licence to depict the discovery of the Great Lost Labyrinth of the Faiyum, the legendary hypogeum described by Herodotus, Strabo and others and one of the wonders of the ancient world. Interestingly, the French Egyptologist Pierre Montet of Tanis fame, died believing the Labyrinth was still to be found.

Naguib Kanawati, among many discoveries and achievements, spent several years working on the tomb of the Vizier Mereruka at Sakkara, scene of a dramatic episode in "The Smiting Texts".

I'm relieved that the professor allowed me to take such liberties with a pet tomb and that as a mainstream Egyptologist he was able to indulge my renegade alternative British Egyptologist, theorist, phenomenologist and avid blogger, Anson Hunter!