When I sat down to conceptualize Shadow Blade, my first urban fantasy, I knew I wanted the mythology of Ancient Egypt to be a part of it, but it had to fit into the overall of themes of Light and Shadow and Balance. I knew my heroine, Kira Solomon, was a relic hunter with the unique ability to read and disrupt the magic of anything she touched. At night, she was a Shadowchaser, a sort of metaphysical bounty hunter that tracked down creatures of Shadow who threatened humanity.
So how could I weave Egyptian mythology into that? I’ve always had a fascination with the magic and mysticism of that culture, so I lent that to my heroine. I decided that being a follower of Ma’at, the embodiment of order and balance, was a natural fit for someone who battled against Shadow and chaos after hours.
For my hero, I already knew his name was Khefar, and that he was Nubian, and he was 4,000 years old because…well, he told me so. He’s also the keeper of the Shadow Blade of the title and wanted it back. Being a Nubian warrior meant that he lived and breathed the gods of ancient Egypt. He followed the war-goddess Sekhmet, but Isis was the one who summoned him after his first death, and charged him to save a life for every life he took while alive. And for some reason Anansi, a West African trickster god, decided to come along for the ride.
All three Shadowchaser books have splashes of Egyptian mythology in them, culminating with Shadow Fall featuring a traveling exhibit of the Book of the Dead. That brought on closer examination of that ancient magical scroll, and having Anubis top of mind, so when my agent asked if I had an idea for a paranormal romance novella for Harlequin, the Sons of Anubis just popped into my mind. There wasn’t going to be much excitement in them protecting the dead, but what if the dead didn’t want to go through facing the hall of gods as their hearts were weighed? They’d become Lost Ones, wanting their lives back, and if they couldn’t have them, taking those lives from others. And who would aid them (and be love interests) other than the Daughters of Isis, priestesses imbued with the magical powers of one of the most famous goddesses of all time?
There is a rich and varied mine of information in ancient Egyptian and in African mythology, and I hope to be able to continue to bring it to the attention of more readers.