Thursday, August 3, 2017

Interview with Apep from Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab by Columbkill Noonan

Today we’ll be talking to Apep, the Egyptian god of chaos and evil, about his role in the just-released “Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab” by Columbkill Noonan.  

Barnabas Tew himself was supposed to come by as well, but he claimed to come down with a mysterious and somewhat vague ailment the moment he heard Apep was coming, and could not be reached for further comment. 

Probably for the best, anyway, since Apep’s first words upon arrival were to inquire about the whereabouts of Barnabas whilst gnashing his teeth rather fearsomely.

FB: So, Apep, thank you very much for coming, we are very pleased….

Apep: (looking around, still gnashing those nasty-looking fangs) “Are you absolutely sure Barnabas isn’t here? I could do with a snack, you know.”

FB: Uh, sorry, no. He’s not here. But we do have a nice cheese platter.”

Apep: “Blech. How about some tasty mice?”

FB: “Hmmm. I think we’re all out of mice. Sorry.”

Intern: “I think we have some gummy worms….”

Apep: “Worms, you say? I suppose that will do.”
(Intern leaves to fetch the gummy worms.)

FB: “So, Apep, now that we’ve got the snack situation in hand…” (looking at Apep, realizing that he has no hands, as he’s a snake, and that comment might be seen as offensive) “….er, under control, why don’t you tell us a bit about yourself?”

Apep: “Well, I’m the Egyptian god of chaos and all that is evil, as you probably know.”

FB: “Very interesting. What, exactly, does it entail, being the god of chaos and evil and what-not?”

Apep: (looking into the distance and speaking with great seriousness) “The biggest thing is that I do my best to sow discord as much as I possibly can.  Anytime anyone has a plan, I do what I can to wreck it. Just little things, you know, mean so much. Like if someone has just plowed a field, I’ll do my best to whip up a windstorm and blow all their seeds away, so they’ll have no crops and starve. It’s hilarious! And my minions and I love to eat up all those mouse-headed people that live around my mountain, Bakhu. Not all of them, mind you, because then there would be no one left to be terrified of me, but just enough to keep them on their toes.”

FB: “Hmmm. Lovely. Sounds like fun. Now, in ‘Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab’, we learn that you have a rather complicated relationship with the sun. Can you expand on that a bit?”

Apep: “Well, as you know, the sun is rolled across the sky every day, and then every night it sinks below the horizon and travels underground, which is where I live, of course. So every night I ambush the sun once it sets, and we have a wonderfully terrible battle.”

FB: “And you do this…why?”

Apep: “Why, to keep it from ever rising again! Wouldn’t that be the absolute best chaos anyone had ever seen?”

FB: “But so far the sun has continued to rise, pretty regularly…”

Apep: (grumpily)“Yes, well, I haven’t managed to stop it yet. But one must keep trying, right? I’d be a terrible god of evil if I just gave up.”

FB: “Of course. Your dedication is commendable.”

Apep: (nodding head graciously) “I’m not the god of evil and chaos for nothing, you know.”

FB: “I’d like to ask you about Barnabas Tew, and what happened in Bakhu with him.”

Apep: (hissing angrily) “Barnabas Tew! Ugh, I hate that guy! He’s the absolute worst. He doesn’t understand chaos at all, and he went way out of his way to thwart me. He had no real reason to come after me like that! Yes, yes, I tried to eat him, but what did he expect?”

FB: “I guess it was because he was hired to find the missing sun god. Seems that he may have had some reason to be, well, a bit wary of you....”

Apep: ‘Well, of course he did. But there was no need to do what he did. That business with Bastet, you know, was truly over the top.”

FB: “I hate to pry, since this is clearly a tender subject, but can you tell us how you feel about what happened with Bastet?”

Apep: “On the contrary, I’d be happy to tell you. People really should be warned, if there’s going to be a detective wandering about interfering with chaos the way Barnabas is doing. Everybody knows that there is a list of ways in which to defeat me. ‘Setting fire to Apep. Defiling Apep with your left foot. Taking a knife to Apep.’ Things like that. Now, I don’t like those things very much, obviously, but that’s how it’s done. For Barnabas to bring in Bastet…Bastet, a cat, for chaos’ sake! Well, that’s just disgusting. And it’s most definitely not on the list.”

FB: “I can see that you’re very upset….”

Apep: “Of course I am! If I ever get my fangs on that Barnabas, I’ll show him some real chaos, I can promise you that.” (looking around) “Where are those gummy worms? I’m really very hungry. What about you?”

FB: “Am I hungry, you mean?”

Apep: “No, I was wondering if I might have you as a snack. Are you tasty?”

FB: (backing away nervously, and speaking in a voice that is far too chipper) “Well then, I think we’re done here! I’m sure you have some evil to sow; some chaos to wreak?”

Apep: (slithering closer, flickering his tongue in and out whilst drool drips from his lower lip) “Yes, well, there’s always time for a snack. You’re not a mouse, precisely, but I think you’ll do.”

FB: (backing away, then running) “Intern! Intern! Ack!”

Disclaimer: No interviewers or interns were harmed in the making of this blog post, but the bag of gummy worms that the panicked intern tossed in Apep’s way was devoured most mercilessly.

Barnabas Tew and the Case of the Missing Scarab
Columbkill Noonan

Genre: Mystery/Mythology

Publisher: Crooked Cat Books

Date of Publication: July 26, 2017

Number of pages: 273
Word Count: 84,467

Cover Artist: Adobe Stock/Lynea/Soqoqo

Tagline: Baker Street isn’t the only place in town

Book Description:

Barnabas Tew is a private detective struggling to make a go of it in Victorian London.

Fearing that he is not as clever as he had hoped to be, he is riddled with anxiety and plagued by a lack of confidence brought on in no small part by his failure to prevent the untimely deaths of several of his clients. Matters only get worse when Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead, is referred to Barnabas by a former client (who perished in a terribly unfortunate incident which was almost certainly not Barnabas’ fault). Anubis sends for Barnabas (in a most uncivilized manner) and tells him that the scarab beetle in charge of rolling the sun across the sky every day has been kidnapped, and perhaps dismembered entirely.

The land of the dead is in chaos, which will soon spill over into the land of the living if Barnabas (together with his trusty assistant, Wilfred) cannot set matters to right.

Pulled from his safe and predictable (if unremarkable) life in Marylebone, Barnabas must match his wits against the capricious and dangerous Egyptian gods in order to unravel the mystery of the missing beetle and thereby save the world.

“You see,” said Anubis, “Khepre has gone missing. Are you familiar with Khepre?”
Barnabas shook his head.
“Khepre is our scarab beetle. He is responsible for rolling Ra across the sky every morning and then down beneath the earth every night. Without Khepre the sun cannot move. The sun will no longer rise and set as it should.”
“That is why it is so hot in here?” ventured Barnabas, proud of his deductive skills. He had noticed almost immediately how very bright the light was in this place and that the air was intolerably stuffy.
“Exactly,” said Anubis. “And if this continues for much longer, the heat and the constant daylight will spill out onto the mortal world. There will be famine and death and chaos. You can see that this must not happen.”
“Of course,” agreed Barnabas. “That sounds perfectly dreadful.”

“Dreadful, indeed,” said Anubis. “That is the task that I have for you. You must find Khepre for us. The fate of the world depends upon it.”

About the Author:

Columbkill Noonan has an M.S. in Biology (she has, in turn, been a field biologist, an environmental compliance inspector, and a lecturer of Anatomy and Physiology).

When she's not teaching or writing, she can usually be found riding her rescue horse, Mittens, practicing yoga (on the ground, in an aerial silk, on a SUP board, and sometimes even on Mittens), or spending far too much time at the local organic, vegan market.

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Juana said...

I liked the excerpt, and I am looking forward to reading this story.

mohamed gamal said...
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