While science fiction romance is definitely my first love as an author/reader, I’ve been fascinated by ancient Egypt since childhood, when I read Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw. I try to write one new book in my connected Egyptian series each year and find it to be a useful creative pause from SFR. The muse likes to explore other topics every now and then!
I’ve had one scene from my new novel DANGER ON THE NILE in my head for years. Decades maybe even. It’s a dramatic chariot scene in front of the abandoned fort where the characters take refuge from invaders. But that was it, vivid as it was. No other plot, no backstory, nothing. Eventually I got another scene in my mind, which is the opening with the priestess Mayet and her desperate flight from the temple. Then I literally woke up one morning this year and had the entire plot in my head, ready to go.
Any time I get a gift from the muse that involves an entire book ready to be written, I sit down and I do that. So I set aside my next scifi romance and dove into ancient Egypt. I got to research all kinds of things from ancient forts to border disputes in the 1500 BCE era to dolls of the time and I wrote. Over the years I’ve researched many of the worldbuilding details of my books and can use what I learned previously in each book. I also based some of the descriptions of a certain old bed on my own up close inspection of King Tut’s bed when the traveling exhibit from his tomb came to LA.
It was so much fun and really refreshing to the writer in me to be back in ancient Egypt. Of course this is my paranormal version – since I wanted the gods to be involved in these novels I couldn’t exactly go the historical romance route and I like the freedom of introducing a few details that might or might not be accurate. And leaving out other things!
I’ve been wanting to write a five book series about the grown children of Nima and Kamin, from DANCER OF THE NILE and RETURN OF THE DANCER OF THE NILE, because they’re one of my favorite couples (but this book is a standalone) so the dashing charioteer/diplomat/military man hero of the book is their oldest son, Khay. Next up in this series I might write the book I’ve had percolating about his sister, who is a librarian at Pharaoh’s palace but we’ll see what the muse is in the mood for.
While I was writing the book at least two other solutions to the dire situation my main characters find themselves in occurred to me but since I wanted the goddess Isis to be heavily involved, I had to reject those helpful ideas from the subconscious.
Fiona Jayde, my cover artist, and I decided to go in a completely different direction for the covers on this five book series and follow the trend of using objects rather than people to catch the eye and draw the reader in.
And now I find my mind turning over sequel ideas for Sati, a charming young supporting character you’ll meet in the novel. Whether I’ll ever write her book, who knows but it’s fun to ponder.
Wishing you health, prosperity and long life, and happy reading if you decide to delve into DANGER ON THE NILE or any of my ten other books set in the time frame.
DANGER ON THE NILE (CHILDREN OF FATE) by Veronica Scott
1550 BCE. Mayet is a newly appointed priestess at the temple of Isis in a southern Egyptian border town. When enemies attack the city, she must flee alone with a sacred effigy to keep the invaders from claiming it and using it for their own magic rituals. Joining with other refugees from the stricken city, she has to hide the statue from curious eyes and comfort her companions as if she was a learned, senior priestess. They all look to her for leadership on their desperate trek north. With the enemy close on their heels, Mayet stumbles over an ancient, abandoned fort, where her party takes refuge. Surrounded and trapped by the invaders, she faces a bleak future.
Khay is a high-ranking Egyptian officer, sent by Pharaoh to negotiate treaties with various southern tribes. He and his soldiers narrowly escape an ambush at the city where Mayet’s temple was located and are on the run from the invaders when he sees the shelter of an abandoned fort. Now he and his men are also trapped inside the stout walls with no food and no hope of rescue. Yet he has no regrets for the priestess leading the refugees is the woman the goddess Isis has shown him in a vision, the one who could become his wife.
Together Mayet and Khay must find a way to bring their people to freedom. Will Isis listen to pleas from such a fledgling priestess? Khay comes from a famous family, smiled upon by other gods – will any of them come to his aid? As the pair struggle to stay alive and save the other Egyptians, attraction grows and unites their hearts. But is there to be a future in this world, or only in the Afterlife?
The other books in my world of ancient Egypt: