I'm thrilled today to have author Stephanie Dray stop by.
Her latest book, "Song of the Nile," the 2nd book in her series about Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra, was released recently and it carries on the story of the little-known daughter of one of the most captivating women in ancient history. Stephanie's spellbinding storytelling skills truly shines in this novel as she traces Selene's journey into womanhood, marriage and motherhood.
Stephanie took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her writing and upcoming projects.
1. At what age did you know that you wanted to become a writer?
I probably got serious about it when I was sixteen and wrote my first novel. It was very bad. No one will ever see it. But wow, it was a thrill!
2. What three important facts do you want readers to know about your book?
I’d like readers to know that Cleopatra’s legacy lived on beyond her, through her daughter and even into her daughter’s descendants. I’d like readers to know that the world changed when Cleopatra died and that we’re still impacted by what happened to her. I’d also like readers to know that this is a book about a woman who was denied a real voice in history and that I’m glad to give her one. (Or maybe I should warn them that the book is filled with ancient Egyptian magic and bloody hieroglyphics that speak the will of Selene’s goddess...)
3. Who are some of your favorite authors? Who inspires you?
I love Philippa Gregory, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Margaret George...just for starters. I’m also on a huge Ken Follett kick right now. They inspire me to tell great big epic tales, but they also humble me.
4. What do you have coming up in the future?
I’m working on the third book of the series right now (between blog posts)!
5. What advice do you have for anyone wanting to break into writing today?
The best advice I can give is to make certain you have a platform of readers who will support you in your journey, because it seems to take a village. I’m always asking help of my fans and my friends and my family. These days, getting a publisher’s interest or even getting the notice of readers online has a lot to do with how big of a buzz you can create. So if you’re kind of a hermit, this could be difficult for you.
About Stephanie…Stephanie graduated with a degree in Government from Smith, a small women’s college in where–to the consternation of her devoted professors–she was unable to master Latin.
However, her focus on Middle Eastern Studies gave her a deeper understanding of the consequences of Egypt’s ancient clash with , both in terms of the still-extant tensions between East and West as well as the worldwide decline of female-oriented religion.
Before she wrote novels, Stephanie was a lawyer, a game designer, and a teacher. Now she uses the transformative power of magic realism to illuminate the stories of women in history and inspire the young women of today. She remains fascinated by all things Roman or Egyptian and has–to the consternation of her devoted husband–collected a house full of cats and ancient artifacts.
About The Book:
Sorceress. Seductress. Schemer. Cleopatra’s daughter has become the emperor’s most unlikely apprentice and the one woman who can destroy his empire…Having survived her perilous childhood as a royal captive of Rome, Selene pledged her loyalty to Augustus and swore she would become his very own Cleopatra. Now the young queen faces an uncertain destiny in a foreign land.
Forced to marry a man of the emperor’s choosing, Selene will not allow her new husband to rule in her name. She quickly establishes herself as a capable leader in her own right and as a religious icon. Beginning the hard work of building a new nation, she wins the love of her new subjects and makes herself vital to Rome by bringing forth bountiful harvests.
For more information on Stephanie and her amazing books, check out her website at http://www.stephaniedray.com/
My thanks to Stephanie for taking time to answer my questions, and for providing a review copy of her book. I was not compensated for my opinion.