Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear TombQuest #5
Happy birthday WAHOO!
Yes indeed, the wait is over. TombQuest 5: The Final Kingdom comes out today.
And just for you, I pulled author Michael Northrop out of his Book Birthday party and asked him a few questions.
· Tell us a little bit about Book 5: The Final Kingdom.
The Final Kingdom is the final book, and it definitely ends with a bang! So far in the series, Alex and Ren have traveled around the world looking for answers. Now, as they start to put the pieces together, they must go even farther—into the duat, the ancient Egyptian afterlife. And waiting for them back in the world of the living? The epic final battle against The Order and the Death Walkers!
· Yes, the duat! As you say, in this book, Alex and Ren travel into the afterlife—the kingdom of the dead! How did you create this world? How much was drawn from myth and how much from your own imagination?
I tried to stay as true to the ancient Egyptian idea of the afterlife as possible, but a lot of what we know about that was literally carved in stone. Other scenes were drawn on ancient scrolls. The challenge was taking those simple two-dimensional images and turning them into something that felt vivid and immersive. I had to ask myself, what would this colorless stone carving be like if you were really there? And if maybe a god or a ghost was right there next to you?
· Was it hard to end the series? Did you have a very clear idea of where the story was going?
It was definitely a challenge to wrap up a five-book series. There were so many plots and subplots to tie up, so many mysteries (large and small) to resolve, and so many characters to account for. In the end, it came down to picking my battles. I had to ask myself (and you had to ask me!), not just what would be fun or cool to include, but also what do we really need to wrap things up? In the end, I think we got the best of both worlds: an exciting story that was also focused and answered all the questions.
· Which Egyptian god is your favorite?
Well, I have a well-known soft spot for Ammit the Devourer. Who could look into those drooling crocodile jaws and not get a little weak in the knees? But my favorite Egyptian god has always been Anubis. I mean, he’s the jackal-headed guardian of the underworld—that’s a pretty cool job title! He’s a protector and an enforcer. He’s wise and tough—and he has big pointy dog ears. What more do you need?
· Alex and Ren travel across the globe, from NYC to London, to Egypt, and into the afterlife! It made sense for the series that the action had to take place in locations with collections of ancient Egyptian artifacts, but if you could write a book in any setting, or could have taken Alex and Ren to any setting, where would that be?
I wish I’d been able to take them to some of the places besides Egypt where mummies were part of the ancient culture. Tops on my list would be Peru, where the Incan and pre-Incan societies created mummies that were remarkably similar to the ones in ancient Egypt—and in some cases even older! They were elaborately prepared, draped in gold and jewelry, and creepy-cool to the ten-thousandth degree.
These ancient South American mummies were also believed to be incredibly powerful. If the series were, say, seven books long, the huacas (holy things) could have been a nice addition. (But whose side would they be on???)
· bonus question: What’s your favorite holiday?
When I was a kid, it was definitely Christmas. Now, I think it’s Thanksgiving, because I get to eat way too much without guilt and there’s football involved.
· Michael, is there anything you’d like to ask your readers?
I had so much fun writing this series that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite scene. Maybe the scorpions in the subway tunnel in Book 1 or the creepy goings on at Highgate Cemetery in Book 2? Or maybe the train scene in Book 3—ooh, wait, or the battle beneath Tut’s tomb! See, I haven’t even gotten to Book 4 (the sheut! Pai!) and already I am hopelessly bogged down.
As you can see, I have a problem. So what I’d like to ask the readers is: What's your favorite scene?
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