The Mdina Touch by Edward J Kelly

An Interview With The Author


Q. What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

A. There are two parts of writing that I find the most difficult. I always find it difficult to settle down and start writing. I may have all my notes prepared and even have something in mind about what I want to write but for some reason I seem to find a thousand and one things to do before I feel comfortable. This can be anything from making a cup of coffee to tidying my desk.

The other thing I find difficult is actually accepting that the work I have done is finished. Once I've eventually settled down to write I find it incredibly difficult to satisfy myself that the work is complete. I'll often edit chapters numerous times and still not be satisfied.

Q. What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?
A. Undoubtedly the research carried out for The Mdina Touch was fascinating and going on location is definitely one of the highlights. In all honesty though I can say that I find enjoyment with every aspect of my work.
Q. What about your readers - do you enjoy meeting them?

A. Yes - absolutely. I'm not an out and out extrovert who craves public adoration but like any author I rely on feedback and enjoy hearing what my readers like.

I particularly enjoy having an in-depth debate about some of the topics or subjects I write about. Who knows - the next person I talk to could give me an idea for my next book.

Q. What books do you enjoy reading and who are your most favourite authors?

A. I normally have two or three books on the go at one time. One of them will be some sort of reference book or non-fiction, usually to do with Ancient Egypt or esoteric religious mysteries. Another book will be a novel of the action adventure type or perhaps a new author I'm trying out. I tend to have favourite authors and follow their work rather than choosing a book by it's cover, so to speak. The third book, if I'm lucky, will be one of the latest novels by one of my favourite authors. Also the National Geographic can often be found laying about and I love dipping into it for the wealth of information that is presented on a whole range of different topics.

Amongst my most favourite and most read authors are Ian Fleming, Wilbur Smith, Frederick Forsythe, Len Deighton, Mario Puzo, Michael Connelly, Ian Wilson and Barrie Schwortz (outstanding researchers), Colin Wilson, Robert Bauval, Graham Hancock, Keith Laidler and Clive Prince (for some thought provoking reading).

Q. You say that one of your most favourite authors is Ian Fleming. Have the James Bond stories influenced you in your writing?
A. Only in as much as Steve Parker, the protagonist in The Mdina Touch, is the antithesis of James Bond. This becomes more apparent as the story progresses. Whereas James Bond is for Queen and Country, Steve Parker harbours no such loyalties as he uncovers the sinister agenda that is being pursued by the infiltrators of the fabric of our society. And of course James Bond's enemies are of a secular nature whereas Steve Parker fights his ultimate battle on a spiritual plane.
Q. In some of the scenes in The Mdina Touch you give detailed accounts of Masonic Ceremonies and Rituals. Some of these are quite horrific. Do you believe that these are actually carried out?
A. I have no doubt that these practices have been carried out in the past and indeed there is evidence to suggest this. That's not to say, of course, that these rituals are practiced every week or so. Yet on the other hand who knows what will happen next week? - Look what happened to Roberto Calvi who was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.
Q. A lot of your work has some connection to Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians were fascinated with death and invested their time and energy into building tombs. Isn't this a rather morbid subject to use in your work?

A. Well for once I must disagree with you. The Ancient Egyptians were fascinated with life and nature and the whole of creation. The evidence for this can be seen in their tombs. This is particularly true in the tombs of the nobles where the attention to detail and the wonderful portrayal of every-day life is simply astounding.

The reason why so much time and effort was spent in building and preparing tombs was that they loved life so much they wanted to ensure that their souls would continue to live on in the afterlife. This was much more than a simple belief - they had an absolute certainty that they would continue into the afterlife if they had made the correct provisions. Even more than this though, the relatives of the deceased visited the tombs of their loved ones to make offerings and celebrate their life, or indeed continued life on the other side.

Q. Isn't it true though that the Ancient Egyptians used to worship statues of the dead? Why would they do this?

A. Well yes that is true from a certain point of view. They actually believed that once a person died they had two souls, the Ka and Ba, that would leave the body and these had to be re-united together with the deceased's body in order for them to continue to live in the afterlife. An aspect of this is that they believed one of these souls, the Ka, was able to continue to live and move about freely as it did when the person was alive. The statues they crafted were for the Ka and were made in the likeness of the deceased. It was believed that a person's Ka would inhabit these statues and receive nourishment from the offerings of food, beer and wine that was presented in funeral feasts.

An interesting thought is how the Ancient Egyptians came to believe that the Ka spirit could move about freely. If we saw a person's Ka today would we call it a ghost?

Q. Speaking of ghosts, didn't you have some paranormal experiences when you were carrying out some of your research?
A. My honest answer would have to be that I don't know. However, that would only be because I have no explanation for some of the things that happened so I can't state for certain if they were paranormal or not.
Q. Can you give us some examples of the things that happened? - How did it all start?

A. It started with two photographs that were taken by two different people, at separate locations, who were helping me with some research. The two photographs were taken about six to eight months apart but I actually received them within two or three weeks of each other.

The first photograph was taken by Lee of an obelisk in Sefton Park, here in Liverpool. The film sat in his camera for six months or more before it was developed. When he eventually developed the film and handed me the photographs I noticed on one of the pictures what at first appeared to be a sun flare on the lens, but on a second glance I could clearly see the image of a face and what appears to be two arms crossed in the manner of death.

The second photograph was taken by Wayne and it is of the tomb of George St. Claire, Earl of Caithness, in Rosslyn Chapel, Edinburgh. Right on the sealing wall of the tomb is what I can only describe as a ghostly face. The face appears to be that of a young boy but could easily be described as almost demonic as well. I've been able to do some research into the background of George St. Claire and it turns out that he was considered to be an evil man. He was responsible for imprisoning his young son in Rosslyn Castle and for several days fed him only on salted beef - keeping all water from the boy. After few days he provided the boy with brandy to drink. The boy's thirst by this time was obviously so great that he drank the neat brandy and died - no doubt, as a result of alcohol poisoning.

I can't help wondering if it is more than coincidence that the ghostly face on the photograph of this tomb appears to be that of a young boy.

Q. Following these two initial photographs you went on to do some research into the paranormal. Would you describe yourself as a paranormal researcher then?

A. No, definitely not. I obviously wanted answers to the many questions I had after those first two photographs. I set out to try and either prove or disprove the existence of ghosts or spirits. I ended up taking literally thousands of photographs trying to reproduce these strange faces and I also did some research into orbs.

Briefly, it is said that orbs are spheres of energy that can be the beginning of a ghost or spirit manifestation. You will see on the web site many photographs of orbs that I have taken using different cameras and under different conditions. I can say that I am unable to produce these at will on a photograph and I have found no way of determining when they will show up. Within a sequence of photographs there could be many pictures with no orbs then a few will appear and disappear again in later pictures.

If anything, I would have to say that my research was inconclusive, but surely the fact that these things seem to appear totally at random and outside of our control is an indication that there is something extraordinary about them.

I do believe that there are things which we are not meant to know about in this life or at least not interfere with and if something is going to happen of this nature it will, just like the two photographs that started all this. I for one would advise against people trying to call up spirits because I believe that, instead, you might just get a demon.

Q. You've travelled to some wonderful and exotic locations for research and in pursuit of information. Do you have any more plans for travel in the near future?
A. Absolutely, yes. I'll be visiting Egypt at least twice in the next twelve months where I intend to spend some time exploring the mastaba tombs of the Giza Necropolis and I want to spend some time in the Valley of the Kings. I also hope to visit the tombs of the nobles on the western bank at Luxor. A visit to Malta is on the cards and that will happen very soon, for me to do some research for my next book.