What a Difference a Year Makes

by Janis Patterson

Ta-da! It’s really real! Finally!

As you probably know, one year ago (almost to this exact day!) The Husband and I went to Egypt to research a novel. My dear friend Dr. Dirk Huyge had invited us to come spend a few days at the El Kab dig house, which is formally known as Bayt Clarke. The house, built in 1906 by an English Egyptologist named Somers Clarke, is reputed to be haunted by his ghost. Unfortunately, Mr. Clarke did not make an appearance – though it wouldn’t have been difficult for him, as his grave is in the courtyard – but the rest of the trip was magical, from our time at the dig house to the flat we rented on the West Bank in Luxor that overlooked the Gurneh hills.

The result is my new book A KILLING AT EL KAB. It’s a straight murder mystery, but with the extra benefit of the reader being able to see an archaeological dig from the inside. Dirk was kind enough to be my advisor, reading the book in chunks as I wrote it so to be sure that it was as accurate as possible.


I started the book while we were still at the dig house. I remember sitting very early one morning pretty much in the dark (pre-dawn) at the eating table on a most uncomfortable chair with a huge French door overlooking the Nile in front of me. I was typing furiously as the story danced through my brain faster than my fingers could move. One of my best memories of that trip is one afternoon (when the entire crew worked indoors after a long morning out at the excavation) I was sitting typing and could hear two of the crew members walking very slowly behind me. In tones of awe and wonder one whispered to the other, “She’s writing a novel while we watch!”

The official release date for A KILLING AT EL KAB is the 20th of March, chosen months ago because we were at the dig house on that date. I had hoped to have everything ready to release by then. Isn’t it true that when you really care about something everything that can will go wrong? Oh, the electronic versions of the book are great – the print version is apparently cursed.

So I made an executive decision. I took the electronic version and put it up as a pre-order on Amazon while I am wrestling with the malign cybergremlins who are playing with the paperback. This is a new thing for me – I’ve never done a pre-order before. After hearing some tales from other writers about the intricacy of putting up a book on pre-order, all I can say either I am an astounding genius (not!) or Amazon has made the pre-order process very easy (more likely). Anyway, it is available.

I made another executive decision – during the pre-order period the price is only $2.99 – it will go up to the regular price of $4.99 on the official release day.

The Husband laughs at my ‘executive decisions’ as I am terrible at making decisions – seeing me trying to choose from a menu is painful, as are my deliberations on what to wear to almost any function.

Some things just are ‘right,’ though, and A KILLING AT EL KAB is one of them. I am a very proud book mommy!

8 thoughts on “What a Difference a Year Makes

  1. Wonderful!

    Good luck and God’s blessings with your new release. You have my email address if you want a feature (or 3) on my blog to help promote it 🙂



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