27 October 2013

Author Interview: Veronica Scott

This week, we're pleased to welcome author Veronica Scott once again, whose latest novel, DANCER OF THE NILE, is set in ancient Egypt. The author will offer a free copy of Dancer of the Nile to a lucky blog visitor; leave your email address in the comments. Here's the blurb:

Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.
As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?
Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?
Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

**Q&A With Veronica Scott**

What inspired your latest book? 
I love writing in Ancient Egypt, especially once you add the gods and goddesses into the action.  For this novel, I just kept thinking about an everyday person, a dancer, and how she might get swept up into the larger conflict of war between Pharaoh and Egypt’s enemies, which also swirls with black magic in my books. Since I write romances, there would have to be a hero of course. I envision my regiment of Pharaoh’s personal warriors as being the Special Forces of their time, the biggest and baddest, you know? So I thought it would be interesting to have one of the soldiers taken prisoner by the enemy and needing Nima the dancer to rescue him.  My heroine Nima is very resourceful and courageous. And then where the plot would go from there, how the two of them would interact as they tried to reach the Nile and warn Pharaoh.

What was your journey to publication like?  
Actually with PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, my first ever published work, I just submitted it to the Carina Press slush pile and they bought it. So I guess I’m living proof that lightning can strike LOL. I’d never submitted it anywhere else. They also bought the next Gods of Egypt book, WARRIOR OF THE NILE. I did have to do a Revise & Resubmit (R&R) Letter on that manuscript before Carina finally bought it, but they gave me wonderful feedback which ultimately made the book stronger, I feel. In the meantime I’d self published two science fiction romances and so now I’m self publishing the ongoing Gods of Egypt series books. (The books are standalone stories so far and can be read in any order.) I love being part of Carina and I also love self publishing – there are terrific pros and cons to both.

And which gods and goddesses appear in this novel?  
I’ve used Horus the Falcon before, since my warriors are sworn to him, but we get to know him a bit more in this book. I had the most fun in DANCER with the Snake Goddess Renenutet and writing several scenes involving her with Nima.  The Crocodile God Sobek will be heavily involved again in my next book, the one I’m currently writing for a January release. I’ve definitely taken him as my informal mascot, since the book with him in it was my first ever published story!

How much research do you do? 
I’m constantly looking for new books on any aspect of Ancient Egypt, from the poetry to the role of women in the society to discussions of how chariots were built. I like to have a large backlog of interesting facts to work with, never knowing when I can insert some of my research into the novels to create the most realistic world possible for the characters.  In DANCER there’s a very important game of senet to be played, with lives hinging on the outcome. Many gorgeous senet boards and pieces have been found in tombs but no one knows exactly how the game was played 3000 years ago. I found three books with game theories of what the rules might have been, bought a couple sets of modern day recreations of senet on eBay, studied how a person cheats at backgammon….played my game as written in the novel to ensure I had the details right and consistent…had Nima do a little boasting in approximations of common phrases of the time…oops, I’m getting carried away with the research – sorry!

What are you working on next? 
I’m finishing MAGIC OF THE NILE, a sequel to my first ever published novella, PRIESTESS OF THE NILE. I’m picking up the action about ten years later, and I’m telling the story of Tyema, who was a young girl during the tumultuous events of PRIESTESS. Now she’s grown and become the keeper of the Crocodile God’s temple herself. Her life is pretty peaceful when one day a highborn soldier who works directly for Pharaoh arrives at the temple and….things develop from there. The book is scheduled for release in mid to late January. I just had a new story idea come to me so strongly last night that I actually sat down and wrote the first chapter, despite the fact I’m supposed to be working on MAGIC! So I never run out of new ideas, thankfully.

You can find author Veronica Scott at: