Thank you for visiting us at Of Captivity & Kings! We appreciate your interest. Frequently Asked Questions appear below the contact form.
E.Y. Laster is currently searching for and welcomes beta readers for Book Two in the Of Captivity & Kings series, which is already in draft form! This includes historians and others who have backgrounds in 4th century history, trade, religion and travel. Even if you just enjoy historical fiction please feel free to reach out. Please send an email with your information directly to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in working in this capacity.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
What is the book about?
This book is the first installment in a series about the fictional ancient Kushitic Kingdom of Nabara ruled by High King Amkar Kashta and Queen Samya. The laws are different in the Kushite ruled Kingdom of Nabara. The penalty for involvement in the slave trade is death, and if the King fails to provide justice and order under ma'at, the High Priests can order him to commit suicide. When a Roman slave ship wrecks off the coast of Nabara, peace is shattered. Ancient caravan routes and nomadic tribes are threatened by kidnappings, robbery and murder and Nabaran High King Amkar Kashta invokes the power of the six-kingdom alliance that is Nudolla. Each member of the ruling families finds themselves thrust into the rising slave trade and the corruption of everything and everyone it touches. Here, kings and queens, princes and princesses, slave traders and gladiators, high priests and slaves, scribes and warriors, caravan robbers and hermits collide under the thread that links them all - Captivity and Kings.
When did you start writing the book?
I started writing the book in March of 2013. I put it down and picked it back up again to publish in 2016.
How long did it take you to write it?
It took about six months to write the book and six months to edit.
Was it hard to find resources? Where did you do your research?
Certainly! It was challenging to find books or information on kingdoms that existed prior to the 14th century. I wanted to make sure I was as true as possible to the time period so creating a functional map, determining language and culture, rulers etc. was tough. Using the reliefs on pyramids along the Nile, articles on archaeological findings and reading books helped immensely. I did most of my research using sources from the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, and the Warren M. Robbins Library. Librarians are a necessary and underutilized resource!
What inspired you to write the book?
I wrote a book I would love to read! I love historical films and books and if I found a great action movie set it in the past, I was all over it. Learning history has always been an interest, partly because my Mom and Dad told me so many stories as a kid and were endless sources of history. It always started with “Did you know…?” and I was all ears! In addition, I was determined to write something based on the number of kingdoms that existed on the African continent. I created a fictional Kushitic kingdom near what would be the Orange River today and centered the story on the ruling family dealing with actual historical events including the dangers of the slave trade, Rome's desire to fuel gladiator games by kidnapping, religious persecution, and the fall of the Kushite ruled Kingdom of Meroë at the hands of King Ezana. The African continent has such a rich history of resources, inventions, writing, and architecture that can still be seen in various cultures today. This book is just a tiny fragment of what is out there and I enjoyed writing it!
What do you enjoy about reading?
I love an author’s ability to create dynamic characters that are flawed. When I read their works the words came alive and I can see a picture in my head of every detail. Everyone in this world has more than one side to them and that’s what made the stories compelling.
Did you hire a professional editor?
I did! I used Writer’s Digest Critique services twice. The first time I asked for a manuscript critique and the second time I submitted it for proofreading. All writers should use a professional editor because an objective eye will be able to spot things you missed.
What advice would you give new authors considering self-publishing?
Do what works for you, push away the doubt, and don’t give up. One of my favorite movies is Inception and I will always remember the lines spoken between Leonardo Dicaprio and Ken Watanabe. I ask this of my friends all the time when doubt pops up in their lives no matter what area it is. Do you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?
What are you working on now?
I’m working on Book 2!
Will you post more information?
Yes! I do intend to post more information on the resources that are excellent for new writers including doing regular posts about revision.