For today's blog I thought I'd try something a bit different and tell you about the research that went into my second book, The Adventurers and the Temple of Treasure.
I've spent my whole life being fascinated by Ancient Egypt and in March 2009, aged 22, I visited on holiday. Most of the week was spent by the beautiful Red Sea in Sharm El-Sheikh, but the highlight for me was visiting Cairo for the day, exploring the Egyptian Museum, the Giza Pyramids and the Mosque of Muhammad Ali.
I featured two of these locations in Temple of Treasure. Giza is a phenomenal awe-inspiring spectacle and one of the last of the ancient monuments that allows tourists to climb all over it... I have a picture of me standing on one of the lower blocks of the Great Pyramid saved somewhere on an old laptop that I need to dig out one day! A few people I've spoken to have mentioned their disappointment that the pyramids, rather than being miles out in the desert as they appear in films, are right over the road from a KFC and other shops and cafes. However I don't think this or anything else can take away from the magic of the pyramids, I very much hope to go back one day.
The Egyptian Museum also features in an early chapter of Temple of Treasure. My favourite memory from the vast collection of thousands of artefacts is seeing the gold mask of Tutankhamun.
Some of the Adventurers' reflections in the museum were my own; the treasures from Tutankahmun's tomb were so immaculate that it was surreal to imagine them being thousands of years old.
There are many scenes and places in the book that I haven't visited (yet!) and drew on some pretty detailed descriptions and photos for inspiration and to get a 'feel'. For anyone interested in the night train from Cairo to Luxor, check out this brilliant website The Man in Seat 61. So many train journeys are documented through photos and descriptions from all over the world, it's a useful (and somewhat geeky) read!
To get a sense of the River Nile, amongst my research I read a fascinating book by Rosemary Mahoney on rowing the Nile alone. Rosemary is a braver lady than I!
The Temple of Hapshepsut and the Royal Cache are two more places I researched online (on Google maps you can see just how close they are to each other).
I'm not the only one who researched Egypt for Temple of Treasure, my super-talented cover designer Andrew Smith carefully checked the detail of Egyptian taxis and trains for the beautiful artwork on the front and back cover of the book. My editor Amanda Horan has also travelled to Egypt and was able to add her insights to the story for extra authenticity.
Whilst Temple of Treasure is a made-up story, some of the ancient secrets are real. The Temple of Akhmim really is buried under a modern city, and the Royal Cache really did hold over fifty mummies at one time. There are so many ancient mysteries that have yet to be solved in Egypt and I hope my readers will share my fascination for this remarkable history.
The Adventurers and the Temple of Treasure is available on Amazon, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble and many more.
Jemma Hatt is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.