East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai



brush_PNG7389I have just contacted and contracted an excellent artist for the cover of my new project.
I have already mentioned I am going to do a serial, a number of self-contained episodes pushing forward an overarching plot, so that readers will be able to enjoy each episode but in the end will also have a full novel in their hands.
It’s the first time I try something like this seriously.
Writing a proper serial, I mean.
I did something that might have looked like a serial when I was in high school, to entertain my classmates and try to win the affection of a certain blonde. It was fun, and it did fit my extremely underdeveloped ability to carry a story for more than thirty pages. And in the end I won the affection of a brunette.
But in retrospect, it was not a very good story.


I have been planning this new work for two months now, but finally having an artist doing my cover, and being here with pen and paper (actual pen and paper) to compile an art request sort of makes this definitive.
Up to two hours ago, it was …

wouldn’t it be cool to do a serial?

… but now I have to put my money where my mouth was, and so now it is

OK, so I am going to write a serial!

It’s set, it’s done.
And I have a title – because a cover artist needs that too, together with the art request, to build the perfect image. I did not have a definitive title, two hours ago, but now I do.



I have seen a fantasy set in Egypt, recently, and the main character has a name that, according to my Egyptology books, means something like “that big fish we catch using a tack instead of a net”.
I find it terribly embarrassing, but the author – and his readers – evidently do not.

index_popupAMARNA is a good name.
Not only it does not refer to any sort of fish or fowl, but it is actually a place – the capital of the short-lived kingdom of Akenathen, “the heretic pharaoh”, whose queen was Nefertiti.
Of course in the time of Akenathen the place was not called Amarna, it was called Akenathen – nice and smooth.
And later, to the Romans, to Pliny and Ptolemy, it was probably called Alabastron1.
Today the place is also called El Amarna or Tell El Amarna2.
And I like the ambiguity, the historical succession of names. The place has a complex history, and lends its name also to a period in Egyptian history, and an artistic style. Also, there’s a number of weird theories and strange stories about Akenathen, and Amarna – which is also good for the purpose of my story.
I’ll do a few posts about these subjects – increase the hype, please the readers, recycle research…

And about research…
clive melody of egyptAs you can imagine, my serial will be set in Egypt.
This also has a practical reason – it’s not like I did not do some research on the subject in the past, so I already have a nice pack of notes and a shelfload of books and a long list of links.
That’s why, incidentally, my characters aren’t called like riverine fauna – unless I want to, of course.

What’s the story about?
Who are the characters?
What genre will it be?

We’ll talk about it in some future posts – it’s not like this series is going to happen next week, so we have plenty of time.
But now I have a cover artist! Wow!

  1. we are not 100% sure – maybe Alabastron was someplace else, close to Amarna, or maybe not. 
  2. and there is also a Tell Amarna in Syria, to make things trickier. 

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “AMARNA

  1. I can’t wait, man! Know that the hype is high already, here around.


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