Pharaoh Akhenaten is remembered as the Heretic Pharaoh. A peculiar and fanatic king who, led by his visions and spiritual revelations, established monotheism in Egypt. And who, once deceased, was deleted from history by his successors, leaving a trail of mysteries and an infinite amount of fallacies about himself and his story behind. This is what we have been told up to now.
But... What if I told you that in 1922 (shadowed by the great discoveries of Howard Carter), under the utmost secrecy... clay tablets from his time were unearthed? Strange clay tablets that gave testimony of how the man, not the pharaoh, was in reality? And that everything we ever knew about his history, has little to do with who he truly was... Akhenaten, Ato, man, master of his own mistery school, alchemist and prophet, far away from his land. A man who started a journey, not only physically, but internally, accompanied by a few, yet loyal, followers. And next to him, -or probably in front of him- Meritaten, the closest witness to everything the man lived, besides the title and the crown.
Set between dreams and reality, between a dark world almost 3500 years old and the colonized Egypt of the '20s, Golden Brown tells an exciting story charged with mystery and adventure where nothing and no one is what they seem. But above everything else, it's a story about souls, love in all of its shapes, and truths that need to be rescued from under the ruins and the darkness, so they can, at last, see the light of day.
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Cairo, 1919. A group of 6 young English and Egyptian folk get together to create The Collector's Club and perform excavations secretly (not to say... illegally), especially in Amarna, which was less exploited than The Valley of the Kings.
It was like a game to them, until, in 1922, in a hidden part of the ruins of the King's palace, they made an eerie discovery.
A strange low relief that depicted King Akhenaten in a way no archaeologist nor egyptologist had ever seen a pharaoh represented before. And he was accompanied by two mysterious feminine figures, whose shapes were almost completely erased by man, History, and time.
This image was nothing but the door that would take them to something even more valuable: the Clay tablets of Neterdut, living testimony that someone very close to Akhenaten talked about him like he was something more than a King... like he was a master, a prophet, and, above all, a human being.
And just like that, the schism of The Collector's Club happened. Whilst some of the Collectors -fascinated by the low relief- created a secret fanatic cult set out to resurrect Akhenaten-God-Aten (physically and spiritually) in his most radical and divine facet... the others, by translating the tablets, continued discovering the never told story of Akhenaten... A story that had nothing to do with what the Cult of Reverence for the Aten professed, nor the little information history had taught us about him. It was something... Human. Very real, close, and human.
1926. Leon Maynard is the new (and youngest) leader of the Cult of Reverence for the Aten, and everything must be done his way.
During all these years, after lots of lies and one or two deaths, the -many and powerful- followers of the cult (the Reverents) and the -few and secret- "heretics" (the Irreverent) who continued translating the tablets, had been able to sort of getting along...
But now the tablets are completely translated and they reveal something so relevant, it has the power to end not only the Cult of Reverence for the Aten... but also one of the greatest mysteries about Akhenaten that can change EVERYTHING.
And neither Leon nor the Reverents can allow this to happen.
Glendora Quinn, daughter of one of the founding mothers of the Collector's club, has just come back to Cairo after some years abroad to help her mother and the rest of the Irreverent to protect the truth at all costs... so it can get to all of us.
This is Golden Brown. An adventure between shadow and light, truth and lies, past and present.
HOW WAS THE PROJECT BORN by Vanessa Ninona.
"The day I came into this world, so did a song by the British band The Stranglers, called Golden Brown. I grew up with that song and its music video. I was fascinated by it, and it continued to fascinate me every second of my life, and I was proud as I felt the song "mine" as we had been born at the same time, and as it's the most perfect song I have ever listened to. I always knew I wanted to use that title for a story, regardless of the original meaning of the song. But life went on.
One autumn night, lots of years later (after several failed attempts to work on "Golden Brown"), something happened that opened my eyes, and I knew who I wanted to give soul and voice to my story. At last!
Once I knew I wanted Akhenaten in Golden Brown, I started thinking and thinking, not really knowing how to focus the story... but I had a lot of ideas while I slept... I dream a lot and pretty coherently. It's not something super unusual or surprising. Most of my stories came to me whilst dreaming (thankfully naps have some use in me), but this time the dreams were very recurrent. I started writing everything down. I crossed paths with some very interesting scientific information, and with a wonderful legend. Eureka. I had all the elements in place!
Reality and historical research, surprising (and nerdy) investigations, my dreams (kind of coherent in an oneiric manner) to give it some life, legend, mystery, and LOTS of imagination to sew it together and give it shape... And there was Golden Brown. Providing an interesting logic (fantastic or not, legends will be legends...) to some questions and shadowy parts regarding Akhenaten and his world. And also Meritaten's who I want to give a deserved spotlight. In the end, she is the axis and the real voice in this story.
This is my vision. Alternative, personal... fictional in a lot of aspects, real in others (like in a game...you decide which). But one thing is very much for sure: this story is loaded with dedication, love, anticipation, my soul and my heart."
The most mysterious and complex Pharaoh history ever gave us, and the most unknown, regardless of the fact that hundreds of books were written about him. Idealist to an extreme, spiritual, and a visionary... He never really fit into this world and much less as a pharaoh.
In Golden Brown, Akhenaten man, not king, starts a very complex emotional journey. A journey of self-discovery, the most difficult ones there are. When he thought he knew everything about his mission in life, all his standards break down after making a decision that will change everything. He discovers himself, his soul, his true calling, and the meaning of the unconditional love his secret hermetic school (The school of Mystery and Light) preaches so much about. This new double life as Master and Preacher happens as his reign falls, betrayed by his peers and his people. He starts another journey, this time a physical one, to distant lands. The pharaoh dies in the eyes of the people and history, but the man lives and the prophet is born. The Akhenaten who leaves us the legacy I want to show you.
Is water: passion, emotions, vigor. But also like water, calm, and healing if necessary. That's Meritaten, Mer for her loved ones. She is the moon, that moves the tides. Princess, Queen, anonymous survivor to the chaos, fire, and destruction of Akhenaten's kingdom. His loyal companion and the light of the journey, as her decisions, for good or bad, shape the events... We could give her a lot of titles to describe her, but she is just a young woman living a turmoil of emotions and occurrences that overwhelm her. Yet she persists, survives, and makes her own way, and through her eyes and heart, we see this story in a close and intimate manner, from beginning to end.
As a lighter side note, she loves poppies, dates, splashing around in the water, and running around naked
Glendora Valentine Quinn. This British youngster is the daughter of one of the founding mothers of the Collector's Club and was brought up surrounded by ruins and valuable artifacts between Cairo and Amarna. She´s always been busybody, and that natural tenacity and curiosity took her to accidentally discover the great unknown treasure, the holy grail no one was looking for, the Clay tablets of Neterdut, the testimony of the most hidden and mysterious side of king Akhenaten. And that's how everything starts. Glendora is the link between both realities: 1920's Cairo and Amarna 3500 years ago.
Leon Maynard. Also the son of another founding member of the Collector's Club and an Egyptian Noblewoman of Nubian descent. He never thought of following into the steps of his father's military career, General Maynard, so he chose to live in the family's manor in Cairo, raising lions. He is very young, charismatic, and also... the leader of the Cult of Reverence for the Aten, the modern and radicalized version of the religion founded by Akhenaten some millennia ago. They have very few things in common though. Inside the cult, Leon lives his own reality, with his own ghosts and lies... starting with his mechanical hands. He wants to think he lost his limbs while sustaining an attack of his own lions, but the reality is a bit darker than that. Dark like his secrets. He knows it, but he prefers not to remember.
FORECAST OF DEVELOPMENT AND CONDITIONS OF THE CAMPAIGN:
We know the kind of effort it takes to do a good job, and both the author and Spaceman Project are prepared. We love this medium and we want to take it to another level where the readers, authors, and the booksellers are the protagonists. It is because of that that we have taken the small details into account and adjusted the fundraising goal for what we’re offering.
This is an all or nothing campaign model. In order for the project to become a reality we need to reach 100% of the goal. The length of the campaign will last 30 days but can be extended by 7 more days if the project reaches 75% of its goal before the end of the month. As the publisher, Spaceman Project, can make contributions to the campaign to boost or complete the goal at its own discretion. As is customary, an announcement will be made public if this happens.
COSTS INCLUDED IN THE CAMPAIGN
Author / Cost to create
Platform / Creation, management and Crowdfunding collection management.
Publishing / Editorial advisory, quality control, translations, graphic design, pre-production, printing, delivery of rewards to backers and bookstore distribution.
Author / 15-18 months after the end of the campaign. *
Editing / 3 months of editing after the author’s final delivery.
Printing / 5 to 10 weeks for printing.
Deliveries / it will take between 2 and 6 weeks after the books have been received to be sent to the backers.
*Spaceman Project is not responsible for delays in the creation as this is the author’s commitment to the backers. In the case that the work is not finished, the author is directly responsible for refunding the backers.
All illustrations presented in this campaign are provisional and are subject to change once the goal has been reached, and work on the project commences. This is only applicable to the cover images for the most part, not to the story, the format of the work, nor the rewards being offered. Obviously, we are presenting a work that is in progress and under development. Creativity has no limits and we are confident that we will not stop improving, and as such, we have made a commitment to quality with our readers.
While the project is being created, the authors are responsible for issuing updates and keeping the backers informed. Once the materials have been delivered to Spaceman, the publisher will be in charge of informing the backers about each of the next steps (Editing/ Production/ Warehouse arrival/ shipment of packages).