Hi everyone! Welcome again here on my blog for another segment of ‘Behind the Pages’. Today’s special guest is debut author, Malayna Evans who will share what inspired her to write her character, Jagger and Aria. Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this blog post for a chance to win a copy of Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh.
Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh
by Malayna Evans
Published by: Month9Books
Publication date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indiebound | Wordery
Jagger Jones is a whiz kid from Chicago’s South Side. Ask him anything about Ancient Egypt, and Jagger can fill hours describing all that he knows. But when he and his precocious little sister Aria fall more than three thousand years back in time to the court of Amarna, Egypt, Jagger discovers a truth that rocks his world: books don’t teach you everything there is to know.
Mummies, pyramids, and cool hieroglyphics make awesome movie props, but the ancient court of Amarna is full of over-sized scorpions, magical amulets, and evil deities determined to scare unwanted visitors away. If Jagger and Aria are to return safely home, they must find nine soul-infested gemstones, defeat an evil general, save the royal family, and figure out how to rescue themselves!
Armed only with Jagger’s knowledge of history and a few modern objects mined from his pockets and Aria’s sparkly purse, the siblings have exactly one week to solve supernatural riddles and rescue the royal family. If they can pull it off, Jagger Jones just might return to Chicago a hero.Thanks for hosting me, Karlita. I’m excited to share my shiny, new book trailer along with a few thoughts about — insert imaginary drum roll here — things!
Yeah, that’s a pretty broad topic. But when I think about Jagger’s adventures in ancient Egypt, the things stuffed in his pockets, and his little sister’s oversized bag, are a huge part of my story.
I’m an Egyptologist by training. I’m also a mother of two school-aged kids, who inspired my main characters. And when I sat down to write my debut novel, Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh, I thought a lot about what ancient Egyptians would make of the strange things that find their way into my kids’ lives. Imagine if you lived over 3,000 years ago. Your first glimpse of plastic would be a shocker, not to mention technology like iPhones.
But this works in reverse too. What would modern American kids like mine make of the kinds of objects ancient Egyptians treasured, like amulets they believed had magical powers or small figurines designed to spring to life in the afterworld and care for the dead?
We all have things, South Side Chicago whiz kids and ancient Egyptian princesses alike. And some of those things are pretty similar—Aria’s lip-gloss collection isn’t all that different than the princess’s make up. But others underline our very different assumptions about the worlds we occupy.
For me, Jagger’s phone and Aria’s gum, bug spray and hair scrunchies were a gold mine I could return to again and again. I used things to move the plot forward. In fact, one of the most enjoyable things about writing this book was mixing the modern and ancient worlds up by tossing things, ancient and modern, together, shaking them up, and watching the magic happen.
Wow. When I say it like that, it sounds passive. Crazy thing is, at times, writing a book is sort of passive—characters can really surprise you!
My hope is that kids, and maybe a few adults, will enjoy learning about ancient artifacts as Jagger and Aria battle giant crocodiles, face down an evil General, and work to save a mummy’s (after)life. And if readers stop to think for a sec about the trinkets and technology we usually take for granted, well, I guess that’s a win too.
About The Author:
Malayna Evans was raised in the mountains of Utah and spent her childhood climbing, skiing, reading Sci-Fi, and finding trouble. Many years later, she earned her Ph.D. in ancient Egyptian history from the University of Chicago. She’s used her education to craft a time-travel series set in ancient Egypt. Book one, Jagger Jones and the Mummy’s Ankh, is out in May of 2019. Malayna lives in Oak Park, Il, with her two kids, a rescue dog, and a hamster.