Let’s get started!
When it comes to plotter vs. panster, I think even plotters veer from their outline to a degree during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?
I’m a seat-of-the-pants person, no doubt. When I start writing a novel, I know the hero, the heroine, the setting, how the story begins, how it ends and maybe 2-4 of the really big scenes that will occur along the way. I don’t deviate much, although I may add a few fairly major scenes I didn’t know the characters were going to go through before I got there. I think my books are probably 90% what I envisioned before I started, just with more details filled in. For Dancer, I ended up adding a bit more interaction with Renenutet the Snake goddess. In Magic, I added a river voyage that was really necessary to show some aspects of the heroine’s personal challenges.
You seem to have a good grasp on your style. What attracts you most to your chosen genre?
I write in two very different time frames. First is a paranormal series set in ancient Egypt, which is what I’m primarily here to talk about today. Dancer of the Nile is my most recently published novel in this connected series and Magic of the Nile is coming out in March. (I also write science fiction romance set in the far future.) I love the possibilities inherent in the paranormal – that you can be living your everyday normal life and yet all these very cool, mystical, impossible things could be happening. Shifters, vampires, magic…in my Egyptian novels, the gods become personally involved in events, although I usually write about a human heroine and the man she falls in love with as the main characters. Magical things happen…
I love that magical element. No matter the time frame or setting, the inclusion of paranormal aspects always intrigue me. How did you choose your title?
One of my favorite old “B” movies made in the 1950’s is entitled “Princess of the Nile”, so my titles are a tiny sekrit nod to that movie but also when I began this connected series, I wanted Readers to know they were going to be in ancient Egypt. I like the convention for naming subsequent books “of the Nile” to show there’s a connection.
I’m constantly doing research into aspects of ancient Egypt. I’m totally fascinated with their 3000 years of civilization and the rich culture and mythology. You should see my tower of scholarly tomes! But for Dancer of the Nile, I think my biggest challenge in some ways was writing the dance scene. You can’t give your book a title like that and not have a dance, right? I’m not any kind of trained dancer myself and you can only get so much insight from the preserved tomb paintings of dancers. So I developed a performance piece for Nima, my heroine that combines what we do know about actual ancient Egyptian dance, a touch of belly dancing (thank you, youtube), a hint of Hollywood and Bollywood ideas what ancient dance consisted of and a dash of ballet. The latter is in terms of describing some arm and leg positions – I didn’t have Nima in toe shoes 3000 years before ballet was invented, I promise! In the book, she’s also spent a few days with a company of dancers from the Land of Minos, so she could well have picked up a few steps or moves that weren’t Egyptian.
Your research definitely sounds like it enriches the book. I love when an author takes the time to “get it right.” How about sharing the first three sentences of your novel?
The chariot jounced over deep, hard ruts, and Nima had to grip the railing tight with her bound hands to avoid falling. As the ride smoothed out again, she tossed her head to keep stray tendrils of hair out of her eyes and squinted, glancing behind at her fellow Egyptian prisoner. About an hour ago, a small unit had joined the bigger column that held Nima, dragging this man with them.
Awesome opening! It drops the reader right into the heart of the moment and definitely makes you want to learn more. Why is she a captive? Who is the other prisoner? So many intriguing tidbits!
And now for a few quick personal favorites. Please share your:
Favorite season: Autumn!
Favorite time of day: Dawn (definitely a morning person)
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite animal: Red Tailed Pandas – so cute! But I live with two cats…
Food you never grow tired of: Blueberries
I had to Google Red Tailed Pandas. They’re so adorable! I love am besotted with cats (nice Egyptian connection there). Blueberries are a favorite of mine too. I like to sprinkle them on plain Greek yogurt along with granola, my breakfast of choice during the week.
It was great having you here today, Veronica. Thanks for dropping by to share your book and answer my questions! Best of luck with the series. I love the time period!
Thanks for having me as your guest today, Mae! You certainly gave me some fun questions to answer…
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author Veronica Scott 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 grandson and cats Keanu and Jake. Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.”
MISC FACTS ABOUT VERONICA
Received a 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for her novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM and a 2014 SFR Galaxy Award for ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE.
Proud recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal but must hasten to add the honor was not for her romantic fiction!
DANCER OF THE NILE:
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?