Monday, 18 June 2018

Meet the author (Leena Maria -Nephilim Quest-, Space Witches series and Mummific books )

It is great to be able to share the thoughts of time travel authors, and to get an insight into how other folks started writing and how like me that they share my own interest in Time Travel.

I have been searching the Internet, sending out invitations to authors and I would like to thank today's chosen author for their reply. To read more contributions from authors click on Meet the Time Travel authors

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http://www.leenasbooks.com


I started putting stories on paper even before I could write. I was about three years of age, and my mother and I were walking in the park of Turku Cathedral here in Finland (this almost 800-year-old cathedral has a role in my time travel series Nephilim Quest). A police horse approached and my mother told me later I was half way climbing up its leg by the time she managed to come to the rescue (mine or the horse’s, I’m not quite sure). She taught me to give candy to the horse from the palm of my hand and I still remember how soft the horse’s lips were. When we came home, I took my crayons and drew a cartoon story of a a young horse who had to leave its parents and I cried buckets while doing it. I still remember drawing the story so it really had a great impact in my mind.  (Actually I painted horses for years and had my paintings exhibited both home and abroad).

I went to a kindergarten and there learned to read on my own – and started writing my own stories. Horse- and fairy stories to begin with. Of course in the beginning I was writing similar plots that I had read from books (and I read lots of them –  a library bus came once a week to where we lived, and I usually tottered home with such a high pile of books I could barely see my way from behind it). With time I began to develop a style of my own.

History was my thing from the very beginning. You can still see that in my books - they all have the same theme in common – ancient Egypt. People usually ask why ancient Egypt was the thing that I loved (and love) the most, and I never really had a clear answer. I just knew that whenever I saw anything related to ancient Egypt, I was drawn to it. Maybe it had something to do with storytelling. I love to tell stories – and ancient Egypt was full of them.  (Now of course pictures of the golden treasures of pharaohs piqued my interest too).

I tried to write “serious” stories but somehow the fantasy element always found its way into my books. So I sort of gave up – fantasy it is. Maybe I manage to write an “ordinary” novel some day…

I plan my storylines in advance, and usually manage to keep up with my plans about half way through the writing. Then the characters take over and I find myself chasing them so I could bring them back to order and direct them to my planned end of the book. I really wish they would behave, but often I find the story developed into a more interesting direction as a result of them bolting.

I have enjoyed writing all my books – Nephilim Quest –series gave me a chance to develop a long storyline that goes through several books. (I think four at the moment, but then again I have no idea where the characters decided to take the story in the future).  Space Witches –series is a mixture of dystopia, ancient Egypt and sci-fi. And The Death of a Vampire tells about… well, not quite sure yet as I am pantsing the story. That is a fun way to write as I have no idea where the story will take me.

But it was Mr. Mummific who really made a childhood dream come true. I studied Egyptology at the University of Manchester for five years and put up a website www.ancientegypt101.com so I would need to keep on researching. During my studies I had to write many essays and one evening I sat there on the sofa, taking a break and doodled on my sketch pad. A little mummy man appeared on paper and he looked so funny I developed him further. I decided to let him tell his version of all things ancient Egypt of my website, and he sure did. People chuckled on his take on life (modern and ancient) and he drew the attention of the director of the American University in Cairo Press. He wrote to me asking if Mr. Mummific would write a book for them – their very first children’s book. Mr. Mummific graciously allowed me to be his scribe and illustrator. And as my biggest dream as a child was to write and illustrate children’s books, I suddenly had a chance to fulfil that dream. Mr. Mummific has now published two books (“How I Became a Mummy” and “Mummies, Monsters and the Ship of Millions”).

I got the chance to write a third illustrated children’s book as well. “Tutankhamun in My Own Hieroglyphs” travels now around the world with the KING TUT: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh –exhibition. Ten cities around the world.

As to what inspired me… Well, stories. Imagination. Adventure. How stories can draw your mind into completely different worlds, make you feel emotions and see in your mind’s eye as if you were there inside the story. The book that had the biggest impact on me was The Lord of the Rings – I read it when my mother recommended it to me when I was 10 or 11. The first part (The Fellowship of the Ring) was on loan at the local library so I started reading it from book two (The Two Towers). Also Silmarillion, Hobbit, and other books by Tolkien really taught me what imagination can create – and that adults could write fantasy and be respected authors.

I have often wondered where would I go if time travel would really be possible. Now of course ancient Egypt, but which era… Would I go to Ahkenaten’s court to see what really happened to them? Or maybe check of Hatshepsut to see how the female king ruled her country.  Or would I go to the time of the Ptolemys and see how the Library of Alexandria was destroyed? (Ok not that, I could not bear to see that.)

It is interesting to see how science searches for possibilities for time travel. What kind of ethical problems would time travel cause? Could we really affect our own future by traveling to the past? Or go and have a peek at our life in the future? (Could we even be simultaneously “twice” at a given time?) Are there worm holes that break the fabric of time and allow us to see different ages of human kind?  And if the moment came when it was really possible to travel through time – would I have the courage? What we know of past eras can be pitifully wrong – after all history books can be biased and there can be undercurrents we really don’t know about and we could end up in the middle of trouble. How could we manage with our modern concept of morale and equality? How could we make ourselves understood? Language does develop with time, after all.
  You can find my website at www.leenasbooks.com

And I have also just put up a Patreon site www.patreon.com/leenasbooks – hoping to get enough patrons to pay for the editing and covers of my self-published books. I want to use professionals for that and they are not cheap. On Patreon I publish my first draft chapters as I write them. 

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