Hello! This is one of my tour stops during my two week book tour for The Bennu Project by Tyrone Givens. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. This tour runs November 23-December 6, 2017. Follow the tour here. Book your own tour here WNL
The Bennu Project
By Tyrone Givens
Crystal: I am excited to have Tyrone Givens here today. Welcome, Tyrone Givens! Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
Tyrone: Fed up with the embarrassingly stereotypical caricatures used to falsely portray the Black culture, I committed to creating heroes and heroines to provide positive images for our children. To reverse the less-than-flattering qualities that diminish self-esteem, self-worth and cultural value, I entertain readers with science fiction plots infused with historical facts often omitted from school curriculums.
I am a home-school educator whose high school-aged children are attending college. I am a multi-lingual, federally-licensed airplane pilot. The Bennu Project is the culmination of my passions: empowering Black children, accurate depiction of our history and flying.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Tyrone: This question is difficult because I have several favorite scenes. If I had to choose one, it is the scene that introduces The Kandake. The Kandake is the direct descendent of Roha and has been leading the current rebellion using guerilla warfare tactics. Her likeness was modeled after Njinga Mbande, a 17th-century queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola, and one of my personal heroes.
Crystal: How did you come up with the idea for The Bennu Project?
Tyrone: As I homeschooled my two teenage sons, finding books with historical African facts of interest to high school students was a challenge. I created a lesson plan ranging from pre-colonial Africa to current events. After completing the plan, I put the information in a book to share with parents who struggle with teaching certain historical topics to their children.
While researching, I decided to use names from African mythology throughout the novel. The Bennu is an ancient Egyptian deity linked with the sun, creation and rebirth that may have been the inspiration for the phoenix in Greek mythology. The theme of the book fit perfectly with the concept of the Bennu bird and thus, the title: The Bennu Project.
Crystal: On what are you currently working?
Tyrone: I plan on writing The Bennu Project as a trilogy possibly followed by a prequel trilogy.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Tyrone: Writing comes easy for me. In college, I realized I could write a term paper in the parking garage on the due date. Instead of outlines and other mechanisms, my process for writing my first two books started with imagining major points. When I had enough scenes, I wrote storylines to support them.
Crystal: Did you do lots of research this book or any other?
Tyrone: I absolutely did. To bring modern-day relevance to my novel and accurately capture the essence of our history, I extracted facts from the following books:
• The Destruction of Black Civilization by Dr. Chancellor Williams
• Civilization or Barbarism by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
• The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
• Dr. Maulana Karenga, professor and chair of Africana Studies at California State University, holds two Ph.Ds. including social ethics with a focus on the classical African ethics of ancient Egypt.
• Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, a Guyanese-born associate professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University, was a literary critic, linguist and anthropologist.
• Dr. Chancellor Williams, an African-American sociologist, historian and writer, is noted for his work on African civilizations prior to encounters with Europeans
• Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop was a historian, anthropologist, physicist and politician who studied the human race’s origins and pre-colonial African culture.
• Dr. Frances Cress Welsing was an American Afrocentrist psychiatrist. Her 1970 essay, The Cress Theory of Color-Confrontation and Racism, offered her interpretation on the origins of what she described as white supremacy.
• Robert Bauval is a Belgian author, lecturer and Ancient Egypt researcher, perhaps best known for his Orion Correlation Theory regarding the Giza pyramid complex.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven’t written that you would like to try?
Tyrone: I considered trying my hand at Afrofuturism. After these six books are complete, I may write a series in that genre.
About The Book:
On a dangerous run to scavenge supplies from a remote excavation site in the Meza Ruins, Azubuike and his friends encounter a unique piece of technology left by their ancestors. Once exposed to the device, Azubuike’s reality is altered in ways that could unravel his mind. The team has no way of knowing the danger—or benefit—posed by this ancient technology which triggered a series of events forever changing Azubuike and his friends. Has he unlocked the secret to end the alien occupation of his world or will this device result in the extinction of his people?
The Bennu Project is a genre-defying novel with the suspense of mystery, metaphors of science fiction and accuracy of historical relevance depicting the rise-and-fall of several Nile Valley civilizations.
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi
About The Author:
Fed up with the stereotypical caricatures used to falsely portray the Black culture, Tyrone Givens is committed to creating heroes and heroines as positive images for our children. To reverse the less-than-flattering qualities that diminish self-esteem, self-worth and cultural value, this master storyteller entertains readers with science fiction plots infused with historical facts often omitted from school curriculums.
Givens, a homeschool educator whose high school-aged children are attending college, is a multi-lingual, federally-licensed airplane pilot. The Bennu Project is the culmination of his passions: empowering Black children, accurate depiction of our history and rebuilding our community.
Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours