What attracted you to fiction writing?
I’m a mad keen enthusiast for mystery thrillers, especially when they’re based on interesting facts that we can all confirm on the internet. After extensive research, I enjoy crafting a yarn surrounding these facts, connecting them in unexpected ways.

What existing novels inspired you to write in this genre?
Probably the most important was: The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. His use of illustrations was a powerful and convincing tool to convey an idea. The photo-illustrated version was even more exciting because it made everything more credible.

Why did you write The Code of the Pharaoh?
I’ve always been intrigued by the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics. I set about learning how they work and how to draw them. Translating them is like cracking a code, and that idea stimulated my book. Hopefully I can stimulate my readers to enjoy learning more about Egyptology and science in general.

How did ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs influence your story?
They certainly don’t dominate the story, but they largely set its direction. Although I found at least 20,000 published hieroglyphs, this large number proved surprisingly limiting. Where possible I crafted my story according to the available words, and in only a couple of places did I resort to “inventing” words of my own.

So are you an expert in Egyptology?
No, I would describe myself as an enthusiast. It’s been great fun to learn about the amazing history of this civilization that endured for 3000 years.

What is your background then?
I started-out as an electronics engineer and moved on to include mechanical engineering with a PhD in fluid dynamics. I served as National President of Engineers Australia (100,000 members), promoting a special focus on explaining science, engineering and technology to the general public. I also served on the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering & Innovation Council for 8 years, promoting a similar agenda.

Your interest in astronomy comes through too.
If I could re-live my life I might well be astronomer next time around. I was foundation Chairman of Astronomy Australia for several years, involved with billion-dollar international projects. Few people realize that the amazing discoveries of modern science depend on the cutting-edge technologies developed by engineers.

Your book is very action-oriented
Yes, I always envisaged this story being produced as a movie someday and I wrote it accordingly.

What about sequels?
The close-knit team of Sofia, Charles, Joanne and Alan tackles thrilling new adventures: “The Code of the Apocalypse” and soon, “The Code of the Harliens”.