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THE SULTAN AND THE LOST TEMPLE
Afterword

It's not easy being a writer. I get too emotionally attached to my characters. When I wrote chapter 2 I wanted to explain how Princess Aisha had become ill. One logical explanation of a psycho-somatic illness is PTSD. This is where she acquired a mother and a grandmother. I had not previously thought about them.

The day I wrote that chapter, I was walking with my wife and telling her how my story was going. When I got to the aftermath of the suicide bombing I started crying. It was just a few tears and one sob. Granted we were going to visit a friend who's husband had just passed away on the previous day. Still, it made me think about how attached to my characters I get. It also made me somewhat angry. Here I was trying to write a fairy tale and the real world was encroaching on my imagination. I thought that perhaps I could re-write the paragraph, but it made perfect sense just the way it was. I am usually upset when a writer builds up a character just to kill him/her three quarters through the story. In my case, it was quick, down and dirty. Grandma had a very short appearance, before dying bravely.

I try as much as I can to place my fictions within the real world. Thus a lot of research goes into my prep work. For example The Old Man of the Mountain (Rashid ad-Din Sinan) was a real person who suspended the Islamic law in 12th century Syria for a while. He was an important figure in the Hashashin (Assasins) sect, a name given to the Nizari Ismailis. 10-15 million Nizari Ismailis are still alive to this day.

Download chapter 2 of The Sultan and The Lost Temple here

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