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.
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.
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!
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?