Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing the character Hormheb from Katie Teller's new novel Kiya. He has allied with the female protagonist in order to keep Nefertiti from stealing the throne. He's hard and a bit wordy, but I think he has a kind heart underneath it all.
Let's start easy. Do you have a nickname? Nickname?
No. I am the Commander of the Army. I am not anyone’s friend. The men must fear me.
Okay. Did you grow up wanting to be the commander of army? Or did you have other aspirations?
I was born to be a great man. My father was a highly ranked nobleman in Amenhotep’s courts in Heliopolis and Thebes. My family has served the pharaoh’s for generations. When I was a boy, my father taught me how to use the sword and saw I had a gift at warfare, so taught me how to be a soldier. He also taught me the importance of killing before someone else kills you. He taught me that survival among people of our rank relied on cunning, caution and carefully placed alliances. I knew since I was twelve that I wanted to be the commander, so my father helped me rise to the position, and after he died I simply finished what we started. By the time I was twenty, Akhenaten trusted me and saw my fearsome nature and knew I’d make a great military leader, and so he made me his Commander… not that under him that actually means anything. All I do is serve as a carrier for treaties. Urgh. One day I will kill more than treacherous thieves. One day I will battle more than simple nomads raiding our food stores.
What do you think of Naomi--er Kiya? What drew you to ally with her even though she is a Hebrew?
Naomi was defiant. Everyone knows Nefertiti is out for the crown, to keep it in her family once our sickly king passes. But her bloodline does not deserve the crown. Only a true male heir can inherit, and Smenkhkare, the king’s brother, is a vile and disgusting man. I suspect Nefertiti and her father, Ay, are up to something which I do not like, so I need someone who isn’t dimwitted to watch her in the women’s wing, among the wives where she rules unquestioned. Naomi, who is now Kiya, is bright and strong and has no ulterior motives. All she wants is to protect her humble little Hebrew family and stay alive. She doesn’t crave the crown, so who better to defy Nefertiti and assist me with my own plans?
Finally, what do you think of your friends and foes? (You can tell me this as tactfully as you want. I don't want to incite the queen or pharaoh's wrath!)
Friends? I have no friends. The only person who would even come close to a friend is Kiya. She is the only tolerable person I’ve ever met. I can’t even tolerate my wife, the barren little viper. My foes? Well, everyone is potentially my foe if they cross me or threaten the crown. Nefertiti is doing just that, so I must remove her, but carefully as unfortunately the King is fond of the wretch. But if I have my way, his fondness will shift. All my other foes were easily removed, I just killed them in secret, but a queen is not so simple.
Wanna know more about the book? Check out this blurb:
When Naomi’s sisters are snatched up to be taken to be wives of the erratic Pharaoh, Akhenaten, she knows they won’t survive the palace, so she offers herself in their place. The fearsome Commander Horemheb sees her courage, and knows she is exactly what he is looking for… The Great Queen Nefertiti despises Naomi instantly, and strips her of her Hebrew lineage, including her name, which is changed to Kiya. Kiya allies herself with Horemheb, who pushes her to greatness and encourages her to make the Pharaoh fall in love with her. When Akhenaten declares Kiya will be the mother of his heir, Nefertiti, furious with jealousy, schemes to destroy Kiya. Kiya must play the deadly game carefully. She is in a silent battle of wills, and a struggle for who will one day inherit the crown. If she does bear an heir, she knows she will need to fight to protect him, as well as herself, from Nefertiti who is out for blood.
More about the author? Follow her on Twitter @katieteller1
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