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Wednesday 13 April 2016

K is for...Khamsin

Click Here for a list of other A-Zers

Throughout April I have invited 26 authors who had been selected as Editor's Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews
 to help me out with the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge...

Except to be a little different I interviewed 
their leading Character/s...

Today's Character is from :

Interview with Princess Nefret, 
Royal Daughter and Heiress to Hor-Aha, 
Second Horus-King of the First Dynasty of Egypt

HH :  Hello! I believe you exist in Inge H. Borg’s KHAMSIN, The Devil wind of the Nile, A Novel of Ancient Egypt.
Nefret:  I do indeed. My name is Nefret. It means ‘beautiful.’ I am, if I say so myself. At the time my story is being told, I am only 15 1/2 years old, and about to be formally introduced to my father’s court as his Royal Heiress. Father is King Hor-Aha, Second Horus-King of the First Dynasty of Egypt, successor to the legendary King Narmer.

HH :  Where and when are you? (i.e. time and place of the novel) Are you a real historical person or did your author create you?
Nefret: We lived in the newly built palace compound at Injeb-hedj, the City of White Walls, just south of the widespread delta the Rivergod Hapi had carved out for himself before pouring into the Great Green. My author, who saw fit to endow me with a sinner’s soul that was yet to endure many other storms and cataclysms, gives this as the year 3080 BCE.

HH : In a few brief sentences: what is the novel you feature in about?
Nefret: While this saga of Ancient Egypt is comprised of several intersecting stories about greed, court intrigue, warfare, and mysticism, it is my forbidden love for the young surgeon-priest Tasar that leads to my terrible transgression against our strict laws of Ma’at, punishable by a cruel death.

HH :   I ‘met’ my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne on a beach in Dorset, England -  how did your author meet up with you? (i.e what gave your author the idea to write about you)
Nefret:   I believe my author literally picked me out of the blue after a chance suggestion. Not very royal of her, I’d say. I still have a bone to pick with her for all my suffering.

HH :  Tell me about one or two of the other characters who feature with you - husband, wife, family? Who are some of the nice characters and who is the nastiest one?
Nefret:  I love Tasar, the handsome young surgeon-priest. I also love Ramose—he was like a father to me; until he ignobly sends me scurrying into the desert like a hunted gazelle. He says it’s to save my life—really? After he condemns me to death and pours my death mask to fool everyone into believing I had died?
From the beginning, the scourge of my father’s court is Ebu al-Saqqara, the treacherous Vizier (a lowly man from a family of grave diggers at Saqqara). He actually tried to persuade Father I should become the vile man’s wife (he doesn’t even like women). But my half-brother Dubar is actually the one who changes my fate forever.

HH :  What is your favourite scene in the book?
Nefret:  When I first lure Tasar into my bed chamber, I tell him I am a slave to the royal princess. After he changes me from girl to woman, I then tell him I am a virgin consecrated to Ramose, the High Priest of Ptah. That shakes him up to no end. That may not have been kind; but I am given to being quite mischievous.

HH : What is your least favourite? A frightening or sad moment that your author wrote.
Nefret:  I don’t want to give the plot away, but when my deranged half-brother Dubar assaults me and pries my mouth open with his disgusting tongue, I bite it almost in half. After that, in a frenzied rage, I do something much worse for which even the powerful Ramose cannot protect me.

HH :  What are you most proud of about your author?
Nefret:  How she takes real places (with their old Egyptian rather than Greek names) and then weaves some historical events smoothly into her stories. She also gives my soul, my eternal Ba, a hint of salvation in her four subsequent books. But for now, I can only hope…

HH :  Has your author written other books about you? If not, about other characters?
Nefret: There are four modern-day sequels to KHAMSIN, all with strong connections to me through my death mask (and old soul). Just to get even, I am having a bit of fun torturing the ‘new me’ endowed with my sinner’s ba.

HH:  How do you feel about your author going off with someone else!
Nefret:  At first, I felt betrayed. But when the ‘new’ character is half-Egyptian, very pretty as well, and called Naunet after a mythical Egyptian Red Sea goddess, I try to help her to overcome the storms raging in her soul, especially during those desperate times when she is drawn to join me in the Field of Rushes.

HH : As a character if you could travel to a time and place different to your own fictional setting  where and when would you go?
Nefret: Ah, but that’s just what I am doing in Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea. Followed by After the Cataclysm, The Crystal Curse, and The Nile Conspiracy (all through the soul of the beautiful archaeologist Naunet Wilkins).
The question is: Will she and I at last find peace on this earth? We hope so, for as the great Ramose said: “The end is but a new beginning for the eternal soul.”

Thank you that was really interesting!

Now where can readers of this A-Z Blog Challenge find out more about you and your author?
Check out Khamsin and its Sequels:

Here is the company we will be keeping on this 
A-Z Blog Challenge!

A 1st  Friday - Aurelia  - Alison Morton
B 2nd Saturday  - Bloodie Bones - Lucienne Boyce
C 4th Monday - Man in the Canary Waistcoat Susan Grossey
D 5th Tuesday - Dubh-Linn  - James Nelson
F 7th Thursday - Fortune’s Fool- David Blixt
H 9th Saturday - The Love Letter of John Henry Holliday - Mary Fancher
K 13th Wednesday - Khamsin- Inge Borg
L 14th Thursday - Luck Bringer   - Nick Brown
N 16th Saturday - A Newfound Land  - Anna Belfrage
O 18th Monday - Out Of Time  - Loretta Livingstone
P 19th Tuesday  - Pirate Code  - Helen Hollick
Q 20th Wednesday - To Be A Queen – Annie Whitehead
R 21st Thursday  - The Spirit Room - Marschel Paul
U 25th Monday  - A Just And Upright Man - John Lynch
X 28th Thursday – The FlaX flower – AmandaMaclean

So call back tomorrow 
To meet the next exciting Character! 
(unless it is Sunday - in which case, I'll have something different 

but just as interesting !)

* * *  And as an aside.... Happy Birthday Helen 
who has had 63 years of loving listening to stories today!


  1. Great stuff -I know very little about this area so I found it very interesting. Can't believe we're nearly halfway through the alphabet already!

    1. Hello, Annie. I've got to get up early with you lot since most of you are six hours ahead. But then, I am an earlier-than-most Egyptian. It's great to be alive again - at least for Helen's Great Challenge.

  2. Hello, Nefret, when did Inge first become interested in the history of you and your people. Was it when she was a child or an interest that developed as she grew up? The hint of salvation sounds promising!

    1. Hi, Victoria. I think Inge became interested when I imbued her with my "sinner's soul." Somebody has to atone for my trespass against Maat.
      Actually, it was around 1990 AD; she had to do a lot of studying from actual books - no Internet then.
      And, yes, I still do hope for salvation (hence the four sequels).

    2. Goodness I remember those days of studying from books borrowed from the library!

  3. We all know Cleopatra and Tutankhamon (spelling?) so isn't it nice to hear about these other Egyptians?

    1. Helen! Did somebody shout "Happy Birthday!" Same from here, and thank you for letting me emerge from the hot sands the Khamsin has piled up on poor little me.

    2. :-) Yes its my birthday today - having a great time so far!

  4. Hallo Inge. Thanks for this. I was hugely interested in Ancient Egypt when I was younger and this has rekindled my fascination - another one for the TBR pile!

    1. Well, Lucienne, as my gym tyrant says" "Was" isn't good enough. Be interested again! People don't seem to know much about my grandfather, the great Menes - some call him Narmer - perhaps a good thing for Historical FICTION as my author took plenty of advantage there.
      Would love to make it onto your TBR pile, for sure.

    2. Thanks Lucienne - these TBR piles are growing quite big aren't they? :-)

  5. Nefret, your story sounds so very tempting, as befits one of royal blood.

    And Happy Birthday, Helen. Have a wonderful day.

    1. Yes, Loretta, I was a spoiled little princess - until my royal blood condemned me for a slight transgression; I couldn't help myself. My half-brother deserved what he got. Glad I had Ramose, the High Priest of Ptah, on my side.
      Thanks for being "tempted." We need that in life. Didn't somebody say "Life's like a box of chocolates."

    2. Thanks Loretta - I'm having a lovely day so far!

  6. This took me back! I was a real Ancient Egypt fan when I was younger. Couldn't get enough of it, both in books and museums. My dad's fault! We've got an old black & white photo of him - 1923, I think - when he was in the Navy and part of a shore-party guarding one of the British archaeological excavations. We've got so many links to the period, quite remarkable really, and brilliant that Inge (and Nefret, of course) have breathed new life into it!

    1. Isn't it remarkable, David, how drawn everybody was and still is to the past lives of my people. Still, you don't know the half of it; like where the first Egyptians really came from. No worry, Inge is working on that one, reaching back to 6500 BC.
      Ah, it's good to see the light of day again and be in such great company here.

    2. My husband, Ron, was in the army during the Suez Crisis (National Service) He often talks of his days in the desert - he didn't get to see any Pyramids though!

  7. Nefret’s story has me intrigued, as does reading about Ancient Egypt of which I know little. It sounds very interesting. Your enthusiasm for Egyptian history shines through.

    1. Thank you, Alexandra - beautiful name. By the way, the city of Alexandria plays a large role in The Nile Conspiracy (Book 5).
      My interest in Egypt was awakened through someone's chance remark. Pity, in all my travels, I never made it there. While most authors concentrate on the later dynasties, I really want to know: Where did the first Egyptians really come from...I guess, I'll just have to answer (dream up) my own version.

    2. I think that's the wonderful thing about Historical Fiction - its a great stepping stone to learning about the past!

  8. This is very engaging. Ancient Egypt is such a mysterious and fascinating subject. And the interview questions are fun, too.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen. Indeed, the interview was fun (for us Characters), and a lot of work for the inimitable Helen.

  9. Ah, mischievous Nefret - you're like one of those hot and swirling desert winds that come out of nowhere and leave quite some havoc in their wake. That was not a nice trick you played on poor Tasar, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed your ba finds peace - once your dear author has decided you deserve it :)

    1. Ah, Anna, you are so beautifully softhearted - I wish you had been my author; then hopefully I wouldn't have had to wait until 2016 AD to find peace for my wandering sinner's ba. Living through all those storms just plain tuckered me out leaving no room for any more of my little trick.

  10. Hi Inge. Do you have plans to go to Egypt? I like to go to my locations and spend some time there thinking. Have you found a substitute for that or are you able to travel in your mind?
    Many happy returns, Helen)

    1. Hello, Steven,
      I am afraid "these days" (substitute: market crash) I am no longer flitting about the world. Instead, I keep a large Atlas close-by, Google the more intrinsic locations with pictures and, yes, dream of bygone days (and youth). Sounds dreary. Not at all. My flights of fancy can take me anywhere now - and I no longer have to pack those ten pairs of necessary high-heel shoes (something your Rabbie Howell probably wouldn't understand).

  11. A question for Inge about her villain Ebu al-Saqqara...
    Did you enjoy writing him?

    1. Alison: There is no way you could know about Ebu al-Saqqara unless you read Khamsin! That's awesome. Yes, I loved to hate him, the nasty, slimy, scheming villain.
      We all do elaborate on our bad boys. Bugger them! Still, they create the struggle for our protagonists, making our story so much more fascinating.

  12. Getting to know Nefret sounds like such an engaging way to learn proper facts about a period of history that I really "know" only from Hollywood movies (shame on me). I shall look forward to reading her story, Inge. (By the way, this is Susan Grossey - I'm having such trouble persuading my comments to go out under my own name!)

    1. Susan, I think you might enjoy the more complex story of the time (mostly as envisioned by me), involving not just Nefret and her fate, but a whole segment of that Ancient Egyptian society; the priesthood, court, temples along the Nile and the king's four armies with its own pecking order.
      Of course, once the Khamsin starts to blow, any semblance to Maat, their orderly way of life, is gone.


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