Allie Burton discusses Soul Slam

SONY DSCHave you ever wondered what would happen if someone else’s soul got into your body? What if it were someone famous? Or someone powerful? That’s what Allie Burton wrote about in her new YA romance book SOUL SLAM. Welcome, Allie! I snuck of Bandita Jo’s Diet Pepsi out just for you!

Suz: Writers are asked all the time “Where did you get the idea for your book?” My usual response in my head is a very sarcastic “from the big book of ideas”, but I never say it. So, here I am marveling at the idea behind Soul Slam. How did you come up with that?

Allie: For Soul Slam, I believe the idea was serendipitous. I was finishing the drafts of my Lost Daughters of Atlantis series and hadn’t chosen a new project to start. One morning I was reading the New York Times and I saw a full page advertisement for a new King Tutankhamen exhibit. I don’t live in New York, so I turned the page. Later that day, I was flipping through the channels on TV and I came across a program about the pyramids in Egypt. Hmmm. Two similar messages in one day.

When I picked up the mail, I received a flyer about the same King Tut exhibit coming to my local museum. Could this be fate? Three messages in one day about King Tut.

I’m not a historical writer, so my story wasn’t going to be based in ancient Egypt. But I could incorporate some of the Soul Slam Finallegends into modern day. Then the questions started flying in my head. What would happen if King Tut lived in modern times? Or what if his soul got trapped in another person’s body who lived in modern times? What if that person was a girl? How would the male Pharaoh and the female teenager get along? How did she get the soul? And was this a good thing to happen or a curse?

With each ‘what if’ question came several answers. And then several more answers. And so on, until Soul Slam was completed.

Suz: Your heroine Olivia is both a typical teen in some ways and a very unique teen in others. How hard was it to merge them together in her character?

Allie: The story is about Olivia discovering who she really is. Which I think is typical of most teens. She’s got issues about her clothes, if a guy likes her and why, and if she fits in. What’s not typical is that she’s doing it while being chased by several people, she’s just received new and unusual powers, and she has a male soul inside her female body. Oh, and she can’t touch Xander the hero she’s attracted to.

Suz: What research did you have to do about King Tut to come up with the elements of his life, personality and curse to use in the book?

Allie: Actual facts were the jumping-off point for the story, but so much is unknown about King Tut. For example, King Tut’s father found a new religion, but when Tut became pharaoh he returned to the old religion. Was he forced or was this his will? Did he really believe in this old religion or, as in the case of Soul Slam, did he secretly continue to worship his father’s god? Also, research has shown that Tut died from a head injury, possibly from falling off his chariot. We don’t know this for fact, but I played off of the possibility.

When the exhibit I talked about earlier came to my hometown, I visited the museum and took notes. I also purchased a book or two about King Tut’s life and watched a documentary on archeological digs at the pyramids in Egypt. As I wrote the book, if I needed to know something more specific I’d research online. There are a lot of great sites about ancient Egypt. Someday I’d love to visit! 

Suz: Olivia meets Xander in a rather unusual way. What did you want them to learn from and about each other?

Allie: Olivia and Xander want the same amulet. When she steals it from under his nose she gets more than she bargained for. In life, they want the same thing too, but it takes the entire story for them to figure that out.

I wanted both characters to learn that even though they are from very different and unusual backgrounds, they actually have a lot in common. Their strengths and weaknesses complement each other. And they are stronger working together.

tut-f3103c36a235c445f742b647c76703db0a7d05b2-s6-c30EXCERPT:

Crawling ninja-style out of the sarcophagus, my black gym shoes hit the ground without a sound. But inside, a screech built up in my lungs and released on a heavy exhale, the scream so loud it sounded like an alarm. “Aiyeeeeee!”

Xander and the old man froze.

I lunged at the case, swooped in, and grabbed the amulet.

A jolt rocked my body. Pain rocketed up my spine, but I held tight to the prize. Clutching the piece in both hands, I hit the concrete floor like a football player making a catch, and kept rolling.

“A girl.” Xander’s surprised voice rose on a high note. “What the…Tut.”

“Grab her!” The old man spoke in English.

“Touch her?” Xander sounded horrified like I was the slime of the world. “I can’t.”

“She’s got the amulet.”

I tried to get to my feet, but the pulsing inside threw me off balance. I crashed back onto the floor. Pain seared my fingers and heat rushed my veins.

My body jerked. My head spun.

Something slammed into me from the inside, like it was in my body trying to get out. Back and forth I jerked. A powerful energy thumped from my ribcage to my stomach and back again.

I trembled from head to foot. My vision blurred. Images swam before my eyes—a blue river, golden statues, Egyptian pyramids, deceit, and death.

“What’s going on?” The sound coming out of my mouth warbled. “Am I dying?”

This felt worse than the time I had pneumonia with no medicine, or the time I broke my arm and Fitch duct taped it…

Fogginess seeped into my consciousness. If I blacked-out they’d steal the amulet, leave me to be caught, to go to prison, to face Fitch’s wrath.

Whatever was inside me ignited like a nuclear bomb. My skin could no longer contain my insides. I’d explode into tiny pieces and scatter across the museum floor.

“It’s happening… To. Her.” Jeb’s voice was faint as if coming from a distance, but I saw his shoes through squinted eyelids.

“But it’s my right. My inheritance.” Xander stomped his sandaled foot near my head. “My destiny.”

“It’s too late.” Jeb’s voice curled like a sneer with extra hatred. “The transfer has occurred. This stupid girl is now in possession of King Tutankhamun’s soul.”

Suz: Are there more books in the Soul Slam series?Egypt Pyramids 01

Allie: Yes. I’m working on the second book now. At the end of Soul Slam the reader meets a bunch of unusual characters in a strange twist. I’m hoping that each of them will have their own book. Sign up for my newsletter on my website at www.allieburton.com if you want to learn more and get future release dates.

Great questions, Suz. Thanks for hosting me. I love visiting the Romance Bandits.

Now, I have a question for the commentators. What are some of your ‘what if’ questions? One lucky commentator will win a Soul Slam ebook. 

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Comments

39 Comments

  • Patty L. says:

    Life is full of what ifs…so I guess the big one is always if I hadn’t done this what would it have changed, what if this was my answer , would in change my destiny. This book sounds very interesting and I am going to order it for my daughter. What is the age range you recommend I also have a 13 yr old niece that would live this book.

    • Wow, Patty, the rooster stays with you! He must have behaved himself yesterday!

    • Hey Patty!

      Congrats on being the first commenter today. You win the Golden Rooster! Beware, he’s a wiley character. We’ve found it best to give him some chore while he visits!

    • Patty,

      SOUL SLAM is a great book for readers of all ages, (I’m long past the YA age and loved it!)

      But I do know Allie’s target audience is middle school and up, so 13 should be just perfect.

    • Allie Burton says:

      Patty, Thanks for stopping by and congrats on winning the rooster. Obviously, I wasn’t even close to winning. Soul Slam is perfect for ages 12 and up. It combines romance (first kiss), adventure, and mystery. Allie

  • Allie, welcome back to the lair. Allie and Suz, great interview. What a great premise for a book. I must say I’ve always been fascinated with King Tut – I’d love to see that beautiful gold mask in the flesh/metal one day. It’s such a stunning image!

  • Helen says:

    Allie

    This one sounds really good the researching must have been so interesting and teenagers go through so much growing up.

    What if’s lots of them at the moment the what if I could retire is my best then I could read so much more 🙂

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • Hey Helen!

      Research can be such fun for writers. My problem would be I’d start out looking up stuff about Tut, switch to Nefretti, head over to Cleopatra and before you know it, I’m hanging out with Joanie over in ancient Rome! 🙂

      It was a fun book to read!

    • Oh yeah, and retiring to read more…Sigh, I’ve been so busy writing since retiring from nursing and now I have a house to get in order…but reading is on that list!

    • Allie Burton says:

      Helen, Research was fun, but my imagination was the starting point. I’d want one thing to happen in the plot, research it, and find three other possibilities. Allie

  • Shannon says:

    Oh, I love this! I only know a few who know that Tut’s father created a new religion because the priest class has become too powerful. I’m the luck woman who got to see the ceremonial capital city that Aton created with all of the sun imagery.

    The idea of a soul switch is so intriguing.

    My question always what if I could travel in time? I not only want to see the world, I want to see it in the past and present.

    • Allie Burton says:

      Shannon, How cool that you got to visit! You’re right, it’s not a very well-known fact about Tut’s father’s religion. His religion was the first monotheistic religion in the world. Allie

    • Shannon,

      How cool that you knew that fact. I didn’t until I was reading Soul Slam. (See, we learn all kinds of stuff reading romance books!!)

      Did you travel all over Egypt?

      • Shannon says:

        I lived there for a year and then went back for another month about six years later. I’ve been from Aswan to Alexandria, and over to Port Rashid and el-Ain-ish and then over to the Suez Canal. I’ve never been to the Sinai (always got sick before the trip) and there was too much to see to get over to the Red Sea for the resort towns.

  • may says:

    Well.. I tried not to think of too many what it’s or I will drive myself crazy. But sometime I do wonder what it would be like if I have another kid.

    • Allie Burton says:

      May, Ooh, that a hard one. I’ve got two kids and I always wondered if they would’ve liked another sibling. Allie

    • I confess May that when I was younger I’d wondered, what if I’d had one more, but I’d want it to be another son so my son could have a brother. As it stands, he now has two brother-in-laws that he gets on very well with. It all works out in the end.

  • Allie Burton says:

    Sorry for being so late! Just got back from a long three-day weekend in the mountains and suffered an injury so I’m a little behind this morning. Thanks so much for hosting me! Allie

  • bn100 says:

    Don’t really have any

    • Allie Burton says:

      No, what if I’d accepted that job over another? Or, what if I’d chosen to go to a different college? Or, what if I did have magical powers what would I do?

  • Allie, welcome, and congrats on your new release! I love ancient cultures, and this sounds like a terrific way to draw on them.

    My favorite “what if” questions are many. 🙂 For now, let’s just go with “what if we’re not alone in the cosmos”?

  • Susan Sey says:

    Hi, Allie & Suz! I love what-if questions. I consider them a lot when I’m about 3/4 of the way through writing a story I’ve begun to hate. It’s a fun way to second guess the corners I’ve painted myself into, & often results in a secondary character storming the stage & trying to take over the story. Which is amusing until they get persistent, & then you have to promise them a story of their own if they’ll just sit over there & BE QUIET for a few hundred more pages.

    Good times, right? 🙂

    SOUL SLAM sounds like a great time, by the way. Love the excerpt! Will pick up my copy ASAP!

  • What a great idea for a book. Love it. I have always been fascinated by ancient Egypt and King Tut in particular.

    My favorite what is is “What if we could travel back in time and save the library at Alexandria?”

    “What if Mozart and Jane Austen had not died at such young ages?”

    • Allie Burton says:

      Louisa, I love your what ifs! While doing research I read about the library in Alexandria and all the books and research that might’ve been there. Who knows what treasures it held?