An Interviewwith Lory LaSelva Paduano about KHAFA: The High Priestess
Q. Tell us about your most recent work?
PADUANO: Khafa The High Priestess. A book about a lost dynasty, a protagonist or two, who try to hold their lives together by a shred of hope, their wits and the power they obtain. A powerful story emerges from the ancient tribes of Egypt, one being the “Khemitians”.
Q. Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
PADUANO: Khafa the high priestess is raw. Sheer passion exudes from her veins, mind and body. She is by far the very essence of motherhood, intertwined with her evil counterparts, and the ability to get the job done no matter the price. She is also very loving, brilliant and outspoken for her era. She is definitely no push over, despite being broken from the inside out, and she will stop at nothing to make her plans take flight.
Q. What inspired you to start writing this book? Why now?
PADUANO: I was watching a documentary two years ago about Egypt and I came across something unique and out of the ordinary, the Khemitians! I was driven, an instant marriage between story and pages. I don’t look at “now” but “why not!” I had no idea it would gain much popularity. It forces you to think. I love books that can do that. For countless hours I thought about the world around us, what readers want in this genre; how can I make it different? What can I bring to the table that will spark a desire in readers to take in this story? My readers adored it, and for me there is nothing more meaningful than to hear their wonderful words of support.
Q. What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
PADUANO: I enjoyed the mystery, the building up to scenes of warfare and the illusion of crafting a character in one way, only to have it shattered by circumstances to which there was no recovery. Also, historical settings are dear to me. They serve as the foundation for all my books.
Q. Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?
PADUANO: My ideas come from the heart! Plain and simple. They come to me in intervals, as I go through the pages. Most often, they come in a form of a dream or sometimes from popular T.V. shows. My interest lies in making the character before me, but entangled in a different scenario with the same theme. More dramatic in my opinion.
Q. How does your book relate to your present situation, education, spiritual practice or journey?
PADUANO: In today’s world, we are going through what’s perceived to be the “Era” of truth! People are fascinated with wanting to know – What, why, when, where, who? It draws together people from all walks of life, ignites a fire within us, and, as being the “match Holder,” I saw an opportunity to write this book. I hope it's fun and entertaining! And that it will open your eyes to a different understanding of our History. The things we’ve learned in school, are just the basics. They don’t even scratch the surface. Fiction is meshed with facts. Many will be pleased to learn about the first signs of “light” in this story.
Q. Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
PADUANO: A great deal about the ancient tribe and their belief in “Khemit,” the indigenous people who walked the sands of Egypt before anything was recorded. How do we know of these people and their traditions? One man with the title of “Keeper of the keys,” named Abdel Awayan, died in 2008. Abdel was one of the last survivors of this tribe, a legacy if you will. I won’t spoil the story for anyone, but if you pick up a copy there is much more.
Q. Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
PADUANO: I haven’t met anyone in person. It came from a documentary on the History channel one Sunday afternoon. I would love to encounter people who know about the “Khemitians,” to share the fascinating teachings would be blissful. In order for me to know more, a trip to Cairo, Egypt, where schools of Khemit, or tours of, are popular. This is on my bucket list in the near future.
Q. What were your goals and intentions in this book?
PADUANO: I have written only a certain percentage of what many people don't know about the ancient world of Egypt. It is much deeper than what I expressed in this book. If we could unlock the mysteries, the enigmas, surrounding this culture on a wider scale (which I am sure has been done) there’s no reason we can't further educate ourselves. It's captivating information, useful to writers as well as scholars, who seek the value it can bring to their projects.
Q. What do you think makes a good story?
PADUANO: A good story has the elements of a wondrous plot, unforeseen twists and inevitable turns. To me, a book that makes me pause to reflect on what the writer is saying, and why, is priceless. Well written books not only have a story that you can easily follow but are descriptive in many ways. The story makes perfect sense. You stop and say to yourself , “Wow! I can’t believe he/she wrote that, and now I fully understand.” I wanted people to ponder on the story's purpose; unity for the betterment of the world.
Q. How long does it take you to write a book?
PADUANO: Usually, undisturbed by my unpredictable environment, eight months give or take. Khafa: The High Prietsess, took a little more time, as research was somewhat tedious but important. This book took about ten months to write.
Q. What projects are you working on at the present?
PADUANO: I am working on an extension of my trilogy,the ‘Wonderland Series,’ a three-in-one book of High Historical Fantasy as some have said. This book is entitled ‘Wonderland Evolution.’ I will be greatly influenced by Italy and Latin inspirations, while maintaining its core of fantasy and historical setting.
Q. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
PADUANO: I was 6. I drew and wrote lyrics for songs. As I got older, I wrote short novella’s in the genre of Historical Romance. As I aged, I realized that limiting myself to only ‘Romance’ wasn’t enough for me. I needed to add more. As a lover of adventure, all things fantasy and history, it was imperative that I take all I knew and spin up a big web to cater to avid readers– without having to derail or go off topic and up in another genre. I carefully craft my work, so I stay on course. I am many things today; mother, author, wife with a full time job, and a business owner. Yet my passion for writing has never died, even after twenty-four years! I now realize I will die a writer and hope they bury me with my books! LOL.
Q. How can readers discover more about you and your work? .
PADUANO: Come join me on social media. I welcome questions, thoughts, requests. I share with the public all I do; writing, events, and more… where you find the real me!