“Unforgettable Characters…Ancient Mysteries Solved…Time-Defying Travel…A Teen / YA / Historical Fiction Must Read…”
By Cheryl Carpinello
The Inspiration Behind Ancient Tales and Legends Series
Both Tutankhamen Speaks and Sons of the Sphinx are told through First Person POV (Point of View) but for different reasons. Tutankhamen really gave me no choice. As he told me, “It’s my story. Who else is going to tell it?” I couldn’t argue with his logic because when I tried to write his story, my words lacked the personal emotion of his words. Here’s a couple of snippets which illustrate that he was the only one to tell his story.
Because Tutankhamen’s father, the Pharaoh Akhenaten, dared to outlaw the worship of all gods but the Aten, he and his family were nearly wiped from ancient records and monuments. Recalling this time, Tutankhamen says,
My father was not popular with the Egyptian people because he chose to devote his life to the worship of the Aten. Many felt that this worship combined with his refusal to arm Egypt’s borders disrupted Maat…
I sometimes felt that Father was as disappointed in the Egyptian people as they were in him.
One scene Tutankhamen described still brings tears to my eyes when I read it. He describes the loss of their second daughter during birth.
I heard Ankhesenamun’s voice distorted in pain…I heard it all. Almost.
I looked at Ay. His head hung on his chest…My breath refused to come. Shakes took over my body. I tried to stand but my legs refused to obey me the Pharaoh of Egypt! The ruler of the greatest country in the world could not even stand as the realization numbed my body.
I wanted Sons of the Sphinx to be Rosa’s story first and foremost. To make her real to my readers, the other characters’ actions needed to be told from Rosa’s point of view, i.e. through her innocent eyes. In addition, I wanted her sarcastic humor to help define her and her struggle with her Nana’s gift. The only way to do that was to have Rosa tell the story. The following short snippets illustrate Rosa’s unique story-telling voice.
Upon learning that Tut’s father was given an elephant for a gift:
“Your father got elephants for gifts?” I can’t believe what I heard. An elephant, an elephant? All I got for my last birthday was a blue sweater, a couple of books, and some gift cards.
Rosa on her arrival in Egypt:
How people live in this oven is beyond me. Even the sweat pouring down my back is hot. So much for the premise that a person’s body perspiring cools them off. I keep wiping the stinging saltwater from my eyes. My feet slide in my soggy shoes making it hard to walk. Be lucky if I don’t have blisters. Never knew a person had this much water in them.
And who better to describe the feeling of a 15-year-old girl being scolded than a 15-year-old girl:
He looks at me and frowns. I see something in his eyes, briefly, that mirrors the disappointment in my dad’s eyes the day the cops brought me home. I ditched school after one of those talking ghost episodes. They picked me up at the shopping mall an hour before school was out. An hour! I have all the luck. I cough as my throat tickles in an irritating way.