I posted recently about the amazing author Elizabeth Peters and what an inspiration her Egypt-based Amelia Peabody series was to me.
My fascination with Egypt was sparked as a teenager when my parents took my brother and me on a half-term break to Egypt: a flying visit to Cairo and Luxor. I think it’s fair to say that once Egypt grabbed hold of me it never let me go. It’s become a lifelong fascination.
And I know I’m not alone. One only has to look at the Egyptian galleries in the major museums of the world, always thronged with people. The Metropolitan in New York, Le Louvre in Paris, the amazing Museo Egizio in Turin and of course our own British Museum.
Here I am outside the Egyptian Museum in Turin:
Switch on the TV on almost any night, skim through the channels and you’re bound to come across Egypt-themed documentaries.
But I thought I’d use this short post to highlight a few other amazing sources of inspiration for my Egyptian mystery adventure series.
Starting of course with the magnificent Agatha Christie – apparently only outsold by Shakespeare and the Bible !! Her book Death on the Nile has been made into films that I watch over and over – capturing the romance of cruising along the Nile, and shot on location at some of my favourite hotels and historical sites.
And I’m excited to say it looks as if a new dramatisation is scheduled for movie release later in 2020, with Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot (reprising the role he took in Murder on the Orient Express a couple of years ago). I can only hope the Coronavirus pandemic currently sweeping the world doesn’t put this on hold for too long.
But my greatest source of inspiration of all has to be the box-set documentary-drama “EGYPT” produced by the BBC in 2005. I’ve watched these over and over. They tell the stories of Howard Cater’s discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb (inspiration for my first three novels), Giovanni Belzoni’s remarkable discoveries along the Nile (inspiration for books 7-9) and Jean-Francois Champollion’s decipherment of the hieroglyphic language (also drawn on in books 7-9). I love the format which manages to combine history with drama to tell the story and bring the characters to life.
And this is just to skim the surface. If I listed all the books – fact and fiction – that have inspired me, I’d be here all day. Instead, I have writing of my own to do. I’m underway with book 10 in my series, set in Luxor and inspired by the murder mystery surrounding the death of the last warrior pharaoh Ramses III.
Fiona Deal, Author of Meredith Pink’s Adventures in Egypt, all available on Amazon. If you’re interested in joining Merry on her adventures please click on each picture for the link. Happy travels!