May. 5, 2022

Absolutely Accurate...Sort Of

Like most writers, I strive for accuracy, and like most writers, on an absolute level, I fail to attain it. Let's face it, we writers are human. (At least that's what my parents assured me when they pulled me from the wreckage of that tiny rocketship on their farm.) By accident, we're going to make some mistakes when it comes to representing the facts.

Of course, sometimes we massage the facts by design.

Which brings me to my latest novel, The Book of Invasions. Because my non-fiction works have established me as a thorough interviewer and relentless researcher, everything in Invasions passes academic muster, right? Well...

In Invasions, our intrepid band must decipher a message written in Archaic Egyptian hieroglyphs on a 5,000-year-old map. Would a veteran Egyptologist or historical linguist pat me on the back and say, 'This representation of glyphs, the workings of the language, and how translation would proceed is spot-on! So accurate, in fact, that by writing this, you've just accidentally released a malicious 5,000-year-old demi-god'?

And the answer is no. My job is to break down the complexities into understandable concepts that still seem to hold the weight of learned authority. In doing so--and to move the plot along in the intended direction--I might have had to take some...liberties. If you are a veteran Egyptologist, I hope you will forgive me.

But that's the way it is with speculative and fantasy novels. At some point, we have to accept the world as it is written, whether it be the science of Jurassic Park, the dystopian future of The Hunger Games, or the narrow escapes of James Bond.

Well, thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Time, now, to relax. 'Innkeeper? One Coca-cola, shaken, not stirred!' Oh, damn!