Today, please help me welcome author Veronica Scott to Preternatura. Veronica has stopped by today to talk about using Egyptian gods as characters in her books set in ancient Egypt–I love this setting! Veronica’s most recent release is Dancer of the Nile, which is the third book in her The Gods of Egypt series, released on October 5.
Veronica grew up in a house with a library full of books as its heart, and when she ran out of things to read, she started writing her own stories. Married young to her high school sweetheart then widowed, Veronica has two grown daughters, one young grandson and cats. Veronica’s life has taken many twists and turns, but she always makes time to keep reading and writing. Everything is good source material for the next novel or the one after that anyway, right? She’s been through earthquakes, tornadoes and near death experiences, although nothing is as stressful as meeting a book deadline. Always more stories to tell, new adventures to experience—Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.” You can learn more about Veronica by visiting her website, by following her on twitter or by visiting her Blog.
ABOUT DANCER OF THE NILE: 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?
And now, let’s hear from Veronica…
Gods of Egypt
I took note of the advice to “write the book you can’t find enough of on the shelf” because there are other people who set stories in Ancient Egypt, even with paranormal elements, but not all that many to choose from. Although the recent announcement by FOX TV that they’ve commissioned a new series set in ancient Egypt for 2014 may increase interest in the genre! One can only hope, right? I love to read about Ancient Egypt and I love setting romance novels there, inserting paranormal elements into the stories, involving the many gods of Egypt.
One of the best things about employing the Egyptian gods as characters is that there were a plethora of legends and beliefs about each deity, often conflicting or differing from city to city. I can pick and choose the aspects that work best for my story. A true lightbulb moment for me was when I was studying a statue of Sobek, the Crocodile God, in his half human form and realized I was looking at a shifter. While the Egyptians never depicted him in full human guise, what if that was just because they never happened to see him that way? And what if he enjoyed walking as a human on his favorite part of the Nile’s riverbank at twilight and happened to hear a priestess singing one of his favorite paeans? (Crocodiles actually have sensitive hearing as it turns out.) Romance ensues…that was the beginning of my debut novella, Priestess of the Nile from Carina Press. Sobek has his challenges, understanding the human heart and what it means to truly love.
For Warrior of the Nile, I was fascinated by the opposing sister goddesses, Isis and Nephthys. What if Nephthys was trying to solve a problem and needed humans to assist her? She’s a goddess of death, of magic, a fierce deity with the power to incinerate enemies of Pharaoh with her breath. I decided the wasp was probably one of her favorite creatures and my human hero has a very unfortunate encounter with them, although he gets his revenge in the end. In my world, Nephthys will do anything to protect Egypt from a black magic threat, but she’s not sympathetic to individual men and women. “Humans are but tools to accomplish the goal, pawns to play in the game,” the goddess said (in my novel). Isis, on the other hand, is willing to intervene on occasion. She was regarded by the Egyptians as the ideal mother and wife and everyone from Pharaoh to the lowliest servant felt they could ask her to help them with their individual problems, despite being Queen of the gods.
In my most recent best seller, Dancer of the Nile I had great fun with Renenutet the Snake Goddess. She was particularly involved with the harvest but as a woman with the head of a cobra, she has her deadlier aspects. Some Egyptian myths designated her as the wife of Sobek, but I chose to go with the idea they’d been lovers at some point, not married. As Sobek says, “Snakes and crocodiles, we’re among the oldest creatures. We took pleasure together from time to time.” Yes, I’ve made Renenutet the ex girlfriend in effect. So I decided Nima the Dancer’s mother must have been a disgraced priestess of the snake goddess and perhaps Renenutet owed Nima one favor…to be redeemed at a suitably dire moment of course!
Thanks, Veronica! (Gotta love those suitably dire moments, right?)
Leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win your very own copy of Dancer of the Nile. Have you read a romance set in Egypt, ancient or otherwise? There was one urban fantasy series I read a few years ago that had one of its books set in modern-day Egypt, but I cannot remember what it was. I’m blaming it not on age or dementia but it being 1 a.m. and a very long day 🙂 Now…go forth and comment!